Part 1- The Haunted Lagoon
Yesterday was our first holiday on Oahu- Halloween! George and I haven’t done much to celebrate Halloween in the past, but this year I wanted to at least do something. I looked up the goings-on for Halloween here and decided on the Haunted Lagoon ride at the Polynesian Cultural Center. We had already purchased the kama’aina (local resident) annual passes to the Polynesian Cultural Center, since they are one of the best discounts around for residents. And our annual passes would get us into the Haunted Lagoon ride for free on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday! We had meant to go to the Haunted Lagoon the week leading up to Halloween, but we both had colds that week, so we ended up going on Halloween day.
It was our first time going to the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) so we headed north from Waikiki about 2pm, getting to the town of Laie around 3pm, to check out the center a bit before the evening ride. We were able to visit a couple of the “villages” at the center before picking up our tickets for the Haunted Lagoon at 5pm (they wouldn’t give them out any earlier). I’ll write more about the center itself in another post.
We had been worried about the Haunted Lagoon selling out or not getting on the ride until really late, since we couldn’t pick up our tickets until 5pm (since we got them for free through our annual passes). If you purchase tickets at regular price online or at the kiosk at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki you can buy tickets for a particular day ahead of time. It turned out there was no need for us to worry. We picked up our tickets and headed over to the line for the Haunted Lagoon, but there was no one in line yet. There was a stand with someone cooking chicken skewers, but when we inquired he said it didn’t open until 5:30pm. So we decided to leave the PCC and get a quick dinner at McDonald’s before getting in line. There is a McDonald’s literally at the end of the parking lot, which is a cheap alternative to buying food in the center, although we haven’t checked out the restaurants and snack bars in the center yet. After scarfing down our food we returned to the line to find only about 10 people in front of us at 5:30pm. The first ride doesn’t start until around 6:30pm, but there was a projection screen with a cheesy movie explaining the rules and introducing the story of the Lady of Laie.
It was just getting dark when we finally got to go in. We were handed 3D glasses and it turned out that we went through a winding haunted house, before even getting to the boat ride. And of course, there was the obligatory photo opt with pirates. Once we were on the boat, the goblins and ghouls started sneaking up and scaring people. George and I sat at the very back of the boat, but I made him sit on the outer edge. The ride was more fun than scary, but some of the monsters did get me when they ran their Edward Scissor hands fingers down my back. I didn’t know the actors were going to get right in our faces and touch us! It was like going through a haunted house on a boat ride in the water. Even though it wasn’t that scary we both thoroughly enjoyed it and the ride was plenty long and worth the drive up to the north side of the island.
While we were at the center we saw signs advertising a Christmas lights lagoon ride in December, which would be even more my cup of tea! We’ll have to go back for that, along with other events throughout the year that we’ll be able to get into for free with our annual passes.
The drive back to Waikiki should have taken about an hour, but the traffic going into Waikiki was horrendous. It seemed like everyone who lived anywhere on Oahu was headed into Waikiki for the evening. There was a truck next to us with 6 guys riding in the back. Once we got back to our apartment we parked and headed out on foot.
Part 2- Kalakaua Street
We made our way onto Kalakaua Street, which was packed with people! There were lots of people in costume and others just admiring the costumes. In places it was hard to squeeze through, with people stopping to take photos of each other’s costumes and impromptu dance parties on the side walk wherever there was a boom box. It took us almost two hours just to walk down Kalakaua and back. George and I were both inspired to dress up in costume next year. We are trying to think of some creative eye-catching costume ideas. Any suggestions?
Here are some photos of the Halloween madness in Waikiki:
We are already looking forward to Halloween 2012, even though it is a year away!