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davehaj
07-02-2001, 10:25 PM
I am just looking for opinions on the luau at sea world. Thanks in advance, Davehaj.

kellymonaghan
07-03-2001, 12:12 PM
Here's my review from "The Other Orlando:"

Aloha! Polynesian Luau
In the SeaWorld park
(800) 327-2424, (407) 363-2559

Prices: Adults $35.95, juniors (8 to 12) $25.95, children (3 to 7) $15.95. Prices do not include tax or tip.
Times: Daily at 6:30 p.m.
Directions: In the SeaWorld park, in an annex to the Bimini Bay restaurant.

If you liked the Hawaiian Rhythms show during your visit to SeaWorld (see Chapter 2), you’ll love this nighttime version. It’s larger, longer, splashier and they feed you.

In a low ceilinged room adjacent to the Bimini Bay restaurant, you are transported to the lush South Seas. Family-style tables radiate out from the semicircular stage, and tropical flowers and large green leaves hang down from the rafters.

The show, which begins as the crowd settles in, is hosted by a suave crooner in the manner of Don Ho. It takes us through a leisurely history of Hawaii, as the islands move from the worship of volcano gods to the coming of the missionaries, to the bustling, pulsating Hawaii of today. As with the daytime show, there is time for a tour of the pageantry and dancing of other Pacific islands, Samoa and Tahiti prominent among them.

Backed by a small band, most of the show is given over to the dancers, four bare-chested men and four lissome young women who constantly reappear in new and ever more colorful costumes to evoke a variety of styles and moods. The dancing is a bit more suggestive than the daytime version, which seems to offend no one. In fact, the loudest hoots and cheers come from the women in the audience when the male dancers leer, grind their hips, and grab their buttocks. How times change! Most of the evening is far more genteel than that, however. Indeed, this is a rather stately show compared to other dinner attractions, much like what you’d expect in a fairly upscale Hawaiian nightclub.

The singing by our host is mellifluous and soothing, ranging from Hawaiian language songs (including a “Hawaiian yodel”!) to the more familiar “Stranger in Paradise” from Kismet. The dancing is never less than enchanting and in the war chant numbers rather exciting. Volunteers are dragooned from the audience to dance the hula, which is always good for a laugh. The Samoan Fire Knife Dance finale is literally incendiary, as a dancer wearing nothing but a brief loincloth twirls a flaming baton and rests the burning ends on his tongue and the soles of his feet.

The food may not be quite as good as the show, but there is plenty of it, all served family style. First comes a selection of fresh fruit and salad. Among the three entrees, the mahi-mahi in piña colada sauce is a standout. The sweet and sour chicken and smoked pork loin are okay, as are the mixed steamed vegetables. Dessert varies with the season and is accompanied by coffee. The admission price includes the meal, a complimentary soft drinks coffee, and unlimited iced tea. For the drinkers in the crowd, a cash bar is available.

All in all, this show is a real crowd-pleaser, but I can’t keep from wondering just how authentic it all is. Am I seeing the real thing or the Hawaiian equivalent of Pat Boone singing a Little Richard song?

*******

p.s. If you tell the reservationist you saw it on the SeaWorld web site, you get a $5 discount.

davehaj
07-05-2001, 08:28 AM
Thanks for the wonderful reply. I never expected to get such an in-depth account to my question. Thanks again, Davehaj.