Attending a luau is one of the most popular things to do in Hawaii and the award winning Ka Moana Luau at Sea Life Park is a great choice for vacationers in Oahu. This family-friendly luau checks off all the boxes for what makes a great luau!
I’m here to give you all the details of what you can expect so you can decide if it’s the right one for your family.
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Where is the Ka Moana Luau located?
You may sometimes hear the Ka Moana Luau referred to as the Hawaii Sea Life Park Luau. That’s because the luau is located at the Oahu Sea Life Park and you’ll walk through part of the park to get to the luau.
Depending on traffic, you’ll need to plan at least 30 minutes to get from Waikiki to Sea Life Hawaii. It’s located on the east side of the island and although you could go straight there, you’re going to want to plan extra time to make some stops along the way.
Why, you ask?
Because the scenery is breathtakingly gorgeous and I promise you’re going to want to pull over and take it all in! Although it’s quite windy, the backdrop makes a gorgeous photo op. We even saw a wedding party taking pictures there!
What’s included in the luau?
There are three packages offered and the most popular is the Moana Splash package. This is also the one included in the Oahu Go City Pass, so if you’re considering attending a luau, you’ll save money on quite a few other activities purchasing the Go City Pass to cover all of them.
The three packages available are the Celebrity package, the Moana Splash, and the Moana Classic.
Here’s what’s included in the Moana Splash:
- Deluxe Shell Lei Greeting
- Two Drink Tickets
- Moana Splash Seating
- Buffet Dinner
- Admission to Sea Life Park Hawaii (good for 7 days)
Is the Celebrity Package worth it?
If money isn’t a consideration, then sure, go for it! However, most people will be happiest with the Moana Splash package and not even notice they missed out on anything.
If you do choose the upgraded luau package, you’ll get a fresh flower lei greeting (instead of a shell lei), a complimentary welcome Mai Tai and a souvenir photograph. You’ll also get to sit at one of the closest tables to the stage.
Is the Ka Moana Luau family-friendly?
The Ka Moana Luau is definitely a family-friendly experience. From the time you get to Sea Life Park Honolulu, the atmosphere is fun and festive. The program is lively and includes some comedy. The audience is invited to participate and learn some dances, which gives everyone a chance to get up and move a bit.
The concept of having drink coupons seemed a bit cheesy to me at first, but it actually worked out great. We each had two coupons, which was plenty, but it also gave us a reason to get up and walk to the drink area.
We could still hear and see the show while we waited in line, but for children who are wiggly, getting up to get a drink can be a great distraction.
What’s the menu at the Sea Life Park luau?
The dinner menu at the Ka Moana luau consists of a traditional Hawaiian meal, including Kalua pork, Huli Huli chicken, fish, fresh-cut fruit, chow mein noodles, fresh island greens, and a vegan dish.
The fish and vegan dishes are daily specials, so you won’t know until you’re there what it will be. It may be fresh grilled mahi mahi or another local dish. You’ll also be served a traditional poi sample, Lomi Lomi Salmon, and fresh taro rolls.
Although their menu can change, often the buffet selections include options like a seasonal fruit salad, local sweet potatoes, crisp rice noodles, papaya mango salsa, and radish sprouts crisp.
You can find their menu, as well as info on dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, etc, on their website. Our youngest has to eat completely gluten-free and they had no problem providing that. In fact, they allowed us to go to the serving area and choose exactly what she wanted. The staff was very accommodating and willing to help.
Does the Ka Moana luau have a Fire Dancer?
Yes! The grand finale of the Ka Moana Luau is the fire dancer…actually two fire dancers! These are highly trained professionals who certainly know how to put on a show. Their performance is truly breathtaking and is the highlight of every Honolulu luau for many people.
Ka Moana Luau Discounts: Get Your Guide
You may be able to find a Groupon discount, but I believe the best value you’ll find is in the Oahu Go City Pass. When you purchase the three, five, or seven-day pass you’ll be given the option to choose one of four Premium activities.
The Ka Moana Luau is one of those. Although the cost of the pass is more than if you only purchased a ticket to the luau, you will get access to quite a few additional activities at no extra cost.
When we took two of our children to Oahu this past summer, we purchased the three-day pass for each of us. In addition to getting tickets to the luau, we also used our passes to spend a day at the Polynesian Cultural Center, a two-hour catamaran tour, we got the audio guide tour as we explored Pearl Harbor and did several other things included in the Oahu Go City Pass. All of these tours and attractions were included in the price of the Pass, which is quite a savings over paying for each thing individually!
Check out the full description to see the list of over 40 attractions offered with the Go City Pass and decide if it’s right for you. You can pick as many as you want to fit your itinerary.
Is Sea Life Park admission included?
Moana Splash Luau + Sea Life Park admission
One of the great things about the Ka Moana Luau being located at the Sea Life Park on Oahu is that your tickets include admission to the park. It’s important to note that they aren’t always open on the same day, but you’ll have up to a week to return for a visit to Sea Life.
We booked the luau for a Wednesday and planned to spend an hour and a half or so walking through the Sea Life Park. However, we got there and found everything was closed! We eventually realized the park wasn’t open that day and the gate didn’t open for the luau until 5:00.
It all turned out fine though since we were then able to spend some time exploring the amazing views nearby before returning at 5:00. We didn’t end up going back another day to Sea Life, but it was good to know we had a week to use our tickets if we wanted to.
What should I wear to a Honolulu luau?
Many women chose to bring something fun to wear to a Hawaiian luau such as this maxi dress or this floral dress. It can get chilly once the sun goes down, so bringing a light sweater or wrap is always a good idea. Most men sport Hawaiian-themed shirts and children usually dress in Hawaiian-themed clothing as well.
The Ka Moana Luau has a relaxed atmosphere and while most participants do dress for the occasion, it is also completely acceptable to wear whatever clothing you would to any other restaurant type environment.
Where’s the best place to sit?
There really aren’t any bad seats at the Ka Moana Luau, which is good because you won’t get to select your exact seat. Tables are based on which package you purchased with the Celebrity Package closest to the stage, then the Splash Package, then the Classic Package.
Do you get a Lei greeting at the Ka Moana Luau at Sea Life Park?
People who purchase the Classic Package will be greeted with a flower lei. Otherwise, you’ll be given a shell lei.
Covid adjustments for the luau at Honolulu Sea Life Park
When we visited in August 2021, they had made some adjustments due to covid. Most notably, they were not having people line up for the buffet. Instead, they served your meal right to your table in a take-out style container.
Some people found this annoying, but personally, I’d rather have it brought to me than have to stand in line for the buffet!
Masks were required when not sitting at your table. However, even though you’re outside, masks were required in the gathering area as we waited for the luau to start and be taken to our tables. You should also expect to wear them while standing in line to get drinks.
We also didn’t see any of the interactive cultural activities listed on their website like lei making and assumed it was because of changes due to covid. They might have offered it and we just missed it, but there was plenty going on that we were fine without it.
Also, when we were there you were not required to show full vaccination status or a negative covid test result, but that many have changed. Be sure to check requirements before you go.
Oahu luau prices
The Ka Moana Luau at Sea Life Park starts at $129 for adults for the Classic Package, goes up to $149 for the Splash Package and $199 for the Celebrity Package. Kids 4-12 are discounted and children three and under are free.
Summary of the Ka Moana Luau in Honolulu
We enjoyed the Ka Moana Luau and are glad we came! It’s not the only luau we’ve attended and at first, I found myself comparing it to a more traditional/elegant luau and wasn’t sure how I felt about this one being more laid back.
As I watched my girls thoroughly enjoying themselves (it was their first luau), I realized it wasn’t fair to compare the different styles. My husband leaned over and said he thought he liked this one even better! We laughed quite a bit throughout the evening and count it as one of our favorite Oahu activities.
We all had a terrific time at this Oahu luau and I have no problem recommending it to others. I especially recommend purchasing the Oahu Go City Pass and using it to book the Ka Moana Luau. You can then book quite a few other attractions and save so much money that way!
As you’re looking for Ka Moana Luau reviews, I hope this one was helpful. Have questions? Leave a comment or send me an email. I’m happy to help!
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Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.