Chief Sielu, originally from the Samoan Village of Polynesian Cultural Center, is moving his famous Chief’s luau from its temporary home at the Makapuu Meadows of Sea Life Park to a custom-designed facility at Wet’n’Wild water park.
The area of Wet’n’Wild known as Cutter’s Island now features a stage and outdoor seating, becoming packed with visitors to Chief’s Luau after the park closes.
There’s enough space for all the performers, plenty of seating, buffet lines, a cash bar, and multiple crafts and souvenir vendors.
Those of you who’ve already been to the luau when it was at Sea Life Park need not worry about its westward migration—the luau largely remains the same, with the performance and pricing being completely unaffected by the move.
The venue and catering have definitely seen an upgrade, though, and being at Kapolei has made the luau much more accessible for guests staying at Ko Olina resorts such as the Disney Aulani.
Sielu Avea started off working at the Polynesian Cultural Center’s Samoan Village, one of the most popular of the cultural villages in the center due to its use of humor and wit alongside flashy traditional performances such as fire-knife dancing and coconut husking.
The Chief is also a world-renowned fire-knife dancer himself, winning the 1993 World Fireknife Dancing Competition hosted by Polynesian Cultural Center.
With his skills and popularity, Chief decided to start his own luau, where he would host the festivities and feature multiple performers, dances, and Polynesian art forms.
Chief’s Luau quickly became one of the most popular luau shows on Oahu, being highly rated for its spectacular fire-knife dances, interactive audience engagement and quick-witted humor.
Luau at Wet’n’Wild
We at Hawaii Activities got the chance to see the new luau facility during one of Chief’s latest shows thanks to our awesome friends at Chief’s Luau.
This past Wednesday, we drove out to Kapolei right after work to see the new venue.
Its location at Wet’n’Wild, which relatively far for a city kid like me that rides a bike everywhere, was easy to find, being located right off the freeway.
If you’re planning on driving yourself there like we did, try to leave early, as westbound traffic gets rough around 4 p.m.
Parking at Wet’n’Wild also costs $5, so bring a Lincoln with you.
Upon checking in and receiving our lei and drink tickets we were free to explore these various attractions in the area before the show started, as well as helping ourselves to the cash bar.
The area was filled with various stands showcasing Polynesian arts and crafts which could be purchased as souvenirs as well as little interactive cultural activities.
Right before dinner was served was the Imu Ceremony, the process of unearthing cooked pigs from the imu (underground oven). The pigs were then shredded as served as kalua pig.
The buffet—which is usually my favorite part of luaus—started shortly after the ceremony.
The food was good and had a decent variety, even for those who aren’t too fond of Hawaiian food. I just ate as much taro bread and poi as I could fit on my plate.
While usually the food is the highlight of the evening for me at any luau (I just really like Hawaiian food, okay?) I have to hand it to Chief Sielu for being incredibly entertaining.
If you’ve been to the Samoan village at Polynesian Cultural Center (where Chief worked some 20 years ago) you’ll know what I’m talking about: he’s hilarious.
The show itself, besides being incredibly witty, has a lot of audience engagement, with Sielu calling up multiple audience members throughout the show to participate in skits and activities.
Most of the night involves various dances from around the Pacific, including Hawaiian hula, Tahitian dance, Maori poi balls, and Samoan fire-knife dancing, among various other male and female performances.
There are also cultural demonstrations like creating fire and explanations of various Polynesian traditions to go along with each dance.
Throughout the show, Chief’s personality and values really came out, especially when he called up all the couples that have been together for over 30 years.
After recognizing each couple, Chief explained that one of the reasons he came to work at his own luau is to support his own parents (now deceased) and continues to work for their memory.
It was a heartfelt, touching moment and really felt as if we all were honored to be a part of this very personal experience that Chief Sielu had created for us.
The couples then enjoyed a slow dance under torchlight and palm trees before the rest of the show continued.
The night ended with a spectacular fire dance.
Being a former fire dancing champion, Chief Sielu set my expectations high as to what was in store at the end of the show.
Even so, I was blown away.
The dance started with a single fire knife dancer spinning one flaming blade, who then passed it off to another dancer—they were both amazingly skilled, but it was nothing jaw-dropping.
Then, the lone fire dancer was given a second fire knife and he twirled both at blinding speed—still yet, this is something you would see at most luau shows.
Then, however, a dozen dancers popped out of the shadows with their own fire knives, each lighting from the last’s burning weapon.
The result was spectacular to see, as the entire area was lit up by the spinning flames.
At the end of the night, I can definitely say that anyone who wants to attend a luau should try Chief’s Luau.
Well worth the drive to their new home in Kapolei, Chief Sielu’s show is easily the funniest luau in Oahu and a definite treat for anyone who likes fire knife dancing.
Read on for more pictures from the new Chief’s Luau at Wet’n’Wild:
You can book Chief’s Luau with us at hawaiiactivities.com here, with three tiers of dinner packages.