The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) is a living museum located in Lā'ie, on the northern part of Oahu, Hawaii. Dedicated in October 12, 1963, the PCC is located on 42 acres (170,000 m²) of land owned by nearby Brigham Young University Hawaii, where most of the performers are enrolled as students. Although it is largely a commercial venture, profits from the PCC are applied to various scholarship programs run by BYU-Hawaii.
Many performers at the center are students attending BYU-Hawaii on scholarship from their native lands, working up to 20 hours per week during school terms and full time during breaks in order to graduate debt-free. The money which visitors pay for admission, as well as profits from food and gift sales, supports the scholarship programs which have educated thousands of students over the years. Visitors are invited to take bus tours of the university to "see where your money is going," and to see the Laie Hawaii Temple visitor center.
The PCC is best known for its multicultural Polynesian show, Horizons: Where the Sea Meets the Sky, which is the largest performance of its kind in the world. The park has its own IMAX theater as well as a lagoon where visitors can take canoe rides from one end of the park to the other. The Lagoon is also home to the PCC's canoe pageant, "Rainbows of Paradise."
Each of the major Polynesian countries has its own area of the park centered on a re-created traditional village. Hourly performances and cultural learning experiences take place in these villages, and visitors are allowed free rein throughout the park. Each of the following has its own village: Hawaii, Samoa, Aotearoa (present-day New Zealand), Fiji, Tahiti, Tonga, Marquesas.
In addition to the villages, the PCC has a special exhibit dedicated to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and a tribute to the 1850s mission once run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Visitors may participate in a luau or Luau, such as the Alii Luau ("Royal Feast"), which offers traditional Polynesian fare, including pork cooked in an imu (an underground oven). They are also invited to observe the cooked pig being removed from the imu prior to the meal. Due to the abundance of activities at the PCC, the "Free within Three" program grants visitors readmission for three days after their initial visit, as it is impossible to fully enjoy all of the park in a single visit.
Guided tours are also given to people who purchase the Ambassador package. Most of the tour guides are students who are able to speak two languages to assist guest coming from different parts of the world.