As I’ve alluded to in recent posts, we had family staying with us a couple of weeks ago, and for over a week, we spent day after day going on exciting adventures. One of them was an evening at the Makahiki Luau at SeaWorld, a birthday treat for Mark’s mother’s 60th! And since Mark’s birthday was only a week or so previously, it was also a little treat for him!
I didn’t really know what to expect from such an experience. It was advertised as one of Orlando’s many dinner show options, and honestly, I probably wouldn’t have picked it myself. But Mark’s mom is a big fan of Hawaii and the Polynesian culture, and she was raring to go. And I’m SO glad we did, as it was an amazing night full of great food, fabulous entertainment and enough fun to even keep Dexter happy past his bed time!
A ticket to the show was separate from entry to the park, itself, but as we were allowed to arrive an hour early, we took advantage and had a little walk around SeaWorld to enjoy some of the sights. We had a quick stop at the dolphin nursery to enjoy the adorable dolphin babies who took great pleasure in splashing around and coming up close for a good look at their many admirers!
I enjoyed taking random photos of some of the flora and fauna, and I even snapped a cute photo of Mark and his mom.
Soon enough, though, it was time to head over to the restaurant. Upon arrival, we were greeted by two scantily clad hula dancers (one male, one female) who smiled warmly and welcomed us with silk flower leis. Even Dexter got one! We then were moved onward where ANOTHER set of hula babes stood next to us for a complimentary photo. It served as a really lovely souvenir of the night.
We were then offered a complimentary drink as we entered, and I was disappointed not to be able to have my free mai tai… but the whole pregnancy thing made it a bit of a no no. ;) We all settled for lemonade and made our way indoors.
Once in the main theatre, all of the tables were already set up with the starter course ready and waiting. A delicious salad, honey wheat rolls and butter, as well as pitchers of water or coke. As it is a dinner show, there is the possibility of having to sit with people you don’t know, but we were lucky and were put at a table by ourselves where we didn’t have to worry. We were also right next to the stage, which meant we had a great view of everything that went on.
As we dined and chatted, the entertainment began. First up were some gentle Hawaiian songs sung by a trio of old Polynesian men. Then, the Kahuna and his female counterpart came out to introduce a bit about their ways.
The entire evening was a swirl of colors, costumes, dancing and music. The cast obviously enjoyed themselves and loved their jobs, as they were all smiles the entire night, interacting with the audience and even posing for pictures when they could. The costumes were BREATHTAKING at t times, and the women and men were just so utterly gorgeous to watch.
At one point, they even came down and gathered up some of the children (and even a few of us adults!) and took us to the side to teach us a short hula dance. We then were sent on stage and led the whole audience in it!! Dexter had a great time taking part, even though I had to hold his hands and help guide him through the moves.
While all of this was going on, more food was being served, and all of it was utterly delicious! When I first heard the menu items, I didn’t know what I would pick, but it turned out I didn’t have to! We got a selection of everything!
- Chef Selection of Fish in Pina Colada Sauce
- Hawaiian Chicken
- Polynesian-Style Barbecue Pork
- Polynesian Fried Rice
- Stir-Fried Vegetable Medley
The barbecue pork was especially delicious!
And then we were in for a treat with an amazing fire twirler! For this, they actually brought a sort of net around the stage to protect the audience from the VERY real fire that this most excellent man was playing with. Wrapping it around his body, throwing it in the air, and even using his feet to carry his fiery baton, it was pure pleasure to watch!
Our dessert, a selection of “Island Treats” went down pretty well, too!
And then it was time for the finale, which included all of the dancers, as well as a tiny child dancer in full costume, as well! It really was a spectacular event.
After the show was over, there were some of the cast members standing outside the theatre who were only too happy to pose for photos. I had hoped that Dexter would be brave enough to stand on his own, but he wanted mommy with him, as the beautiful hula girl was just too much for him to take in by himself. ;)
Obviously the boy has an appreciation for beautiful women already. Hehe.
Anyway, the night was a rousing success. Especially as partway into the show, they asked for all of those celebrating birthdays to stand up and be recognised, and each one was given another, more special lei to add to their collection. It really couldn’t have been a better way to mark the occasion, and I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Orlando.