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Is the Rock-A-Hula Show in Waikiki Worth Your Time?

Are you planning a trip to Oahu and are wondering what to do in Waikiki at night? Keep scrolling to check out this honest Rock-A-Hula Show review!
This honest Rock-A-Hula Show Review was written by Marcie Cheung (a Hawaii travel expert) and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

In all the years I’ve been visiting Waikiki (at least 20 years), I’ve never had the chance to check out the popular Rock-A-Hula Show in Waikiki.

From the posters, it looked like a Vegas-style show with a mix of glitz and Polynesian performances.

So, when I had the opportunity to attend on my recent trip to Oahu, I was excited to get a first-hand look at this long-running show.

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Oahu Travel Guide and 7-Day Oahu Itinerary by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel Spot

Where is the Rock-A-Hula Show in Waikiki?

The Rock-A-Hula show is right in the middle of Waikiki, at the Royal Hawaiian Theater. It’s at 2201 Kalakaua Avenue, up on the 4th floor. This spot is super close to most hotels and resorts in Waikiki, which is cool because you can just walk there like we did.

If you’re driving, don’t sweat about parking. There’s a parking garage at the Royal Hawaiian Center. The entrance is off Royal Hawaiian Avenue. The best part? If you’re going to the Rock-A-Hula show, they’ll give you a special deal on your parking rate.

So, whether you walk or drive, getting there is pretty easy!

First Impressions

When we first arrived at the Rock-A-Hula show in Waikiki, we noticed lots of couples around, both young and old. It seemed like a popular spot for celebrating special occasions like birthdays. There were also some honeymooners and multigenerational families.

The show is on the top floor of the Royal Hawaiian Center, which is pretty neat because you can check out some shops on your way up.

Image of Marcie Cheung of Hawaii Travel Spot at the Rock a Hula show in Waikiki.
I love photo ops like these! Photo credit: Owen Cheung

At check-in, we quickly picked up our tickets from the box office. Then, we had some fun taking pictures at these cool photo cut-outs they had set up.

It felt lively and welcoming, with a mix of people all there to enjoy the show. Definitely a good vibe for families, couples, and groups looking for a fun night out!

Cultural and Historical Significance

The Rock-A-Hula Show in Waikiki is not just any show; it’s the biggest Hawaiian show in Waikiki’s only premier theater, and it’s been wowing audiences for 12 years! It’s a cool mix of Hawaiian tradition with a modern twist.

Image of two singers at the Rock-a-Hula luau in Hawaii. photo credit: Marcie Cheung
These singers had beautiful voices AND they did a lot of dancing, too! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

The show is a product of Stars of Paradise Tours & Attractions teaming up with Legends in Concert, and together they bring over 90 years of experience in entertainment and hospitality.

Legends in Concert started in 1983 and has become famous worldwide, known for being one of the best live tribute shows out there. I remember hearing about it when I was a kid!

So, Rock-A-Hula isn’t just a regular luau; it’s a blend of top-notch entertainment with a Hawaiian flavor. It shows a different, more modern side of Hawaiian culture and history, making it a unique experience in Waikiki.

Entertainment Value

The Rock-A-Hula Show in Waikiki is like a time machine of entertainment!

Before the buffet opens, there’s this cool part where hula dancers perform right in the dining area. They even taught some hula moves, and a bunch of us got to dance in front of everyone.

Image of a man playing ukulele and hula dancers in grass skirts at the Rock-a-Hula luau in Waikiki. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung
It was amazing to see the evolution of Hawaii’s music and dance. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

This show isn’t just about dancing; it takes you through Hawaii’s tourism history. It starts with the 1920s, showing how ladies danced on docks and men swam up to ships. Then, it moves to the start of Hapa-Haole hula to current day.

Image of an Elvis tribute artist at the Rock-a-Hula show on Oahu. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung
The Elvis tribute artist was spot on! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

One of the highlights for us was the Elvis tribute. Dressed in his famous white jumpsuit, he sings just like Elvis from the ‘Aloha from Hawaii’ concert and gives out souvenir scarves. My turn came, and I got one too!

Image of a Michael Jackson tribute artist at Rock-a-Hula in Waikiki. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung
We thought the Michael Jackson tribute artist was outstanding! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Next up, a Michael Jackson tribute artist rocks the stage, and the dancers blend hula with 80s-90s moves to his songs. This artist is super special because Michael Jackson’s mom endorses him! The fire knife dancing is mesmerizing and a total crowd-pleaser.

The show wraps up with a song from Disney’s Moana and a grand finale. It’s a mix of Hawaii’s past and present, and totally worth seeing again. The acts and elements evolve every year.

From start to end, the Rock-a-Hula Show is epic, fun, and a journey through Hawaii’s vibrant history and culture. Check the latest rates and availability.

Food & Drink Experience

At the Rock-A-Hula Show in Waikiki, the food and drink are a big part of the fun! The buffet dinner is huge. It’s got salads, rolls, sweet potatoes, lomi lomi salmon, noodles, rice, teriyaki chicken, fish, and more.

There’s even a special spot where they serve a whole roasted luau pig. Don’t miss the roast beef carving section – it’s delicious, especially with horseradish!

Plus, if you’re vegan or need gluten-free food, they’ve got you covered with special buffet options.

For dessert lovers, there’s a table with fruit, haupia, chocolate cake, and even a make-your-own sundae station with gelato, sorbet, and lots of toppings. Yum!

After eating, you head to the theatre for the show, and guess what? You can bring your drinks with you. If you need more, the lobby bars stay open during the show.

So, whether you’re into savory meals or sweet treats, and need regular or special diet food, there’s something tasty for everyone. And being able to take your drink to the show? That’s pretty cool too!

Pricing & Value

Wondering about the cost of the Rock-A-Hula Show in Waikiki and what you get for your money? They’ve got a few options.

The original luau and show is $137 for adults and $82 for kids (ages 3-11). If you want to level up, the VIP package includes better seats, an extra drink, and first dibs at the buffet. That’s $174 for adults and $105 for kids.

Want to go all out? The Green Room package has the best seats, a backstage tour, champagne, appetizers, and more. It’s $227 for adults and $136 for kids. Just want the buffet? It’s $90-$96 for adults and $54-$58 for kids. Or, just the show is $82 for adults and $49 for kids.

Not many luaus in Oahu offer a show-only option, so that’s pretty special. Rock-A-Hula is more like a big production compared to other luaus, making it worth the price if you love grand shows and good food!

What Sets Rock-A-Hula Apart from Other Waikiki Shows?

The Rock-A-Hula Show in Waikiki definitely has some cool things that make it stand out from other shows.

First off, their dancers do this amazing thing where they swing down from the rafters, pretending to swim through the air. It’s to show how Hawaiian men used to swim up to boats back in the 1920s – super unique!

Image of hula dancers at the Rock-a-Hula show in Waikiki. Photo credit: Marcie Cheung
The show was spectacular! Photo credit: Marcie Cheung

Then, there are the tribute artists for Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. You won’t see those at any other luau in Hawaii. In the lobby, you can even check out their replica costumes and other neat memorabilia.

The show happens in the fancy Royal Hawaiian Theater, which has awesome sound and lighting. Since it’s indoors, you don’t have to worry about rain or bad weather messing up your plans.

If you’re looking for a show that’s a bit different and super entertaining, Rock-A-Hula is a great pick!

Things to Know Before You Book

Before you book the Rock-A-Hula Show in Waikiki, here are some things you should know. If you need to cancel or change your reservation for less than 10 people, you can do it for free until 24 hours before your show time. But if you cancel within 24 hours or don’t show up, there’s no refund.

Image of Marcie Cheung of Hawaii Travel Spot and her son in front of the Rock-a-Hula sign at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki.
We loved the Rock-A-Hula show at the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki.

The cool thing is they offer special rates for military members and local Hawaii residents with valid IDs. Just remember, pets can’t come along, and the whole Royal Hawaiian Center is smoke-free.

There’s no specific dress code for the show, but since the theater is air-conditioned, bringing a light jacket or sweater is a good idea. When you get there, an attendant will show you to your seat based on your ticket package.

The show lasts about 70 minutes, from 7:40 pm to 8:50 pm, which is great even if you have kids. They don’t allow flash photography, but you can still snap pictures to remember the fun!

Rock-A-Hula Waikiki Luau FAQs

What is the Rock-A-Hula Show?

The Rock-A-Hula show takes guests on a Hawaiian journey through the 1920s to today with a unique blend of traditional Hawaiian luau performances with modern and classic rock ‘n’ roll elements, featuring tribute artists and local dancers (including fire knife dancing).

Where is the show located, and what are the transportation options?

The show is held at the Royal Hawaiian Theater in Waikiki. It’s within walking distance of many hotels in the area. Paid transportation from Waikiki hotels is available, and there’s also parking nearby. If you’re driving yourself, Rock-A-Hula provides parking validation for discounted parking at the Royal Hawaiian Center.

What kind of performances can I expect?

Expect a mix of Polynesian dance, including hula, alongside performances by Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson tribute artists, and surprises.

Is the show suitable for children?

Yes, the Rock-A-Hula show is family-friendly and suitable for children, offering a mix of entertainment that appeals to all ages.

What are the food and drink options?

The show offers a buffet with a variety of Hawaiian and international dishes. There are options for special dietary needs upon request with 24-hour advance notice.

What’s the duration of the show?

The show itself is about 70 minutes long, not including dining time.

Can I take photos during the show?

Photography is allowed in the theater, but flash photography is prohibited to not disturb the performers or other guests.

What should I wear to the show?

There’s no strict dress code. Comfortable, casual attire is appropriate, and a light jacket is recommended as the theater is air-conditioned.

Conclusion & Personal Verdict on the Rock-A-Hula Show in Waikiki

So, what’s my final say on the Rock-A-Hula Show in Waikiki? Absolutely, I’d go again and totally recommend it to friends!

The show is a blast, super engaging, and a cool way to learn about Hawaii’s ties to Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson. It’s not just a regular performance; it’s like stepping into a fun part of Hawaii’s music history.

Who should check it out? Really, it’s perfect for everyone. Families, couples, honeymooners, and even older folks will find something to love. The mix of rock, pop, and Hawaiian vibes makes it a hit for all ages. So, yeah, thumbs up from me!


Overall Score: 9/10 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Entertainment: 10/10 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The entertainment at the Rock-A-Hula Show is top-notch. A fantastic blend of Hawaiian culture with Elvis and MJ hits makes it a memorable experience.

Food & Drink: 8/10 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The variety is good, and the quality is decent, but it doesn’t quite hit the perfect mark. Still, it adds nicely to the overall experience.

Value for Money: 9/10 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

With outstanding performances and a good food selection, the show offers great value for the price paid.

Authenticity: 10/10 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The show does a great job of blending authentic Hawaiian traditions with popular music legends, making it unique and authentic in its own way.

Overall, I’d highly recommend the Rock-A-Hula Show in Waikiki for an entertaining, value-packed, and culturally rich experience.

Looking for more Oahu Travel Resources? Check out How to Choose the Best Luau on Oahu and my Diamond Head Luau review!

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