When you can’t be a movie star, then an alternative is visiting the movie set and have your pictures taken. And so that’s what we did when we were in Oahu, Hawaii.
We took a half-day tour to Kualoa Ranch, where scenes in the movies 50 First Dates, Godzilla, Jurassic Park, Mighty Joe Young, Pearl Harbor were filmed.
At around 7 in the morning, we waited outside Waikiki Beach Marriott Hotel for our bus pick-up which was included in what we paid– $43.00 or around Php 1,935.00 per head (for a Movie Site Tour ticket plus roundtrip bus ride from hotel to the ranch).
Kualoa is around 1 hour ride from Waikiki. We were there by 8:00 am but the tour would start at 8:45 AM. The skies were so blue and the weather was perfect. Everything around us was picture perfect. So despite the waiting time, we entertained ourselves by taking photographs.
Filipinos are really different: Picture here and there and everywhere while other tourists were just sitting at the waiting area. Finally, the male tour guide/driver in a park ranger attire called us to gather at the parking area of an old school bus converted into a tour bus. The windows of the old school bus were taken out so we were able to breathe fresh air and take photographs while the bus was on a rolling tour around the property
But of course, I prefer to shoot on ground rather than a moving vehicle. While driving, the tour guide was telling us about the ranch and how it came to be. I’d rather not tell the story and let you hear it first hand.
I was glad that the bus has stopped in some of the most picturesque sites of the ranch where we had our photos taken.
The last stop was at an old World War II Military Defense bunker made into a museum featuring the props and posters of the movies that have been shot there.
The tour was finished by around 10:00 am. If it was only Mama and I, we could have stayed longer and did the other activities but we were with other companions and so we did only one tour. The return trip to Waikiki was at 1 PM since the slots for the 12PM have been filled up already by other tourists.
We ate lunch at the Aunty Pat’s Cafe which was at the entrance of the ranch. The cafe serves grass-fed beef and so we tried it.
If you don’t have a big appetite, then one order can sufficed and can be shared by two people. Meals are around $7-10.00 (Php300-500) per head. As per the taste, it was just okay.
Kualoa is a must-visit especially if you’re a photographer and a movie buff. How I wish we could have stayed longer and rode the ATV.
Till next time.Jump shot happy.