Powering up the driveway towards Kualoa’s entrance, I could hear those legendary words…..’Welcome To Jurassic Park’. I felt chills. Today, was going to be EPIC!
Kualoa Ranch is a 4000 acre working cattle ranch, nature reserve and most importantly…a working film set. And here we were, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after our 1 hour bus ride from Waikiki ready to begin our VIP Movie Location Tour.
Be prepared to fan girl as soon as you walk in – They have a Wall Of Fame featuring all of the Moves & TV shows that have been filmed here:
Anyone who knows Kris & I or even those of you that follow us on Facebook/Instagram will know how we really are humongous Movie Geeks. There was no second thoughts about our visit here, the only decision we had to make was which package to take!
For us, the VIP Movie Tour was a no brainer. For US$120 each we were treated to 2 and a half hours of incredible as much as you could consume Movie sites all in the comfort of an air-conditioned mini bus with complimentary water, M&Ms and popcorn….we are technically ‘at’ the Movies after all!
Our tour guide (whose name completely escapes me!) was outstanding. Any questions we had he answered. He was full of knowledge not only regarding the movie sets but of the island of Oahu itself.
As the ranch is a working movie set, there is a chance that you could well drive past a working set. Sadly we were a few days late BUT we did see some rather large props loosely covered in tarpaulin throughout the ranch a fallen helicopter & huge skull with enormous teeth…our tour guide couldn’t confirm what the movie was BUT since Kris is such a geek he knew that Kong: Skull Island had been filming there recently. Lo & behold, the trailer was realised & sure enough, there was the chopper & skull we had seen!
First stop of the tour was an old WWII underground bunker which has been used for filming everything from Hawaii 5-0 to Pearl Harbour.
The walls of the bunker are plastered with Movie posters and images of the film locations on the Ranch. Then came one of our first big geeks outs…..
Yup…that is the actual sign from the Gyrosphere Ride Jurassic World.
Geek out Level: 8
Back on the bus we went further into the valley and all i could hear going round in my head was that infamous line ‘Welcome To Jurassic World’. The pictures do it no justice at all. It really is as though you’re in the movie!
Next stop…..well….I’ll let you see for yourself:
Geek out Level: 9
We had no idea the dinosaurs would be so realistic!
This was the only scene from Jurassic Park that was filmed here, however more than 80% of Jurassic World was filmed on location at Kualoa…and from what our guide told us, it looks promising that Jurassic World 2 will be filmed on the ranch as well.
Obviously Jurassic World is a huge film that’s fairly new so there are a few sites the crew left for the tour. But nothing is as incredible as this:
That’s right….it’s the Indominus Rex compound.
Geek out level: 10!
Not only have the kept the compound but the viewing platform from the movie…they’ve kept that too!!! (Word of warning…there were a LOT of bugs in it!) Even the posters on the walls had been left up.
Now this wasn’t a Jurassic World Tour, far from it. Some of the other locations we visited we are follows:
50 First Dates
You Me & Dupree
Journey 2, Mysterious Island
If you take the VIP tour, let your guide know what films/TV shows interest you and they’ll focus on these. There’s a list on Kualoa’s website of all the movies & shows that have been filmed there.
If you don’t fancy the VIP tour, the ranch also offers everything from Horseback tours to ATV’s to Catamaran tours to Zip lining from film set to film set. There really is something for everyone! And make sure you leave time for lunch, they serve all their own produce at the restaurant which is delicious!
Would we return? Without a doubt! Although the Movie Tour was extensive, there were so many other activities we would’ve loved to take part in at the ranch. Aloha, until next time…
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