Visiting Dole Plantation – Home of the World’s Largest Maze
As someone who was born and raised in Hawaiʻi, I can often overlook some of the fun attractions tailored primarily to Hawaiʻi’s visitors. I tend to spend my free time soaking up the sun at Hawaiʻi’s beautiful beaches. A recent trip to Dole Plantation, however, proved to be a happy change of pace. If you’re looking for a first-hand Dole Plantation review, here it is.
The Attractions at Dole Plantation
There are three main attractions within the Dole Plantation: (1) the World’s Largest Maze, (2) The Pineapple Express, and (3) The Garden. My son had his heart set on wandering through the World’s Largest Maze. Me? I wanted to ride the train. We were lucky enough to have a friend join us for our day outing. Our friend had an especially strong craving for the world-famous Dole Whip. The result was a perfect day that none of us wanted to end.
The staff at Dole Plantation was amazingly friendly and helpful. We purchased our tickets at the entryway to the Pineapple Maze. You can purchase tickets for the individual attractions or buy a combination package for a better deal. On this particular day, we opted for the Maze/Train combo.
Dole Plantation: Home of the World’s Largest Maze
In 2008, this maze was officially awarded the title “World’s Largest Maze.” And as a bonus, the maze is also a scavenger hunt. There are six different stations within the maze. The object of the maze is to locate each of the stations.
There is a stencil at each station. You insert your card into the stencil and trace images into spaces on your ticket. When you are done, you will have six images stenciled into six boxes on your ticket. You take the ticket back to the ticket booth where the staff will time stamp it for you. If you complete the maze in a record time, you will be awarded prizes.
We took about one hour to complete the maze. We didn’t win any prizes but sure did have a great time! We loved tucking around the corners and sneaking through the “short cuts.” Each station had a different theme, and reading up on the Hawaiian trivia was fun.
World-Famous Dole Whip
By the time we finished our maze, we were parched and ready for some Dole Whip! There is a lovely dining area that offers local and American cuisine. The portions are generous. They even had one of those fancy Coke machines that let you choose your soda flavor with the push of a button. But we were there for the Dole Whip!
We chose to purchase pineapple floats in Pineapple Sipper cups, because we just had to have the cups as souvenirs. (Plus, it was buy two, get the third free!) The Sippers came with a tower of Dole Whip ice cream topped with fresh pineapple juice.
Riding the Pineapple Express
We enjoyed our frozen treat while waiting for the train rides. There is a no food and drink policy for the train. However, to our pleasant surprise, the Pineapple Sippers are allowed.
There was a moment there on the train with my Pineapple Sipper cup happily in hand, gazing out over the beautiful garden listening to Hawaiian music, that I fell in love with Hawaiʻi all over again. I looked over to see my child intently taking in the sights and being educated about Hawaiʻi’s agricultural economics. I could see that the experience was well worth it.
If you’re heading out to Oʻahu’s North Shore, consider making time to stop by the Dole Plantation. The people are friendly, the Dole Whip is yummy, and the attractions are fun.
The Details – Hours, Pricing, and Parking
The Dole Plantation is located at 64-1550 Kamehameha Highway and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., except for Christmas Day.
Attraction rates are as follows:
$7.50 Children (4-12)
$5.00 Children (4-12)
Plantation Garden Tour
$5.25 Children (4-12)
Tickets can be purchased as combinations for better rates. Parking is easy and free!
Here are some tips:
•Wear a hat and/or sunscreen.
•Hydrate before entering the maze or take some drinks with you.
•Food and drinks are not allowed on the train with the exception of the Pineapple Sipper cups.
•There is a pond where you can feed the fish. Brings some quarters to purchase fish food.
•Be aware that the maze is muddy during and after heavy rains.
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