At this point it's probably in order to explain a bit about the Ali'i Movie Excursion and Scenic Hanalei tour and how it works. As any of you may know, Kauai is a movie maker's paradise and has been for over 70 years! Over the years well over 100 motion pictures and TV shows have been filmed on Kauai and the pace has not slowed. Just this year three Hollywood films have recently filmed on Kauai: Fox-Searchlight's Descendants, starring George Clooney; Just Go With It, starring Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler; and Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, starring Johnny Depp.
The list of iconic motion pictures that have filmed on Kauai is very impressive. They include: Pagan Love Song, South Pacific, Wackiest Ship in the Army, Blue Hawaii, Donovan's Reef, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Six Days Seven Nights and many more.
Whether we're old or young, male or female, black or white, conservative or liberal, one thing that we all have in common is that we love the movies. The movies are the most universal form of entertainment that transcends all lines that otherwise separate us.
Our fascination with the movies often doesn't end when the final credits roll by. We have long had enjoyed seeing where and how our favorite films were made. How many of us have driven down into Monument Valley to see where so many westerns were made or ventured to the top of the Empire State Building where King Kong towered over New York or where Jonah waited for Annie in Sleepless in Seattle?
It's not surprising then that a natural fit for the tourism industry and Kauai would be a tour that focuses on taking visitors to many of the actual locations used in filming many of these motion pictures. The original company that offered movie tours on Kauai, Hawaii Movie Tours, went out of business earlier in 2010. Picking up where they left off and making the tour their own is Polynesian Adventure Tours with their Ali'i Movie Excursion and Scenic Hanalei tour.
Since the Ali'i Movie Excursion and Scenic Hanalei includes guests from several areas on Kauai, Polynesian Adventure Tours utilizes two buses for pickups. One bus picks up guests from north of the airport while the other picks up guests from the Poipu resort area and Lihue. Our driver, Sam, has lived on Kauai for 23 years and worked for 14 years with Air Kauai, which went out of business in 2009. The two buses meet at the Commuter Air Terminal of Lihue Airport where everyone boards the bus driven by the movie tour guide, Jeff "Bam Bam" Voorhees. As we were waiting for "Bam Bam" to arrive, Sam entertained us with a song, Beautiful Kauai, which he accompanied with his ukulele.
"Bam Bam" at one time worked for the former movie tour company. In fact, he trained many of their guides, so his knowledge of Kauai and the films made on Kauai is extensive. After our small group of seven boarded "Bam Bam's" bus, he explained that our day would begin at the nearby Ahukini Pier at Hanama'ulu Bay and would proceed northward along the eastern coast of Kauai, better known as the Coconut Coast. We'd be making several stops along the way as we made our way to Kauai's North Shore and the town of Hanalei where we would stop for lunch. We'd then make our way back down the coast by early afternoon.
Our tour bus was equipped with a large, flat screen television on which we would see clips from the actual movies made on Kauai just before we stopped at the location seen in the clips we had just seen. In between stops, "Bam Bam" demonstrated his vast knowledge of the island, it's culture, history and geography, and kept us thoroughly entertained with his great sense of humor.