BLOG & VLOG: Aloha 'Aina at Epic Aloha
We had a splashing time at
Honolulu's Epic Interactive Photo experience!
Hey y'all! Kirsten here! So what is Epic Aloha and what exactly is this "interactive photo experience" we speak of? Well... before diving into our personal experience, first let's take a look at what the makers of this spectacular exhibit had to say:
“Created by a team of visual artists beginning in 2018, Epic Aloha was designed to immerse guests in the color and beauty of Aloha. Guests are encouraged to explore the 6,000 square-foot experience with color-inspired rooms, including an 11-foot-tall pineapple, giant illuminated light peg mural and life-size kaleidoscope, for a variety of shareable photo ops! Epic Aloha’s art installations will refresh every six months!”
To add onto this, Epic Aloha was organized by the creative group Swell Spark who also came up with other local experiences Blade and Timber (Honolulu’s local axe throwing lounge which hosted aqua-hunk Jason Momoa), and Breakout Waikiki (Waikiki’s #1 Escape Room).
Epic Aloha was designed to be about a 60 minute self-guided and self-paced walkthrough, but according to the workers, we were able to stay for as long as possible, so long as we didn't stay pass closing time at 10 pm! Epic Aloha was created by a team of designers for all to explore and interact with the installations. And this is where we get to it... what is a "Photo Experience"? Epic Aloha's website defines it as such:
Epic Aloha is a vibrant, colorful space designed for you to take epic photos of yourself, your friends and your family in our twelve interactive rooms with art installations meticulously curated to foster the beauty of Aloha. We aim to inspire your creativity and love for Hawaii, while creating an opportunity to share our interactive experience with the ones you love. Capture moments. Share experiences. HAVE FUN.
So pretty much, it's a selfie museum!
The exhibit was located at Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort, featured 12 different themed rooms for out-of-this-world photo ops, and a cute little gift shop at the entrance in which all of the items for sale were made from recycled materials! Some of their other merchandise available were t-shirts with adorable prints, fanny packs with the name "Epic Aloha" printed on the front, water bottles, and notebooks made from apple skins! One of my favourite items were the skateboards made from recycled fishing nets found in the oceans off of Hawai'i!
Now... here's where we get to the good part... our personal experience! Bryson surprised me with a night out watching fireworks by the bay and then with this ticket to Epic Aloha! After checking in at the front desk, completing a waiver saying that Epic Aloha could use our social media pictures, and spending some time at the shop, our time came to enter the exhibit! One of the attendants called out for us and they began to explain to us the rules and regulations and they opened up the doors to the beautifully decorated first room of the exhibit: a brightly lit pink room, filled wall-to-wall with artificial sakura blossoms and green hanging vines. At the farthest wall ahead of us, was a framed "shaka" hand that you can see below!
Moving on to the next room through a door covered in colorful vinyl strands, we found a rain drop backdrop with transparent prop umbrellas, a swing set in which each side had its own color (yellow and blue), and an adorable rainbow color-wheel backdrop with a circular seat, lit from the inside with a color changing neon light!
As we ventured forth, the next room was just as vibrant and fantastic as the last! This next one was filled with patterns of pineapples and leaves galore! And smack dab in the middle of it all was a giant pineapple in which you could actually sit on! In the back of the room was the leaf wall with two cut-out holes to put our faces in. I didn't really want to put my own face into these holes so instead I used the wall as a backdrop! Lastly, parallel to one another, were two yellow and pink pineapple print walls that were particularly aesthetically pleasing! I kind of wish that we had brought along a tripod for our camera, but the attendants were kind enough to always offer a helping hand with our photos!
We could go on-and-on about each particular room after that, but that'd take way too long to write it all out! What I loved MOST about each room was the fact that they were all so interactive and chock full of vibrant colors! We really enjoyed all the rooms and one room in particular... read on to find out!
To top off the whole experience, the staff were knowledgeable, attentive, and even offered to help take photos while in the exhibit! But while talking to the staff, Bryce and I found that the Epic Aloha experience was more than just a barrage of photo opportunities... and through the kind and helpful associate, Kelly, we found that the creators sought to raise awareness for recycling and environmental sensitivity in Hawai'i and that every dollar from each ticket sold was donated to Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. Kelly also explained that ALL of the rooms and props were made with recycled materials! Although each room was different from the next, what we LOVED most of all was the overall theme of sustainability.
My favourite room displayed a giant pit filled with empty plastic bottles in which you can jump into (our featured photo at the top of the page)! One of the most overlooked portions of this room were the words painted on the left side of the wall :
THE TAP: Hawai'i uses over 219 million single use plastic bottles a year. That's enough to fill up this pool once every 6 minutes. We have to slow the flow of plastic into our oceans. Together we can turn off the tap.
WOWZERS! That sure is a LOT of plastics bottles!
Epic Aloha's very last exhibit was held on August 18, 2019 and luckily, Bryce and I got to visit before then. I'm hoping that by some miracle, they open up this little pop-up again! The experience was unforgettable, enjoyable, and quite educational! Thank you again to the two amazing attendants who so helpful and accommodating! Continue on for more photos from the Epic Aloha experience as well as our short vlog!
Thank you again for reading! We'll be posting more content soon! :)