Hawaii Mom Blog: Teddy Bear World Hawaii




May 13, 2013

Teddy Bear World Hawaii

Note: My family received complimentary admission.  Click on all photos to enlarge.

When Teddy Bear World Hawaii first opened in Waikiki a few years ago, I was under the assumption that it was simply a place where people could learn about the history of teddy bears and see some bears on display.  After our family recently made a visit there, I learned that Teddy Bear World Hawaii offered so much more than I expected!

Highlights of Our Visit
Teddy Bear World is the "only animatronic teddy bear museum in North America," with over 800 animatronic bears throughout 20,000 square feet of museum space (the museum is on the second floor, gift shop is on the first).

Exhibits include the 8 Wonders of America, Dinosaur Park, Save the Planet, Museum, Hawaii in Hawaii, and the Elvis Presley Show.

In 8 Wonders of America, we saw animated scenes depicted in places such as New York City and San Francisco.  There were numerous bears in each detailed exhibit, and my kids had a blast watching them exercise, dance, play instruments, and so much more!  It was so cute!

Upon arrival, my oldest son was given a Scavenger Hunt form, and one of the questions was "How many times did you see Harley (a biker teddy bear) in the 8 Wonders of America," so my kids had a lot of fun looking for Harley in each exhibit (after completion of the form, turn it into the gift shop to get a free Teddy Bear World Hawaii postcard).

In Dinosaur Park, we all thought it was neat to see little, cuddly teddy bears doing some funny things with big, scary-looking dinosaurs (riding them, swinging on them, etc.).  Some of my favorite exhibits were in Dinosaur Park.  My kids especially liked the photo op at the end.

Save the Planet focused on Panda Bears, Polar Bears, and Grizzly Bears, and we saw even more animatronic displays of bears doing everything from lounging in the sun to catching fish.  My youngest's favorite exhibit was the Polar Bear exhibit because there were also several cute penguins sliding down an iceberg and skating around.  My middle son loved the Panda exhibit because he thought the Panda riding a unicycle was really cool.

In the Museum section, we learned about the history of the teddy bear, and we saw a nostalgic display of teddy bears from years past.  We even saw some teddy bear versions of well-known paintings, such as the Mona Lisa and The Scream.

Hawaii in Hawaii featured exhibits which focused on aspects of Hawaii that are loved by so many, such as the surf and the sea (my kids loved the ocean display full of so many fun sea creatures!).

The Elvis Presley Show (approximately 10 minutes) was my favorite part of the museum.  An Elvis Teddy Bear performs - singing and shaking to some of Elvis' most popular songs.  My oldest son loved it too - he couldn't help but get up and dance!

Our Experience as a Special Needs Family
My oldest son has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and as with any attraction we visit, we try to tell him as much as we can about the venue prior to visiting.

Once at Teddy Bear World Hawaii, he was eager to see all of the various displays.  I could tell he was a bit anxious since it was a "new" place, and he kept wanting to wander off ahead of us, but the scavenger hunt really helped him focus.

Fortunately he did not have any meltdowns, but if we needed to take a break there were a few tables and chairs in the museum where we could rest or help him self-calm if needed.

The self-guided tour takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour, so it was very manageable for my son (as well as my other kids).

I know every child is different and will behave differently in new places, but our particular experience at Teddy Bear World Hawaii went rather smoothly.

Final Thoughts:
I was pleasantly surprised with Teddy Bear World Hawaii.  I was impressed with the numerous animatronic displays of teddy bears and the great attention to detail.  The set designs, the bears' costumes, and the actions of the bears contributed to some very entertaining exhibits.

My kids loved watching the bears and taking photos with the several giant bears scattered throughout the museum and gift shop. 

The gift shop has hundreds of teddy bears in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and even licensed Elvis Teddy Bears!  If it's too hard to choose a bear, kids can simply create their own Design My Aloha Bear (on the second floor), in which they can choose a bear, dress it, and name it.

I do wish, however, that there were more interactive exhibits at Teddy Bear World Hawaii.  The scavenger hunt is a great way to keep kids engaged, and there was a little box where kids could dig up fossils, as well as an area for kids to play with/dress up a few teddy bears, but I wish there were more activities.

I also wish that there was a little snack bar or cafe.  Of course there are numerous places in Waikiki to grab a bite or drink, but having somewhere in Teddy Bear World Hawaii to eat or a drink would be very convenient.

Overall, we enjoyed our visit to Teddy Bear World Hawaii.  It was a nice way to spend some time with the family in Waikiki!

Below are more photos from our visit.  Enjoy!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Teddy Bear World Hawaii: 2155 Kalakaua Ave Honolulu, HI 96815; (808) 921-8011 (located in Bank of Hawaii  Waikiki Center)
Admission (valid until closing the following day of purchase):
  • Adult: $11; Junior (6-17) / Senior (65+): $7; Child (2-5): $5; Infant (under 2): Free
  • Families of 4 or more: Adult $8; Junior $6
  • Kama`aina and Military: $2 off adult admission 
  • Teddy Bear World validates up to 2 hours of parking at the Bank of Hawaii Waikiki Center. 
  • Alternative parking is at Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center with $1 per hour parking with validation from any of their shops. 
  • If you plan to shop or dine at Waikiki Beach Walk before or after your visit, see below tip for a free parking option promotion.
  • Look for the visitor/tourist magazines/booklets on newsstands on the streets in Waikiki or at a hotel, and you may find a coupon good for a discount on admission (not valid with any other offer or promotion).
  • If you plan to shop or have lunch before or after your visit, consider valet parking at Embassy Suites - just a short 5-minute walk away. There is currently a coupon (valid through December 31, 2013) offering 5 hours free valet parking between 10am-3pm daily with purchase of $20 or more at any Waikiki Beach Walk Shop or Restaurant. Click here for more. info. 
  • Kama`aina and Military can get 10% off gift shop purchases
Hours of Operation:
Open Daily 10am-10pm

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