We Tried It: The Magical Mystery Show! at Hilton Waikīkī Beach Hotel

Be dazzled and amazed by the world’s best magicians and learn a few tricks of your own at this Waikīkī parlor.


What:  A magic show and free magic class featuring a rotating cast of illusionists from around the world

Who:  Two Kindergarteners and their parents

Where:  Victorian-inspired theatre at the Hilton Waikīkī Beach Hotel

When: A Saturday afternoon


Magic Kit Souvenir

The Magical Mystery Kit!, Photo: Laura Dornbush


O n a rare rainy day in Honolulu, we ventured into Waikīkī with our friends for an afternoon of magic at the The Magical Mystery Show! at Hilton Waikīkī Beach Hotel. Both six-year-old boys, Duke and Trevor, had expressed interest in magic prior but had never been to a proper magic show.


First, we were signed-up for the free magic class offered daily at 3 p.m. before the nightly shows. We were greeted by a young magician, Kenshin Amagi, and invited inside the parlor along with another couple who were guests at the hotel. A former conference ballroom, the parlor transported us to another time and place with elegant drapery, Victorian-era furniture and eclectic magic props. The atmosphere signaled something special happens here, and by the way they were bouncing in their seats, I could tell the boys felt it too.


Magic Class Graduates With Instructor Kenshin

Magic class graduates with Instructor Kenshin, Photo: Laura Dornbush


Described as a ‘close-up’ magician, Kenshin wow-ed us with an interactive card trick including the boys as participants. Duke accidentally spilled the beans on what card he was holding (oops!), but graciously, Kenshin didn’t skip a beat nor make Duke feel bad for spoiling the trick.


Now it was time to learn some tricks of our own! Kenshin passed out rubber bands and taught us a ‘jumping rubber band’ trick. With the boys’ small hands, the stunt was challenging, but with practice, they both mastered the illusion—with proud smiles, too. Kenshin also took it a step further to explain the mechanics of how the trick works.


Kenshin Teaching Duke The Rubber Band Trick

Photo: Kenshin teaching Duke the rubber band trick



We had a one-hour break between the class and the show to grab a snack and stretch our legs. We returned at 5 p.m. ready to be wow-ed. Before we re-entered the parlor, the adults were served a Magnificent Magical Merlin Punch (a.k.a. rum punch)—sweet and refreshing.


Magnificent Magical Merlin Punch For The Adults

Magnificent Magical Merlin Punch, Photo: Laura Dornbush

Soon we were invited into The Museum of Curiosities and Oddities! along with the ten or so other guests. The small room lined with curio cases was filled with eerie collections, such as a two-headed snake and crystal ball. Our host, Kenshin, welcomed us with a story about the connection between King Kalākaua and Queen Victoria of England, hence the Victorian-theme of this production. I won’t spill the beans on what happens next, but I will hint that it requires a secret password. The encounter reminded me of the entrance to Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion ride (in a good way).


Show Time

Show time!, Photo: Laura Dornbush


Seated back in the same parlor where we had the class, the show began. We were introduced to magician Curtis Kam, known as the Wizard of Waikīkī, a master at the sleight of hand. He immediately dove into impressive illusion tricks with Chinese coins and a ‘puka’ stick, both which incorporated local culture references. The whole audience was hooked by the Wizard’s deception and grace, even the boys. In fact, they raised their hands to volunteer to be an assistant for every trick.


Even the boys’ skeptical dads were called up to assist the Wizard and walked away impressed and confused at the seemingly impossible stunts. I appreciated the variety and creativity of his act—none of which I had ever seen before. I know Duke enjoyed the experience, because now he is obsessed with magic. He even performed one of the tricks for show-and-tell at his school a few days later.


Curtis Kam The Wizard Of Waikiki And Duke

Photo: Laura Dornbush

Our Tips

        1. Pick one.  Choose to attend either the class or the show. It was too much to tackle both in the same day with our boys’ attention span and restless energy.
        2. Try the class first. If you’re not sure how interested your keiki are in magic, start with the free class. Then you can decide if the higher-priced show will be a hit for them.
        3. Don’t take your toddler  With elaborate decorations and dark lighting, the atmosphere and program are designed for adults and well-mannered kids ages 6 and up.
        4. Bring a jacket. The magic show confirmation email suggests you bring a jacket, and they aren’t kidding. The air-conditioned parlor is cold!
        5. Splurge on a souvenir.  There are two magic kits for sale as you leave the show. We opted for the basic kit ($25) which includes supplies and instructions for seven magic tricks. Although I feel it is pricey for what you get, Duke loves the kit and has been practicing his routine for a week straight!
        6. Choose breakfast for dinner.  Continue the magic after the show at M.A.C. 24/7, the diner-themed restaurant in the hotel’s lobby. To stun and amaze your kids, order the whopping 14-inch pancakes with fruity toppings which weighs in at five pounds.
        7. Learn at home.  Kenshin, our magic instructor, suggests students interested in magic learn from the masters on YouTube (just like he did!).


The Magical Mystery Show! offers two shows nightly, except Tuesdays. Tickets are $99 for kama‘āina adults and $39 for children ages 6-17. The classes are free for kama‘āina and held daily at 3 p.m., except Tuesdays. Hilton Waikiki Beach Hotel, 2500 Kūhiō Avenue, Waikīkī. (888) 624-4202. hotel-magic.com@themagicalmysteryshow