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Pearly Harbor-AM or noon in July, what to see?

elaine

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We are going to Pearl Harbor end of July. I see that we can order tickets online for DIY tour with audio. The afternoon would work better for us. I see most organized tours are for early AM. If we go at 1pm, will we regret it? Will it be super crowded? Is it worth it to get there by 8AM?
We have 3 kids (11-15), so we really just want a good overview--not an all day event. Are we better getting our own tickets and DIY vs. an organized tour?
Which things would be the best to see with tweens/teens (2 girls, 1 boy). thanks, Elaine
 

DeniseM

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The park has little shade, and by 10 a.m. it can be packed with people, hot and humid - I would expect that in July. The best plan is to be there early, and then tour the park and be out of there by 10 a.m. July will be hot, humid, and very busy - I would avoid going in the afternoon.

The park is not an all-day event, it basically has a museum, bookstore, and a video to watch, and the launch out to the memorial. If you get there early, you can see everything in 2-3 hours, easily.

Note that security is very high and you cannot take ANYTHING into the park except what's in your pockets, and a hand held camera. You cannot take purses, backpacks, diaper bags, or any kind of bag. There is a place in the parking lot that is run buy an outside contractor where you can check your bags, but when I was there, they stored things in open bins, so it wasn't secure. A better plan would be to put cash and a credit card in your pocket, and store other valuables in your room safe.

Security Measures
Strict security measures prohibit purses, handbags, fanny packs, backpacks, camera bags, diaper bags, luggage and/or other items that offer concealment. Visitors may bring cameras, cell phones, and wallets, although since no bags are allowed, you are encouraged to pack lightly.

A storage facility operated by the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum & Park is available in the immediate area of the entrance to the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. There is a nominal storage fee of $3 per bag. The storage facility is in operation daily 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Visitors may use the same bag storage and parking stall for visits to all Pearl Harbor Historic Sites.

These security measures are strictly enforced at all visitor destinations on Pearl Harbor. Although federal law enforcement officers and security bike patrols monitor the parking lots, please do not leave items of value in your car.

Here is the visitors guide with more info. - http://www.nps.gov/valr/planyourvisit/feesandreservations.htm
 

elaine

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thanks. We only have 2 days prior to going to Kona. I am also thinking we should just plan to do the AM PH visit and revise our plans.
 

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thanks. We only have 2 days prior to going to Kona. I am also thinking we should just plan to do the AM PH visit and revise our plans.

Elaine, we were there in July 2010, went and picked a rental car up at 7:30am ish. It is kind of like doing rope drop at WDW, getting there early is best not as crowded, tour buses don't show up till later. Saw everything and we were done by 12:30 ish.
 

Passepartout

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Do it early in the day- and early in the trip before your body acclimates to the time change. It won't seem as early to you.

Jim
 

Twinkstarr

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Jim's right, we did it the morning after we landed. Boys were 9/13 at the time and I was really surprised at how well they handled the jetlag.
 

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It's so great you can make reservations online now. When we went in July five years ago, it took us three days of waiting in line before it opened to get tickets to see the USS Arizona.
 

DeniseM

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It's so great you can make reservations online now. When we went in July five years ago, it took us three days of waiting in line before it opened to get tickets to see the USS Arizona.

If you get there at 7:00 am - you can get in every time. After 10 pm, it's a crap shoot.
 

MichaelColey

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In addition to the USS Arizona, we also enjoyed visiting USS Bowfin submarine and the Missouri battleship. Both are nearby, and I think they had combined tickets. We've always been in the mornings. Even adding in those two, it's still just a partial day excursion.
 

zora

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Is this true in September and October as well?

In september and october you will have the school field trips arriving around 9 to 10 am. I agree, go to see the USS Arizona the first day you get here as soon as it opens. When you leave you will see this horrendous line and be grateful that you went early.:)
 

linsj

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In september and october you will have the school field trips arriving around 9 to 10 am. I agree, go to see the USS Arizona the first day you get here as soon as it opens. When you leave you will see this horrendous line and be grateful that you went early.:)

Good to know. Thanks.
 

tompalm

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If you get there at 7:00 am - you can get in every time. After 10 pm, it's a crap shoot.

Concur with this if you want to take the boat over to the Arizona Memorial, get there early. If you don't get tickets, or if the tickets are so late in the day that you don't want to wait around, there is plenty to see at the Arizona Memorial museum. Also, right next to that is the Bowfin submarine tour and museum. Additionally, you can take a bus over to Ford Island to see the USS Missouri Battleship and right next to that is the aerospace museum.

Lots of sun in the summer. No matter what you decide to do, go early.
 
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