Preparing for a Supernatural Convention Experience in Honolulu
What to pack, what to skip, nerdy side trips to take, and many other tips to help make this a trip to paradise.
By MJ Wilke and Keao NeSmith
Aloha Supernatural ‘ohana! For many, Supernatural conventions are a place of joy and comfort, and the same can be said for Hawai‘i. Supernatural Convention Honolulu — Hawaiian Style combines the two for a thrillingly beautiful experience. Wayward Nerd staff and contributors often cover nerdy events in Hawai‘i, a favorite place and/or home for us. Below are tips from us on effortlessly experiencing Hawaiian culture during your busy con schedule, ideas to make the most out of your time at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, and things to keep in mind as you pack for your trip. Whether you are a new attendee or veteran of Supernatural conventions; first-time visitor or frequent guest/resident of Hawai‘i, these tips are here to help make this Supernatural convention in Honolulu a trip to paradise.
Before You Go
Most of the public areas on the Hawaiian Islands are open air, including hotel lobbies and restaurants. Average temperature for November is mid 80s, humid, and can be rainy. Plan your wardrobe accordingly. On your flight, dress in layers. For some inexplicable reason, the flights to Hawai‘i are always freezing; however, the walk from the gate to baggage claim in Honolulu is open air – thus hot and humid.
Remember to pack:
Hot weather clothing/extra clothes. With temps in the 80s, humidity, and long days, lightweight clothes can keep you comfortable. Pack extra sets of clothes to change into if needed.
Travel blanket. Count on the plane’s inside temp being cold.
Comfortable shoes. The resort is large, plus you’ll want to walk along the beach.
Sunscreen. Count on a huge markup price at hotel shops; it’s best to bring it with you. Double bag it or pack a solid stick style to avoid leaks in your suitcase.
Sweater/jacket. Outside temperature will be hot, but meeting rooms can be chilly.
Umbrella or rain jacket. November is generally a rainy month on O‘ahu.
Shopping bags. Stores on the islands do not give bags; so bring your own or you will have to buy one.
Plan a Nerdy Side Trip: Get a little "LOST" and visit the Others camp (Dharmaville). Hawai‘i plays host to numerous film and TV productions, including the cult TV show LOST. If you are a Lostie, a quick day trip up to the other end of the island brings you to Dharmaville. The location is easily recognizable and some of the prop signage remains providing for great photo ops. An operating YMCA camp (Camp Erdman), though free to visitors — just call ahead to verify it’s not closed for a private event. As a bonus, by arriving in Hawai‘i a day or two early to take a nerdy side trip, you will get acclimated to the weather and time zone change before the start of the con.
Downloads: Extend the excitement of the convention and prepare for what will be (for most) a 5+ hour travel day by downloading things to watch and listen to on the long flight.
Listen. We’ve created a SPN Honolulu specific playlist, perfect for listening to while packing, on the flight, or even in the mornings at the con while getting ready.
Keep in Mind
Skip the rental car. A rental car is not needed to get around Waikīkī, and hotel parking can be expensive. If you plan a nerdy side trip, rent a car for the day from the hotel, thus avoiding the airport surcharge.
Stock up. Resorts charge a premium for bottled water, etc. Upon arrival, plan some time to stock your hotel room with beverages and healthy snacks from a grocery or convenience store. The Ala Moana mall is an easy 15-minute walk – housing high-end shops, Big Island Candies, Foodland grocery store, and Target. Numerous convenience stores are within walking distance as well.
At the Con
Hilton Hawaiian Village. Host hotel and location of the convention. It is a village-style large resort with a rich history as a movie and TV show filming location. You’ll recognize the iconic Rainbow Tower and Tropics Bar & Grill frequently used in Hawaii Five-O scenes.
Click here to download the collection.
Friday people. If it’s your first Supernatural convention, here is a tip from veterans – don’t skip Friday’s sessions, be a Friday person. And be in your seat for the Welcome. Here’s a suggested itinerary for Friday (double check times when schedule is posted):
Noon–6 pm Welcome and daytime programming
6–6:15 pm Torch-lighting ceremony on hotel grounds
7–7:45 pm Rockin’ Hawaiian Rainbow Revue poolside
7:45–8 pm Fireworks
9:45 pm Friday Night Karaoke Party
Participate in the Hawaiian way at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.
Torch-lighting ceremony. 6 pm daily on the resort grounds (stake out a torch, not to be missed).
E ala Ē. Sunrise walk around the lagoon. Not an organized event by the resort, but a solitary experience. For those of us normally on central time, we are already up before sunrise.
Waikīkī Starlight Lū‘au. If not attending the Saturday Night Special & Lū‘au Dinner event, make time for the lū‘au at the Hilton Hawaiian Village, an amazing experience available Sunday through Thursday.
Rockin’ Hawaiian Rainbow Revue. Friday poolside at 7 pm with a finale of fireworks. Reserve seating has a much better view, but there is plenty of free standing room with a view of the show.
Tapa Lounge. Live traditional Hawaiian music most nights and Tapa weavings on display.
Musubi. A filling snack of rice and glazed spam, wrapped in seaweed. $1.99 at ABC or 7-Eleven stores.
For more Hawaiian culture, here are a few Honolulu icons a short distance from the Hilton:
‘Iolani Palace. To understand the amazing and intriguing history of the Hawaiian Kingdom, visit the Palace located in downtown. It’s best to book a tour online beforehand.
Bishop Museum. A natural and cultural museum of history for Native Hawaiians, Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific.
International Market Place. Take a stroll through this renovated historic market place with its iconic central feature, a giant banyan tree with a tree house.
Kapahulu Avenue. An avenue that runs mauka to makai (inland to sea) on the east end of Waikīkī. Famous for its diverse restaurants representing cuisines from around the world. Notable are the Rainbow Drive-In and Haili’s Hawaiian Food for a genuine local cuisine experience.
Chun Wah Kam Noodle Factory. Try a manapua at this favorite Chinese restaurant just outside the Ala Moana Shopping Center. Manapua is a steamed or baked Chinese pastry stuffed with sweet-sour pork, Chun Wah Kam is often thought of by locals as the best place to go for manapua and Chinese food in general.
Note: When it’s time to head home, plan extra, extra time for departure at the airport in Honolulu, even with TSA pre-check!
For galleries of other Supernatural conventions, check out our Comic-Con Travel Page.
It is often said Hawai‘i is like another country, so enjoy the environment and culture, and experience the spirit of Aloha!
MJ Wilke is the founder of Wayward Nerd. She is a road warrior. A nerd. A trekkie. A whovian. A Star Wars fanatic. She will go where no one has gone before, come back and post it here.