The five “Wheel Goes Waikoloa” episodes were filmed on Sept. 15 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island. These episodes were aired two months later on Nov. 19-21 and Nov. 24-25, 2008.
From my hotel room's lanai, I could see the “Wheel of Fortune” campsite—from backstage trailers to electrical and sound equipment. Approximately 1.8 million pounds of equipment were shipped in 57 trailers and containers to Hawaii.
Life-size cardboard cutouts of Vanna White, like this one pictured here, were strategically placed around the Hilton Waikoloa Village during the “Wheel of Fortune” tapings. Doesn’t this sign look like the real Vanna?
Vanna White and Pat Sajak pose for a picture before the show. They enjoy filming in Hawaii because as Pat summed it up, "It's just the best atmosphere to tape in. We're here at a beautiful resort and the weather's great. I don't have to wear a tie and the people's warm and friendly." We agree with you, Pat.
Honolulu designer Anne Namba and Vanna White’s stylist Roberta Wagner hang out together backstage. Anne, who provided Vanna's wardrobe for the “Wheel Goes Waikoloa” episodes, proudly displays her copy of HAWAII Magazine.
Hawaii contestants Kainoa Sharpe of Pahoa, Hawaii, Aimee McKinley of Ewa Beach, Oahu, and Tiffany Teruya of Lahaina, Maui, compete for a chance to win cash prizes.
A cameraman adjusts his video-camera strap before the show.
A view of the Hawaii “Wheel of Fortune” set during a commercial break. The stage lights give the set a warm orange glow.
Many Hawaii residents and out-of-state visitors filled the stands to watch the Big-Island filmed “Wheel of Fortune” episodes.
Vanna White patiently stands by the puzzle board waiting to turn the next letter. Honolulu designer Anne Namba created her dress.
The view of the wheel on the big screen. What you see on the big screen is what you’ll see on television.
Can you solve this puzzle?
A cameraman stirs up the excitement in the audience.
The camera crew makes final adjustments to their equipment before filming the next “Wheel of Fortune” episode. Fun fact: There were 10 miles of power cables, 9.5 miles of video cables, 1.5 miles of camera fiber cables, 1 mile of audio cables and 12 high-definition cameras on set.
This cameraman operated the large camera that soars above the crowd and provides the famous wide-angle shot of the audience shown at the beginning of each “Wheel of Fortune” episode.
“Wheel of Fortune” co-host Pat Sajak on the big screen.
A Hawaii family quietly watches the contestants attempt to solve the puzzle. Some chose to watch them on stage, while others stared at the big TV screen hanging above the Hawaii "Wheel of Fortune" set.
Rachelle Hamura of Kailua-Kona (Miss Kona Coffee 2001) waits for the wheel to stop before she chooses another letter. On the right: Hawaii contestants Francis Kau of Wailuku, Maui, and Paul Udac of Naalehu, Hawaii, cheer her on. Paul went on to win a trip to the Caribbean Islands.
Vanna White claps as the contestants spin the wheel. She is wearing a black-and-white evening dress created by Honolulu designer Anne Namba.
Vanna White and Honolulu designer Anne Namba pose for pictures next to the famous puzzle board. Vanna wore five of Namba’s designs during the “Wheel Goes Waikoloa” themed episodes.
Watching the "Wheel of Fortune" tapings at the Hilton Waikoloa gave me a different view of watching America's No. 1 gameshow. It was interesting to see how many cameramen were needed to film one episode.
Two crewmembers assemble the “mini” wheel for the bonus round.
The famous “Wheel of Fortune” wheel. I wanted to spin it, but unfortunately I could only take this picture of it.
Vanna White and Pat Sajak have a private conversation under the palm tree during the commercial break.
Vanna White and Pat Sajak take a well-needed break before filming the end of an episode.
Vanna White and Pat Sajak wave to the camera as they say their final goodbyes.