PHOTOS: “Moana” Inspired Sand Sculpture Coming to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

A new Moana inspired sand sculpture is under construction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Like the Raya and the Last Dragon and National Geographic “Secrets of the Whales” sculptures, this one is also on the Discovery Island Stage. Work began early on May 8th and continued through the afternoon.


At the beginning of the day, a mostly shapeless pile of sand occupied the stage. A sign hung to the right promotes “A World of Voices at Walt Disney World.” The sand sculpture honors Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The sign reads:

Walt Disney World Resort is honoring the talents, cultures, and contributions of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community with unique and special offerings throughout our Parks, Resorts, and Disney Springs.


To the left, we see a sign letting guests know that the sculpture is inspired by Disney’s Moana.


Before it can be sculpted, the sand must be wetted and packed.

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Artists use shovels to pack and shape the sand before carving the sculpture.


We returned later in the day, after catching “A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King.” The artists were still there, shaping the sculpture.


The artists told us that Disney designed the Moana sculpture, as well as the Raya and the Last Dragon sculptures from earlier this year. Here, you can see one artist checking a reference drawing.


The artists begin to work at the top of the sculpture, adding details as they move toward the base. This prevents damage to the sculpture if artists were to brush against finished elements.

Will you be heading to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to check out this latest sand sculpture? Use the comments to tell us your plans.