PHOTOS: “Moana”-inspired sand sculpture arrives at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for Asian-American Heritage Month

A new Moana An inspired sand sculpture is under construction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. As the Raya and the last dragon and the National Geographic “Secrets of the Whales” sculptures, this one is also on the Discovery Island stage. Work began early on May 8 and continued throughout the afternoon.

At the start of the day, an almost shapeless pile of sand occupied the stage. A sign on the right promotes “A World of Voices at Walt Disney World”. The sand sculpture honors Asian and Pacific American Heritage Month. The sign reads:

The Walt Disney World Resort celebrates the talents, cultures and contributions of the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community with unique and special offers at our parks, resorts and Disney Springs.


On the left we see a sign telling guests that the sculpture is inspired by Disney Moana.


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


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


We returned later that day, having caught “A Lion King Festival Celebration”. The artists were always 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 the beginning of the year. Here you can see an artist checking out a reference drawing.


Artists begin to work at the top of the sculpture, adding detail as they move towards the base. This prevents damage to the sculpture if the artists rub against the finite elements.

Are you going to head to Disney’s Animal Kingdom to check out this latest sand sculpture? Use the comments to let us know about your plans.

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