It’s been a week since my daughter’s Moana birthday party and she’s still talking about all the party details and how much fun she had. I’m SO thrilled to share with you her Moana birthday party today!
Disney’s Moana is such an inspiring movie with a wonderful female hero and a great message, so of course I jumped on board with my daughter when she told me she wanted a Moana themed birthday.
My friends at Oriental Trading Company sent me some incredible luau party supplies that really helped with the tropical feel of this party. You’ve got to check out their supplies. They’ve got so many great products for any party theme you can dream up!
I wanted my daughter’s Moana birthday party to incorporate lots of details from the movie. Keep reading for all the fun details!
Moana Birthday Party Decorations
For the party table backdrop, I wanted to incorporate some of the symbols and important parts of the story. I painted the red spiral symbol from Moana’s boat sail onto a large piece of burlap, since it symbolizes Moana’s journey. I first drew the symbol with pencil onto the burlap, then painted it with a foam brush.
Under the red symbol is one of three (yes, three!) cakes that my husband and I decorated for the party. This cake features Ta Fiti and Moana and her father and the happy ending of the movie.
There are so many incredible characters and moments in Moana and we just couldn’t fit all of them onto one cake, so we made three. 😉
On the left hand side I drew and painted Te Ka, since she was a crucial part of the story.
I also had a fun idea for a cake I wanted to decorate with Te Ka (keep reading for the details), so I wanted the backdrop to match the cake.
On the right hand side I painted a manta ray, like Moana’s grandmother’s tattoo on her back and the animal that she symbolized throughout the movie.
Since her grandmother was Moana’s motivation for her journey and such an important character in the story, I decorated another cake starring her and the ocean that she loved and encouraged her granddaughter to explore.
At the top of the burlap backdrop is a colorful flower garland from Oriental Trading. Bright hibiscus flowers, floral leis, fresh pineapple, coconuts, and a giant wood slice added to the tropical feel of the table at the Moana birthday party.
My kids really wanted to paint kakamoras like we did for our first Moana party, so we took sandpaper and sanded the front of some coconuts. I gave them some pencils, some paint, and a few paintbrushes and let them go for it!
I think they look fabulous and the kids were SO proud of their creations!
I used some artificial turf (from Home Depot) as a tablecloth, since it was nice and green like the lush Hawaiian islands. Underneath the turf was a big piece of burlap to cover the table legs. I used safety pins to attach a natural raffia and seashell table skirt to the edges of the green turf. It added to the tropical feel and gave an extra layer and added texture to the table.
Moana Birthday Party Table for the Girls
I wanted all my daughter’s friends to have a cute table set up where they could sit and eat together.
I started by adding a darling Moana toddler doll in the center of the table. Isn’t she cute? We bought the doll for my daughter as one of her gifts, and gave it to her before the party so we could use it to decorate with.
My favorite part are her sandy toes- the doll came with the sand stuck on her toes!
On both sides of the Moana toddler doll were fresh pineapples to add to the tropical feel of the Moana birthday party. A couple of table tiki torches were added to the table, and were lit once the sun started going down.
We also had taller tiki torches lit in the grass in front of the table with toy kakamoras hanging from each one, but I missed getting photos of those in all the chaos that goes along with throwing a kids birthday party.
Inside each pineapple cup I added a Moana boat sail with the spiral symbol on it, along with a colorful straw. The girls were very excited that they could take their pineapple cups home with them!
When each girl arrived, my daughter showed them to the table. Each girl chose their spot, along with a pretty floral lei and flower hair clip. They loved wearing their flowers in their hair, just like Moana, and had fun picking out their favorite lei.
The three Moana cakes were one of my favorite things about my daughter’s Moana birthday party. I wanted to decorate some fun cakes to show different scenes from the movie, but I didn’t want to be stuck in the kitchen baking for hours and hours, especially when it was crunch time the day before the party.
So instead, I did one of my favorite party hacks- I ordered a plain cake from the Walmart bakery, then decorated it myself! It’s a great way to get a custom cake look at a fraction of the price!
The double layer cakes are only $12.50 at Walmart, so I ordered three different cakes in light blue, green, and fire colors. I asked for red and yellow swirled and marbled to look like fire. This took a lot of explaining to the decorator, but I think she ended up nailing the look I was going for on the frosting.
Then I took the cakes home and my husband and I decorated them just how we wanted them. Keep reading for all the cake details!
Te Fiti Moana Cake
I wanted the Te Fiti cake to look green and lush and beautiful with lots of flowers, just like the island at the end of the movie.
First I sculpted Te Fiti out of store-bought (straight out of the box) Rice Krispie treats that I smashed together and formed to make Ti Fiti. I made a big batch of candy clay, or modeling chocolate, and colored part of it green to match the cake frosting. Then I rolled it out and pressed the candy clay over the Rice Krispies to make Te Fiti. Thanks Cake Boss for teaching me the technique!
Her face was pretty tricky, but after adding lots of small flower sprinkles to her hair, like in the movie, I think she turned out pretty great for someone who had never used candy clay before. 😉
I added lots of colorful flowers to the cake by inserting hibiscus picks along the sides and around the top of the cake. Moana and her father look right at home in front of the cake, standing on the gorgeous gold metal wedding cake stand that Amalfi Decor sent me. I love the contrast of the ornate gold with the large rustic wood slice underneath it. Perfect for the daughter of a village chief, don’t you think?
Te Ka Moana Cake
After Maui stole the heart of Te Fiti, she became Te Ka, the lava monster who has become the guardian of the mother island Te Fiti. Moana bravely faces Te Ka and realizes who she was, then restores the heart of Te Fiti and saves the island and her people.
I wanted to create a cake that shows the fierceness of Te Ka and the danger that both Maui and Moana faced.
I used Rice Krispies again to create the base for Te Ka, then sculpted black candy clay around it to create the lava monster.
The most fun part of this cake was definitely the fire! I love how sharp and jagged and dangerous it looks, yet beautiful at the same time with the marbled red and yellow flames.
To create the fire flames, I smashed a bag of unwrapped butterscotch candies in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin, then did the same with a bag of red cinnamon candies. I added small piles of each crushed candy across the top of a baking sheet, then baked at 325 degrees for about 7-8 minutes.
When I took the candy out, it was swirled and marbled and beautiful! I let it cool completely, then broke it into shards with the bottom of a butter knife. Aren’t they cool? I used a couple of the small pieces to create her eyes, mouth, and lava hair.
Since Maui is the one who stole the heart and essentially created Te Ka and fought her throughout the movie, I added him to the front of the cake. You’re welcome!
This cake and the next cake were both placed on two pretty pink modern cake stands from Amalfi Decor. These stands are so great because they are sleek and modern and durable, but they also unscrew for easy storage which I love (being the cake plate hoarder that I am)!
Ocean and Moana’s Grandmother Cake
The ocean chose Moana to restore the heart of Te Fiti and helps her along the way, just like Moana’s loving grandmother. Behind Moana, these are my two favorite characters. They were so important to Moana’s success, so they definitely needed a cake of their own too! This cake is also my personal favorite of the three, and the most simple.
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I bought a Moana figure set that included all of the Moana figures I used on the cakes (and a few more), including the ocean wave and grandma. It was an easy way to create the ocean, and it almost looks like it’s made of sugar, doesn’t it?
I placed the ocean and grandma on top of the cake, then added some brown sugar “sand” around each one. Small real starfish were the perfect addition to the front of the cake and around the wave and the sugar sand.
To finish off the cake, I added some white candy clay to a section of a Wilton fondant and gum paste silicone mold, then stuck in the fridge for a bit. Once it was a little harder from being in the fridge, I peeled it out of the mold.
It created a pretty white ocean border section that I added to the front of the cake. It reminds me of the symbols on the wall in the movie when Moana learns that her ancestors were voyagers. It also looks like a tattoo that you might find on Maui’s body!
Moana Party Food
Since the party was during dinner time, I fed the girls and their parents teriyaki chicken tenders, rice, fruit, and lemonade for dinner.
I used my favorite gorgeous blue ocean platters and serving bowls that look like sea glass. All the food was placed on a pretty blue sequin tablecloth with blue tulle and a real fishing net layered on top.
I served the fruit in a watermelon half that I hollowed out. I drew the red spiral on a piece of paper shaped like the sail on Moana’s boat, colored it in with a red Sharpie, then taped it to the front of a wood skewer stick and stuck it inside the watermelon “boat.” So easy but it looked great!
Lots of tropical snacks and treats were served at the Moana birthday party table too along with the cakes.
I made some fun Tamatoa crab suckers that were oh so shiny! They were super easy to make with a crab chocolate sucker mold, purple candy melts, some edible gold spray, and Wilton 710-1260 Gold Pearlized Sprinkles Mix.
I simply melted the purple chocolate in my chocolate melting pot, spooned the chocolate into the molds, added a stick, then placed in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
*** If you’ve never used a chocolate melting pot before, it is worth every single penny! I use it for almost every party I throw because it keeps chocolate and chocolate melts at the perfect melted temperature for you to work with, unlike the microwave method which is a big pain because the chocolate cools so quickly!
After that I just popped the suckers out, added a little bit of the melted purple chocolate to the middle of the crab, then quickly added some gold sprinkles before the chocolate cooled.
I let them sit for a few minutes, then sprayed some edible gold spray (yes, edible, isn’t that cool?!) over the middle of the crab to look like Tamatoa and his shiny crustacean shell. The kids LOVED these suckers!
To serve them, I cut a piece of styrofoam into two large pieces, then covered each piece with burlap and wrapped it like a present. Hot glue held each end in place perfectly! Then I just used a sucker stick to make the holes for each sucker, then placed them inside when the party was about to start.
Coconut rolls were served in a big glass jar and were sooo yummy. They tasted just like real coconut!
Moana Birthday Party Activities and Crafts
Before the girls went swimming, I had a couple crafts planned for them at the craft table. I decorated the craft table with a big wave backdrop that you might remember from the photo booth at my son’s surfing party.
Fun ceramic tiki cups were filled with hibiscus picks, then placed next to a Moana doll and giant Maui.
First, each girl got a pair of bright pink sunglasses that they got to decorate.
Before the party I used my Cricut Explore Air 2 machine to cut out a bunch of cute tropical shapes, then let the girls decorate their glasses with the shapes.
I’ll share a tutorial post with more details later, as well as a link to the cut file if you’d like to cut the shapes too! The girls were too cute decorating their own glasses and posing for photos after!
The second activity was an ocean animal sand art craft. Each girl got to choose their own ocean animal bottle necklace, then fill it with colored sand. You can buy they sand in a big set or individually here.
The girls got very creative with how they filled their necklaces! Some wanted lots of colored stripes, some added a bunch of colors and then shook their necklace so all the colors mixed, and some just used two colors to make their sand layers.
The plastic necklaces came with a tiny funnel that fit perfectly inside each animal, so the girls took turns using the funnel and helping each other pour the sand or hold each other’s bottles. It was very sweet to watch!
After the crafts I let the girls all choose a fish inflatable to blow up and play with in the pool. At the end of the Moana birthday party they took home their fish, their lei, their pineapple cup, their sunglasses, and their sand art necklaces as party favors.
It was such a fun evening celebrating my amazing daughter, and I’m so happy she has such wonderful friends and family to celebrate with!
For more Moana birthday party ideas, be sure to check out our first Moana party we had when the movie came out!
Need another summer party idea? Our surf party is totally tubular and lots of fun!