As soon as Eva saw Moana she was hooked—get it? ;-)
She has been particularly obsessed with Tamatoa and his shiny song. So it was no surprise to me that when her birthday rolled around a few months later that we’d be having a Moana-themed event.
Unfortunately, because the movie was so new that they weren’t many party products available or pinterest-inspiration to be had. On the other hand, since we’d already thrown luau and mermaid-themed parties, I felt fairly confident putting a Moana party together and was really excited to get started!
Eva actually wanted a party devoted solely to Tamatoa, but I was able to persuade her that a Moana-themed party would probably make more sense.
I made a little video that shows all the decorations as you're walking through the house, plus some fun snippets from the party! Check it out:
We love re-using party supplies, which is why after every party I carefully take down the decorations, peel the tape off, wrap them up neatly and store them away in giant tubs. My husband makes fun of me, but when Eva decided she wanted her birthday party theme to be Moana, I knew I was all set and had 90% of what I would need to put together a great party for her. And, bonus, the decoration were even cut to size already, which made decorating super easy!
Room Wraps - I am a big fan of room wraps because they’re an inexpensive way to really transform a space. We like to cover our bookshelves in our party room with a room wrap to keep the kids from touching the knick-knacks on them, too. For the Moana we went with the tiki/bamboo background that we’d used for our luau party. In addition to wrapping the bookshelves, we had room wraps in the windows that gave the room a warm, tropical feel (and hid the snow outside from ruining the atmosphere!)
Table decorations – Our spindle tables, also, were reused from the luau party with cute grass skirts and tiki mugs filled with tropical flowers, as well as tiki mask plates!
Shiny! – We pulled out the trusty ol’ pirate treasure again for our Tamatoa trove of shiny gold goodies to disguise the fireplace.
Lanterns/Balloons – We strung paper lanterns across the room and mixed the saved sea turtle balloons with new hibiscus patterned helium balloons.
Moana’s ship – Years ago my husband built a little pirate raft which has been used and reused. For the Moana party he re-configured the sail from a pirate-sail to the triangle sailboat sale. Eva and her friends had a lot of fun “steering” and practicing their rope tricks! I had wanted to paint Moana’s emblem on the sail, but unfortunately ran out of time. :-(
Picture spot – I was able to find a promotional Moana standee which I paired with a new waterfall room wrap to create this cute picture spot in the front room. It was a good excuse to buy some new houseplants, too, since I’d killed all of our other houseplants (I have since killed these ones too, alas.) The waterfall was reused a few weeks later for our Jungle Cruise party!
Fun & Games
Luau Lessons – Miss Fran from The Polynesian Dancers of Michigan joined us for this party since the dance lesson from the original Luau was such a big hit. The kids loved learning about the types of dancing native to island cultures like Moana’s.
Games – We do carnival style games where the kids can collect the ‘prizes’ for their goody bags. For our Moana party we did the Limbo, pineapple bowling, and collecting seashells and shiny treasure from the sand traps. The sand relay race was also a big hit again!
The prizes were pretty much the same as our Luau party, so if you’re looking for ideas definitely check out that post here. Hula skirts, luau bears, hibiscus patterned toys and little party games, candy, etc.
Buffet – We did a scaled-down version of the same food we served for our luau party. Despite the fact that I LOVED the pineapple upside down cake and dole whip, those weren’t huge hits with the kids, so we stuck to candy sushi, sand dollar cookies, and I ordered a pineapple pizza which perplexed many of the kids who chose cheese instead. Le sigh. For party candy, we of course had to have a dish full of all the shiny gold candy we could find!
The cake - Eva is a bit ‘spoiled’ in that she has seen several of these parties now and has opinions when it comes to what she wants for her parties. She was particularly particular about the cake which she described in detail and even drew a picture of! This was my first time doing the cake myself (our friend Becky had done our Ariel and Luau cakes, and I had to call her several times for advice/support as I was going through the cake making process!) I learned a lot of tricks that made it easier than I was anticipating! Namely, Becky told me the secret was in freezing the layers before frosting so that the frosting would go on smoother. WHAT?! That would have never occurred to me, but it worked like a charm!
Eva wanted a cake that was “the ocean” and went “down to the realm of monsters”. I carved out a section of the bottom of the cake (which I reinforced with a hidden Tupperware) to create Tamatoa’s cave full of shiny gold coins. For a first try at making a birthday cake, I’m very proud of how this turned out!
The exciting unveiling of the party was Eva’s ‘big present’ which was actually a very small HERMIT CRAB! Which, of course, was named Tamatoa!
All in all, we had a lot of fun and made great memories. Now that we've thrown a handful of parties, I am getting more comfortable taking on more things myself, like the cake and photography (which was done by my husband) than I was with earlier parties when the girls were younger. I can't wait for the next one!