Four Summer Sand Sculpting Tips from a Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Sandtastic Weekends Professional

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Building a sand castle on the beach is a classic summer family activity.  For most of us, we tend to go with the typical volcano-style castle with a moat around the base to hold water.  There are some simple tips and tricks the experts use that can help anyone develop their sand sculpting skills and impress their friends and family.


Mark Mason is the owner of Team Sandtastic, a professional sand sculpting team recognized as one of the best in the world.  They’ve won numerous competitions and hold the world record for the tallest sand castle ever hand-built.  From August 26-September 4, their work will be on display at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort as part of Sandtastic Weekends.


Even if you’re not planning to go pro, Mason offers the following simple tricks to take your sand sculpting to the next level:

  • Make the most of household items ~Many of the best sand sculpting tools available are likely already in most kitchens and garages.  In your kitchen look for spatulas, melon ballers, cake icing spreaders measuring spoons, straws and wooden shish kabob spears.  In your garage look for a 2-foot section of a 2″x4″, small paint brushes and gardening spade shovels.  All of these common household items make great carving tools
  • Use a bigger bucket~ If you wish to build a bigger sand sculpture, then start with a bigger bucket.  Plastic children’s sand buckets are not  large enough to provide a good starting block to carve.  Instead, start with a 5-gallon bucket and cut the bottom out.  Filled with sand, the bucket would be too heavy to flip.  But with the bottom removed, you can pack it with sand from the bottom up once you place it upside down in the sand.
  • Sand consistency ~ When packing your sand, be aware of the consistency.  Sculpting sand should be wet, but not too soupy and not too dry.  Pack the sand down into the bucket 3 inches at a time.  If your sand consistency is good, you should be able to tap the sides of the bucket with your piece of wood and remove the bucket to have your starting sand block.
  • Tell a story ~ Try not to hold yourself to one shape.  Create a collage of several shapes for an easier, and more interesting, sand sculpture.  When someone comments on your sand sculpture you want them to see the story you have created with its characters, its setting, and the action taking place.


Visitors can watch the pros and learn tips directly from Team Sandtastic as part of Sandtastic Weekends at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort August 26-28, and September 4-6.  The event will feature 100 tons of sculpted sand, sand sculpting clinics, amateur sculpting contests, speed sculpting demonstrations, food, entertainment, games and more.  For more information, visit

What story will you tell when you create your next sand sculpture?  Please leave your comments in the box below.




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Lisette R lives in Orlando, FL and is a local writer for Chip and Co. She loves all things Disney. She can primarily be found exploring the Walt Disney World Parks, Walt Disney World Resorts, and Disney Springs. When she is not at Walt Disney World she enjoys spending time researching and planning her next cruise on the Disney Cruise LIne or a visit to Disney Land.
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3 thoughts on “Four Summer Sand Sculpting Tips from a Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Sandtastic Weekends Professional

  1. I love building sand art. My daughter loves to pretend she’s a mermaid, so we’d probably do some sort of Under the Sea theme with starfish and Ariel. Hope to win your vacation giveaway, so she can meet Ariel 🙂

  2. I want to see these so bad. I saw one (I think by a local team) on my honeymoon in Punta Cana and loved it. I was in awe. World famous sculptures though? … I have got to see!

    I love the tip about cutting a hole at the bottom so you can flip it and fill up.

    I’m always amazed that they don’t crumble!

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