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Moody Gardens
News Release
Friday, November 03, 2017

Run with bats in ice tunnel, explore larger-than-life butterflies, reptiles and more with holiday sculptures

GALVESTON, Texas – Grab a parka and prepare to soar through the rainforests of the world on a 36-foot Giant Ruins Ice Slide starting Nov. 11 inside ICE LAND: Rainforest Holiday. The ice slide is just one of many holiday sculptures guests can take in this season – all carved from two million pounds of ice.

Moody Gardens offered an early look inside this ice wonderland on Thursday, featuring the Giant Ruins Ice Slide, a reptile jungle, an ice tunnel featuring a bat cave, along with white-faced saki and cotton-top tamarin monkeys, pygmy slow lorises and sloths.

ICE LAND: Rainforest Holiday opens to the public on Nov. 11 – just nine days away. A team of 25 master ice carvers from Harbin, China have been hard at work transforming two million pounds of ice into monkeys, butterflies, towering trees and vines, anacondas, birds and so much more, taking guests on a journey through the rainforests of the world in a new ultra-cool way.

“It’s exciting to watch as the ice carvers bring this year’s Rainforest Holiday theme to life. The caliber of talent is amazing. They are putting the finishing touches on more than 100 ice sculptures,” John Zendt, Moody Gardens president and CEO, said. “Our sound and lighting teams, gift shop and food and beverage staff will bring their expertise to the exhibit over this next week, showcasing the ice sculptures in the best possible setting. We cannot wait to see the reaction from our guests next Saturday.”

Guests will soar through the wonders of the rainforest, zipping down a 36-foot tall Giant Ruins Ice Slide that takes them from the treetops of the Rainforest down to the forest floor. They’ll be greeted by an 8-foot Harpy Eagle at the top of the slide, and along the way they’ll follow the spectacular leaf cutter ants, which act as hosts along the trip, carrying presents and holiday decorations to a magical holiday destination deep inside the rainforest.

Not far from the ice slide is the water’s edge scene, which introduces guests to another aspect of the rainforest, this time with beautiful birds, a Chinese alligator, river otters, colorful fish and even an anaconda or two.

Guests are first introduced to this year’s Rainforest Holiday theme in Scene One, where they will find a large clear ice Rainforest Pyramid, complete with Christmas lights along its spines. The spectacular leaf cutter ants also make their debut in Scene One, and with the help of a giant magnifying glass, grow to be larger-than-life inside ICE LAND, along with beautiful butterflies and other animals.

Guests can take a break inside Shivers Ice Bar, offering frosty adult beverages this holiday season. Sip on some Peppermint Schnapps and other holiday drinks while sitting on a stool carved from ice at a bar completely made of ice. This year’s Shivers Ice Bar takes on a Mayan Ruins theme and offers a cool way to relax.

And, this is all created by members of the CAA Ruijing Ice Carving Team using chainsaws, ice picks and 300-pound blocks of clear and colored ice.

The inspiration for ICE LAND came from the Harbin Snow and Ice Festival in China, where more than 3,000 of the world’s top artisans create a 100-acre walk-through Ice Park featuring thousands of immense ice sculptures. The team is led by chief ice and snow carving artist Mr. Qiu Guanghui, who has received top honors in numerous international tournaments including the Harbin International Ice and Snow Carving and the Chinese National Ice Carving Competition.

“My team is very much looking forward to working on this new project,” said Guanghui, who added that the Rainforest Holiday design for 2017 is unlike anything the team has done before. “The plan includes creating a magnifying glass that will make these rainforest animals and plants even larger than they are. We are excited to take these plans from paper to ice.”

Although ICE LAND is on a smaller scale, the artistry work presents its own unique challenges on Galveston Island, including keeping a 28,000 square-foot insulated tent structure at a chilly 9 degrees in order to keep those two million pounds of ice frozen. ICE LAND: Rainforest Holiday offers a rare opportunity for Moody Gardens guests to take in ice sculptures on this scale in the U.S.

ICE LAND, along with Festival of Lights, the ice rink, Arctic Slide, holiday 3D films, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 4D and more will offer a unique holiday experience Nov. 11-Jan. 7, 2018 as Galveston makes its transition into the Winter Wonder Island. Value Days discounts will allow guests to save $5 per person Sunday-Thursday, Nov. 12-Dec. 14, excluding Thanksgiving.

For more information call 1-800-582-4673 or visit and click over to the Holiday page for more on this holiday season and ticketing information.

Moody Gardens® is a public, non-profit, educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research.

Remembering Jim Guidry

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