It was an impressive ice breaker as a team of 31 master ice carvers from Harbin, China arrived and took a chainsaw to the first block of 2 million pounds of ice at Moody Gardens Tuesday. With this gesture, their awesome task of creating the 2015 ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures with SpongeBob SquarePants officially began. These award-winning members of the VYA Ice Carving Team are the sole sculptors of the only ice sculpture exhibition on the Gulf Coast set to open Nov. 14 at Moody Gardens with a brand new theme.
The carvers arrived Sunday after traveling half way around the world to Galveston from Harbin, known as the Ice City, where over 3,000 of the world's top artisans create a 100-acre walk-through Ice Park featuring thousands of immense ice sculptures. At Moody Gardens, using chain saws and picks, the team will sculpt seemingly ordinary 300-pound blocks of ice into towering and majestic works of art featuring the beloved underwater characters from SpongeBob SquarePants. This work is done within a 28,000 sq. ft. insulated tent structure located on the property that will be held at a temperature of nine degrees throughout the holiday season. The team will work in shifts around the clock for 47 days to bring this unique walk-through holiday attraction to life. The team is led by chief ice and snow carving artist Mr. Qui, 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 excited to be here in Galveston and working on this project," said Mr. Guanghui, who added that the new theme and design for 2015 presents some new exciting challenges. "We are very pleased to be working with Moody Gardens and Nickelodeon again this year."
Last year saw record crowds with over 100,000 guests visiting ICE LAND in its first year. This year, through the continued partnership with Nickelodeon, a brand-new story will give guests the opportunity to experience Bikini Bottom's landmarks like never before. As kids and families are invited to SpongeBob's Christmas Party, they will walk through a full-size Krusty Krab, explore an all-ice Flying Dutchman pirate ship; dive into the eerie depths of Rock Bottom, and stroll on Conch Street, home to SpongeBob, Patrick, and Squidward. Visitors will even be able to belly up to the bar of the Salty Spittoon watering hole from the beloved TV series. And last year's guest-favorite 100-foot ice slides will be back this year with an all-new sled race!
ICE LAND offers a unique holiday experience for the entire family and will be open through Jan. 10 as Galveston makes its holiday transition into a Winter Wonder Island. Admission to the exhibit is $26.95 for adults, $21.95 for seniors and $15.95 for children. A Value Days discount of $5.00 is available Sunday through Thursday Nov. 15 - Dec. 17, excluding Thanksgiving Day. Other holiday attractions include Festival of Lights, holiday 3D and 4D films, ice skating, Arctic Ice Slide, holiday dinner and show, a gift market and the newly renovated four-diamond hotel.
For more information, please call 800-582-4673 or visit moodygardens.org.
Moody Gardens® is a public, non-profit, educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research.