ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures with SpongeBob Squarepants opens at Moody Gardens
Let the holiday fun begin at Moody Gardens where their newest attraction, ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures with SpongeBob Squarepants comes to life.
In 2014, Moody Gardens welcomed a record crowd with over 100,000 guests who came to see ICE LAND in its first year. Under a continuous partnership with Nickelodeon, attendees will be able to experience the landmarks of Bikini Bottom in a whole new way.
Guests can tour SpongeBob’s Christmas Party, walk through a full-size Krusty Krab and venture on an all-ice Flying Dutchman pirate ship. See Conch Street, home to SpongeBob, Patrick and Squidward, the eerie depths of Rock Bottom and the Salty Spittoon are also part of the attraction. The crowd-favorite, the 100 foot ice slides, will also be back along with the debut of an all-new sled race.
Two million pounds of the ice sculpture creations are literally the coolest feature on Galveston Island and are the result of weeks of work from the VYA ice carving team. This 31 master ice carver team from Harbin, China are the sole sculptors of the exhibit showcasing a brand new theme for the 2015 display.
Guanghui Qui, captain of the VYA ice carving team, detailed the intricacies of creating their elaborate works of art from 300 pound blocks of ice using their picks and chainsaws. Qui has received top recognition throughout numerous international tournaments including the Chinese National Ice Carving Competition and the Harbin International Ice and Snow Carving.
The Krusty Krab, made entirely of ice, measures more than 40 feet tall. The Flying Dutchman pirate ship, constructed completely in glow ice, is well over 30 feet tall and is more than 50 feet long.
Carving time for each piece varies depending on its difficulties. The team worked continuously for 47 days in a 28,000 square foot insulated tent structure onsite at Moody Gardens.
“The worm that is showcased in the ICE LAND exhibit near the Patrick Christmas tree took about a day. The worm is pretty easy. Some characters are more difficult. Making characters like SpongeBob and Patrick take more time because many of the parts on them are a different a color. All of the color blocks that are needed have to be collected first and then the carving can begin,” said Qui.
Expanding on the SpongeBob theme to make it bigger and better this year is part of their vision.
Qui’s favorite part of the exhibit is seeing their final product.
“Once all of the hard work is done, it’s great to see everything come together,” he said.
ICE LAND, which opens November 14, will be open at Moody Gardens through January 10. Admission to the exhibit is $26.95 for adults, $21.95 for seniors and children. A Value Days discount of $5.00 is available Sunday through Thursday November 15 – December 17, excluding Thanksgiving Day.
Additional attractions during the holidays 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.
Details, call 800-582-4673 or visit moodygardens.org.
PHOTO CREDIT: JERRI HAMACHEK