Ultra-cool VIP experience takes guests behind the scenes with ICE LAND carvers 

CAA Harbin Carving Team with John Zendt, Moody Gardens President and CEO in the Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid to formerly kickoff ICE LAND: Rainforest Holiday

When holidays roll around, Moody Gardens knows how to make the experience exceptional with their annual ice carving display.

ICE LAND is transforming into a RAINFOREST HOLIDAY this year with the magical touch of internationally-acclaimed Chinese ice-carvers who are in the process of creating a holiday work of art from two million pounds of ice.

The team of 25 artists will spend the next six weeks sculpting ordinary 300-pound blocks of colored ice into whimsical monkeys, colorful butterflies, beautiful orchids and more as they create ICE LAND: Rainforest Holiday, opening November 11.

This year’s ICE LAND theme takes guests through the rainforests of the world. Watch  progress here on Moody Garden’s webcam: 

The CAA Harbin Carving team will even create a giant ice slide that takes guests from rainforest tree tops to the forest floor, ancient ruins and the rivers edge. The hosts on this journey are the spectacular leaf cutter ants carrying Christmas lights and other decorations to a magical place. And, all of this happens inside a 28,000 square-foot insulated tent that has to be kept at a chilly 9 degrees throughout the holiday season in order to keep those two million pounds of ice frozen.

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 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 get started.”  

ICE LAND: Rainforest Holiday, the only ice sculpture exhibition on the Gulf Coast, is open through January 7, 2018.

Guests who want an ultra-cool behind-the-scenes look at how ice carvers transform two million pounds of ice into the towering, colorful sculptures can sign up for the exclusive Ice Carver VIP Experience Tour, available Oct. 7-Nov. 5, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

The VIP experience includes meeting a real penguin and enjoying lunch with the ice carving team as well as a ticket to return to see ICE LAND: Rainforest Holiday and Festival of Lights when the attractions open for the holiday season.

The Ice Carver VIP Experience package has limited availability. Please call 409-683-4368 for reservations.

Other holiday attractions include Festival of Lights, Cirque Joyeux Noel, Rudolph 4D, 3D films, ice skating, an Arctic Slide and train rides, plus live entertainment and great food.

For more information about these attractions, please call 1-800-582-4673 or visit


photo credit: V. Sweeten