Moody Gardens® History
Since its inception in 1983 and adoption of an eight phase master plan in 1985, Moody Gardens® has illustrated through its various attractions numerous innovative and creative programs – resulting in a visitation count of approximately 2 million visitors annually.
HOW WE BEGAN
Moody Gardens began in the mid '80s with only a horse barn and riding arena. The purpose was to begin a Hippotherapy riding program for people with head injuries. Today Moody Gardens is one of the premier educational/recreational facilities in the Southwest.
HOW WE GREW
1986 - HOPE THERAPY: Site secured by The Moody Foundation to establish a Hippotherapy program. Today's Hope Therapy offers Horticultural Therapy, through which individuals with disabilities can improve sensory awareness and motor abilities, regain confidence, and learn new skills to prepare for employment opportunities.
1986 - CONVENTION CENTER: Originally opened as Hope Arena. Offering 37,500 square feet to accommodate trade-shows, conventions and events, the space was expanded to 60,000 square feet in 2004.
1988 - PALM BEACH: Tons of white Florida sand were barged in across the Gulf of Mexico to create this exotic family beach with a handicap accessible yellow submarine for kids.
1988 - THE LEARNING PLACE: The home of our educational programs including pyramid kids camps, outreach programs, overnight adventures, scout programs, birthdays, star parties, field trip programs, and educator programs.
1990 - PRODUCTION AREA: Includes two greenhouses used to propagate most of the plants seen on our grounds and for our Medicinal Plant Program.
1993 - RAINFOREST PYRAMID® AND 3D THEATER COMPLEX: More than 1,000 exotic plant and animal species from the rainforests of Asia, the Americas and Africa are featured in the Rainforest. The Visitors Center houses the Garden Restaurant and Giant Screen 3D Theater, which showcases films by some of the world's top filmmakers. The theater’s movie screen is six stories tall and eight stories wide.
1994 - COLONEL PADDLEWHEEL BOAT: This authentic replica of an 1800’s Paddlewheeler features daily hour-long cruises on Offats Bayou. Dinner and private cruises are also available for groups of 65 or more.
1997 - DISCOVERY PYRAMID: Moody Gardens' second grand pyramid debuted with the Discovery Museum exhibit "Living in the Stars," inspired by NASA. Today, the Discovery Museum houses spectacular traveling exhibits. Also home to the Ridefilm Theater, offering a thrilling motion simulation experience.
1998 - MOODY GARDENS HOTEL AND SPA: Nestled among acres of tropical gardens and magnificent pyramids sits the spectacular Moody Gardens Hotel, an architectural masterpiece with 428 beautifully decorated rooms, more than 22,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, dining, and a full service salon and spa.
1999 - AQUARIUM PYRAMID®: Explore the oceans of the world. With more than 130,000 square feet of building space and more than 1.5 million gallons of water, the Aquarium Pyramid at Moody Gardens is one of the largest aquariums in the world. Come face to face with thousands of colorful fish, sharks, king penguins, seals and more in our underwater classroom.
2004 - HOTEL AND CONVENTION CENTER EXPANSION: In 2004, Moody Gardens completed an expansion project that provided an additional 125-room wing to the hotel and expanded the Exhibit Hall to 60,000 square feet. This flexible meeting space is available for events ranging from trade shows and concerts to large gala dinners.
2005 - 4D THEATER OPENS IN VISITOR’S CENTER: Previously the Preview Theater, the 4D Theater features 3D images with added special effects. The first feature is SpongeBob SquarePants.
2008 –MOODY GARDENS GOLF COURSE OPENS: The 18-hole seaside-link public golf course opens after a $16 million comprehensive renovation on the former Galveston Municipal Golf Course.
2011 – Rainforest Pyramid and Palm Beach Enhancements: The Rainforest Pyramid and Palm Beach both reopened May 28 after extensive enhancement projects. The Rainforest Pyramid sustained substantial damage from Hurricane Ike in 2008 and through the generosity of the Moody Foundation received a $25 million enhancement project that provided a canopy walkway that gives access to the treetop level for a whole new perspective of the rainforest, as well as new exhibits, plants and animals. Palm Beach added several new features, including a wave pool, lazy river and tower slides.
Moody Gardens® is a public, nonprofit educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation and research.