Reef Rescue VR experience opens at Moody Gardens

Super 78 has created a high capacity virtual reality (VR) attraction for Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas. Reef Rescue is an interactive experience that gives guests a chance to take a virtual dive and explore a beautiful 360° coral reef environment.

For a limited time only, up to 16 people at a time don a ‘diving mask’ to remotely pilot their own R.O.V.E.R. (Remotely Operated Vehicles for Exploring Reefs). Their mission is to help restore the undersea home of the fish that inhabit The Great Barrier Reef.

The attraction opened on March 9 and communicates an important message of conservation. Each guest is encouraged to help return the reef to complete health. They do so by cleaning up the waters, planting new coral branches and feeding the fishes.

The Moody Gardens mission

“Reef Rescue is an ideal fit for Moody Gardens as it fits right in with our mission of education and conservation, as well as recreation,” says the venue’s president and CEO, John Zendt.

Moody Gardens is a public, non-profit educational destination. Attractions include an aquarium and penguin habitat, mini waterpark/beach area, 3D theatre, 4D theatre, paddleboat rides, a ropes course and zip line. Reef Rescue is located inside the gardens’ visitor centre.

Reef Rescue attraction layout at Moody Gardens

The VR experience was added to give guests a deeper understanding of how remarkable corals are and the larger role reefs play in the marine ecosystem, the planet and our individual lives. Admission is $7 per guest, or $6 for Moody Gardens’ members. One dollar from every ticket sold will go toward conservation efforts.

Reef Rescue was developed by Super 78 together with partners and developers of motion tracking software and hardware. The LA-based group of award-winning artists and technicians previously worked with Moody Gardens on its SpongeBob SubPants Adventure. The interactive character experience was honoured with a Thea Award in 2015, as was Super 78’s Geppetto system that powered it.