The Holy Land Experience


Jul 23, 2000
Since everyone wants to know about it, I thought I'd do my best to introduce everyone to Orlando's newest little theme park.

Overall, the park is meant to immerse the traveller into the world of biblical Jerusalem. It is the largest recreation of Jerusalem in America and the second largest in the world. It's being advertised as a living museum, with excellent themeing and "Streetmosphere" actors walking about doing story telling and playing their assigned roles.

What's Inside:

Jerusalem Street Marketplace --
Main entrance area of the park. You'll find Roman soldiers and vendors as well as a gift shop and guest services.

Calvary's Garden Tomb --
A recreation of the tomb where Jesus was burried.

The Tabernacle Show --
Everything you ever wanted to now about the Arc of the Covenant. Expect special FX and a movie.

Hedorian Temple --
More special FX, and another movie :)

Qumran Caves --
Find where the dead sea scrolls were hidden :)

Okay, there's some other stuff listed ona few websites, including the mention of the Burning Bush, but the best I can get are names and no details :( It's supposed to be about a 3-hour stay, the two major shows being the Tabernacle and Temple, and only costs about $17 for adults. (I think the Florisa Aquarium costs mroe right now, and I can't spend more than half an hour in that place.) So, if it's up your religious alley, give it a try.
Thank you Rob, for the description. I was curious. :)

Hi, Loric... am interested in knowing more about this attraction (possible church group field trip)?! But I can't seem to find a website or any other kind of reference to it when I searched through metacrawler. Do you have a link? Just curious,too! Thanks!
The orlando Sentinel has a few news reports about it, and (the company that was hired out for most of the work) has a little bit of info on their site. It's owned by a chruch called Zion's Hope They are still building their page though.
It was said on some show that the entire purpose of the park is to convert Jews to Christianity.
According to the news reports, some jews are protesting because they think the high number of jewish symbols within the park are meant to entice jews into it. I think it's sort of absurd, and after all, weren't the first Christians really Jews and thus wouldn't they have all the various symbols of the religion? Just something to ponder..
let me explain something to you, Loric. it's not the use of Jewish symbolism in and of itself that is objectionable. it's the purpose behind the symbolism that is upsetting.

the founder of this park identifies himself as a Hebrew Christian. there are several Hebrew Christian organizations, the most notable one being "Jews for Jesus." one of the purposes of Jews for Jesus and other similar organizations is to proselytize in the Jewish community, to convert Jews to Christian beliefs while using Jewish symbolism to do this.

personally, I feel that any form of ritual that brings someone closer to G-d is fine, and I would never tell someone who identifies himself or herself as a "Hebrew Christian" that they were "wrong". but I become very uncomfortable when someone tells me that I am "wrong" because I practice a faith that is 5,000 years old and because I am still waiting for the Messiah that G-d promised my ancestors. and I become even more uncomfortable when someone uses elements of my faith to try to convert me to their beliefs.

and that's what the problem is with this theme park, and why it has upset the Jewish community of Orlando.

I've just got one thing to say about this whole theme park and I hope to not offend anyone with my views by saying it..... Please be aware that my views are not against religion in any way, but are against the concept of this park.....

Let me first say that I am pro religion. I believe if a person has a religion (no matter what it may be), and it gives them comfort, or makes them happy, that is great. What I am against is the merging of religion with commercialism. When religous oraganizations (churches, groups, whatever) were established in the USA, they were designated tax-free entities because they were there to provide people with a service and make no profit.

In my opinion, commercialism is ruining religion. Look in the newspapers. More and more religious organizations are running some sort of monetary scam and getting caught. This themepark is an obvious attempt by the Zions Hope group to make some quick, tax-free money for their group. Just wait until the "I saw Jesus" t-shirts start popping up all over Disney world. Many people may argue that this "themepark" is more about history than religion, but if this is the case Zions Hope should market it to reflect the history aspect.

Just my thoughts.



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