The Holy Land Experience
A mega theme park-wax museum mélange containing all things biblical.
At Orlando’s Holy Land Experience, Jesus is crucified daily for your viewing pleasure.
This sprawling theme park, owned and operated by the Trinity Broadcasting Network, was founded as a non-profit corporation with the mission to create “a living, biblical museum that takes you 7000 miles away and 2000 years back in time to the land of the Bible.”
All features of the park are touted as “exact replicas” of the way they would have been found during 1st century Judea. Debates about the indeterminate nature of said authenticity aside, these models of major sites from the New and Old Testament were designed with enough intricate detail to provide visitors with a clear understanding of their historic and religious significance. Pilgrims to the park roam through a profusion of temples, a model of Jerusalem itself, the Qumran Dead Sea Caves, the Wilderness Tabernacle, and the Garden Tomb from which Jesus resurrected.
A visit to the Holy Land Experience is designed to be extremely participatory. Between traditional Bible studies classes, depictions of 1st century shopping at the Old Scroll Shop, sharing communion with Jesus’ disciples at a recreation of The Last Supper, particularly gory reenactments of the crucifixion, and performances by the “Century musical team”, there’s something to interpellate everyone.
Rather than leaving such wanderings as provenance of the mind, the Holy Land Experience allows the devout to explore the birthplace of Christianity as it appeared back in the day in a physical sense that may be as close as anyone is going to get… at least until the Good Lord delivers that time machine we’ve all been praying for.
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