Your Walt Disney World Information Station
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 34
Beyond the Parks Discuss TR: The Holy Land Experience (Orlando, FL), 4/9/05 in the Vacation Planning forums; ...
  1. #1
    BarryH is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    TR: The Holy Land Experience (Orlando, FL), 4/9/05

    Why did I visit the Holy Land Experience?

    This theme park in Orlando seems to be geared towards Christian people who worship the Lord and the Bible. I don’t consider myself religious. Religion never appealed to me. When I went to church, I was like Homer Simpson – I fell asleep! If church were more like the one in The Blues Brothers, where people are singing and dancing on Sundays, perhaps I would be more interested in attending. After viewing The Passion of the Christ, some of my friends say that it has renewed their faith in the Lord. My response to the movie was, “Cool, blood and gore! Yeah, baby, yeah!” I did see the musical “Godspell” a few years ago. Although I gained a better understanding of the Bible, I still was not going to convert. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but I view the Bible as modern mythology. The Good Book has interesting stories, but it isn’t something I would base my life on. I do respect and appreciate all religious beliefs.

    Even though I was not one of the faithful, I was still interested in visiting the Holy Land Experience. First, the design team who was responsible for creating Islands of Adventure worked on the Holy Land Experience. If they did such an incredible job on Universal’s theme park, I wondered what they did with the Holy Land Experience. The second reason why I visited is the most important. The Holy Land Experience attracted a lot of controversy when it first opened a few years ago. I wanted to see what the fuss was all about. I tried to visit during the theme park’s first year of operation, but a torrential thunderstorm prevented me from visiting. The park had shut down early due to the storms. Over the years, more important things prevented me from visiting. Also over the years, I had forgotten what all the controversy was about, but I still had the desire to visit.

    I decided to visit the Holy Land Experience on a Saturday in April. The park wasn’t a major Orlando park, so I was expecting the big crowds to be at the Magic Kingdom and away from where I’ll be. The Holy Land Experience is located off exit 78 on Interstate 4. Because the park is so close to the Interstate, you can see the entire layout as you drive. Regular admission to the park is $29.99, but I had bought my tickets ahead of time at for $25.75.

    I arrived at the Holy Land Experience a little after 9 am and there were about a half a dozen people in the parking lot. I had hoped crowds would stay low. The park is fashioned after the city of Jerusalem. The main entrance is the city gate. The entrance did not have any signage that you were entering the Holy Land Experience.

    The park has a similar layout to the Walt Disney World theme parks. You enter through a “Main Street USA” area of shops. The main “castle” icon is the Temple of the Great King (Herod’s Temple). The attractions are laid around the park. The theme park is about the size of one of the “lands” at the Magic Kingdom.

    As I entered the park, I walked past the shops in Jerusalem Street Market (save shopping for later!). The street market looked pretty neat. I’ve never been to Jerusalem, but it looked pretty accurate. I don’t think Jerusalem had a pretzel and drink stand, though. I felt a little uncomfortable when I first entered. I felt a little out of place, since I wasn’t religious. I should just run out and ride the Incredible Hulk Coaster! However, I had paid $25.75 to get in, so I might as well see what it’s like.

    A park employee said that the Wilderness Tabernacle show was going to begin, so I followed the small crowd to the show building. The Wilderness Tabernacle was a stage demonstration of the tabernacle that God had commanded His followers to build. You may have built a model of this in Sunday school. It was a nice presentation, but it almost put me to sleep. It’s like church over again! The part that I do remember is the Ark of the Covenant in the worship area of the tabernacle. It let off a huge smoke stream. I thought it would be like Raiders of the Lost Ark. I almost closed my eyes because I was afraid I would melt like a candle and then explode. Alas, that did not happen. You can buy a DVD or video of the Wilderness Tabernacle show in the gift shop.

    The show guide had indicated a historical presentation at the Plaza of Nations in Herod’s Temple at 10:15 am. I headed over there since it was near show time. I wasn’t sure what the historical presentation was, but it ended up being an employee walking back and forth on the stage, explaining what Herod’s Temple was. I don’t remember much about the presentation, but I do remember there was very little shade, it was hot, and a steady stream of people walked out on the show. The presentation almost put me to sleep!

    The next show was Praise Through the Ages at 10:45 am. Since this was the only show on the guide that was coming up, nearly all of the park guests headed to the Shofar Auditorium to see it. In the waiting area of the Shofar Auditorium was a model of Jerusalem, 66 A.D. It was a very large model and nicely done. If you wanted more of the model, you could buy the DVD or video in the gift shop across the way.

    Praise Through the Ages was a multi-media production that showed how music and art have been used to praise God. It was mostly a musical presentation of different praise songs through time. The music started through ancient times and monks, went through the Renaissance and the Romantic age, headed through Southern Gospel, and ended at Contemporary Christian music. The performers sang well and were very talented. The Southern gospel performance was my favorite. I listen to Southern gospel, not to praise the Lord, but because I think it has a good beat and you can dance to it. I got the Contemporary Christian song stuck in my head all day. I was busy humming, “Lord, You are good and Your spirit endureth forever.” That’s the It’s the Small World song of the Holy Land Experience!

    The next show was Centurion at 12:15 pm. Even though it was early, I decided to eat since I figured the food line would get worse throughout the day. The park had about four locations for food. Two were stands. One was the pretzel stand in the Jerusalem market. Another stand was in front of the Shofar Auditorium and it had some wraps and snacks. The park had two counter service restaurants: The Oasis Palms Café and the Royal Portico Eatery. The Royal Portico Eatery was mainly an ice cream shop. I chose the Oasis Palm Café for a real lunch. This café had no sign or any indication that it was a restaurant. I didn’t know where it was until someone opened the door and I found food inside. The café had wraps, salads, chicken dishes, and the good old theme park standby, the hamburger. The hamburger was called the Golitah Burger and was pretty good for theme park food. If there were a David Burger, it would probably be a White Castle-looking burger.

    Centurion was about to start, so I headed over to snag a good seat. Before the show started, two employees walked around and sold turkey legs, water, and a fruit drink. When the employee sold a guest a turkey leg, she gave the guest a plate. I don’t think I’ve seen that before. When I get a turkey leg at the Port of Entry at Islands of Adventure, I have to hold it like a caveman! Who needs a plate for a carnivorous pleasure?

    Centurion was a musical about a Roman centurion who is hunting down the Jewish Messiah, but the centurion needs him to cure his dying servant. Since it is a theme park, we know the story will have a happy ending. Like Praise Through the Ages, the performers were quite talented dancers and singers. The Jewish Messiah was given a five-minute song and dance number. You’d think he was important! The actor who played the Jewish Messiah really looked like Jesus! He had the hair, the beard, everything! I wondered if he had problem walking around in Sam’s Club. There he is, rolling his cart down Wal-Mart aisles, and someone shouts out, “It’s Jesus!” Now if Jesus is in Sam’s Club, the question I ask is why Jesus wants to buy 100 rolls of toilet paper?

    Inside Herod’s Temple was the Theatre of Life. It runs a film called “Seed of Promise,” but the theatre was closed during Centurion. The performers used the theatre as a dressing room. As soon as Centurion ended, the performers left the theatre and it opened again. I decided to check out the film. The park guide described the film as “an original film that powerfully communicates God’s master plan for redeeming mankind.” The film showed a crucifixion and hammer pounding the spikes into people’s wrists (ouch, that’s got to hurt!), Adam and Eve (Eve was sporting a nice bikini tan), and Abraham’s story. I couldn’t figure out what “God’s master plan for redeeming mankind” was, though.

    I headed over to the Scriptorium next. It was a 55-minute walking tour that was the history of the Bible. The Scriptorium was divided into a series of rooms that was themed to the specific time period that was being presented. A recording described the period and how it relates to the Bible. Each room had Biblical antiques in protective glass cases. The journey began in Mesopotamia and ended in modern times. It was pretty interesting to learn about the history of the Bible and see Biblical antiques. I never knew that the Bible was being written in the cradle of civilization. The Scriptorium also showed what people did for the Bible. Around the 17th or 18th century in Europe, people were being hunted down and killed for trying to present another version of the Bible. It’s a good thing you don’t see that in the United States. Thank the founding fathers for freedom of religion! In the group that I was in, there were a few young kids who seemed bored throughout the presentation. The Scriptorium exited into the Ex Libris gift shop.

    I walked around the Holy Land Experience and checked out the different gift shops. The park has a small children’s area called Qaboo and Company. This area consisted of a rocking-climbing wall, an archaeological dig, a tapestry showing a knock-off of Aladdin and Jasmine, and a gift shop that showed religious videos with animation that was worse than Filmation. A small animal area consisted of camels, goats, ponies, lambs, and chickens. An employee was feeding milk in a baby’s bottle to a lamb. He passed the bottle to the park guests so they could feed the lamb for a few moments. I had missed seeing the dramatic vignette “The Ministry of Jesus” and the musical Vu Dolorosa Passion because I had to meet friends at Universal Studios’ Mardi Gras later that afternoon.

    As I walked around the Holy Land Experience, employees were saying “Shalom” at me. The performer in the Wilderness Tabernacle explained that “Shalom” would be heard throughout the park all day. It means “Peace,” but it can also mean “Hello” or “goodbye.” It’s like a Hawaiian saying to you “Aloha.” The employee’s costumes looked very accurate for Jerusalem, right down to the footwear. When I’m at the Lost Continent in Islands of Adventure, the Team Members there are dressed like knights or peasants, but if you look down, they’re wearing Nikes! At the Holy Land Experience, the employees were wearing brown sandals. I don’t know if they had Tevas in Jerusalem, but it looked a lot better than sneakers.

    The Holy Land Experience did assume you had a working knowledge of the Bible. Many times as performers were setting up the scene for the Wilderness Tabernacle or the historical presentation at Herod’s Temple, they said, “As you know, the Bible said this” or “As we all know, the Bible said that.” I had leafed though Bibles while staying at hotels, but I never really read it. I felt a little lost sometimes during these presentations.

    We all have different religious beliefs. We may worship Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, the Boston Red Sox, or Kevin Boles. No matter what your religion, I think it’s good to at least understand the Bible. The Bible has been a key or a large part of many historical events. For example, brave men and women boarded the Mayflower, crossed the treacherous Atlantic Ocean, and landed around present-day Massachusetts because they wanted to worship as they wanted. The Holy Land Experience gave me a better understanding of Biblical mythology. It didn’t convert me, though. I believe that the faithful will become more faithful after a visit. Others may wish they were riding Dueling Dragons instead. The presentation was well done and the park looked great, but I couldn’t help thinking the Holy Land Experience was church with a $29.99 admission charge. In the meantime, I think I will watch “Godspell” again and sing a rousing chorus of “Day by Day.”

    For more information on the Holy Land Experience, please visit
    Current coaster count: 382

  2. #2
    20K's Avatar
    20K is offline Brought to you by Dock Thrust
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Interesting review, but it'll be a cold day in **** (Topical for this thread!) if you see me there...

    "I really hope that people won't cherry-pick my quotes in the future
    and use them out of context to justify things that I would never sign-off on."

    - Walt Disney

  3. #3
    PigletIsMyCat's Avatar
    PigletIsMyCat is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Too Far From WDW... Long Island, NY
    Call me crazy (listen for the hoard yelling 'You ARE!') but I find it disturbing that this place exists. Aren't we already segregated by religion enough? The Christians get their own amusement park? What about me? I'm being gypped! ::stomps foot in anger::

    Oh, wait, I have Disney. Nevermind.

  4. #4
    BarryH is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    If Disney is your religion, then Mickey should be wearing a robe, sandals, and a beard. :mickey:
    Current coaster count: 382

  5. #5
    shadesofgreen's Avatar
    shadesofgreen is offline I can write whatever I want up here now? Cool!
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    back at work
    One word of warning to anyone wanting to visit Holy Land Experience. If you are not an Evangelical Christian, don't inform the cast members of this. My wife is Jewish and talked a little to a cast member in the shop by the Jerusalem Model while it was raining (awsome model BTW). When we left they actually followed us out to the parking lot, in costume, with a big handful of Evangelical literature. We told some of our friends about what happened and they said the same thing happened to them, but that they were willing to buy them lunch so they could sit and talk with them!
    I am a Christian, but am not a big fan of the hard-sell.

    Other than that, Holy Land Experience is a nice place to visit. . . . A great church alternative while on vacation if you just can't do without.
    What I say 100 times each day:
    "It's not a Disney Resort even though it's on Disney property!"

  6. #6
    dzney4lyf's Avatar
    dzney4lyf is offline i come with a warning
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    in my own little world
    I just can't imagine spending 30 bucks on a theme park based on religion... Don't they get enough money in their colletion boxes at church??

  7. #7
    byoung1521's Avatar
    byoung1521 is offline B-Ticket Holder
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    "If Disney is your religion, then Mickey should be wearing a robe, sandals, and a beard. "

    Don't forget Donald and Daisy from Fantasia 2K in Pomp and Circumstance
    "You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality."

  8. #8
    PigletIsMyCat's Avatar
    PigletIsMyCat is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Too Far From WDW... Long Island, NY
    I find it interesting that people automatically assume two things: one, that any 'god' or 'saviour' or whatever god-like figure is wearing a robe and sandals, with a beard, which is 'traditionally' what Jesus was/is portrayed as wearing. I also find it interesting that people assume that everyone is either Christian, Jewish, or Muslim, and therefore must 'worship' or acknowledge a god-head in Birkenstocks and a toga.

  9. #9
    shadesofgreen's Avatar
    shadesofgreen is offline I can write whatever I want up here now? Cool!
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    back at work
    Does Mickey wearing a robe and sandals and carrying a lightsabre count? If so I think I spotted the Messiah at MGM!
    What I say 100 times each day:
    "It's not a Disney Resort even though it's on Disney property!"

  10. #10
    BarryH is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by shadesofgreen
    Does Mickey wearing a robe and sandals and carrying a lightsabre count? If so I think I spotted the Messiah at MGM!
    You should have stopped and prayed to him then! :mickey:

    BTW, I think I saw Jesus. He's one of my co-workers. His name is Jesus Fernandez. He didn't have a long beard, but he has a huge beer gut.
    Current coaster count: 382

  11. #11
    Tampa is offline No longer in service
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Jesus is my homeboy!

    Last edited by Tampa; 09-01-2005 at 08:22 PM.

  12. #12
    AidansDad's Avatar
    AidansDad is offline B-Ticket Holder
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Absecon, NJ
    I'm Christian, and I like history of religions. But still, that place sounds like the most boring place in the world. Ever.
    It's been too long!!!!!

  13. #13
    shadesofgreen's Avatar
    shadesofgreen is offline I can write whatever I want up here now? Cool!
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    back at work
    Quote Originally Posted by BarryH
    BTW, I think I saw Jesus. He's one of my co-workers. His name is Jesus Fernandez. He didn't have a long beard, but he has a huge beer gut.
    Wait a minute. . . .Now that you mention it we have a Jesus Fernandez in our housekeeping department.
    They're right: "Jesus is everywhere, man. . . .Jesus is everywhere. . . ."
    What I say 100 times each day:
    "It's not a Disney Resort even though it's on Disney property!"

  14. #14
    BarryH is offline A-Ticket holder
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    You know, Jesus is indeed everywhere. When I was a kid, my name was "Jesus Christ." When I was playing in the rain, she would say, "Jesus Christ, get out of the rain!" When I was playing with knives and scissors, she said, "Jesus Christ, stop playing with those sharp things!" I don't know how my name was changed to Barry. :mickey:
    Current coaster count: 382

  15. #15
    Jiminy Cricket's Avatar
    Jiminy Cricket is offline Ultimate Park "Hopper"
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    1,015 miles from WDW in Central Indiana; Windermere FL
    As Dave Garroway used to say: Peace!!!

    Abenaqui - Olakamigenoka
    Afrikaans, Dutch - Vrede
    Alabama - Ittimokla
    Albanian - La Paqe
    Algonquin - Wâki Ijiwebis-I
    Amharic - Írq
    Arabic - Salam
    Aranés - La Patz
    Armenian - Khanhaghutyun
    Basque - Bake
    Bemba - Mutenden
    Bengali - Shanti
    Blackfoot - Innaihtsi'iyi
    Bosnian - Mír
    Bulgarian - Mír
    Byelorussian - Mír
    Carolinian - Gúnnammwey
    Catalán - La Pau
    Chewa - Mtendere
    Chinese - Pingan
    Choctaw - Achukma
    Chuuk - Kunammwey
    Comanche - Tsumukikatu
    Cree - Wetaskiwin
    Croatian - Mír
    Czech - Mír
    Danish - Fred
    Dari, Persian - Solh
    Duala - Musango
    Dutch - Vrede
    Ekari - Muka-muka
    Esperanto - Paco
    Estonian - Rahu
    Fanagolo - Kutula
    Farsi - Ashtee
    Filipino - Kapayapaan
    French - La Paix
    Galician - A Paz
    German - Der Frieden
    Gikuyu - Thayu
    Greek - Iri'ni
    Gujarati - Shanti
    Haitian Creole - Lapé
    Hausa - Lùmana
    Hawaiian - Maluhia
    Hebrew - Shalom
    Hindi - Shanti
    Hmong - Kev Thajyeeb Nyab Xeeb
    Hungarian - Béke
    Igbo - Udo
    Indonesian - Damai
    Italian - Pace
    Japanese - Heiwa
    Javanese - Rukun
    Kékchí - Tuktuquil Usilal
    ka Inuktitut - Tutkiun
    Kannada - Shanti
    Khmer - Soksang
    Koasati - Ilifayka
    Korean - Pyong'hwa
    Kurdish - Hasîtî
    Lakhota - Wolakota
    Lao - 'Kwam Sa
    Latin - Pax
    Latvian - Miers

    Magindanaon - Kalilíntad
    Malay - Aman
    Malgache - Fandriampahalemana
    Maltese - Paçi
    Maori - Rangima'arie
    Mapudungun - Uvchin
    Maranao - Diakatra
    Maya - Ets'a'an Olal
    Micmac - Wôntôkóde
    Miskito - Kupia Kumi Laka
    Mongo-Nkundu - Boóto
    Navajo - K'é
    Nepali - Saanti
    Nez Perce - 'Éyewi
    Nhengatu - Tecócatú
    NW AK Inupiat Inuktitut - Kiñuiñak
    Norwegian - Fred
    Ntomba - Nye
    Nyanja - Mtendere
    Palauan - Búdech
    Pali - Nirudho
    Papago/Pima - Dodolimdag
    Pashto - Amniat
    Pig Latin - Eace-pay
    Polish - Pokój
    Ponapean - Meleilei
    Portuguese - A Paz
    Quechua - Sonqo Tiaykuy
    Rapanui - Kiba-kiba
    Romanian - La Pace
    Ruanda - Nimuhóre
    Russian - Mír
    Sa'a - Däilama
    Samoan - Filemu
    Scots Gaelic - Fois
    Serbian - Mír
    Sesotho - Khotso
    Setswana - Kagiso
    Sioux - Wo'okeyeh
    Slovak - Pokój
    Slovene - Mír
    Somali - Nabad -Da
    Spanish - La Paz
    Swahili - Amaní
    Swedish - Fred
    Tagalog - Kapayapaan
    Tahitian - Hau
    Tamil - Amaithi
    Telugu - Shanti
    Thai - Santipap
    Turkish - Sulh
    Turkish - Barish
    Twi-Akan - Asomdwee
    Uighur - Saq
    Ukrainian - Mír
    Urdu - Aman
    Welsh - Hedd
    Wintu - Mina
    Xhosa - Uxolo
    Yiddish - Sholim
    Yoruba - Alaáfía
    Yue - Sai Gaai Òh Pìhng
    Zapoteco - Layéni
    Zulu - Ukuthula
    Last edited by Jiminy Cricket; 09-02-2005 at 08:05 PM.
    Lord High Keeper of the Knowledge of Right and Wrong, Counselor in Moments of Temptation, and Guide along the Straight and Narrow Path and Oldest Active DWT/WDW Radio Member

    DL: 1955* (1); WDW: 1977* (2), 1980* (2), 1985* (3), 1989* (3), 1996 (ASMu-3), 1999 (ASMo-3), 2000 (ASMu-2/PO-2), 2001 (ASMu-5), 2002 (ASMu-5), 2003 (ASMo-5), 2004* (8), 2004 (ASMo-8), 2005 (PC-10), 2006* (15), 2007* (20), 2008* (22), 2009* (26), 2010* (27), 2011* (32), 2012* (39), 2013* (36), 2013* (15), 2013* (9), 2013* (13), 2014* (40) 2014* (20) 2015* (3) Total Trips/Days = 28/380

    *Off Property

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts