Hooray! Admission is free to the Holy Land today!
Today, you can get in for free to the Holy Land Experience, Orlando's insane Biblically-themed theme park right near the Mall at Milennia. Free admission + free parking until the lot is full, then the gates closed.
Visit the Scriptorium, an allegedly non-sectarian library of Biblical documents, which promises to transport visitors to "historical and geographical areas of the world where displayed biblical documents originated and gives guests a dramatic understanding of the history of the Bible, how it parallels the history of civilization, and the impact it has had upon the world."
Check out the Wilderness Tabernacle, which "tells the story of God's never ending love for His chosen people. Travel back in time with the High Priest on an ancient journey that led through sacrifices, blood and death, to an explosion of God's Glory Cloud in the Holy of Holies - God Himself meeting with man."
Spend some time at Calvary's Garden Tomb, where you can "follow the Via Dolorosa, the road on which Christ carried the cross, to Calvary’s Garden Tomb. Spend time resting, praying, or reflecting on the meaning and significance of the empty tomb. Atop the hill stand the cross of Golgotha, where Jesus was crucified and died for the sins of the world."
And don't miss the daily Crucifixion.
When you're done with all that, don't forget to visit the Smile of a Child Adventureland, where the kids can jump around in bounce houses, have their faces painted and "join in kid-style worship and fun."
If we didn't have to work, we'd totally be there today. All day long. In 2004, when Jason Ferguson checked the place out for the weekly, his assessment was surprisingly not terrible:
Now, I realize a lot of people have a lot of preconceived notions about Holy Land and how it couldn't be anything but lame. But, honestly, the park is enjoyable, and not in a snotty, let's-go-make-fun-of-evangelical-Christians sort of way. A lot of effort was put into consistent theming (milk and honey ice cream, anyone?) and any park where there's a chubby, effeminate guy leading tourists through a group singalong of faux-traditional Yiddish songs is alright with me. The highlight of the park – at least for geeks like me – is the Scriptorium, which purports to trace the history of the written Bible through artifacts. Designed as a walk-through multimedia exhibit, the running time is a bit long (just shy of an hour) and the introductory notion that the Bible is the "undoctored" word of God was just hilarious, considering that the entire exhibit focused on the multiple translations the books have endured throughout the years. But seeing ancient Coptic scripts and pages from an original Gutenberg Bible is cool, no matter what the circumstance. From there, it was off to learn how to slaughter animals for sacrifice and watch Jesus get crucified. All in all, not a bad day.
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