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Holy Land Experience

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Fiction over fact
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How it didn't happen

The Holy Land Experience is a series of gift shops linked by Biblical tableaux theme park run by the Trinity Broadcasting Network designed to show you (yes you, you miserable sinner) the historical Middle East from a US fundie perspective.

General information[edit]

While Da Vinci's Notebook calls something else in Orlando the "promised land",[1] this is the Real Thing. It featured in Bill Maher's movie Religulous.[2]

The "majestic gates of The Holy Land Experience" opened on February 5, 2001.[3] Initially opening on Sundays, the HLE dropped the practice in 2005[4] "to give the staff... time to spend that day in worship". (There's nothing like getting a break from work!) Currently the HLE is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

In 2011 entry to the Holy Land Experience would set an adult back $35[5] for a full day's pass, with concessionary rates for youths (6 to 12 years) and children (3 to 5 years) of $20 and $9 respectively. In 2012 prices for an adult were hiked 14% to $40, while those for youths increased by 25% from $20 to $25 - although a youth was redefined as 6 to 18 years - and children escaped with a mere 11% rise to $10.

The HLE was founded by a Jewish-born Baptist minister, Marvin ('Marv') Rosenthal. Marv is also chief executive of Zion's Hope, a ministry devoted "toward reaching the Jewish people for the Messiah".[6] The Jewish Defence League picketed the HLE on its opening day, concerned that the park aimed to convert Jews to Christianity.[7] After experiencing financial difficulties and racking up debts of $8m, the HLE was bought by the Trinity Broadcasting Network in June 2007 for $37m. In order to reduce property taxes by $300,000 it agreed with Orange County that it would provide free admission for one day each year, but the date of free entry is a closely guarded secret "out of concern over a possible 'uncontrollable situation'".[8] However, it managed to cope with the maximum daily limit of 2000 in 2010.[9]

Herman Cain visited the HLE in November 2011 as part of his campaign for nomination as Republican candidate for the 2012 presidential election.[10]


Not what you might expect.

Any visit to HLE should not miss "HOLY COMMUNION with Jesus" (10:30, 10:45, 11:15, 1:30, 1:45, 2:00, 2:15, 2:30, 4:00) and be sure to take in:

ISRAELI HOLY SITES – Authentically Reproduced
Garden of Eden Bethlehem Bus Loop Shepherd’s Field “Eyes of the Lord” & “Pieta”
The Jesus Boat Tiny Town of Bethlehem Birth Place of Jesus Bethlehem Bell Tower


The Trinity Broadcasting Network transmits a biblical-themed cookery program called Manna from Heaven hosted by chef Christian Andre Pitre [sic]. A sample Christmas recipe featured on the HLE site comprises authentic Holy Land dishes such as:

  • Bacon Breasted Goose (we kid you not) in
  • Spiced Acorn Squash (squashWikipedia's W.svg being, of course, a New World food)
  • Chocolate Cheesecake Pumpkin Pie (chocolateWikipedia's W.svg and pumpkinWikipedia's W.svg being, of course, New World foods)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]