We visited the Holy Land Experience in Orlando the week before Christmas. It is about 2 miles from Universal Orlando, and since we had a car we did not have any problems getting there. Public transportation may be available.
We got a $2 off coupon which is available in most Orlando Tourism brouchures. The name speaks for itself. It is themed after Biblical places. There is a replica of the Garden Tomb, the Qumran Caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found (Currently not open), intricate model of the city of Jerusalem, life size external replica of Herod's Temple in Jerusalem during the time of Christ, a life size replica of the wilderness tabernacle from the time of Moses. The Birth of Christ and the Healing of the Roman Centurion's servant were depicted as musicals. They did a fantastic job. The actors used the outside settings for these musicals. The Wilderness Tabernacle show was great as it showed exactly what the high priest did in the Temple as recorded in the Old Testament. There was a building called the Scriptorium where ancient manuscripts of the Old and New Testaments were kept. There were also several Bibles that are several centuries old. They gave a good visual description of how the God kept the Bible alive during the dark ages and how people translated the scriptures into vernacular languages with disregard to their personal safety. It is worth seeing. They also had a musical describing the history of music in the history of the Christian church and that was a great show.
There is a model of the city of Jerusalem as in AD 66 and it is intricately detailed, and they had a guide explain the different regions of the city and how it related to the events in the gospels. The gospel message was presented in a very clear manner. They had animals that are frequently seen in the Middle East in one area, and they had a restaurant and couple of snack food places with Biblical themes. Where else can you get a Goliath hamburger, Jaffa hotdog, and real shepherd's pie. The best thing about this place were the friendliness of the staff. They were great, and it was very evident that the message of the Bible had transformed their lives in a personal way. This is a great place to visit for Christians, Jews, and Muslims. I even saw some Hindu religious sadhus wearing saffron. It is also a great break from the usual theme park atmosphere of Disneyworld and Universal studio. You will need a good 6 - 8 hours to see everything. You also have to do a bit of planning to ensure that you cover every building and every show especially if you get there at noon like we did.
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