Twelve miles outside of Disney World there is a small Christian theme park called The Holy Land Experience. For 35 bucks a pop, fanny packers can take a stroll through Jerusalem circa 33 AD and meet all their favorite characters from the New Testament. I first heard about the park in the movie Religulous, and since then have been dying to see it in person. When my cousin moved to Florida this fall, it was as though God had intervened to provide the perfect excuse for a picture-snapping session at The Holy Land Experience. Here’s a quick breakdown of our day.
Walking into the parking lot we were immediately greeted by a series of animatronic Bible scenes. One of the best was a mechanical baby Jesus that writhed around in his manger. According to the Holy Land Experience’s website, we were to be welcomed by Jesus at the entrance to the park. We were expecting a robotic Savior or a human impersonator. Instead, what we found was a cardboard cutout of God’s only Son. This set the mood for the rest of the day.
During the histrionic reenactment of the last supper, my cousin and I laughed to the point of tears. I buried my face in my hands and played it off as uncontrollable sobbing. The woman next to me was actually crying and offered us tissues, but on our way out some old man scorned us and said that we “don’t believe in Christ.” On a related note, at lunch a Roman centurion approached us. He was aggressively passionate about his belief in Christianity and strongly urged us to become born again.
Later on we met Jesus, who was kind of a narcissist. He thoroughly enjoyed having His photo taken. My cousin and I were invited back to His home post-work for an exclusive photo shoot. When we went to Jesus’ house, He showed off His bachelor bedroom. He spoke of His love for animal decor, which was evident from His cheetah print bedding and framed lion poster. Jesus also seemed to be under the impression that my cousin and I were doing an undercover article about Him. During our visit He prefaced many sentences with “if somebody were to interview me.”