Holy Land Experience – Orlando – Article, Podcast 34

If you are a Christian visiting Orlando, Florida, consider taking a day to see the Holy Land Experience. There are plenty of entertaining and educational opportunities at the Holy Land Experience to help you grow in your faith. Learn about the Bible by viewing authentic papyrus and scrolls from the earliest writings of scripture, as well as early Bibles of the middle ages and beyond. Visit replicas of holy sites including the Temple, Calvary’s Garden Tomb, Golgotha, Jerusalem’s Western Wall, and the Wilderness Tabernacle. Attend performances of scenes from Bible scripture that are both entertaining and educational. After you read this article, click on the audio bar at the bottom of this article if you would like to hear even more information about the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida.

Holy-Land-Experience-Orlando-Florida

The Holy Land Experience is fairly compact, compared to the large theme parks in the Orlando area. Many of the exhibits and shows take place inside air-conditioned buildings. Use the diagram below to determine the relative locations of the highlights of the Holy Land. Walking from locations will take no more than about 10 minutes, even from the entrance to the back of the park.

Holy-Land-Experience-DiagramFor the official park map, download the current version here:

https://www.holylandexperience.com/park_map.php

Most exhibits are educational and entertaining for school-aged children and older, but there are only a few options that would be enjoyable for young children. Make sure children are aware in advance that there are no rides, so they know what to expect. You may want to use this guide to involve children in planning your day in advance.

Holy-Land-Experience-Entry-Sign
Holy Land Experience – Entry Sign

Entrance City Gate – Admission and Tickets

If you have a full day, plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before opening time so you have time to buy your tickets at the Entrance City Gate and go through the security screening. The park is open from 10 am – 6 pm Tuesday through Saturday. Saturdays can be quite crowded. In fact, some Saturdays are so busy that visitors are turned away due to maximum crowd size limits. On other days, the park can seem almost empty other than a few church groups. So, try to attend on Tuesday through Friday.

Parking is free. So, if possible, park on the right as you enter. The Entrance City Gate is on the far right side of the right parking lot.

The regular price of adult admission is $50. Tickets for youth, ages 5 to 17, are $35. Children ages 4 and under are free. It is possible to save time by buying tickets online, but there is no discount to purchase online. The online purchase link is here:

https://www.holylandexperience.com/tickets/tickets.html

No large backpacks are allowed. Hold on to your daily schedule that you will be handed as you enter the ticket booth. Keep your ticket in a safe place in case you decide to leave the park for lunch and return on the same day.

After entering from the City Entrance Gate, walk to your left. Pass the Jerusalem Marketplace and go directly to Calvary’s Garden Tomb. See the suggested schedules at the bottom of this article for specific timing suggestions for things to do for adults traveling without children and for families with children.

Calvary’s Garden Tomb

Calvary-Garden-Tomb
Calvary’s Garden Tomb

Try to start your day with a wonderful experience by attending the once daily 10 am Praise and Worship ceremony at the entrance to the tomb. The 15-minute experience includes prayers and singing.

Church of All Nations

Church-All-Nations
Church of All Nations – Courtyard Entrance

After attending the Praise and Worship ceremony, check the daily schedule that you were handed as you entered the park to see which play(s) you want to attend and at what time. The live 30 to 45 minute musicals and dramas presented in the large, 2000-seat Church of All Nations are of the highest quality. Plan to attend at least one of these. Each play is only offered once throughout the day. Plays start on time, and all guests must enter and be seated by the stated start time of the play.

The current schedule is posted online, and you can check it in advance, as well. Check the current schedule at this link:

https://www.holylandexperience.com/calendar/daily_schedule.php

Prodigal-Son-Production
Prodigal Son Production – Church of All Nations

I attended the performance of “The Prodigal Son” in November of 2017. The play is a 45-minute musical with top quality singers and dancers. For me, it was one of the highlights of the day.

The Scriptorium 

Scriptorium-Entrance
Scriptorium Entrance

As you plan your day, decide when you want to visit The Scriptorium. This is a must see 55-minute automated walk-through tour of the history of the Bible and its impact on the world. The tour begins every 7 minutes throughout the day, but it closes at 4:45 pm. It is a nice air-conditioned walk through 15 rooms of authentic Bible artifacts along with reproductions of the gates of Babylon and animatronic displays of the history of the Bible.

Papyrus-Scroll-First-Century
Papyrus Scroll – First Century

There are very few options to exit the walk once you are inside The Scriptorium, so plan on spending the entire 55-minutes in the building. As you think about planning your day, you might want to plan to visit The Scriptorium right after lunch when you are rested from lunch. If you are here in warmer weather, this is a great time to escape the Florida heat for an hour.

Listen as the narration explains the artifacts and the history of the Bible. Artifacts are displayed from the priceless Van Kampen collection along with some items from the personal library of Eberhard Nestle, a leading 19th century biblical scholar. The displays include manuscripts, scrolls, and other authentic religious artifacts, including writings from famous Charles Spurgeon, often called the “Prince of Preachers,” from the 1800s.

Charles-Spurgeon-Writings-Artifacts
Charles Spurgeon Writings and Artifacts

Jerusalem Market Place

One of the newer venues at the Holy Land Experience, the Jerusalem Market Place, is where some of the presentations are held. This includes “The Good Shepherd” from 10:15 am – 10:30 am daily. This presentation is recommended on both suggested tours below.

Jerusalem Market Place has an old Jerusalem theme. It includes a carpenter shop, an inn, and a blacksmith shop.

Temple Plaza:

The Great Temple

Temple Plaza is in the heart of the Holy Land Experience, and you will see the beautiful Great Temple soon after you enter the complex. The Great Temple stood on Mount Moriah. This representation reflects the Temple as it looked in 1st century Jerusalem. At this time it was the place that was held in highest reverence among the Jewish people. Temple Praise is held here daily from 10:30 – 10:40 am and is recommended in both suggested schedules.

Jerusalem’s Western Wall Replica

Wailing-Wall-Replica
Western Wall – Replica

As you face the Great Temple, walk to the right. Here you will see a replica of Jerusalem’s Western Wall. The original Western Wall in Jerusalem is all the remains of the original Temple Mount. Use the paper and pens to write a note of prayer and place it into the replica of Jerusalem’s Western Wall. These prayers are sent weekly to the actual Western Wall in Jerusalem where they are place in the wall by volunteers.

Golgotha Walking Tour

Get a better understanding of the crucifixion of Christ through the presentation of replicas and artifacts on the Golgotha Walking Tour. The tour ends with a short musical performance of “The Empty Tomb” as Mary shares her experience of encountering Jesus soon after He rose from the dead. The 20-minute presentation is held twice daily, currently at 11 am and 2:30 pm.

Golgotha

Golgotha-replica
Golgotha – replica

Just outside of Esther’s Banquet Hall you will see a replica of Golgotha. In order to compare it to the actual site, just outside of the city walls of Jerusalem, look for the picture to the left of the Golgotha model. Golgotha means “skull” in Aramaic and in Hebrew. If you look at the replica and the picture of the actual location, you will see why it is named this by the features in the rock formation that look like a skull.

Golgotha-Photo

The bricks here were brought from Israel. They were part of the terrain where Jesus walked. Look for the sign that tells you about the bricks.

Bricks-Israel

Walkway from Temple Plaza to the Church of All Nations

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Stations of the Cross

Take some time to admire the Stations of the Cross in the open walkway between Temple Plaza and the entrance to Church of all Nations. There is a beautiful Nativity model in a covered section of the walkway. When you reach the Church of all Nations, there is a large outdoor waterfall on the exterior of the building in the courtyard area.

Nativity-Scene-Holy-Land-Experience
Nativity Scene

Wilderness Tabernacle: God’s Plan for Redemption

Wilderness-Tabernacle
Wilderness Tabernacle

In this indoor theater, guests learn about how the Arc of the Covenant traveled in the Temple with the high priests for 40 years in the desert wilderness. See a reconstruction of the Wilderness Tabernacle. The 20-minutes is performed eight times throughout the day.

Jerusalem Model

Take a 20-minute tour of the large indoor replica of Jerusalem as it appeared in AD 66 with an informative and entertaining tour guide. There are 4 show times offered throughout the day. Questions are encouraged at the end of each presentation.

Miracle of the Upper Room

Participants in this experience participate in a communion service with an actor playing Jesus. It is offered four times a day. Each session is about 15 minutes.

Recommendations for Families with Children:

Smile-Child-Adventure-Land
Smile of a Child Adventure Land

Smile of A Child Adventure Land and Theatre

This area is specifically designed for children. There are a number of outdoor play options in Smile of a Child Adventure Land. Also, at 11 am daily, David & Goliath/Jerusalem Jammers is held here. It is a 25-minute, interactive Biblical story about defeating the giants in your life, followed by an energetic time of praise and worship. David & Goliath/Jerusalem Jammers is included in the recommended schedule below for families with children.

At the adjacent Smile of a Child Theatre there is a story time daily at 3:50 pm. In addition, there are special craft making opportunities throughout the day in the theatre.

Children ages 3-12 can have their faces painted. The hours are 11:45 am to 12:45 pm and again between 1:45 pm and 2:30 pm.

Children ages 8 and up can climb the rock-climbing wall. See the attendant for one of three time slot passes. Current time options are 1:15 – 1:30 pm, 2:45 – 3:00 pm, and 4:15 – 4:30 pm.

The Trin-i-Tee Mini Golf is in this area, too. It is open from 11:15 am until 5:00 pm daily.

For current show times, locations, and for more details, see the official Holy Land Experience Smile of a Child Activity Schedule below.

https://www.holylandexperience.com/uploads/images/SOAC_Activities.php

House of Judea

The Holy Land Experience Bible Busters presentation is a family friendly Bible game show. It is held from 2:25 pm – 2:40 pm daily in the House of Judea.

Cardo Walk

Cardo Walk is on the right as you face the Church of All Nations. Children can attend a 15-minute Roman Soldier Training Camp from 3:45 pm – 4:00 pm. They train with the Roman Army to become a certified Legionnaire to defend Rome. This activity is included in the Suggested Schedule for Families with Children below, but be aware of heat issues during the hottest times of the year.

Food Options:

Esther’s Banquet Hall

Esther’s Banquet Hall is a counter service restaurant located near the lake and the Golgotha replica. It has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, including covered outdoor seating overlooking the small lake. The restaurant is open from 11 am to 4 pm. It serves traditional American food and reasonable prices. For $15, my husband and I shared a grilled chicken sandwich with two sides and one soft drink. With the extra drink, our entire bill was $18. The large portions of macaroni and cheese and roasted potatoes tasted like southern home cooked sides. The restaurant also serves burgers, wraps, salads, and a daily special.

Martha’s Kitchen

Martha’s Kitchen also serves burgers, sandwiches, and salads, as well as ice cream. It is open from 10 am to 6 pm. It is located near the pond between The Scriptorium and Temple Plaza.

Church of All Nations Bistro

This counter service bistro offers salads, sandwiches, snacks, bottled water and soft drinks. It is across from the entrance to the Church of All Nations. It is open 11 am – 6 pm.

Holy Land’s Coffee Shop

This small coffee shop is located near the entrance of the Holy Land Experience. It is open only from 10 am until 11 am and again from 3 pm to 6 pm.

Suggested Schedule for Adults

Based on the current, typical schedule, a suggested timeline for a one-day visit is below. This would assure that you would see the highlights.

9:45 am – 10:00 am – Purchase tickets, pass through security, pick up daily schedule, and walk to Calvary’s Tomb.

10:00 am – 10:15 am – Attend Praise and Worship opening ceremony at Calvary’s Tomb.

10:15 am – 10:30 am – Attend the performance of “The Good Shepherd” at The Jerusalem Marketplace.

10:30 am – 10:40 am – Attend Temple Praise at the Temple Plaza.

10:40 am – 10:50 am – Write a prayer and place it in the Western Wall replica (on the right as you face Temple Plaza).

10:50 am – 11:00 am – Walk to meet the Golgotha Walking Tour.

11:00 am – 11:20 am – Take the Golgotha Walking Tour.

11:20 am – 11:30 am – Walk to the Church of all Nations.

11:30 am – 12:15 pm – Attend a performance at the Church of All Nations. This is currently the time of the musical, “The Prodigal Son.”

12:15 pm – 12:30 pm – Walk through the hallway and admire the Stations of the Cross and the Nativity model.

12:30 pm – 1:20 pm – Have lunch at Esther’s Banquet Table.

1:20 pm – 1:30 pm – Walk to The Scriptorium.

1:30 pm – 2:25 pm – Take the automated narration-guided walking tour of The Scriptorium.

3:00 pm – 3:40 pm – Attend a performance at the Church of All Nations. This is currently the time of the 40-minute play, “Jesus: The Sacrifice.” –OR- Attend the 3:15 pm – 3:35 pm performance of the Wilderness Tabernacle.

4:00 pm – 4:15 pm – Attend the Miracle of the Upper Room. –OR- See the performance of the Wilderness Tabernacle at the same time if you did not see it at 3:15 pm.

4:15 pm – 4:30 pm – Make your way to the Church of All Nations.

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm – Attend a performance at the Church of All Nations. This is currently the time of the 30-minute play, “Love Never Fails.”

5:15 pm – 5:35 pm – Take the guided tour of the Jerusalem Model.

Holy-Land-Experience-Lake

Suggested Schedule for Families with Children

Based on the current, typical schedule, a suggested timeline for a one-day visit is below. This would assure that you would see the highlights.

9:45 am – 10:00 am – Purchase tickets, pass through security, pick up daily schedule, and walk to Calvary’s Tomb.

10:00 am – 10:15 am – Attend Praise and Worship opening ceremony at Calvary’s Tomb.

10:15 am – 10:30 am – Attend the performance of “The Good Shepherd” at The Jerusalem Marketplace.

10:30 am – 10:40 am – Attend Temple Praise at the Temple Plaza.

10:40 am – 10:50 am – Write a prayer and place it in the Wailing Wall replica (on the right as you face Temple Plaza).

10:50 am – 11:00 am – Walk to the Smile of a Child Adventure Land, or walk to meet the Golgotha Walking Tour. (See options at 11:00 am and 2:25 pm for choices.)

11:00 am – 11:25 am – Attend David & Goliath/Jerusalem Jammers in Smile of a Child Adventure Land. (Or, take the 11:00 am – 11:20 am Golgotha Walking Tour. There is one other option for the Golgotha Walking Tour at 2:25 pm, but that is during the Bible Busters game show. So, you will need to eliminate one of these three choices.)

11:25 am – 11:30 am – Walk quickly and directly to the Church of all Nations.

11:30 am – 12:15 pm – Attend a performance at the Church of All Nations. This is currently the time of the musical, “The Prodigal Son.”

12:15 pm – 12:30 pm – Walk through the hallway and admire the Stations of the Cross and the Nativity model.

12:30 pm – 1:20 pm – Have lunch at Esther’s Banquet Table.

1:20 pm – 1:30 pm – Walk to The Scriptorium.

1:30 pm – 2:25 pm – Take the narration-guided walking tour of The Scriptorium.

2:25 pm – 2:40 pm – Participate in the Bible Busters game show at the House of Judea. (Or, take the Golgotha Walking Tour during the second and last tour of the day from 2:25 pm – 2:50 pm.)

2:45 pm – 3:30 pm – Play Trin-i-Tee mini-golf in Smile of a Child Adventure Land.

3:30 pm – 3:45 pm – Walk to Cardo Walk on the right as you face the Church of All Nations.

3:45 pm – 4:00 pm – Attend the Roman Soldier Training Camp at Cardo Walk.

4:00 pm – 4:30 pm – Have a snack at Last Snack beside the pond, but make your way to the Church of all Nations by 4:30 pm.

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm – Attend a performance at the Church of All Nations. This is currently the time of the 30-minute play, “Love Never Fails.”

5:15 pm – 5:35 pm – Take the guided tour of the Jerusalem Model. –OR – Attend the Miracle of the Upper Room. –OR – See the performance of the Wilderness Tabernacle. Each of these begins its last performance of the day at 5:15 pm.

I hope this review and the suggested schedules help you get the most out of your visit to the Holy Land Experience in Orlando. If you would like a printable copy of this information without the pictures, for easy printing, send me an email to cindy@oneperfectdayin.org.

Since I am not affiliated with The Holy Land Experience, be sure to check for the latest updates at the official website here:

https://www.holylandexperience.com

The exact location, hours and contact information for The Holy Land Experience are:

The Holy Land Experience

4655 Vineland Road

Orlando, Florida 32811

Tesday through Saturday 10 am until 6 pm

Phone Number: 800-447-7235

If you would like to check out some of my other posts and podcasts about visiting the Orlando, check out my posts on Disney World, Disney World Hotels and nearby Hotels, Epcot, and Disney Springs at these links:

Disney World Hotels – Resorts in and near Disney

Epcot World Showcase Dining Diagram, Information & Podcast

18 Disney Springs Dining Options with Podcast

Tips for Visiting Disney World in Orlando, Florida

Remember to click the audio bar below if you would like to hear more about my day at the Holy Land Experience as I review the information in this post. Listen to all my podcasts by subscribing to my “One Perfect Day in Travel” podcast on iTunes.

Until next time, I hope all of your travel days are just perfect.

Cindy


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