Holy Land Experience offers free admission

Large crowd packs Orlando theme park

Author: John Ambrogne, Executive Producer, jambrogne@wkmg.com
Published On: Jan 28 2014 12:09:42 AM EST   Updated On: Jan 28 2014 05:34:36 PM EST
ORLANDO, Fla. -

Large crowds packed Holy Land Experience as the park offered free admission to its guests.

Normally, admission to the Orlando park is $45, but the park filled to capacity 30 minutes after opening on Tuesday.

Every year, the religious-themed park is required to offer one day of free admission in order to qualify for a property tax exemption that saves the attraction hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A line started forming at 6 a.m., four hours after the park opened, and the park was forced to close its doors once 2,000 people filed inside.

"We just wanted to come out here and spend time with the family and teach the kids about Jesus," Domingo Gonzalez said.  "It's going to be crowded as it is, so I'm glad I got here early.  We skipped breakfast to get here on time.  I guess you call it fasting."

Previous free admission days have also drawn thousands and caused traffic backups in the area of the park, which is located off Interstate 4 at the Conroy Road exit.

In years past, guests in line who couldn't get in because the park was filled to capacity were given vouchers for free admission at another time.