ORLANDO, Fla. – The Holy Land Experience in Orlando will undergo some changes this spring ending theatrical productions and entertainment at the Christian-based theme park.
Trinity Broadcasting Networks said in a news release Wednesday that starting on April 19, the theme park with nonprofit status will focus more of its efforts on highlighting the Biblical museum, The Scriptorium, and history-changing religious figures.
“This is not The Holy Land closing it’s doors for good,” said Nathan Daniels, TBN’s Marketing Director. “This is just pivoting back to its original intention and reassessing how we want to use the property moving forward.”
Daniels told News 6 all theatrical shows will end on April 18. Due to the changes, performers will be laid off but he couldn’t give an exact number of employees. Based on a performer’s tenure they will set up to six months severance pay.
“The exact number of people who are being let go are still influx,” Daniels said. “What I can say is that we care deeply about the team members who have been with us at The Holy Land Experience and we are offering generous severance packages.”
Management at Holy Land are also re-evaluating “the best and most efficient use of the property, assessing other economic opportunities, including redevelopment," according to Holy Land general manager Mike Everett.
TBN officials said they are not opposed to selling the property and maintain it will not become an “eyesore” as they reassess the possibility of redevelopment.
“We are not putting a for sale sign up front but we are considering and are open to all opportunities on how best to leverage this park,” Daniels said.
The religious experience at Vineland and Conroy Roads near The Mall at Millenia draws hundreds of people every year for the park’s annual free admission day, allowing the organization to keep its tax-exempt status. A “charity day” for 2020 has not been finalized yet but officials said it will happen before April 18.
“The change will refocus the park on its original plan and function,” Holy Land Experience general manager Mike Everett said in a statement. "The Scriptorium, which holds rare and unique biblical artifacts and a scale model of ancient Jerusalem and the City of David, will continue to serve as the park’s main educational attractions, and LiVe Church Orlando will maintain use of The Holy Land Experience’s facilities for their church services at The Church of All Nations theater.”
The Holy Land Experience will no longer sell group tickets or annual passes and will refund group sales after April 18, park officials said. After the change, TBN officials say ticket prices will drop.
“We understand that changing the nature of the park will change the value of the park as well,” Daniels said. “We haven’t said exactly what that price will be.”
According to The Holy Land Experience’s current entertainment schedule, guests can hear from Maria Magdalena—a young woman traveling down the wrong path—, join Peter on his journey to Rome and witness the resurrection of Lazarus.
The park features the largest indoor replica of Jerusalem in the world, three gift shops and several food courts, according to its website.