Will San Diego Get A Bible-Inspired Theme Park?

By Nserrano (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
By Nserrano (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Televangelist Morris Cerullo wants to build a Bible-themed resort in San Diego.

Morris Cerullo, the controversial televangelist, will join ranks of other Christ themed real estate entrepreneurs when he completes his San Diego Christian themed resort in California. The place will also accommodate the new ministry headquarters along with a biblical museum. There will be hologram equipped catacombs and a wailing wall of 20 feet height.

Will San Diego Get A Bible-Inspired Theme Park?[/tweetthis]

Cerullo, a Pentecostal preacher, has purchased the Mission Valley hotel, which foreclosed in 2012. He now hopes that his faithful followers and religious-minded tourists will pay a visit to his Christian themed resort, which will transport them to times when the activities in the bible took place. Ancient rooms will be evoked by underground passages. There will also be a domed theater fitted with sensory effects mimicking fog, wind and snow. There will also be full-motion seats.

The resort is estimated to cost $125 million and requires approval from the San Diego City Council. It pledges to transform am 18 acre area into a go to destination for tourists, which it hopes to attract about 400,000 visitors every year. Cerullo says, not every one of those will come attracted by the Gospel. According to Jim Penner of Morris Cerullo Legacy Center, the concept of themed entertainment will reach into the waterfront and the museums. He added that the park is a business model constructed around the religious themes and not on secular ones.

If the idea of such a theme park is more like Disney than Deuteronomy, then it is intentional. Cerullo has appointed Visioneering Studios, whose heads are ex-Disney personnel, to conceive and construct the project.   

The project has its inspiration from an already existing Mission Valley resort. The project may suffer an uphill struggle to be a destination for all travelers to San Diego. According to Robert Niles of the Theme Park Insider, a quick browse through commercial history has shown that such projects are incapable of smashing beyond the evangelical Christian market. People are afraid of being proselytized via technology and will not come even if there is a whiff of it.

This venture by Cerullo will compete with a few of the largest names in the U.S. The Magic Kingdom of Disney stable attracts in excess of 18 million visitors every year. It has about 60,000 cast members. Cerullo's claim to fame is his ability to perform healing which are described by him as “miraculous.” None of them, however, have been substantiated by doctors.


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