Reuters – Amsterdam
Capitalizing upon the recent resurgence of Calvinistic theology among young people through out the world, the Dutch Parliament, with cooperation from the Walt Disney Company, plan to develop a Calvinistic theme park.
“There really has been a renewed interest in Jean Calvin and Calvinistic theology,” stated Joop Atsma, the politician who sponsored the move to build the theme park. “Every year we have many, many American tourists in particular, visiting the Netherlands and the historic, Calvinistic areas. I thought, why not make a theme park on the subject.”
Because there is a shortage of land for such an enormous undertaking, an artificial island in the shape of a tulip will be built. “A tulip shaped island is the natural choice for the theme park,” explained Atsma, “because it is not only the national flower, but also the acronym for Calvin’s theology.
The Imagineering division of The Walt Disney Company has been hired to develop the many different themed attractions which will be showcased on the man-made island. The state of the art attractions will allow visitors to revisit important moments in Reformation history including the “Here I stand” speech by Martin Luther, the meeting of the Synod of Dort, and the trial and execution of Servetus. In “The Hall of Reformers” the major, historical Reformers of the Christian Church like Zwingli, Huss, and Tyndale will come to life in animatronic likenesses with an animatronic version of London Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, rising to preach one of his classic sermons to the entire group including the human audience.
There is also planned an alternative Arminian fantasy land where Calvinist visitors can experience the Arminian stereotypes of their theology. The highlight of this venue will be “Dave Hunt’s Wild Ride,” which is being advertised as one of the most advanced roller coasters ever built. The twist with this ride, however, is that once the person has waited over an hour or more in a long line to get the opportunity to ride the roller coaster, and even if he really, really wants to ride, he may be turned away at the last moment before he is allowed to get on depending upon the whim of the operator.
Atsma further said the island will be large enough for future expansion to include water parks, hotels, pubs, and cigar shops.
If all goes as decreed, Calvin Island should be welcoming its first tourists by summer 2009.