First of all, there are a lot more gift shops and snack bars in Noah’s Ark than I expected. I would love to rant endlessly about that and other disappointing aspects of our nearly $100 visit to the Biblical fantasy land called Ark Encounter. Instead, I will attempt to limit this story to helpful tips for those of you who may be planning to visit this Ark. By the way, that $100 admission fee includes senior discounts for both of us. You will pay more if you are younger. And no, we did not succumb to the gift shop toll gate exiting the vessel. No trinkets or refreshments are included in our total cost.
A Too Long Voyage
Our adventure begins in the parking lot. Acres of asphalt so poorly marked for RVs, Storm struggles to find a parking space. We cannot see the Ark from the parking lot. I believe there is a good reason for that. I think that like me, most folks would just stop and take a picture of the impressive structure from the road forgoing the expensive tour if that were possible.
Heck, $10 to park for a photo would have been deal compared to the tour cost! Instead, a shuttle bus ride of about a mile is required to get a glimpse of the Ark. From there, a self guided tour begins in the hull and gradually works its way up in altitude and preachy volume.
I Want to Abandon Ship!
After walking about an hour, we reach the Lido deck of this crowded, noisy vessel. Just kidding, there are no swimming pools on this boat, darn it! At this point, I would gladly pay double for an immediate seat on the tepidly cooled bus returning to the parking lot. Like the frustrated children who reach the upper deck only to discover that “this is it,” I want out!
There is no ride??!! No, just endless creationist info panels on the walls to read. Weird, vaguely similar, plastic animal statues in cages loudly provide snarling accompaniment. For the exorbitant admission, I expect a short cruise. At least give me a pair of earplugs to drown out Dolby Digital TV Noah who is Surround Sound assaulting my eardrums! By the time I manage to artfully pirouette through the army of scooters and militant baby strollers, I am ready for some serious evolution out of here.
Tips for Your Visit
Departing, we miss the faded markings for the RV exit so Storm has to dangle upside down from the RV window to reach the car level exit card scanner. Each vehicle must overcome this obstacle as proof that their $10 parking surcharge is paid. If you are in an RV when you visit be sure to get specific instructions to exit through the tall gate.
So what advice do I have for folks passing this way? This park is devoted to gaining converts to creationism. If you have always wanted more info on these beliefs, you should come here. If you have been to the Ark and enjoyed this attraction – great!! Good for you! If your church is planning a pilgrimage here, definitely join them. Maybe you will get a group discount!
If you find yourself here against against your better judgement (as happened to us), don’t despair. Kentucky thoughtfully placed a number of distilleries within a short drive from the Ark. Save what money you have left after this adventure and take a Boubon tour with tasting. You are gonna need it!