Ark Encounter of the Worst Kind

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 Fudge Shop conveniently located in the hold of the Ark

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!

Most of the scenes were motionless like this one, but lots of loud sound effects were used to make up for the lack of animation!

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!

Before Boarding

About Sunny Weathers

Pilot, motorcyclist and full time RVer. Follow me as I travel all over the US in my Country Coach RV volunteering, making new friends and pursuing a constant outdoor temperature between 70F and 80F. I'll share the fun and the tribulations and any great survival tricks I learn!

6 Replies to “Ark Encounter of the Worst Kind”

  1. Jim & Sandy Dukeman says: Reply

    Tis sometimes better to see something you don’t like, than to always wonder if you would have if you did. ;>) GOD BLESS

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      I agree with you Jim and was operating under that assumption. I am not sure Storm is ever going to forgive me though. I think dangling from his window to leave was too much :-)!

  2. Wish we could have advised you. I think Ken Ham is a shyster. We have avoided that and the nearby creation museum. Our stupid governor gave Ham big tax breaks to get the 2 attractions there thinking it would be a money maker for the state. Then Ham tried to have them designated a religious establishment to avoid paying taxes. The attendance has never been as high as expected, and it is not someplace people see more than once.

  3. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

    Thanks Fanny! I wish we had talked to you guys. At first I thought it was just me then we started reading more about this place and realized it was not just us. I hate to write a negative post, but feel like it would not be right if I did not warn my friends.

  4. This is some of your best work.

    The “ARC” makes me think of what my friend Thich Nhat Hahn says, “The purpose of a toothache is to teach us how wonderful life is without a toothache.”

    Amusing to think of Storm all contorted and hanging down from the Operator’s side window, left hand sliding down the outside wall of the stagecoach, his body secured only by the clasp of his giant belt buckle caught in the window frame, the soles of his size 13’s seeking purchase in the thin air, while his right hand clutches some proof hopefully sufficient to show the scanner he did not cheat to park. We are lucky to have him still with us. Kentucky is a crazy world all will agree.

    Anyone tempted to drive near the Ark would be well advised to detour instead to the wonderful little town of Mt. Sterling, KY, which has a great hot dog and ice cream shop called Berryman’s, and a history of being on both sides of the Civil War. Apparently, the opposing cousins took turns robbing the Town bank, and there is a great yard sign posted right downtown to prove it. I usually land there on the way to Oshkosh, borrow the crew car, (which is a HUMMER!), and go to town for cheese and chili dogs. I highly recommend it, especially as a substitute for, or an antidote to the Ark’s fudge shop.

    N. Clement

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      Thank you for the compliment but my work pales compared to yours! My sides are splitting from the picture you paint of Storm at the scanner!! Thanks for the tips for our next trip. The weird thing is that except for the Ark, Storm loved this part of Kentucky (Wild Turkey may have had something to do with that!). We will definitely return to the Lexington area and will be sure to visit Mt. Sterling while we are there.

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