- It’s grossly overpriced.
- “It’s just a large building in a shape you don’t typically see large buildings in.”
The “extremely optimistic queueing area” — you wend your way through a maze of fences intended to restrain a mob…and you’re one of the few people there.
“The first proper exhibit on the Ark is a room containing lots of wooden cages with model animals in them.” It’s another pointless waiting area. A lot of the cages don’t bother to have fake animals in them — they just play animal noises.
“But, unfortunately, with the exception of three dioramas, all of that is depicted using a bunch of pictures and text on boards stuck to the wall.” There are virtually no real exhibits inside.
“Once you’re done reading the signs on the wall of the pre-flood world section, you head on to the next attraction: a bunch of signs on walls.”
“The Ark has two screening areas that, during my visit, played two movies on loop.” I skipped the movies. From the description, I didn’t miss anything.
Did I mention the signs on the walls? “Room after room after room of signs. More signs than have ever been gathered in one place before.”
They have a new addition! “One of the newer additions to the Ark is an exhibit made to look like a graphic novel that tells the story of some college kids questioning their faith (spoiler alert: God turns out to be cool, actually).” Unfortunately, it’s just another variation on a theme. “Ken Ham described the exhibit as “like walking through the pages of a book.” An alternative description would be “like reading a bunch of signs stuck to a wall.””
Aside from the incompetent, boring collection of didactic exhibits, they note another feature of the content: it’s all written by regressive, homophobic Christian fundamentalists.
Anti-LGBTQ bigotry is a big attraction at the theme park, and is smattered generously throughout.
All people who volunteer or work at the park are required to sign a “statement of faith” which explicitly prohibits them from employment if they’re gay, bi, or a person who has “attempt[ed] to alter [their] gender by surgery or appearance.”
During my visit, I saw multiple ads for something the Ark is hosting called “Sacred: Embracing God’s Design for Sexuality” which appears to be some sort of transphobic gay conversion event.
It’s no wonder that attendance has been declining, but there’s an interesting tension here: they are catering to narrow audience that doesn’t want information or entertainment, they want nothing but affirmation that their rotten beliefs are valid, and the Ark Park is a massive, expensive false signal that they’re right. It hasn’t collapsed as fast as it should if it were judged on its merits as a museum and a park, but that’s not what it is or ever has been. It’s a costly signal for a dying, contemptible culture. It will continue to draw in revenue from the fading tatters of that group.