It has been pretty well documented that the Ark Encounter attendance has been underwhelming. Ken Ham, the park’s owner, has compared it to Disney World, saying it’s the Christian version of the park that will forever change the future of theme park. Which it will, in that no one is ever going to waste their time building a theme park based on a biblical story again.
The park is crazy empty, all the time, even on opening day. Ham himself tweeted out a photo of the VIP, media preview day instead of the grand opening because attendance was so tiny. The park averaged about 5,000 people per day over its opening weekend.
So why is it so empty?
Well, according to Ham, it just feels it!
“The crowds at the Ark have been big, but the Ark itself is so huge that it doesn’t feel overwhelming or crowded inside. Just like Noah’s Ark had plenty of room for all the animals and supplies, our Ark has plenty of room for thousands and thousands of guests,” he wrote on his blog.Oh, okay, so the empty lines to buy tickets are because there are so many ticket windows that no one is at any of them?
He said in the same post that the park got 9,000 guests in a single day this weekend, but then said that only 6,000 went to the Ark, the others to the Creation Museum.
We can be assured Ham is rounding up his numbers and is likely staggering at the 5,000 mark during the weekend. However, to reach his 2 million visitor estimate, he needs almost 6,000 per day, not just per weekend.
Ham is trying hard to excuse the small crowds, but the truth is, no one wants to travel to nowheresville to visit a landlocked boat.
Not to mention the majority of the park isn’t even built. Travel all the way there, pay $40 and then see 1/4 of a park. In his same post, he talks about all the things it will have, eventually, and urges people to come back again. Something tells me the addition of a theater, a walled city, and a new restaurant is not going to be enough to get people to travel back.
Swing and a miss.
Note: I always link to my sources, but Ken Ham has gone out of his way to quote me on his blog, at length, while never mentioning my name or linking to my blog. So, I have decided to do the same, his site doesn’t need any more traffic.