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Accessibility Accommodations

The Ark Encounter desires to provide excellent access to each of our guests. If you have questions during your visit, please speak to our Guest Services team—they will be happy to assist you! Please also reference our Accessibility Map on the Ark Encounter Maps Page for additional helpful information.

Service Animals

All service animals are freely admitted to the Ark Encounter. A service animal relief area is located on-site beside Emzara’s Buffet. See our Accessibility Map for the location. Please note that “comfort,” “therapy,” and “emotional support” animals do not meet the definition of a service animal and are not permitted. Additionally, pets are not permitted at the Ark Encounter.

Food at Emzara's Buffet

Dietary

When dining out, we understand how difficult choices can be when trying to avoid certain ingredients, whether it is due to food intolerances, food allergies, or personal choice. We offer both vegetarian and gluten-free options at Emzara’s Buffet. Please visit our Allergen Friendly Information pages for details. And if you have any questions regarding dietary needs during your visit, please request to speak with a restaurant manager—we would be glad to assist you!

People signing in American Sign Language

Hearing

Answers.TV

Our streaming service, Answers.TV, is a wonderful resource with hundreds of captioned options!

ASL Interpreter for Live Programs

ASL interpreters are available for select daily programs on certain days. To view list of dates when ASL interpreters are scheduled, please click here.

Deaf Days

During our annual Deaf Days event, ASL interpreters and Deaf volunteers are available throughout the attraction to answer questions, assist with ticket purchases, interpret the shows and lectures and more!

Exhibits

The Ark Encounter exhibits are very visual and as you walk through them, you will find many video screens with open-captioned, short, educational videos. Much of the audio content in the Ark is available visually in the exhibits.

Store

The AnswersBookstore lists a variety of DVDs with captioning and subtitles.

Theaters

Videos and theaters in the Ark Encounter are almost all captioned. Virtually all videos playing in the Answers Center are captioned or can be upon request.

family walking on wheelchair accessible path

Mobility

The Ark Encounter attraction is fully wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Ararat Ridge Zoo & Children’s Zoo

All of the zoo’s pens are fully viewable via paved trails. The Children’s Zoo pathways are gravel.

Carousel

The deck of this carousel is set flush with the floor and includes a wheelchair securement system for manual wheelchairs. The carousel cannot accommodate motorized wheelchairs. Manual wheelchairs are available if a guest would like to transfer.

Entrances

Ramps are located at every entrance and exit door to Ark Encounter. The first entrance features an automatic door.

Exhibit Access

Virtually every exhibit is wheelchair accessible. A series of gradual ramps takes visitors through Ark Encounter’s main exhibits. An elevator is also available for access between floors.

Parking

We have many accessible parking spaces available in our main parking lot. If you need assistance finding an available space, alert the individual directing traffic.

Restrooms

All restrooms throughout the facility and grounds are accessible. Wheelchair accessible water fountains are also available near the main interior restrooms.

Shuttle Buses

Our rotation of shuttle buses that take you from the parking lot onto the Ark Encounter grounds includes buses that are ADA compliant with doors that are wide enough to allow plenty of space for strollers and wheelchairs.

Shuttle Bus Ramp

Virtual Reality Experience

The Truth Traveler is a 4K virtual reality theater designed to take guests back in time to the days of the biblical Noah to see the building of the ark, the animals loading, and the floodwaters. The virtual reality experience is accessible. Please see more information here.

Sensory

Crowds and Sensory Overload

The Ark Encounter serves thousands of guests each day. Crowds can be congested in the Ark exhibits. Take a break at any time from the exhibits by exiting via the elevator. (See map.) The expansive grounds and gardens, Ararat Ridge Zoo, the playground, and the carousel can be great ways to relax farther away from other guests. You can also plan to arrive at the Ark in the early afternoon to avoid the morning rush, as well as choose to first visit the grounds and zoo, the Answers Center theater and programs (found on your daily schedule), the playground, or the virtual reality show, as most guests will begin with the Ark exhibits. If you purchase a meal while on-site, try to go before noon or in the early afternoon to avoid lunch crowds.

Exhibit Information

The Ark Encounter exhibits are a visual experience with many signs, videos, and displays. There are no flashing or strobe lights inside the Ark. Upon entrance to the exhibits, there is one space created for experiencing what the flood might have been like while onboard the ark. This is a very loud area, complete with thunder sound effects and animal scratching and screeching noises in cages directly beside the guest walkway. If you have concerns about sensory overload here, it is possible to enter the exhibits via the elevator in the ground level Gift Shop. Once you have entered Deck 1, simply turn left to go back toward the beginning of the exhibits. This will allow you to bypass the loud area completely.

Additionally, an exhibit titled, “Kid’s Spooky Animal Encounters” on Deck 2 is a children’s exhibit designed to experience being on the ark at night with animals on board. There are puffs of air in this exhibit, as well as background animal sounds, mirrors in the walls, and a jump-scare spot where a growling jaguar lights up in the dark. See more information in our Accessibility Map.

Sensory Kits, Noise-Reducing Earmuffs and Earplugs

For guests with sensory sensitivities, complimentary sensory kits, as well as noise-reducing earmuffs and earplugs, are available. Earmuffs and earplugs can be accessed at the admissions building upon arrival, the Answers Center Guest Services desk, and the Guest Services booth in the queue line to the Ark exhibits entrance. Sensory kits can be accessed at the Answers Center Guest Services Desk. Simply provide the Ark team with your name and phone number to utilize these options during your visit. All items can be returned to the Answers Center Guest Services desk before boarding the bus for your departure.

(Note: Reservation of these options is not necessary.)

Virtual Reality Experience

The Truth Traveler is a 4K virtual reality theater designed to take guests back in time to the days of the biblical Noah to see the building of the ark, the animals loading, and the flood waters—all from a comfortable seat. This theater is much like a ride, and guests should be aware of this safety advisory before attempting.

Blind man feeling textured dinosaur

Visual

Audio

Experience the 510-foot-long reconstruction of Noah’s ark with filmmaker Peter Schriemer. Discover behind-the-scenes facts about this architectural wonder and get answers to your questions about the ark, the flood, and animals from the world-class exhibits, all while discovering the jaw-dropping size of this enormous structure. Outside, you’ll explore the beautiful grounds and meet the exotic animals in Ararat Ridge Zoo, including lemurs, kangaroos, camels, and more. Millions have visited the world-class Ark Encounter. Listen to the audio recording as you walk through the Ark or visit for the first time from your living room with this fascinating tour of the world’s largest timber-frame structure.

If you are listening while walking through the Ark, don't forget to bring a pair of earbuds or headphones!

Braille Readers

We are pleased to offer BRF files for portable braille readers. The content includes signage from each teaching deck inside the Ark Encounter. Click here to download and use these files for your braille reader.

Braille Books

Braille books are available on each of the three decks of the Ark, and include the text from the exhibits signs. Simply ask a Guest Services staff member for assistance upon reaching each deck.

Tactile Experiences

Two separate tactile experiences are available at the Ark Encounter. Each program is approximately a half hour in length.

  • The Ark Encounter Tactile Experience includes interaction with assorted items from the Ark exhibits.
  • The Ararat Ridge Zoo Tactile Experience allows guests to “tour” the zoo’s animal and biofact collections.

See more information and sign up at the links below!

Still Need Help?

Fill out our contact form for additional information, or call our guest services department at (888) 582-4253.