Following guidance issued pursuant to Kentucky law, guests may make their own determination as to the need to wear a mask (indoors and outdoors) and social distance to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We want everyone to have an enjoyable visit and ask that all guests be respectful of one another (and our staff) regarding the use of a face covering (or not) while at the attraction. All capacity restrictions have been lifted.
It is recommended that you postpone your visit if you have felt sick 24 hours prior to your visit or tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 10 days.
These common questions are answered on our website:
Below are some of the amenities at Ark Encounter, as well as other information to help you make the most of your visit. Our Guest Services team is ready to assist you with any needs during your visit. The Guest Services Information Center is available as you enter the park.
ATMs are available. Ticketing, food venues, and the gift shop accept all major credit cards.
The Ark Encounter is equipped with both air conditioning and heating units to keep the temperature comfortable for our guests.
Combo Ticket Options
Ark Encounter’s restaurant and snack stands feature a variety of delicious food offerings, including options for special needs.
The Ark Encounter is located just a brief drive away from dozens of lodging options. Find the best hotels in the tri-state area.
Motor Coach Parking
Parking is available for RVs and motor coaches during your visit. Overnight parking is not offered.
Parking is $15 for standard vehicles or $20 for oversized vehicles and paid upon entry. Lifetime Boarding passes include free parking.
Pets are not permitted at the Ark Encounter. All service animals are freely admitted. See more information below on service animals. “Comfort,” “therapy,” or “emotional support” animals do not meet the definition of a service animal and are not permitted. Please do not leave pets or service animals in an unattended vehicle for any amount of time. You may wish to find a local pet resort to house your pet for the day (see list below).
This list has been compiled for your convenience from publicly accessible sources. The list may not include all businesses that house pets or reflect the current status of a business. Businesses listed are not endorsed or recommended by Ark Encounter.
|Canine Companion Boarding & Training Center
|13580 Dixie Highway, Walton, KY 41094
|Custom K9 Clips
|605 Hwy 36 W, Williamstown, KY 41097
|Doggie Paddles LLC
|10248 Dixie Highway, Florence, KY 41042
|Happy Spot Pet Resort
|458 Sims Pike, Georgetown, KY 40324
|Kennels of St. Francis
|1532 Eads Road, Verona, KY 41092
|On Point Pet Resort
|3215 Cougar Path, Hebron, KY 41048 (North Bend Rd.)
Planning your visit
Many people ask how much time to allow for a visit to the Ark Encounter and all that it has to offer. You can easily spend at least a whole day visiting the Ark, its zoo, enjoying a meal, and catching one of our dynamic, world-class speakers at the Answers Center. Allow yourself at least 5–6 hours if you can only do a quick visit.
You are able to leave the Ark Encounter and reenter on the same day. Take the shuttle bus back to the parking lot and request a reentry wristband from our Admissions team. They will provide you a specially colored wristband that will allow you to regain entry later that day.
Strollers and Wheelchairs
The Ark is wheelchair- and stroller-friendly. You may bring your own, or Guest Services offers both strollers and wheelchairs for the convenience of all visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.
Single strollers are available for a $10 fee, and double strollers are available for a $12 fee. Manual wheelchairs are available for a $12 fee, and a limited number of Electric Convenience Vehicles (ECVs) are available for a $38 fee. Rental fees include sales tax and are non-refundable.
The tram road is for the shuttle buses only. No personal vehicles are permitted on the road, so you will not be able to drop off your family in front of the Ark Encounter.
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.
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.
Our streaming service, Answers.TV, is a wonderful resource with hundreds of captioned options!
ASL Interpreter for Live Programs
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!
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.
The AnswersBookstore lists a variety of DVDs with captioning and subtitles.
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.
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.
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.
Ramps are located at every entrance and exit door to Ark Encounter. The first entrance features an automatic door.
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.
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.
All restrooms throughout the facility and grounds are accessible. Wheelchair accessible water fountains are also available near the main interior restrooms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
Two tactile experiences are available at the Ark Encounter. Each program is approximately a half-hour in length. These programs include interaction with assorted items from the Ark exhibits or with live animals and biofacts from the Ararat Ridge Zoo. Reserve your spot at least two weeks before your visit to ensure availability!
Contact any staff member in an emergency or non-emergency situation. Basic first aid services are available from the Public Safety Department.
Ark Encounter does have K-9 officers. Please note that these are working dogs and we ask that you not approach them to pet them or talk to them. Their focus cannot be diverted from their job.
Lost and Found
If you believe you may have left something at the Ark Encounter, please contact (859) 727-2222 ext. 222. We’ll do our best to track it down for you. If we find it, we’ll contact you for info regarding pickup or shipping.
Parents with Young Children
Parents, please keep your eye on young children. Please pay attention to signage on exhibits. We do have special hands-on exhibits that children can touch all they want. If your child is missing, please notify the nearest Ark Encounter staff member. Our Public Safety Officers are trained in Code Adam.
Basic vehicle assistance is available, from jump-starting to unlocking vehicles. Contact any staff member or Public Safety Officer if you need vehicle assistance.
To ensure a safe and secure environment for our guests, please observe and respect these rules when visiting the Ark Encounter.
Find your answers below! Fill out our contact form below for additional information.
Our general admission and combo tickets are not date specific and are valid for one year from the date of purchase. No reservations are required to visit because there is plenty of room both inside and outside. Even on our largest attendance day ever, we were still well below one-third of our capacity!
Save with the combo ticket, which is valid for one day at the Creation Museum and one day at the Ark Encounter within a 7-day window. Parking is not included.
3-Day Bouncer Pass
Need more time? The 3-Day Bouncer passes are valid for three days of unlimited visits to both the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter within a seven-day period. The three days do not have to be consecutive. Discounted parking is also available with the purchase of the 3-Day Bouncer Pass and offered during the purchasing process online.
Print at Home
Your tickets will be delivered as a pdf attachment to your confirmation email and can be printed or scanned from your smart device.
Free Child Tickets
Kids (5–10) are free in 2023! Only one adult or senior ticket needs to be purchased for all child tickets in your party to be free. Tickets are required for admission, so visit the General Admission or Combo section to reserve free child tickets for those in your party.
At times the online ticketing store will not function well with certain browsers, such as Internet Explorer. If you are experiencing technical difficulties purchasing tickets online, try switching to another browser or wait a few minutes, refresh the page, and try again.
Fill out our contact form for additional information, or call our guest services department at (888) 582-4253.