Recently I’ve made two trips back to the Ark Encounter with friends from out of state. (perks of living relatively close). It’s been a few years since my original article on the Ark Encounter went live and it, understandably, remains one of my most popular articles. Since it’s been a while since I’d been to the Ark, I wanted to write down my thoughts on the massive ship and see if it is worth repeated visits.
Before getting into my opinions on the Ark having been to it multiple times, I want to emphatically state it is worth at least one visit. Every visitor I have taken to the Ark Encounter is blown away by the size, the scope, and the grandeur of the project. The most common word I hear is “wow”. One visitor commented that the Ark exhibits were something akin to information overload. They had thought of everything and every possible objection a skeptic could use was refuted. It is well worth a trip if you have not been there yet. With that out of the way, let’s get into the changes.
The first and most obvious change since two years ago is the completion of the large Answers Center. On most other properties, the Answers Center would be massive. It could easily fit thousands of people. In addition, the lobby doubles as a massive bookstore. One of my small complaints with the Ark when I previously visited was that there were not a ton of resources available in the gift shop, while souvenirs abounded. This is no longer an issue as there is an abundance of apologetics material available at the Ark. The Answers Center also hosts various programs, including at least one full-length apologetics talk per day, which provides visitors an opportunity to learn about various topics related to the creation apologetics issue.
A second smaller, less noticeable upgrade is the zoo at the Ark. When I was previously there, it was hard to call it a zoo, with few non-domesticated animals, other than a few signature Australian animals. This has changed, as more animals have been added and the zoo looks significantly nicer than it did a few years ago.
There have been a few other upgrades as well. There small, stand-alone bird aviaries on the walk-up path to the Ark, along with some large pillars carved in ancient style with inscriptions on them. The gardens also look significantly better now that they have had a few years to get them arranged the way they want them.
Other than that, little has changed at the Ark Encounter. This is hardly a surprise. The message of the Bible has not changed so it is not surprising that people who stand on the authority of the Scriptures have not changed their stance either. There are a few minor changes inside the Ark Encounter, including a small fair trade shop on the second deck, an additional food spot or two and a cross beamed onto the inner door of the Ark for pictures, little has changed. Honestly, that’s a really good thing. The two films I talked about in my last article about the Ark are both still there and remain excellent. Having seen them a few times, I’m beginning to pick out subtle nuances and bits of humor that I missed in my first watch. These films definitely should be on your list of things to watch. The ambiance is also excellent. I had multiple comments about how good the Ark is at drawing you into the pre-flood world and the Flood itself.
After now four trips through the Ark, I can say it is worth experiencing again. It’s not something to go to every week, or month but multiple trips a year are no out of the question. You will learn something every time you go due to the sheer volume of information presented. And they are continuing to make improvements to the Ark facilities themselves. The Answers Center is just one example of this. It’s definitely worth going back to the Ark if you’ve already been. It continues to grow and advance as it continues in its mission to educate the church about the truth of the Bible, starting in Genesis. We continue to recommend the Ark highly if you are searching for answers to apologetics questions.