Dubbed the Ark Encounter, a full-scale Noah’s Ark attraction and theme park opened on July 7, 2016 in northern Kentucky.
Constructed with the dimensions described in the Bible in the book of Genesis, the life-size Noah’s ark replica sits in Williamstown in Grant County between Cincinnati and Lexington on I-75. It is the only Noah’s Ark theme park of its kind in America.
The amusement park is the work of Creationist Ken Ham, the park’s founder. Ham designed the ark encounter theme park to serve as a Creationism educational tool. Ham set out to build a replica of the ark Noah would’ve have built and used.
Questions on the Ark Encounter site ask, “How big was Noah’s Ark? How did Noah fit all the animals on Earth on board? How did Noah feed and care for all the animals? How did Noah build the Ark?” As the site explains, “We built the full-size Noah’s Ark to answer these questions—and more!”
The Noah’s ark theme park not only includes the 510-feet long, 85-feet wide and 51-feet high biblical ark replica as dictated by God to Noah in the Bible, but also a zoo with live animals and a museum. It’s roughly the size of one football field and some change.
Controversial employee regulations
The park is already “making waves” over the strict Statement of Faith all employees are required to sign. The contract requires employees to disavow homosexuality and pre-marital relations and agree with all aspects of Creationism.
Kentucky state officials denied Ark Encounter tax breaks in 2014. However, the ministry behind the attraction filed a lawsuit, claiming the ruling infringed on their constitutional rights. The state of Kentucky has since granted the creation museum up to $18 million in tax incentives due to its “religious purpose and message.” Hundreds of people are expected to be employed, as long as they’re okay with signing the Statement of Faith that is.
Tickets for the Christian theme park start at $40 for a single day adult ticket, but if pass holders feel the need to have an annual pass, it will cost $100. There is also an option to purchase combo tickets to the ark’s sister attraction, the Creation Museum, a 75,000-square-foot space that explores biblical history including the dinosaurs.