Ark Encounter to Open Bible Space Time Traveling Attraction In Tennessee

the ark in kentucky beside a conceptual rendering of the truth traveler in tennessee

The creators of the Ark Encounter are bringing a bit of the Ark to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee with their popular VR experience, Truth Traveler (CMS Photography/media photo by Truth Traveler Pigeon Forge)

The minds behind the Ark Encounter in Kentucky are set to bring a “flood of reality” to East Tennessee

I’ve done religion-based tourism since I was a kid. As a result, I can say I view each new project with a certain degree of hesitation. For every positive experience – like the youth group trip to the Ozarks to see a passion play or the former Christus Gardens in Gatlinburg – there has been an experience that left me feeling less than swathed in the glory of the Lord. In other words, not every Christian-themed attraction feels like it has Christ at the center. 

And so, when I heard about Truth Traveler, the time machine virtual reality experience coming to Pigeon Forge in 2025, I felt a combination of interest and skepticism. But having learned more about the attraction, I have to say I am intrigued. 

From the people behind the Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Ky., comes the Truth Traveler. A virtual reality experience designed to take visitors to biblical scenes throughout time. It is part thrill ride, virtual reality experience and part Bible lesson. 

Entrance of the Pigeon Forge Truth Traveler
The Truth Traveler will feature a VR experience and planetarium (media photo courtesy of Truth Traveler Pigeon Forge)

About the new attraction

Truth Traveler is a $15.5 million, 26,000-square-foot facility. It is located in the former location of the China & Gift Mart on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. The experience can accommodate about 100 people in groups of 12. It will also have a planetarium to zoom visitors through the vastness that is outer space. 

The VR experience will transport riders throughout time. Guests can visit Noah’s Ark, the Tower of Babel and the Garden of Eden as well as the birth of Christ. Or more likely shortly after the birth of Christ. The facility is expected to open in early 2025. There is also a similar experience planned for Branson, Missouri. 

“The VR experience will transport riders throughout time. Guests can visit Noah’s Ark, the Tower of Babel and the Garden of Eden as well as the birth of Christ. Or more likely shortly after the birth of Christ.”

– John Gullion, Contributor, TheSmokies.com
Truth Traveler Guests and Virtual Reality Fun
The Ark Encounter in Kentucky already has a Truth Traveler VR experience. We are expecting a similar, albeit larger version, of this experience in Pigeon Forge (media photo courtesy of Truth Traveler Pigeon Forge)

Is it like the Ark Encounter?

The Truth Traveler is the brainchild of the people behind the Ark Encounter in Williamsburg, Kentucky, a group known as Answers in Genesis. The Ark Encounter is a massive life-size version of Noah’s Ark. It serves to offer scientific proof of the truth of the Bible.

It controversially shows animals that we call dinosaurs today as living during the time of Noah. And also housed on the Ark. In addition to the Ark – which serves to show how Noah and his family kept and cared for the 6,744 animals on the Ark – there is the Creation Museum. The museum is a 75,000-square-foot sister attraction that brings the pages of the Bible to life. 

The Ark Encounter already has a Truth Traveler VR experience. The one in Kentucky is themed specifically to the building of the Ark and the time of the great flood. The one in Pigeon Forge will be more expansive in its biblical journey. 

inside the truth traveler guests walk around in a time machine
Early conceptual drawings of the Truth Traveler attraction seem to promise an Ark-like immersive experience (media photo courtesy of Truth Traveler Pigeon Forge)

How much will the Truth Traveler cost? 

That has yet to be determined. The experience in Kentucky goes from $12.50 for kids to $16.50 for adults. However, it does not include the planetarium which may increase the cost of the Pigeon Forge ride or be an additional experience. The Truth Traveler is planning its debut for 2025.

Are you planning a trip to the Smoky Mountains? Be sure to check out our coupons page for area promos.

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