Rode the Polar Express with our 5 year old granddaughter on Dec 13. Very nice experience. Well organized. Impressed with the volume of volunteers this venue uses. A huge commitment because it runs everyday. Thank you to all the volunteers!
Our train car was very warm and comfortable. A bathroom in each car. Food is available for purchase before the train leaves the station, or you can bring food with you.
I purchased my tickets on ebay since the train was sold out. ( I tried to buy tickets on Nov 17th so...buy early!) This concerned me a bit. Found out when we arrived it was a charter car purchased by a charity and resold as a fundraiser. No issues with our tickets when we boarded the train.
Plenty of parking. I would board the train between 6- 6:15pm for your choice of seats.
In my opinion, 5 is the perfect age for this experience. Definitely read the book and/or watch the movie prior. They give each child a "golden ticket" that the conductor comes around and punches. About 5 elves and a conductor were assigned to our car, and they made sure everyone was having a good time. They read a shortened version of the Polar Express, served cookies and hot chocolate, lead the singing Christmas songs, organized a Pajama Parade. A visit by Santa near the end of the ride. He sat down with each child and gave them a Polar Express bell.
Tips: They do turn the lights off in the train car when the train approaches The North Pole. It is dark in the cars, if that is an issue with your child. One Grandma, who had ridden in previous years, brought a bag of bendable drinking straws for the "hot" chocolate...very helpful! Bring your Polar Express book for autographs, although they give you a Christmas song book that doubles as an autograph book. All the children in our car wore pajamas.
The seats are in a configuration of 4, facing each other. It would be a really tight fit for 4 adults...leg room is non existent. That is my only negative comment. It is not an issue if you have 2 adults and 2 children that can sit across from each other. I am sure each train car is different.
Overall a great experience. Highly recommend.
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