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“Polar Express Dec 13, 2013” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad

Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad
Streetsboro Road, Peninsula, OH 44131
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Ranked #2 of 9 attractions in Peninsula
Type: Scenic Railroads
Attraction Details
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Polar Express Dec 13, 2013”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2013

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.

Visited December 2013
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180 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Claysville, Pennsylvania, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Polar Express”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2013

My husband & I took our two daughters, 10 & 6, on the Polar Express train. We had an awesome time. We were entertained from the moment we stepped foot on the train. We sang Christmas songs, drank hot chocolate, ate chocolate chip cookies, visited the North Pole & even met Santa Claus! The kids participated in a "pajama parade" with the other children & made some new friends. Each child received a special bell from Santa and the Engineer punched each childs name on their ticket. The "helper elves" were very friendly & helpful. We hope to return again next year.

Visited December 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alexandria, Virginia
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Mr. Jingaling's Holiday Express - save yourself the disappointment and take the Polar Express instead.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2013 via mobile

Not fun, barely any entertainment for the kids, NO HEAT (28 degrees outside). If you do go, pack a blanket, warm coat and snacks.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ashtabula, Ohio
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
“Polar Express”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2013

I took my boys and niece (ages 4-10) on the Polar Express. I took them by myself because their seating is in groups of 4 and did not want to make my husband or mom sit by themselves with some other family across the aisle. They recommend that you get there at 6 to assure your seat locations (Seats are not preassigned with the purchase of the ticket. It would be so much easier if they were.) Due to bad weather and rush hour traffic we arrived around 6:25. (Be sure to factor rush hour into your commute. I forgot to do so.) Luckily, there was a section of 4 seats available for us. If you plan to go to the gift shop or get concessions you should really be there at 6. I don't think it's necessary to pay the extra money to have a table. They give you your hot chocolate in a small cup with a lid and cookie in a bag. The hot chocolate is just warm when you get it, so it doesn't need to sit anywhere to cool down. You can easily manage those items without a table. I would recommend bringing some bottled water. By the time you arrive an hour early and enjoy the 2-hour train ride, you can get pretty parched. Also, the bathroom on board was surprisingly spacious. I was expecting something like an airplane. It isn't lovely, but it is big enough for a mom to take her child in there, lock the door, and still have room to give them some privacy. The elves on our car were very friendly and fun. They took a group photo for us and talked to the kids. They gave out nice Christmas carol booklets with pages in the back for the elves to autograph, but they waited until the end to hand them out so there wasn't much time for signing. Only the kids got them, too, which was confusing since most of the kids were not of reading age. The families beside us had clearly been there before and were prepared. They brought their own copies of The Polar Express story to follow along as the story was being read. They also had Santa sign their books when he came to visit. I thought the North Pole was really neat. It was impressive to see the efforts of the elves (volunteers). There were at least 20 of them at the North Pole in all sorts of costumes. Playing, throwing snow balls, blowing bubbles....My kids loved their gold tickets (we asked Santa to sign them) and the Polar Express bells. (They are nice quality jingle bells with Polar Express inscribed on them.) All in all, I think this Polar Express ride is what you make of it. We made our Polar Express day an experience. We bought new pjs and had dinner on the way. We joined in with the fun and singing. We oohed and aahed at the North Pole and listened attentively to the story. It will be a great memory for us.

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
1 review
“Polar express is highly overrated.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2013 via mobile

We were excited to take my son (4) and daughter (20 months) on the Polar Express. I upgraded to the Parlour Car thinking it would make my experience better with 2 small kids. The Bathroom was broken and were we're advised to go into the other car but not during the ride because we would interrupt their activities. Which was a huge problem with a small child... The train car was HOT and they did have the air conditioning on. It made the 2 hour ride and 1 hour wait VERY uncomfortable. The hot chocolate was cold.
The elves were very happy but I felt a bit rude at times with passenger interactions. I know they are volunteers but they don't have to be rude. Over all I would never recommend it and I would never do it again. This is our second time on the train we did the Thomas the Train ride which was also a huge let down. I don't have any intention of ever riding this train again!!

Visited November 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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