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“Great Experience!”

Grand Canyon Railway
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$139.99*
and up
Grand Canyon Railway Adventure Package
Ranked #1 of 37 things to do in Williams
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Historic train that takes a 65-mile trip from Williams to the Grand Canyon and offers great views of the Arizona high country.
Reviewed December 10, 2013

Just recently went on the Polar Express. It was great! We took my 13 month old and went with my cousin and her 2 year old. They both had a blast. We went on the 5:30p train and I think that is the best time. I think the 7pm train would be a little too late for the younger kids. The cold weather made it even a better experience. You each get 1 cookie and 1 cup of hot chocolate. I think they should offer you a cookie on the way up and on the way back for the price you pay, but I guess you are paying of the experience not the snacks. :) On the way up to the "north pole" I think the staff could get everyone more involved. Looking around I could see some kids getting a little bored. On the way back to the station they sing songs and get everyone in the spirit. I would definitely do it again next year.

Thank ShellyMaranaAZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xanterra, Public Relations Manager at Grand Canyon Railway, responded to this reviewResponded December 12, 2013

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience with us on the Polar Express! Each year we make improvements to the ride based on our passenger feedback, and I will make sure to pass along your comments to Polar Express staff. We hope you'll ride with us again next year.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,723 - 6,727 of 7,764 reviews

Reviewed December 8, 2013

Someone gave us comp coach class tickets (worth $75 each) and we upgraded to first class (an additional $150). We were staying in Flagstaff which is only a 35 minute drive to Williams. When we arrived, there was a "Wild West show" which we thought would be lame, but it was actually entertaining and the performers were quite decent. Our train car was The Anasazi, which was beautifully refurbished with super comfy seats. They took great pains to make the train as authentic as possible from the days when lots of people rode trains. I remember taking trains as a kid, and this trip brought back fond memories. First class served a continental breakfast with sweet rolls, fruit, coffee, and juice, and in the afternoon we got cheese, crackers, veggies, and beverages. Luckily the day was sunny and bright and the scenery was great. Once at the Grand Canyon, we spent a little over three hours walking along the edge of the canyon, and looking in some shops and galleries. Naturally we took lots of pictures.

Each car had a hostess, traveling musicians, and actors from the wild west show who interacted with the tourists. On the way back, the train stopped in the middle of nowhere, and outside our train were three outlaws from the wild west show on horseback. They boarded the train and roamed the cars, followed by the Marshall who attempted to arrest them.

It sounds like the Grand Canyon Railway spared no expense refurbishing the cars, and hiring quality entertainers and staff (most of whom were in authentic costumes.) That said, our particular hostess was extremely irritating; laughing constantly and telling dumb jokes for most of the ride.

Overall, The Grand Canyon Railway is a class act!

3  Thank CAgirrrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xanterra, Public Relations Manager at Grand Canyon Railway, responded to this reviewResponded December 12, 2013

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your experience with us. You might be interested to know that all of our vintage passenger cars were purchased and refurbished individually by our own staff right here in Williams. For example, the Anasazi was originally built in 1950 and used on the Golden State Limited, Amtrak, and the Santa Fe Southern Railroad for several years before GCR acquired it in 1998. We're glad you enjoyed your trip, and we hope to have you as our guests again sometime soon.

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Reviewed December 7, 2013

The excitement was there for 5 adults and 2 children. We had the 3:30 train. There was one resturant to get a bite, a mexican buffet for $12. or the snack stand that was to open at 3 with lukewarm corndogs ( which they ran out of in 15 mins of being open) and a watery coffee drink. Ok, well eat after train ride!! Being on board an old train was exciting. The crew: conductor was nice, smiles, one chef had no voice to talk, said she was sick, the other chef was great, he pulled the whole hour off himself. Santa was tired, YES, he looked good, but, NO Santa feel here- big disappointment!! Not even a HO HO HO just passed out the " " to the children! Funny, I paid my $40.00, I wanted at least a smile!! He didn't even acknowledge us. The view was pretty for wildness, but, painted board props? Really!! Maybe at night, this can work. For an event that we waited a whole year that cost over $200.00 (not to mention the 6 hrs round trip drive to get there and a hotel stay of $160.00) wasn't my favorite event for the holiday season. If you work hard for your money, just take the kids to the snow, build a snowman and make your own hot coco. This was one family disappointment for me. Maybe, a night trip with the PJ's on might have been a different experience. I'm not to sure I would revisit this event.
The best part of the trip--was being with family!!

1  Thank czimmerman13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 5, 2013

Ride is good, train is very cool. Scenery is of course fantastic. We did first class in the "kokopelli" car. Comfortable seats, and includes coffee/juice/Danish in the morning and cheese/veggie tray/soft drink in afternoon. Cash bar was reasonable $6/$7 per drink.

Beware though - the mediocre staff puts serious pressure on for tips. Car attendant, entertainers that walk through, and the cowboys. This really turned us off.

2  Thank Jon K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2013

I don't know why the name is wrong, but the Grand Canyon train is fun. I'm so happy we upgraded to the glass roof car, with the nearly 360 degree views. Before boarding the train there's a gunfight. There's snacks, wildlife viewing, strolling cowboy with music n jokes. Just when you get a peek of the Grand Canyon it stops at the station where you can get off for a few hours or return back to Williams a few minutes later. On the ride back there's a train robbery and after they get on the train to rob everyone then there's story telling and other Wild West charms. It's probably best to ride up, stay at the lodge in the GC for a night or two then catch the train down otherwise you don't see the canyon for long. It's fun, but not a great way to see the canyon.

1  Thank TravelinSuz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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