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Review Highlights
Love it for what it is

The days of the train going through pristine forest are gone. And of course there are always... read more

Reviewed August 17, 2019
plevin2017
,
Lebanon, Ohio
via mobile
Fun train ride on old train with a western touch!

We did this as part of a tour bus trip, 38 of us. It was a 90+ degree day - and this is not an... read more

Reviewed July 21, 2019
Kathy S
,
Ohio Amish Country, Ohio
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Reviewed July 16, 2012

The thing that impressed me most about the operation was the love they put in to their equipment. After a talk with the engineer of the Ex-Milwaukee Road SD10 they have I relies just how much these guys love what they do, and it shows. The crew is very friendly and is very knowledgeable about the area the line passes through. The ride itself could be a little longer but it is still a beautiful ride through the rolling hills of Indiana. A railroad that I highly recommend!

Date of experience: June 2012
Thank Justin S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

We did the Wild West Twilight train to dinner for my daughters Bachlorette party. There was a pretty bad storm the night we went so my review may be a bit skewed. There didn't seem to be a "theme" to the night. As advertised we expected more of a show. The food at the Inn was ok, not anything special. The show there was ok and the actors did interact with the customers, they tried but I think they may have been shorthanded. Not sure I would do it again.

Date of experience: June 2012
1  Thank lhubbard100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2012

I've been to Whitewater Valley RR only once, last summer, for the "Day Out with Thomas Event." The event itself was fine. My only complaint is that the Thomas ride was not very "scenic"--kind of run down area--and very short.

Date of experience: June 2011
Thank OhioCrnQun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2012

Taken this ride many times in the past. Takes you to Metamora. Nice ride through the countryside of Indiana.

1  Thank hobo615
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 18, 2011

We bought tickets online ($18/person) for the Day Out With Thomas event and set out early, to be there as soon as they opened. Because of this, we got a great parking space on the street and didn't have to pay $5 for lot parking or wait for a shuttle bus.

Even though the earliest tickets available online were for 10:30 a.m., we were allowed to exchange our tickets for the "test run" they did at 9:00. That was a wonderful ride...only one other family on the train, and we got to sit in the first seats of the first passenger car, right behind Thomas. The volunteer conductors were relaxed, enthusiastic and eager to tell us all about the history of the Whitewater railroad.

I will admit the "scenic" trip may not be quite what you had in mind. We passed several auto-salvage yards and areas where ancient, rusted gas pumps and signs were stacked, but there were also farm fields and wooded areas. To tell you the truth, the toddlers really don't care. All my daughter could think of was THOMAS THOMAS THOMAS. The conductors were all great with her, stopping to do the "ticket punch" pose twice, for a picture, and things like that. I think it really made a difference being there early in the day, before things got too crowded, hot, and tired.

With a paid ticket, your child gets a wristband and a sort of passport. Certain activities available (story telling, play tent, meeting Sir Topham Hatt and the gift shop) will stamp your child's passport, which they can turn in at the information booth for a free gift. Although the volunteers accept tips, almost all of the activities are free with the purchase of a ticket. Our daughter rode a pony, visited a petting zoo, listened to stories, watched a magic show, participated in a music show, played with toy trains, got a temporary Thomas tattoo on her hand, and rode a handcar. They also offered mini-golf, those barrel-behind-a-tractor train rides, and rides on the "caboose train" for $5. That's an awful lot of experience for such a low price.

There are things that they will ask you to pay for, like Thomas photo packages (there are platforms directly in front of where Thomas is stopped, where kids can stand and have their photos taken by professionals; you can purchase these packages for around $20-25). We arrived before they were set up for photos, but the platforms and Thomas were there, so we took our own pictures and they turned out just great.

The Gift Shop tent might strike you as insanely expensive. Many of the items (Thomas toothbrushes, sippy cups, things like that) are available elsewhere for much less. Look for the items that are -only- available at Day Out with Thomas. We got a t-shirt for $14.99 and a pennant for $4.99. I've heard things about the food being expensive, too. We didn't eat there, but I saw a sign that advertised "hot dog, pop and chips" for $4, which didn't strike me as too unreasonable. The food is in stands and carts, like you'd see at a fair.

Restrooms were available in the depot and at porta-potties near the petting zoo. None were too insanely crowded, but we were there early in the day.

There were almost always long, long lines to see Sir Topham Hatt. We waited in line only to have him reach the end of a photo session and walk off...my mother had to chase his handler down for a passport-stamp, and he turned around just long enough for us to snap a quick picture of my daughter next to him. If you want a picture and a passport stamp, make sure to note on the sign when he's available for photos.

All in all, it really was a wonderful day out. No child walks off empty handed; there are take-home coloring pages, a "Junior Engineer" certificate from riding on the train, and a free gift for completing all of the tasks on the passport. There are also prizes for participation in music and magic shows. We have photos and memories to last a lifetime.

Date of experience: June 2011
10  Thank Kitsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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