We took our 5 year old Grandson on the Dinosaur Train Ride this past Sunday. The brochure was not very descriptive, and there was nothing in it that informed you about the Special Events Fare Prices. In addition, in the brochure description, it never tells you that you get off the train to enjoy events. They do not offer any Senior or AAA discounts. We also had no idea that it was hours, when we had called we were told it was a "one (1) hour train ride".
Parking was average and fortunately since it was Sunday, the meters were not working. They just provide Port-O-Potty's which is very difficult for families with small children. The trip down to the train is a very steep hill going down and up, which is also difficult for children. It is very unorganized and they tell you to wait in one place only to discover that you need to be all the way down the other end.
Since this was the Dinosaur Train, we expected other than Dinosaur Music playing and some balloons hanging that the train would have some of the Characters walking around and shaking hands with the children, taking pictures, etc. This was not the case at all, so it was quite boring. Even the conductors were not very friendly to the children. When you reach this Nature area, the train stops and they then inform you that you have to get off to enjoy any activities. My husband saw what he had to walk through and how steep it was, he ask the conductor what if he didn't get off, and the conductor said, we just take you back to the station and you can wait, which is what he did reluctantly as he had no other choice since he could not make that hazardous walk. If we had known this prior to purchasing the ticket that we had to get off, etc., he would have never gotten on the train as he knows he is not able to do that.
When my grandson and I got off the train, and very carefully walked to this activity area, I was sort of sorry we bothered except for the fact that we had just paid $69.00 for this train ride. The activities were nothing to speak of. Merely walking through corn fields to get to 4 different areas which had a shark, dinousaur, etc. all plastic blow-ups and you could take pictures. There wasn't even any sound effects. There was a little show, but more educational than entertaining---and since there were mostly young children, their enjoyment span was low. The best thing at that show was the Puppet Alligator. One thing that was cute for all of 2 minutes is that they had a bubble machine, so the children were chasing bubbles. They also had an area resembling a Coal Mine, but there was a sign that said you had to purchase tickets. We found out when we were on line to board the train again, that the sign was misleading and that it was included. If they had the sign up for effect, then it should have had somewhere that it was FREE. They also had a spot for digging for fossils, but that also was in the same location as the Coal Mine, so we thought we had to pay. Here again, no characters were walking around, clowning and talking with the children, etc. There were more tents up that were for either very limited food and to sell merchandise or to sell pictures with Buddy. This entire area was also very difficult walking with small children and it was so unorganized and uncoordinated. A real rip-off. If you want to enjoy Dinosaurs visit the Field Station Dinosaurs in Secaucus, NJ.
After this you wait on line and make that awful trip back up to the train. Now the same Dinosaur music is playing, no narrative while on the ride such as stories of the Dinosaur's or even something about the area you were passing on the train---just a boring ride back to the station and the difficult uphill walk to get back to your vehicle. It was about 4:00 p.m. now and the last train was 5:00 p.m. The train had all these balloons hanging, you would think the conductors would have passed them out to the children, of course not.
We had taken the Easter Train this year in New Hope, PA which was so much nicer. They had easter music, narratives and stories and the Easter Buddy visited each child, let the families take pictures, and gave them a bag of adorable Easter goodies. It was so much fun. The regular train ride in Jim Thorpe is better than this and for a lot less money.
I don't know how any of the other Delaware River Railroad Excursion are, but I don't know if I want to get ripped-off again to try them. Management needs to take a look at what they are offering and do some adjustments.
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