The kids got a chance to take a preview ride on the Polar Express last night (BIG thanks to Ed Lewi & Associates for the incredibly sweet gesture of offering the whole family tickets). The kids were absolutely thrilled, and all of last night and breakfast chatter this morning was dedicated to their experience aboard the train. I decided that rather than write my own review I would let the kids do the review this time, their excitement is really contagious, and they’ve already asked if we can go “every night until Christmas”.
Finn: The Polar Express is a train that takes you to the North Pole. The train is very big, you get on and they give you a big golden ticket. Inside the train it’s all decorated, all hanging up bells and ribbons, hanging up snowflakes swinging around. Tinsels was all around the inside of the train too. The conductor comes by and punches three holes with the puncher and that means you’re ready to go on the train, I really want to get one of those puncher things… So you start moving and these crazy hobos come down the train with “sock tea”, a pot of tea with a dirty sock instead of tea, and they’re asking us “Do you want some of this tea?” Everyone yelled “NO!” because no one wants to drink hobo dirty sock tea. The hobos were a little bit nice though, cause they gave us gum.
The real elves were on the train with us, the ones waving from outside were (spoiler alert) just cardboard, and they were all girl elves on the train, no boy elves. The North Pole was all lit up with special lights and real Santa was waving, and that was when Santa got on the train and we started going backwards. Santa comes through to say hi to everyone, he said “How are you doing?” and handed the cool bells out (this portion of the interview was followed by several minutes of vigorous bell ringing from both children and me scrambling to make another cup of coffee). Santa came back to talk to us and he told me he had seen me before, maybe at the Farmers’ Market? I told him I remembered him from when I was a baby from his little house by Putnam Market and I told him I wanted Legos, but the small kind not the big kind. He told us to keep on being good. My favorite part was the hot chocolate and the cookies, they were so great.
Leven: I loved it, I did so much. There was this guy with a robber hat (a hobo) and the sock tea guy had a robber hat too and they were saying “Santa’s not coming, he’s not coming” but all the kids were yelling that he was! There were red ribbons, they were lovely, put up on the wall with tape I think. Can we put some of those up on my bed? I can use the tape by myself. And things you hang up on Christmas trees were there too, and there was a lot of room in there for us to sit. There was Rudolph the Reindeer playing, I don’t know what else songs there was but it was all pretty music. But I know how to sing Rudolph (interview then takes a ten minute detour where Lev sings Rudolph and does an elaborate “reindeer dance”).
The cookers come and bring cookies and hot chocolate, they were so good. There’s lots of lights at the North Pole and everyone cheered and clapped and everyone was yelling for Santa it was crazy! At the end Santa came right on to the train with us and was passing out bells and the hobos came back and said Happy Thanksgiving. Santa asked us what we wanted and I said I wanted a princess Barbie with a pink dress. And there was one elf that said she makes the Barbies and she said she would make me one! I think I dreamed about the elf making my Barbie last night and the Barbie had purple hair like my pajamas.
The 2012-13 season marks the second for the Capital Region holiday train ride. During its inaugural season, 35,850 people took a ride aboard The Polar Express throughout its six-week run. The Saratoga & North Creek Railway anticipates to bring approximately 1,600 people to see Santa Claus each night the train runs this season.
“A ride on The Polar Express is quickly becoming a treasured holiday tradition in the Capital Region. The enchanting trip is a delight for children of all ages and celebrates the true magic of the holidays,” said Saratoga & North Creek Railway General Manager Steve Torrico. “We look forward to once again welcoming families aboard as they create holiday memories to last a lifetime.”
The Polar Express brings passengers on a mystical round-trip journey to the North Pole. Throughout the trip, the characters of the animated motion picture based on the classic children’s story come to life while the book is read aloud and music from the movie plays for all the kids to sing along.
At the North Pole, Santa Claus awaits the children and climbs aboard with dozens of cheerful elves and classic silver bells for children on the train. The return trip is full of holiday cheer with Santa meeting each child and festive caroling with Santa’s elves.
Over the course of the 2012-13 season, approximately 1,875 gallons of hot cocoa will be served and Santa Claus will greet an estimated 18,000 children aboard The Polar Express. Additionally, The Polar Express will cover about 75,000 miles during its trips back and forth to the North Pole this holiday season.
The Polar Express offers four seating options: coach; premium coach; lower dome; and upper dome.
Coach cars offer a family-friendly alternative with seating on both sides of the aisle. The vintage-style premium coach cars are an ideal option for travelers seeking an experience similar to the classic children’s film, offering two spacious seats on each side of a wide center aisle and well-suited for large parties.
Lower dome booth seating is a cozy grouping for a party of four with padded seats and a center tabletop. Elevated 16 feet above the tracks, the upper dome offers spacious seating and glass-domed windows for optimal views. All dome car passengers receive a commemorative Polar Express hot cocoa mug. Seating configuration in the dome cars requires guests to purchase tickets in even numbers in order to best accommodate all passengers while not splitting up groups.
Coach tickets are $30 for adults; $20 for children ages 2-12; and $30 for adults with children 2 years old and under in arms. Premium coach tickets are $40 for adults; $30 for children ages 2-12; and $40 for adults with children 2 years old and under in arms. Lower dome tickets are $55 for adults; $40 for children ages 2-12; and $65 for adults with children 2 years old and under in arms. Upper dome tickets are $60 for adults; $45 for children ages 2-12; and $70 for adults with children 2 years old and under in arms.
The Polar Express Train Ride is approximately a one-hour, round-trip train ride departing at either 5:30 or 8:00 pm from the train station in Saratoga Springs, NY, located at 26 Station Lane. Children are encouraged to wear their pajamas to keep in the spirit of the story. Special Polar Express pajamas are available at the depot gift shop.
Tickets can be purchased by phone and online. For more information about The Polar Express, including a complete schedule and to purchase tickets, please call 877-726-RAIL (7245) or click here.