All Aboard! The Polar Express comes to life this holiday season as the Saratoga & North Creek Railway rolls out of the station bound for the “North Pole!”SaratogaMama editor Jen shares her experience riding The Polar Express
Last night I was fortunate enough to get a sneak peek ride on The Polar Express Train Ride in Saratoga Springs. As a child this was one of my favorite holiday books. I was so excited to begin this tradition with my son and share something that was very special to me growing up. I put him in his Christmas Pj’s and we were ready to go! We were also lucky enough to have my sister and five month old niece join us on the trip.
For the first part of the train ride, music from the movie played, while chefs provided hot chocolate and a cookie to everyone on board, my son even got to try his first sugar cookie! While he is too young to try hot chocolate, I got to enjoy some in the souvenir mug, which I thought was delicious. They even have a hot cup in the mug, so your new mug goes home clean. (Souvenir mugs are provided in the dome cars, see ticket info below).
As the train ride continued, the chefs visited and talked to all of the kids. They helped build the excitement as we approached the North Pole. The conductor and hobos made their way through the car periodically. The conductor checked that everyone had their golden ticket, but we were also told to keep our tickets safe as the hobos would be looking for them!
As we approached the North Pole it was great to see the expression on some of the children’s faces, even though my son was a little too young to understand, he loved looking at the lights! The train stopped for a few minutes as Santa and his elves boarded. The elves came through right away greeting the kids. Santa came through the train twice, first to pass out a bell just like the one from the story. The bell even says “The Polar Express” and has the year on it. I plan on using it as an ornament for my son this year.
The second time Santa came through to do pictures with all of the kids. As Santa made his way through both times, the elves continued to make their rounds, which kept the kids occupied as they awaited their turn with Santa. One elf came ahead of Santa talking to all of the kids about what they wanted for Christmas, an elf also assisted us in getting pictures with Santa as we had our hands full with two infants. After Santa went through the car, they played Christmas Carols and the chefs encouraged us to sing along.
I had been a little nervous that my son was too young to enjoy the ride, but he loved it! He was a little unsure of Santa, as most young children are, but he interacted with all of the chefs and elves that came through and was smiling for a majority of the trip. The ride lasted a little over an hour, which I think is just enough time for young kids.
One thing you should be prepared for is that it can get a little loud at times, although it’s all happy noise! The kids are excited for Santa, there is Christmas music playing and the hobos come through and encourage the kids to ring their bells. Overall we had a wonderful time and I look forward to going again in the future.
GO! The Polar Express Train Ride
More information can be found here, at the Saratoga Railway Website.
The Polar Express runs on the following dates: November 16-21, 23-26, 28-30, December 1-3, 5-10, 12-23, 27-30 and January 2-6. There are four different types of tickets that you can purchase; coach, premium coach, lower dome and upper dome.
Prices range from $10.00 for children under two that are held, to $60.00 for adults to sit in the Upper Dome. The seating in the coach and premium coach are like tradition rail cars in that you sit in pairs all facing the same direction, while the dome setting has two pairs of seats facing each other with a table in the center.