January 3, 2011

The “REAL” Polar Express

Finally, our trip was turning around. My littlest one had medicine. We had tickets to the Polar Express, albeit the day AFTER Christmas. And we had even gotten a refund on non-refundable tickets – probably just because we were so pitiful.

We ate a quick dinner and went to the Polar Express station, arriving half an hour early as our tickets stated. (Just a note for any of you considering going, it is COMPLETELY unnecessary to arrive early at all.) Everyone was crammed in the small station with the overflow stuffed into the gift shop. My dad’s philosophy was that they just want you there so you’ll be tempted to buy while you wait.

Exactly at 6:50 p.m. the doors opened from the station to the track. Everyone filed out and stood watching the train round the curve and come into sight. It was a pretty cool site.

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In the very center, characters filled a small platform and enacted the scenes from the Polar Express movie as the main character, Billy, boards the train. The the train whistle sounded, “All Aboard!” The boys thought it was VERY loud.

IMG_0429We boarded the train and were actually quite grateful that we ended up on a train car that didn’t have very many people on it. The whole group was able to spread out and really get comfortable.

Because of the credit we have, we purchased “Deluxe Tickets” – I don’t know how that compares to the regular tickets, but here is what we got:

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Santa hats for everyone!

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Golden Tickets

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. . . which they punched out for us!

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Hot chocolate and “treats”!

The incredible staff sang and danced all through the ride and while handing out our gifts. We each also got a really nice Polar Express mug to take home with us. Once we all had our stuff, it was time to watch for the North Pole and Santa! IMG_0449

Santa arrived and handed out bells to everyone!

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IMG_0482Of course by that time, my sick baby was out!

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The only negative I had about the entire trip was the “North Pole” – apparently, they just made an agreement with one of the hotels on the train route – and it was really pathetic.

IMG_0470Thank goodness my little ones didn’t know the difference, and they thought the whole experience was wondrous!