We started off by on Saturday night watching the movie and reading two Polar Express Books that I bought. Then on Sunday we also read the books again. Ella was so excited to ride a real train for the first time. We all went in our pajama's. (most kids were in their pj's and about half the parents, something you have to have fun too)
I was a little sceptical at time first. I had heard mixed reviews from people. I had heard, it wasn't worth the money, wasn't fun, hot chocolate was to hot, the train was to cold and stinky... I went in with an open mind and had absolutely no issues. It really was an amazing experience and something we will all remember and will probably do again.
When you arrive at the train station you get your printed tickets stamped and each child gets an official train ticket, just like from the movie. We then boarded the train, found our seats and sat down for a little bit.
There were three elves on our train there to give us name tags, give directions, and answer any questions. They ask the child who they brought with them. Ella said Mommy and Bri Bri.
(Ella took the photo, not to bad)
(I love how they get in the spirit and into character, they are all retired volunteer teachers)
We found out from our Elf that the concession car and souvenir were only open before the train departed and after we returned. Since we still had a half an hour before departure time we decided to go check it out. Brian ended up getting coffee and popcorn. Ella and I got a Polar Express Christmas Ornament and picture frame.
When the train finally departed one of the Elves read the official Polar Express book. All the kids got quite and listened. (I was surprised) Ella just wanted to look out the window even though you couldn't see anything
When the story was over everyone sang the "Hot Hot Chocolate song." Then we were served perfect temperature hot chocolate and homemade soft chocolate chip cookies. My daughter is very weird I must confess she doesn't like hot chocolate. I don't think she is my child. We have tried a couple of different times, even with different kinds and she still didn't like it.
Once we were finished eating we sang some Christmas carols, then arrived at the North Pole. The North Pole was all lite up with lights and decorations. There were Elves dancing and waving, as well as Gingerbread Men, Snow Men, Elves holla-hooping. and blowing bubbles. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus drove past our train on another train. When their train went past the other way only Mrs. Claus was on the train. Santa disappeared. A few minutes later Santa arrived on our train car. None of the pictures came out from being taken through a window and the bright Christmas lights.
Ella waited patiently for Santa to make his way to talk with her. When he came over to her she was first shy and trying to hide. Santa told here there is no where to hide and she loosed up. He looked at her ticket to verify that she was suppose to be on the train.
Then he sat down beside her and asked her what she wanted for Christmas. She told him she wanted a window. What she really meant to say was she was a window squeegee so she could clean her windows at home. (At the North Pole you had to use a squeegee to look out the window)
The present she received from Santa was a magic bell. You only hear the bell ring if you believe in Santa. Ella loves the bell and just wants to keep ringing it.
Soon after the conductor came around to stamp the tickets. He asked Ella how old she was and he stamped her ticket 3 times for her being 3. She will not look at her ticket and point at it and tell you 3.
We all had so much fun. I would totally do it again. Just watching Ella's excitement and reaction to everything made it worth it.
Do your kids love the Polar Express movie?