EDIT 02/2019: I was made aware by former employees of The Polar Express Train Ride that there have been some unfortunate incidents regarding pay. According to reliable sources employees have not received pay since November for their jobs completed Nov-Jan. I am unaware of who is directly responsible for this, I am not aware of the details, I am just aware people are owed around $2,000 each. I did not want to delete this post because I truly did have a good time and I was unaware of what was going on behind closed doors at the time of attending, and to my knowledge the fault isn’t of those involved in the show itself. And after discussing with former employees I am comfortable with keeping the post up since it is not at the fault of those running the show, but at the fault of the train company. I’ll keep adding updates and edits if I get more information.
If you follow me on Instagram (@thenorthernprepster) you may have seen that I got invited to experience The Polar Express Train Ride Orlando!
The Polar Express, if you didn’t know, is a now classic Christmas movie that came out in 2004. Over the past few years The Polar Express Train Rides have opened throughout the country, even in the UK and Canada, just in time for Christmas! Depending on where you go, each experience may be a little bit different. But today I’ll be “reviewing” the one in Orlando.
The Polar Express Orlando has shows up to 5 times a day, up to 7 days a week, and this year the experience lasts from Nov 9th through Dec 30th. You can buy your own tickets for Miami OR Orlando HERE.
*The banner outside of the store front*
Arriving I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. The location of the Orlando train ride is technically in Mount Dora, which is about 1 hour away from Walt Disney World. We were told to arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of time (our show time was 8:40). The meeting place is actually in a shopping plaza which is nice because parking is easy to find and free!
Upon arrival we entered the store front that was labeled “The Polar Express” and we were immediately taken into a winter wonderland. A beautiful sleigh and lights greeted us – a great photo op! We made our way down the hall to check-in where we showed our tickets and received a boarding pass, 2 golden tickets (just like from the movie), and 2 souvenir The Polar Express Train Ride reusable travel coffee cups (which was a surprise I wasn’t expecting).
*The beautiful scene we walked into. Such a good photo spot!*
We then were pointed to the direction of a green screen where we got our photo taken. It was then printed and displayed in the lobby. We had the option to purchase it, with photo packages starting at $20; a great keepsake for families! Continuing our journey we passed through a gift shop with a ton of Polar Express merchandise; tees, ornaments, conductors hats, snow globes, board games, you name it! All of this was available for purchase, which I didn’t expect to be offered. The room opened into a hall filled with chairs, a stage set with the scene of the boy’s bedroom from the movie, and a table set with a model train surrounded by children watching.
*My golden ticket that was later hole punched and stamped!*
While at check-in you received a boarding group which the chairs for the pre-show were divided into. We were in the Golden Triangle and were pleasantly right in the front. We sat and waited and at the stroke of 8:40pm fog filled the stage and the show began! Carolers filled the isles, singing and dancing to Christmas music. As they cleared the area after a few minutes the stage was dark. We then heard the train whistle and began to witness the story of The Polar Express in front of our very eyes. The little boy was awaken, a train outside his window. As he ran out to board our adventure truly began!
A steward then approached our group and led us outside. We walked through the parking lot all the way to the train. And for those of you curious, yes you do board a REAL passenger train and you go on a REAL train ride! THE TRAIN DOES MOVE. The scene from the movie continued to play out, the conductor asking if the boy was coming. We all were led on board to our proper cars and sat in our assigned seats.
*The train we boarded*
Let me just say there wasn’t one dull moment aboard this train. Instantly our 3 stewards greet us (one being @miramargaret), interacted with us, and made sure we had everything we needed. The train ride itself I would say was about 1 hour in length. Over that hour The Polar Express came to life! Our golden tickets were hole punched with a special message. We were served cookies and hot chocolate with a song and a smile. We were stopped by caribou and assisted by brothers Smokey & Steamer. Billy and Hero Girl performed their classic song for us. The Conductor visited us and the Hero Boy as he struggled with his ticket and was given the first gift of Christmas. Elves surrounded us and danced the night away! And even Santa Claus himself came aboard and gifted us all a bell from his sleigh.
*The cups they served us hot chocolate in were so cute! The other side had a PE monogram on it.*
We were also read the story of The Polar Express, sang Christmas carols, and told some pretty cheesy Christmas jokes. Overall, a fantastic evening and fun for all ages! Let me add there really were people of all ages on this ride having fun, with and without kids. From toddlers to the elderly, everyone had a smile on their face and Christmas song in their heart.
*The souvenir cup and the bell from Santa’s sleigh*
Tickets for this event, at the Orlando location, run around $40-$70. While I did receive free tickets since I was invited to attend, I can honestly say that I would highly recommend this experience even if I had paid full price. In fact, I was so excited to share this amazing adventure with my family that this Friday we are all going on The Polar Express Train Ride in Ohio! Since it is a different location it won’t be exactly the same, but I am still excited to experience this with my family and nephew.
If you want to see video footage of our night head over to my Instagram page @TheNorthernPrepster and check out my TRAVEL story highlight! I added all of my stories from that night to that page. I also want to apologize for the photo quality on this post. It was so dark it was hard to get perfect pictures.
Thank you again to The Florida Train for inviting us and giving us a magical evening! And if you all have any questions about this experience feel free to leave a comment down below and I’ll get back to you.
Thanks for reading!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. I received free tickets in exchange for a review. There is no further compensation I will be receiving. I do not take credit for the header photo used.