Polar Express: All Aboard!

Polar Express Scoop OTPTo kick off the holiday season, my husband and I took our kids for a ride on the Polar Express! While several different trains offer this experience, we traveled to Bryson City, North Carolina’s Smoky Mountain Railroad for their departure to the North Pole.  Closer to home is the Tennessee Valley Railroad in Chattanooga and North Georgia’s Blue Ridge Scenic Railway ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas theme.

I have to say we enjoyed the entire experience from start to finish. Encouraged to wear PJs, we all wore our footie pajamas (with tennis shoes, of course)! At first I thought I’d feel out of place in PJs, but I soon realized when we arrived that most everyone else was wearing PJs also, from kids to parents to grandparents.

We bought our tickets online ahead of time (which is recommended no matter which Polar Express you choose, since tickets sell out quickly), so we already had our tickets. The train depot was decorated with all the holiday regalia, and even though it wasn’t snowing while we were there, we felt as if we were close to the North Pole.

Polar Express Scoop OTPWhile waiting for our allotted departure time, we toured the adjacent train museum and shop, which our kids loved.

After checking out the miniature trains and memorabilia in the museum, we went back outside to wait for the Polar Express to arrive. Kids all around almost burst with excitement as we heard the train whistle in the distance. Soon thereafter we saw the beautiful engine rolling down the tracks, decorated with festive lights for the season.

Passengers have the option of three cars in which to ride. We had chosen the second level, Crown Class (the other sections include Coach and First Class). This section allowed our family to sit in seats facing each other, kind of like sitting in a restaurant booth without the table.

The entire ride was filled with activities and fun for the entire family! On the way to the North Pole, stewards dressed like the stewards from the movie, poured hot chocolate and gave out gingerbread cookies to everyone.

Polar Express Scoop OTP

They even served and entertained us to the music soundtrack from The Polar Express movie. Our Crown section received Polar Express travel tumblers filled with hot chocolate, a memento we could take with us to remember our trip. The stewards also entertained everyone with juggling and even acrobatics down the center aisle!

Soon, we arrived at the North Pole, and while we couldn’t get off the train, we could see through the windows to Santa’s house, where the reindeer ate, and elves waving to us. Santa boarded the train and rode with us back to the Smoky Mountain Railroad station!

Polar Express Scoop OTPHe visited each child and gave each of us (parents, too!) a Christmas bell. Then we heard Mrs. Claus reading the children’s book “The Polar Express” over the intercom.

Holiday trains departs from several locations, including the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway in North Georgia. Their theme is ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.  The Tennessee Valley Railroad in Chattanooga also offers a trip to the North Pole.  From what I understand, all these locations offer the same type of rides with similar activities. Depending on which level car you choose to ride, you will be given hot chocolate in either a disposable cup, travel tumbler, or holiday mug. The seating will be arranged differently in each level also, but the entertainment will be the same.

My children loved it, and so will yours! Book your ride today! All aboard!

For more information on the beautiful city of Blue Ridge, click here