The Polar Express Train Ride

Pssst!  Did you know that tomorrow (Dec. 30) is the last day this year to board Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad’s The Polar Express Train Ride? The joyous excursion, which promises to be an annual family tradition, began its inaugural run on November 19 and will end tomorrow with two final rides at 3:30pm and 5:30pm.

The Hobo

The Hobo

The Polar Express Train Ride is based on the book, “The Polar Express”, in which a pajama-clad young boy (along with other children) is invited aboard a mysterious train bound for the North Pole on Christmas Eve to meet Santa just prior to his annual worldwide gift-giving tour. Along the journey, the children encounter a number of interesting characters, including the Conductor, the Hobo, pastry chefs, waiters, Smokey (an engineer), Steamer (a fireman), elves and, of course, Santa, himself.

Many of the characters from the book will make an appearance on your journey to the North Pole.  In fact, before you and your family even board the train, you may encounter the Hobo and the young (hero) boy (in pajamas, of course). The excitement builds on board as the hustle and bustle of waiters, chefs and other staff give authenticity to the sense that a magical journey is about to take place.

Singing chef serving cookies.

Singing chef serving cookies.

After the train leaves the station, the conductor – just like in the 2004 movie – asks over the sound system if there is anyone on board in need of refreshment. Immediately, a celebration breaks out with a joyous rendition of the “Hot Chocolate” song sung by the waiters and chefs as they deliver hot chocolate and cookies to everyone. And, if you find yourself singing along with the staff and the children, that’s ok.  It just means you’re starting to “believe”.

Along the way to the North Pole, expect portions of the book to be read and an appearance of the conductor who will happily shower you with bits of your own ticket as he punches it over your head a few dozen times.

All of the characters and story elements you encounter serve to pull you into the magic of the story, so that by the time the lights of the North Pole come into view, every heart is ready to meet Santa and the Elves.

This is an excursion worth adding to your holiday calendar every year.  It’s a wonderful event that carries you and your family away into another world for an evening, a place to enjoy each other while interacting with characters you’ve only read about in the book or seen in the movie.

“Though I’ve grown old the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”

For more information on The Polar Express Train Ride, visit  or call 1-888-783-2611.


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