It’s that time of year when Christmas cheer and excitement are all around! From listening to Christmas music to decorating our house to planning holiday festivities, I’m feeling more in the Christmas spirit this year than I have in a long time, and I’m loving it.
We boarded THE POLAR EXPRESS and traveled to the North Pole a couple of weeks ago, and we had an absolute blast. The boys were grinning from ear to ear the entire night. Our boarding time was 6:35 pm. We arrived in Bryson City around 4:30 so we would have plenty of time to eat dinner and walk around a bit before climbing the stairs of the big train.
We ate some pizza at Nick & Nate’s all the while talking about what the train ride would be like. Both boys held on to their golden tickets the entire night. We then walked over to the gift shop to check out some merchandise. My mom bought the boys little engineer bears which they also held onto all evening. When it was time to board, even I was a little giddy.
Riding THE POLAR EXPRESS is such a magical experience. Most children, mine included, have seen the movie and read the book. The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad does an incredible job of making the train ride as much like the movie as possible.
From the chefs singing and dancing to the conductor punching their tickets to traveling to the North Pole to Santa boarding the train, our boys soaked up every second. It was truly a special evening. There’s nothing compared to watching your child’s eyes light up with wonder.
If you plan to go yourselves, I want to give you a few tips.
6 Tips to Riding THE POLAR EXPRESS
1). Make sure your child’s pajamas are warm, and put a coat over him/her that can be taken off on the train.
2). Arrive in Bryson City in plenty of time to park, walk around and feel relaxed prior to the ride.
3). Eat before boarding the train. You get cookies and hot chocolate during the ride, but you definitely don’t want hungry, grumpy kiddos.
4). Use the bathroom right before boarding. They do have one on the train, but it’s small and cramped and you may miss something special while you’re in there.
5). If you have The Polar Express book, bring it with you because they read it on the train and it’s fun to follow along.
6). Take a ton of pictures. There’s a lot of action and movement during the ride, so take a lot of pictures. Some of them are bound to turn out.
There is still plenty of time to ride THE POLAR EXPRESS this season. You can ride all the way to January 4, 2015. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas and if you do end up riding THE POLAR EXPRESS, enjoy every second. Our children won’t believe in the magic of Christmas like this forever. Happy holidays!