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A Magical Ride


Posted on 11/15/2019 by Visit French Lick West Baden


I’ve been on The Polar Express Train Ride three times and this year makes my fourth time! My excitement isn’t dulled, I’m looking forward to the ride…and so are my kids!


We excitedly arrive at the French Lick Scenic Railway to find the train ready and waiting for eager passengers, we enjoy taking a picture at the official The Polar Express backdrop just outside the entrance. This year I’ve brought two of my sons along with my niece and nephew, we’re all dressed in our PJ’s ready for a trip to the “North Pole”!


As passengers begin to line up outside their train cars, the kids and I decide to take a quick walk around the outside of the station to check out the lights and action. We spot a “paperboy”, who hands us the Polar Gazette, a special newspaper with fun holiday stories, an events list for 2020, and coupons!


We head to our train car and get in line, as we start to hear the beginning of the “Polar Express” book by Chris Van Allsburg, being read. Our wait in line isn’t long as we step onto the platform, we’re handed five golden tickets (one for each of us). There are “waiters” waiting to show us where our seats are as we reach the top step. The train car is adorned with colorful Christmas lights and garland, bringing more excitement to myself and the kids as to what we’re in for aboard the train.


The train departs on time as we hear music start to play, the conductor comes into the car and starts to punch our gold tickets over our heads, just like in the movie! As he exits, waiters fill the train car to perform the song, “Hot Chocolate” and proceed to pass out hot chocolate and cookies to the passengers. Each train car has their own performers which alternate between waiter and elf costumes during the trip. Our car had some great elves, they filled the car with melodies from the Warner Brothers movie, and welcomed us to participate.

The kids were allowed to get out of their seats to dance and sing along with the elves. The elves, kids, and other passengers had a great time as they passed a blow-up guitar and other novelties around to be tried by the passengers of our car.


The elves kept us entertained as we made our way to the North Pole, we went through a tunnel with special effect lighting suggesting the Northern lights and voila, we’ve made it! Santa is waving at us from outside the train in his quaint village. The passengers of the train are excited as the kids jump up from their seats to see Santa a little better.


The train starts its journey back to the station with an announcement that Santa is on the train! He makes his way through each car to take pictures with each family and to give each child their very own silver bell. The excitement continues on each car as the performers get everyone to interact with them while dancing and singing in the aisles.


The train reaches the station, we all get off and head to the gift shop. We’ve found a lot of great souvenirs. A Polar Express Pillow and Blanket, a train, snow globe, stuffed polar bear, and more!

The entire trip embodies the spirit of the holidays we thoroughly enjoyed every part of it…and we definitely Believe!