The Polar Express
“All aboard The Polar Express for a journey to the North Pole to see Santa!”
Here is a very special chance for you and the entire family to experience the magic of The Polar Express™, the classic children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg.
Every winter the Grand Canyon Railway’s Polar Express comes to life on a journey from the nighttime wilderness of Williams, Arizona, to the enchanted beauty of “the North Pole”—where Santa Claus and his reindeer are waiting with a keepsake present for every good boy and girl. You’ll be smiling from ear to ear, as you watch children’s faces light up when the train arrives, and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies while listening to this timeless story.
Make this a family holiday tradition, and call today to make your reservations (because space is limited to those who truly believe in the spirit of Christmas). The ride lasts a little over an hour, with the train leaving each night at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., as well as select days that feature a 3:30 p.m. matinee departure. Book online for 2013 now, or call 1-888-848-3511.
What to Expect
You’ve reserved your tickets for The Polar Express. Your family is excited to go to the North Pole. So now what? The following information will help you plan your trip to maximize the magic.
Grand Canyon Railway’s The Polar Express is a magical, nighttime train adventure to the “North Pole.” During the holiday season The Polar Express departs the Williams Depot in Williams, AZ at selectdates and times, and takes you and your family on a journey through the moonlit wilderness.
Much like in the book and movie, guests can expect a lively bunch of elves, chefs and other characters to provide constant entertainment. Photo-ops are plentiful as you are encouraged to sing, dance and act out old fashioned holiday songs, and read along to The Polar Express story by Chris Van Allsburg. Fill up on chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate provided by Santa’s chefs just before you arrive at the North Pole.
Upon arrival to Santa’s Village, the train will fill with anticipation as Santa makes his way through the cars, visiting every boy, girl, mom and dad, leaving them with a special gift. Santa will visit each car as the train returns to the Williams Depot.
TOTAL TRIP TIME: Approx. 1 hour
Most guests will be traveling a fair distance to catch The Polar Express. Here are some frequently asked questions to guide you on your journey:
How do we get to Williams?
If the roads are closed near Flagstaff, consider taking I-17 north and exit at Cherry Road on Highway 169 toward Prescott, which will eventually merge with Highway 69. Drive through Prescott and look for Highway 89 going north through Chino Valley. You’ll end up on I-40, just west of Williams. Simply make a right on I-40 and travel about 19 miles until you see Exit 163.
Once I arrive to Williams, where do we pick up our tickets?
How far in advance of departure should we arrive?
We recommend arriving at least one hour before departure. This should provide enough time to pick up tickets at will-call and be ready to board The Polar Express. The train will begin boarding 15 minutes before departure. You can certainly pick up your tickets earlier. Tickets will be available at 11:00 a.m. on the day of your departure.We have a hotel package. When should we arrive?
The Grand Canyon Railway Hotel is conveniently located adjacent to the Williams Depot. You can begin checking in at the hotel at 3:00 p.m. After you check in, you can pick up your tickets at will-call inside the Williams Depot. Dinner and breakfast at the Grand Depot Cafe, also located next to the hotel, is included in your package. If you’re on the 5:30 p.m. departure, we recommend arriving to Williams around 4:00 so you can check-in, pick up your train tickets and have plenty of time for dinner.
What can we bring with us on the train?
I have a package with meals – what are the hours of the Grand Depot Cafe?
Where do we park?
All hotel package rates are based on adult double occupancy for 2 adults + 2 children and do not include tax. Rail-only tickets are per person and prices do not include tax. Valid for travel from 11/08/13 – 1/04/14. Rates subject to change without notice.
The Polar Express Charity Train Rides Again!
- Northland Hospice & Palliative Care
- Maricopa Little League
- Veteran Tickets Foundation
- Healthy Families
- Kids with Autism Can
- Mayer Elementary School
- Autism Speaks
- Starlight Children’s Foundation Arizona
- GAP Ministries
- Milemarkers Therapy
- Puente De Hohzo’s Fastwork Group
- Changing Life Center
- Clarkdale Jerome Elementary School
- Phoenix High Functioning Autism Aspergers
- TMM Family Services
- AUTISTIC Kids
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flagstaff
- Beaver Creek School
- Hope & A Future
- Parenting Arizona
- Heritage Elementary School
- Arizona’s Children Association
- WYGC Foundation Children & Families
- The Salvation Army
- Chatholic Charities
- Rainbox Kids, Phoenix Children Hospital
- Hope Cottage
- Boys&Girls Clubs of the East Valley
- Williams Head Start
If you are an Arizona non-profit organization looking to experience the Polar Express Charity Train, please mark your calendars for Friday, November 8th, 2013 at 7:30pm! Download our ticket application here. Completed applications must be submitted by September 30th, 2013. Recipients of tickets to the Polar Express Charity Train will be notified by October 4th, 2013.
TM & © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.