Kid Review of Catskill Mountain Railroad’s Polar Express by Waverly W. and Peri R., 10 years old
The Mom here!  What kid doesn’t dream about being whisked away on a magical journey to The North Pole? And what kid doesn’t love the classic story, “The Polar Express?” While I’m at it, what kid doesn’t love a train ride ? We’re not talking about a crowded subway train during rush hour…not even close.  Catskill Mountain Railroad has combined all of this (and much more) into what will definitely become one of our most magical Christmas memories ever.
The festive fun began even before the train pulled into the station as we entered the heated tent and were immediately greeted by not only the friendly Catskill Mountain Railroad employees who checked us in and gave us our awesome golden tickets (of course this caused some major delight) but also cheerful holiday music provided live onstage by James Hearne.  This definitely got the kids even more excited about what was to come and made the waiting time way more fun than anything we’ve ever waited for. Excitement was definitely in the air!

Wave here! We had so much fun in that tent, dancing and singing along to songs like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bell Rock.  James Hearne was awesome! It got even more fun when we heard the train’s whistle.  Literally every kid’s face (and even my mom’s!) immediately became the happiest face in the world.  Little kids started jumping up and down, and so did Peri and I! Over the loudspeaker, we heard the beginning of the book, The Polar Express.  Suddenly, a train conductor came up to the stage with a boy in pajamas.  He said the train was going to the North Pole and it was waiting for us! It was finally time…all aboard The Polar Express!

It felt magical going into the train and all the decorations made it feel and look like I was dreaming, but I wasn’t!  Everything was so beautiful and Christmasy!  When we got to our seats we met Chef Isaac and Chef Hana – they were so fun!

Peri here! Yeah, we messed around with them the whole time and tried to decide who was “the real chef.”  Hmm, even though Hana’s socks smell like candy canes (according to her!), we have to say that Isaac wins, since HE is the one who brought us cookies!  We also got hot chocolate – YUM. (Note from Mom – the hot chocolate was not too hot and the lid was on very tight! And those cookies? OMG…warm and perfect from Kington’s Deisings Bakery made this awesome ride even more awesome!)


Back to Wave! I took one bite and told my mom, “These are the best cookies I’ve ever had!” Being on The Polar Express train ride was like a combination of a Christmas Party and The Polar Express book coming to life.  Hana read from a giant Polar Express Book while it was narrated over a loudspeaker.  Music played and we all danced in the aisles.  When the train slowed down, we looked out the window and saw a bunch of elves doing a funny dance.  Funny characters like The Hobo came by, too!  Warning – he will try really hard to make you smell his cup! Do not do it!

Another fun part was when our golden tickets got punched.  They do it in a very special and fun way that made us all laugh!  Everyone in our car had the best time.  

Soon we reached The North Pole! Peri and I were very excited as we looked out the window….

We loved seeing those lights and reaching that awesome Winter Wonderland – Welcome to The North Pole!
Peri here again: We didn’t think it could get any more awesome…until you-know-who came to say hi to us personally!  I loved The Polar Express!

Waverly here again! We ALL loved The Polar Express, and you will, too! Everyone who worked there was really fun and made us feel like we were living inside the book.  Santa gave us each a silver bell as the first gift of Christmas.  It will always remind me to BELIEVE! It will also always remind me of this amazing magical journey. I hope you get to take it, too!

Back to Mom! This was definitely a magical journey, well worth the ride up from NYC.  It felt so authentic and very sweet – we could tell that everyone involved in this journey’s heart was in it. The train itself is a historic beauty and Santa even made us adults smile and feel like kids again.  I have my bell, too, as a reminder that you’re never too old to believe!  Believe us when we tell you that this is one magical journey you should definitely take.

Facebook:  @CatskillMountainRailroad