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The Polar Express Experience Review


Well you coming?

On Friday the 26th November 2021 we went on a rather special adventure!

As a parenting blogger we are lucky enough to be invited along to lots of christmas events, something we never take for granted, however the desire to spread the word about these christmas events must also be balanced with keeping the magic real for my children. Every year I must decide where to take my children to see Santa. To protect the magic, although we go on lots of Chrismas days out, Santa visits are limited to just the one (or possibly 2)! This year we were given the opportunity to sample The Polar Express Experience in Mid Norfolk. 

In where?

No you haven't misread that we really did drive all the way to Norfolk for this experience. There are closer ones, there are two in greater london listed here . 

But on balance, with a choice between either driving into London or getting the train there, the two hour car journey in the warm where we could amuse the kids with watching the film on their tablets seemed like the better choice for us. 

We left Hertford around 11am and then stopped 5 minutes away from the experience at a pub called Gemini (highly recommended!) we enjoyed a late lunch/ early dinner before driving to the car park. We did not have premium carparking and so were given some alternative carparks to park in, we actually found some closer on street parking nearby but the carparks given were free to park in.

Opposite the station is a Morrisons, this was the ideal spot to change the boys into their personalised polar express PJs I had purchased from etsy.

Before our trip our golden tickets were posted to us and I presented both the tickets, the boys pjs and a copy of the polar express to them the morning of our visit.

We arrived 30 minutes before we were due to, but I was glad we did as it gave us time to use the toilet and settle in our seats near the front of the huge marquee where the expereince started from.

I'm very keen not to reveal too many spoilers but the mini theatre show sets the scene perfectly before the train ride, as the conducter appears and asks "well you coming?" of course we were!

You are allocated your seating prior to arrival so no need to rush to board the train, each carriage has its own conductor and chefs, this is very cleverly done and you would not know there is more than one on the train. There are toilets on the train though you are asked not to use them unless you really need to (due to performances in the aisles).

The Polar Express Experience is a full on immersive theatre on a train experience, scenes from the film are acted out right in front of you, with singing, dancing and of course hot chocolate and cookies. We took the 5:15pm train which was brilliant because it was dark outside and so it really was fully believable that we were travelling to the North Pole. The train applauded as we arrived in "The North Pole" I was worried the display may be a little naff but far from it it was truely believable and my childrens faces made my eyes leak a little.

Santa magically appeared on the train on our journey back and presented us with the most beautiful bells complete with leather straps and "The Polar Express" engraved into them. Our tickets were punched by the conductor just before we arrived back at the station.The whole experience including the show before hand and boarding etc lasting approximately 2 hours.

As a parent the ease of not having to wait around in the cold but instead being able to sit on a warm train sipping hot chocolate whilst the experience occured around us and outside the train was just so easy. We were all relaxed and totally immersed in the experience.

We bundled the children into the car still in their pjs and dressing gowns and there were asleep within about 10 minutes as dreams of the polar express and the magical experience darted around their head.

One image that will stick with me forever, is that my 8 year old is begining to get a little sceptical of things, I was really worried that he may suss that they experience wasnt real, but when Santa presented him with his own bell and he rang it and could hear the bells, his face was the very image of belief and i wept!

Tickets for Christmas 2024 are on sale now. 

As the conductor famously said "One thing about trains: It doesn't matter where they're going. What matters is deciding to get on." And when it comes to The Polar Express Experience we would chose to get on every single time.

Thank you for having us Polar Express Experience and thank you for reading.

Kayleigh & The Boys


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