About THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride 2018

Back by popular demand! THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is returning to St. Louis Union Station for the holidays. Put on your pajamas and bring your family to this very special chance to to ride a real train to the “North Pole.” Experience the magic of The Polar Express, based on the classic and beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. Christmas comes to life on a journey to see Santa Claus who is waiting with a keepsake present for every good boy and girl. Extend your train ride experience by spending the night in luxurious accommodations at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel and enjoying a Magical Dinner in the beautiful Grand Hall.

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How soon should I book tickets?

Tickets go on sale September 12th. It is recommended that reservations are made as soon as your group knows which date and time you would like to attend. Tickets are expected to sell out quickly for this popular event.

Where do we go once we arrive at St. Louis Union Station?

A check-in desk will be located in the Depot/Tent area and passengers are required to check in prior to boarding. It is required that guests arrive approximately one hour prior to their departure time. There will be a number of fun activities for families to enjoy while waiting. Guests receive a POLAR EXPRESS™ souvenir golden tickets at check-in. Boarding will begin 30-minutes prior to departure. Train doors close approximately 5 minutes prior to departure and trains will not be held for those arriving late. Trains depart and return to the same location at St. Louis Union Station.

What about parking?

Parking will be located in the main St. Louis Union Station lot located right off 18th Street. Guests will come through the main entrance where they will receive a white parking ticket. Guest will follow signage and flaggers to THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride event parking area inside the secured parking lot.

Event parking will be $5.00 per car. Parking vouchers will be available inside the ticket depot and merchandise tent. Upon departure guests are instructed to show the parking attendant their white ticket and $5 voucher. Cash and major credit cards are acceptable

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What are the seating choices on the train?

  • Coach tickets start at $39 which includes A souvenir Golden Ticket, Hot Chocolate, Cookies and the first gift of Christmas from Santa.
  • First-class tickets start at $59 and include Table top seating, a souvenir Golden Ticket, Hot Chocolate in  am POLAR EXPRESS™ Souvenir Mug, Cookies and the first gift of Christmas from Santa.

Are children under 2 free?

Children 2 and under are free if they will be sitting on the lap of a ticketed passenger. If the child will be sitting in their own seat they will require a ticket.

Is THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride handicap accessible?

Limited accessible seating available, please call us directly at (314) 942-6942 for more information. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is not fully accessible to persons with disabilities due the historic, narrow doorway widths and steep step wells.

Where is the North Pole and how long is the trip?

The entire experience at St. Louis Union Station is roughly two hours in length. It is required that guests arrive approximately one hour prior to their departure time. This allows time to park and check in at the designated area in the Depot. Boarding will begin 30 minutes prior to listed departure times. The train ride itself is 45 min in length.

What time does boarding begin?

Boarding begins 30 minutes prior to the train departure time. Though we recommend that you arrive at least 60 minutes before your scheduled departure time to allow for parking and other activities.

Is there a suggested dress code?

We encourage families to dress in their warmest pajamas (The Polar Express themed attire) but this is not required.

Are Tickets Refundable?

Like Sporting events, concerts and other live events, ticket for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ train ride are NOT refundable. All sales are final

Can I change my reservation to a different date or time?

If seats are available on another date/train, our reservations agents will do their best to accommodate your request. However, no guarantees can be made that your reservation can be changed.

How can I contact a reservations agent about my train ticket?

Reservations agents can be reached at (314) 942-6942 during the following hours or at info@stlpolarexpressride.com. Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Sunday: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM All times are Central Standard Time.

Will the event take place if there is snow or other inclement weather?

Trains will continue to run in snow and other weather conditions. However, trains may be cancelled or postponed at the Railroad’s discretion due to weather or operational considerations. The event may also be cancelled or postponed if the State Highway Patrol closes major roads and freeways due to snow. Full refunds will be offered in these scenarios. Safety is of utmost importance to us and we want to ensure that we prevent any situation that is dangerous for our guests and staff.

Do you have a gift shop?

A full range of exclusive THE POLAR EXPRESS™ gifts and keepsakes will be available for purchase at the event.

Is the event wheelchair accessible?

St. Louis Union Station and the train are wheelchair accessible, however ADA seating is limited. Access to the cars will be provided by an ADA ramp on the train platform and space for wheelchairs is located at the front of select coaches. If a member of your party requires wheelchair access, please select the appropriate wheelchair/companion seats during online checkout or contact a reservations representative at 314-942-6942 to make reservations.

How do I book ADA tickets for someone with a disability?

If a member of your party has a disability and needs additional seating space or a wheelchair space, please select designated ADA seats noted on the seating chart. Please be aware that these are not available in each coach. For additional information on wheelchair access, please see the previous FAQ or contact a reservations agent at 314-942-6942 or email us at info@stlpolarexpressride.com

Are there restrooms on board the train?

There are onboard restrooms that are available to passengers, including some that are wheelchair accessible. Every car does not have its own restroom, however on-board staff can assist you to the nearest option. There will also be restrooms available before and after the ride as well

No Alcohol Policy

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is a family-friendly event and no alcohol is sold or allowed on board the train. Intoxicated passengers or those found in possession of alcohol will be removed from the event without refund.

The Magical Meal Cancellation Policy

Please cancel by 10 pm the day prior. If you do not cancel, it is considered a no-show and will be charged $10 per person.

Will the Magical Meal send a reminder of my reservation?

You’ll receive a confirmation email upon booking online and email reminder.

Additional Details

Peanut and tree nut food allergy:

We have procedures in place to assist our Customers with severe allergies to peanut dust and will make every attempt not to serve cookies with nuts on the train car when our Customers alert us to their allergy to peanut dust.

We ask that Customers with allergies to peanut dust advise our Reservations Sales Agents of the allergy at the time the reservation is made.

If a Customer requests at the time a reservation is made to be in a train car that is free of nuts, the Customer Service Agent will complete a Peanut Dust Allergy form. This form notifies our Employees that a Customer has allergies to peanut dust and we will make every effort to serve an alternate nut free option snack for that specific train car.

Although following the above procedures at the time a Customer’s reservation is made will help ensure cookies with nuts are not served on train cars, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at St. Louis Union Station cannot prevent other Customers from bringing peanuts or nuts or products containing peanuts or nuts on board our trains. In addition, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at St. Louis Union Station cannot give assurances that remnants of peanuts or nuts or peanut or nut dust or oil will not remain on the train floor, seats, or tray tables from a train car’s earlier train rides. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at St. Louis Union Station, therefore, disclaims any liability that may result from a Customer’s adverse reaction to any peanuts, tree nuts, dust or oil from peanuts or tree nuts, or other allergens that a Customer may come in contact while aboard the THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at St. Louis Union Station.