As a parent I try and make each holiday as memorable as I can. This includes a lot of activities at home, but I also love going out into my community and finding ways to add magic to our days.
The more I have done this I can say a lot of things I have found are sadly underwhelming. I do love that my kids can see past the flaws I may see and find the good. I absolutely love that.
But this experience gave ME chills. Literal goosebumps. Multiple times.
I have never ridden the Brightline in South Florida. Wow. I have been missing out.
First, outside of the Polar Express experience, it was such a clean and family friendly facility. The station was bright and clean. It felt like a real transportation hub and made me excited about the possibility of the future of mass transportation in South Florida. What the future might hold. I am for sure a customer in the near future. If you haven’t been yet, plan a trip just to ride the train with your kids. That alone is a fun day out.
Secondly, the Polar Express experience was nothing short of perfect.
It is for sure an experience we will have on our “Must Do” holiday list each year.
1)Before your family boards the train there are extras to enjoy. Between mailing letters to Santa, or creating ornaments for your tree at home… these extras did not go unnoticed, and my boys enjoyed doing them. I was pleasantly surprised that Brightline had thought to add these to our day.
2) There were photo ops that I loved. It was also such a nice location, that no matter where we took a picture, there was something they added to make it special. Between characters, Christmas trees or large snowmen… they really thought about the family experience.
3) There are two different seating options to choose from. A row with seats in front of you (think airplane seats but with more legroom) or four seats that surround a table. We sat in a row, and it did not take away from the experience. This is completely up to you and of course availability to when you book.
4) You can choose between daytime and evening rides. At first I though that riding the train during the day would take away from the experience because of the sunlight coming through. I was wrong. Once the experience begins, and the curtains are down, I honestly didn’t even think about the sun, the day time or anything happening outside of the train car.
5) My boys know all of the songs from the movie, so if you do decide to go make sure to watch the movie a few times so it’s easier to pick up on the familiar quotes, sayings and songs. You can also ask Alexa to play the Polar Express Soundtrack. We have done this a million times with The Hot Chocolate Song.
6) The crew on the train was one in a million. They were polished, prepared and really were on their way to the North Pole. They were “on stage” the entire time and got the adults involved too. This was not just a ride for children but their adult counterparts too.
It was so refreshing to see parents and kids laughing together. There was nothing to worry about. We were all on a train headed to the North Pole.
Sidenote: The crew remembered my kids names and addressed them by their names each time they talked to them. Who does that anymore? It was touches like this that amazed me. Little meaningful touches.
7) The Hot Chocolate. It’s so good. Not lying. I’m not sure exactly what kind it is, but I would take at least five more. 🙂 I will say… take napkins, or wipes. Something to clean up a hot chocolate spill. Or is that just my kids that spill anything that they have?
The staff was very kind and helped us as soon as they could but when a spill happens in the middle of a song… it’s best to have your own napkins.
On our trip we each received a Golden Ticket (which I plan to laminate and hang on our tree), a cookie… I believe this was Snickerdoodle, and the above mentioned hot chocolate.
8) They invite your kids to be part of the story telling. They don’t just read a story, they have members talk about the pictures, how the characters are feeling and ask the kids to turn the pages. It was all very sweet and endearing.
9) The big man himself. Santa. I mean, look at this face. Ringing bells, Christmas songs and Santa himself. Santa comes to every child AND adult and makes a special visit. He hands out the first gift of Christmas (a bell) to each person and stops for a picture.
My friend had an amazing idea… one that I wish I had thought about… and that was to take a copy of the book for Santa to autograph. How special is that?
Santa took the time to talk, really talk, to my boys. It was such a sweet gesture when he could have easily just taken a picture and walked away.
10) Memories. We made memories that day. We sang songs on the way home and talked about our favorite parts. My sons already asked if we could do it again next Christmas and my answer is ABSOLUTELY.
I you have a chance to go this year… go. Make the time. Make the memory.
Find out more and book your experience here…