THE POLAR EXPRESSTMat The Dennison Depot
Make lifetime family memories! Put on your favorite pair of pajamas and hop aboard THE POLAR EXPRESSTM for a magical journey to the North Pole! The Dennison Depot offers the authentic POLAR EXPRESSTM Train ride, sanctioned by Warner Brothers and Rail Events.
Join us for this family reenactment of the award-winning book, “THE POLAR EXPRESSTM“, written by Chris Van Allsburg. Your adventure begins on board our decorated vintage coaches as Storytellers read the story aloud. As the train heads north toward the North Pole, festive elves will entertain you with songs, games, and activities. As you travel to the North Pole enjoy a beverage and delicious cookies, specially made by Mrs. Claus just for you.
When the train arrives at the North Pole, you will see Santa and his workshop out your train window. (Passengers do not get off the train.) Our visit to the North Pole lasts long enough to pick up the most important person – Santa! Once onboard, Santa will visit with children and gift them all with a special jingle bell taken from his reindeer’s harness. When you hear the bell ring…you truly believe!
Dates & Times:
December 4th, 5th, 6th, 11th, 12th, and 13th, 2020
Friday trips depart at 6pm and 8pm.
Saturday and Sunday trips depart at 2pm, 4pm, 6pm and 8pm.
All passengers 1-year-old and up must have a seat.
First Class: $72 per person
Deluxe: $62 per person
Coach: $52 per person
Private Compartments: $450, seats 6 (Very limited)
Whole Car Rentals:
Rent an Entire Car for a more intimate experience for your family or friends!
Not only will you have your coach to yourself, by renting your own private car you have the additional opportunities to bring special gifts if you choose for Santa to pass out, minimal additional snacks, and the ability to seat your group as you like.
First Class Private Car Rentals:
We are offering the opportunity to rent an entire private First Class Car for your group. We have a choice of two First Class cars:
One that seats 28: Cost to rent is $3,000
One that seats 44: Cost to rent is $4,000.
Deluxe Car Private Rentals:
Seats 52 passengers: Cost to rent is $3,750
Coach Private Car Rentals
Seats 60 passengers: Cost to rent is $3,750
Seats 72 passengers: Cost to rent is $4,200
Looking for a more comfortable experience and extra treats for kids? We suggest going First Class or Deluxe!
First Class seating includes the opportunity to wait and relax in seats inside in the First Class Waiting Room. When the weather is cold, this is a great benefit. The POLAR EXPRESSTM Conductor will personally come and greet the group from the Waiting Room to the train as you will be first to board. On the train, each First Class child ages 1-12 will receive an engineer’s hat, a wooden train whistle, and another special treat onboard the train. First Class Cars include tables or table trays at your seats.
Deluxe Seating also includes all First Class amenities listed above, with the exception of tables and the special treat. Children will receive an engineer’s cap and a wooden train whistle.
Coach passengers will also be welcomed by the Conductor and board the train from outside. Please be prepared for the weather, warm clothes if cold; umbrellas if raining.
What to do while visiting?
Visit our Gift Shops!
Don’t leave without taking a memory home to remember your THE POLAR EXPRESSTM Adventure for years with one of our THE POLAR EXPRESSTM souvenirs. Gift Shops are located in the Museum’s Whistle Stop Railway Gift Shop and across the street in the Masonic Temple.
Local Vendors will also be set up on the Depot’s campus to purchase special gifts.
Enjoy a meal with your family at one of our local restaurants. The Over the Rail Diner in the Depot is happy to take your reservation: 740.673.4077. We also suggest locally family-owned restaurants, the Dennison Yard, and Pangrazios. For Saturday morning breakfast, Holy Grounds. All restaurant info will come in your Ticket Letter.
Visit our Rolling Stock!
Have you ever climbed into a caboose? Stood next to a large Steam Engine? Explore the Museum outside for these fun activities.
You can never take enough THE POLAR EXPRESSTM Photos! Before you even get on the train, take a photo at these Photo Opportunity Spots: The Business Car Observation Deck, our Sleigh, Our Christmas Characters, our Soldiers at the Depot Entrance, our baggage cart full presents, Bing’s House decorated for Christmas, and more!
Important Ticket Ordering Information:
*All First Class and Deluxe tickets are sold by phone. Coach tickets can be purchased by clicking here. To make reservations, call our Ticket Agents at 740-922-6776 and purchase with a MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express. You are also welcome to stop into the Depot’s front office Tuesday through Friday 10-5, Saturday 11-4 and Sunday 11-3.
*Call early! Tickets are first come first serve and they go fast. We strongly suggest purchasing tickets in advance.
*Suggested Arrival: We strongly suggest you arrive one hour prior to departure. Passengers board one-half hour before departure. You will need to give yourself plenty of time to park and get your temperature checked. If you are picking up tickets, we suggest allowing additional time.
*IMPORTANT: Gates close 5 minutes before departure. So if you arrive exactly on time, you will miss your train. We are not obligated to refund or exchange your tickets at that time.
*Any parties that wish to sit together, must purchase all tickets at the same time in one order with a single form of payment.
* Tickets must be purchased for children 1 year and older. For safety purposes and in regards to space in seats, you do not want to be short a seat.
* Once your order has been placed, you will not be able to subtract people from your party, nor change the date or time of the order. If you would like to ADD a person to your party, please call our Ticket Agents and we will try to accommodate you based upon availability. Since we cannot guarantee additions, we suggest you have your correct number of tickets when ordering.
* Tickets will be mailed out beginning in November. Orders placed one week prior to the train rides will be available at the Will Call Location for pick-up.
*We strongly suggest upon receiving your Ticket Packet, you double-check for accuracy. It is easier to correct errors in advance.
* We encourage you to purchase a POLAR EXPRESSTM book with your order. They come pre-autographed by the POLAR EXPRESSTM Conductor and Santa Claus and add to the experience when you pick them up at the Will Call Location. You will want to make sure to pick them up BEFORE your train ride. There will be no autographing the books on board.
* All Railroad Cars are different! For example, some First Class cars have tables, some do not. Please see the seating descriptions above. We fill seats on a first-come, first-serve basis and do not make any promises or guarantees as to what seating you will receive other than the correct classification of ticket you purchases.
* In most cases, groups will be seating facing each other. However, for groups of 5, there will be 4 seats facing each other, and the 5th seat will be across the aisle. For groups of 9, you will receive 2 sets of 4 seats facing each other side by side, and the 9th person in the row in front of you or behind you. As we approach the train ride dates, instances of passengers facing each other may decrease as we begin to use the only remaining seats available, so there is a chance you will NOT be facing each other. The key is to order early.
*These are period railroad coaches, and they do not have seat belts. To bring a baby carrier on board, there will be no way to anchor them on the seat. Carriers are permitted, but you must purchase an additional ticket in order to place the carrier on a seat.
* Strollers can be left for safekeeping by the Depot in designated Stroller Parking. No strollers are permitted inside the Depot or onboard the train.
* For your safety, we strongly DO NOT RECOMMEND wearing open-toed shoes, high heeled shoes, slippers, long hats, long scarves, or curly elf shoes on the train. They can be dangerous when boarding and unboarding.
* All elves on board and at the North Pole are local children who donate their time and costumes. They are not professional actors.
* All Storytellers on board are also volunteers.
* IMPORTANT: If you have walking difficulty, a passenger in a wheelchair or other special needs, please notify us when placing your order. This will make a big difference when seating your group.
Note: THE POLAR EXPRESSTM passenger train cars are vintage cars, not ADA compliant and have limited wheelchair accessibility for wheelchairs and persons with walking difficulty, both in terms of the number of wheelchair-bound persons that can be lifted onto a THE POLAR EXPRESSTM passenger train car and the number of wheelchairs that can be accommodated within these vintage railroad cars. Prior to booking any tickets, kindly call 740-922-6776 in order to confirm whether we can accommodate the needs of such a person.
COVID-19 Safety Protocols:
*Please be sure to read through all of the COVID-19 safety protocols listed below. The Dennison Railroad Depot Museum and Genessee and Wyoming Railroad are operating with elevated safety practices and procedures including constant sanitation, the wearing of masks, practicing social distancing, and operating trains at approximately 50% capacity to improve overall safety.
- Masks will be required for all passengers. Volunteers, staff members, and special visitors will also be wearing masks. Please see The State of Ohio’s mask guidelines here.
- Social Distancing of 6ft between parties will be practiced at all times.
- Parties will be sat in “family bubbles” with a barrier row in between them and the next group to enforce social distancing.
- All passengers will get their temperature checked and get asked a series of COVID- related questions.
- Seating will only be at approximately 50% to ensure plenty of room to social distance.
- We also encourage all passengers to frequently visit our Santa-tation Stations throughout the campus.
- We ask that all passengers pay attention to and follow the increased signage we will have on our premises. We will have strict foot trafficking guidelines to ensure the safest route possible.
- If you or someone in your party feel sick, please stay home.
- Lastly, the Purchase of a POLAR EXPRESSTMticket acknowledges that passengers willingly agree to adhere to all required safety protocols that align with the CDC and State of Ohio Safety Protocols. If these are not followed, you may be asked to not ride the train. Although we will have high standards of safety, passengers are fully aware that we cannot guarantee a COVID-19 free environment.
Special Tips from us to you!
Here are some secret tips most people don’t know about!
*Elf Parade! If you are riding trips on Fridays at 6, Saturdays at 2 or 6, Sundays at 2 or 6 – be sure to watch for the Elf Parade! Approximately 45 minutes before departure, the elves board the train and you can wave to them as they march by you!