Frequently Asked Questions
How can I contact a reservations agent?
Once tickets have been released, reservations agents can be reached at 973-419-6255 during the following hours or at email@example.com.
Monday-Friday: 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday: 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
All times are Eastern Standard Time.
Where do we park? Why are parking shuttles being used?
Parking is availble at an off-site lot near the event for $7 per vehicle and shuttles will be provided to transport passengers to the station. Parking passes should be added to your order during checkout. Further parking information will be distributed via email prior to your departure date. Buildings are being constructed on the lot previously used for on-site parking, so it is no longer available for the event. Please arrive 90 minutes prior to your departure to allow time to park and ride the shuttle.
Parking Lot Location: 80 S Jefferson Rd, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07981
Parking for those with the proper disabled parking placard or plates is still available at the station located at 1 Railroad Plaza, Whippany, Hanover, NJ 07981. If a member of your party has mobility issues, but you do not have the proper disabled parking placard, passenger dropoff will be available at the station as long a member of your party is available to move your vehicle to the off-site parking lot and ride the shuttle back to the event.
What is the Sensory Friendly departure on Dec. 12?
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride Sensory Friendly Performance
Date: December 12th, 2019
Rail Events Productions has worked to create a performance experience of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride that is more enjoyable for families with children on the autism spectrum or with other sensory sensitivities.
How is this show different?
The run of the show is similar to our regular departures, however, there will be some design changes to accommodate individuals with sensory sensitivities. These changes will include:
- Additional lighting on board the train
- Limiting flashing lighting effects
- Softer audio levels
- Limited startling or jolting audio effects
- Quiet spaces on board the train
On board, there will cars with passengers and select cars that are the designated Quiet Cars.
The purpose of the quiet car is to have a designated space on board in the event a passenger needs a break from the performance. Since passengers cannot leave the train during the ride, we will provide a quiet space to relax if necessary.
The event space in the station will open up for check-in early to allow extra time for these passengers to acclimate to the space. Please arrive 90 minutes prior to your departure. An off-site lot is being utilized for parking and all vehicles (other than those with the proper disabled parking placard) must be parked at 80 S Jefferson Rd, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07981. A parking shuttle is available to transport passengers the short distance to the station.
A Social Story is available for interested passengers before their arrival. The Social Story will inform audience members about the sequence of the experience with pictures and language to help prepare children and families for what to expect.
Where is Whippany Station located?
Whippany Station is located at 1 Railroad Plaza, Whippany, Hanover, NJ 07981. An off-site lot is being utilized for parking and all vehicles (other than those with the proper disabled parking placard) must be parked at 80 S Jefferson Rd, Cedar Knolls, NJ 07981. A parking shuttle is available to transport passengers the short distance to the station.
What is THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride?
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is a magical re-creation of the classic children’s story on board a real train. During a trip to the North Pole, passengers are served hot chocolate and a treat by dancing chefs, enjoy a reading of the book by Chris Van Allsburg, and receive the first gift of Christmas (a silver sleigh bell) after Santa boards the train to greet families. Attendants lead passengers in caroling and fun holiday activities on the return trip to Whippany.
How long is the experience? When should we arrive?
The entire experience in Whippany and on the train is roughly two hours in length. It is required that guests arrive approximately 90 minutes prior to their departure time. This allows time to park, board the shuttle, and check in at the Whippany Station. Boarding will begin 20 minutes prior to listed departure times. The train ride itself is one hour in length.
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. The gift shop is located inside of Whippany Station, just steps away from the welcome tent and boarding area. Built in 1904, the beautifully restored station epitomizes a classic railroad structure of yesteryear and is the perfect place to do your holiday shopping before or after your ride.
What are the different classes of service?
There are two classes of service on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride in Whippany, NJ: Coach Class and First Class.
Coach Class cars seat approximately 100 passengers inside of restored Comet commuter coaches adorned in festive holiday decor. Seating is arranged in a 3-2 configuration with three seats on one side of the aisle and two on the other. Designated wheelchair spaces are located in Glacier Gulch (2) and can be booked online by selecting the wheelchair space icon and adjacent companion seats as needed. Not all seats face the same direction in Coach Class, so please review seating charts carefully when booking.
2019 Coach Class Pricing
Value Departures: $46 Adult, $41 Child │ Standard Departures: $56 Adult, $51 Child │ Peak Departures: $66 Adult, $61 Child
Additional ticketing service fee and local tax will apply. Off-site parking and shuttles are being utilized and a $7 parking pass is required for each vehicle.
First Class cars seat 52 passengers inside of beautifully restored 1940’s era coaches from the golden age of rail travel. First Class cars feature festive holiday decor, ample legroom, overstuffed reclining chairs in a 2-2 seating arrangement, and large windows for the best view of the North Pole. In addition to more comfortable accommodations, First Class passengers are served their hot chocolate in a collectible THE POLAR EXPRESS™ ceramic mug which is theirs to take home.
2019 First Class Pricing
Value Departures: $70 Adult, $65 Child │ Standard Departures: $75 Adult, $70 Child │ Peak Departures: $80 Adult, $75 Child
Additional ticketing service fee and local tax will apply. Off-site parking and shuttles are being utilized and a $7 parking pass is required for each vehicle.
Is seating assigned?
Yes. In order to offer the best experience for all guests, seating is assigned on board THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride. You will select your own seats during the online checkout process as you would on an airline. Please review seating charts carefully as not all seats face the same direction in Coach Class.
Do you have a seating chart? Which direction do seats face?
All First Class seats face the same direction towards the front of the car. Coach Class seats face different directions, so please study the seating chart below closely. Groups who would prefer to sit facing each other should try to book seats in Car 2 (Northern Lights) based on the seat directions shown below. Since the train travels to the North Pole and returns over the same tracks, all passengers will ride forward for half of their trip and backwards for the other half (or vice versa).
In order to accommodate expanded theatrical and narrative elements, cars with table and chair seating are not being utilized in Coach or First Class cars. Please see the previous FAQs for more information on Coach and First Class seating.
What are the differences between Value, Standard, and Peak pricing?
The only differences between Value, Standard, and Peak pricing are the dates and/or times of the rides. Lower demand departures are priced lower to offer those on a budget options and higher demand departures are priced accordingly. The event functions exactly the same on all departures and passengers enjoy the same experience.
How soon should I book tickets?
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.
How do I book group tickets? Who qualifies for the group rate?
Groups of 20+ are eligible for a $5 discount per ticket and must be booked over the phone at 973-419-6255. Please note that the name of each member of your party is required to complete the check out process, so please have these prepared prior to speaking with a reservations representative.
To qualify for the group rate, group tickets must be booked in a single transaction and passengers must ride on the same departure with seats that are located together. Third party vendors are not permitted to purchase group tickets for resale or to provide access to early booking/discounts.
How do I book active duty military discount tickets?
Active duty military members with the appropriate uniformed service ID card are eligible for a $5 discount on each ticket (up to 10 tickets). To check out, please enter promo code MILITARY2019 and select the applicable military discount ticket product. Please note, the active duty individual must be a member of the attending party and must present their uniformed service ID card for verification when checking in at the event. If the appropriate identification cannot be presented by this individual, you will be charged the difference in ticket price before being allowed on board the train.
Is the event wheelchair accessible?
Whippany Station and the train are wheelchair accessible, however, wheelchair seating is limited. Access to the train is provided by a mobile lift on the platform and space for wheelchairs is located at the front of Coach Class Car 2 (Northern Lights). Unfortunately, due to the historic dimensions of our 1940’s era First Class cars, wheelchair seating is not available in First Class. It is also important to note that there are no wheelchair accessible restrooms located on the train. However, there are wheelchair accessible restrooms located on the event grounds.
Designated parking spaces for those with disabilities and the proper disabled parking placard are located directly adjacent to the station. Please notify parking attendants if a member of your party has mobility issues and requires a reserved space. If a member of your party requires wheelchair access, please contact a reservations representative to select and purchase the appropriate wheelchair/companion seats.
How do I book tickets for someone with a disability?
If a member of your party has a disability and needs the most accessible seating or a wheelchair space, please contact a reservations representative at 973-419-6255 to select and purchase the appropriate wheelchair/companion seats located in Car 2 (Northern Lights). These seats are comprised of a designated wheelchair space (no seat) and four companion seats located across the aisle. It is important to note that there are no wheelchair accessible restrooms located on the train. However, there are wheelchair accessible restrooms located on the event grounds. For additional information on wheelchair access, please see the previous FAQ or contact a reservations agent at 973-419-6255.
Where can I find food allergy information?
Rail Events Productions does not guarantee an allergen free environment. Cookies and hot chocolate are served on the train. A complete list of ingredients is available at the Will Call desk for your review when checking in. Hot chocolate contains dairy products.
The Snickerdoodle Cookie is nut free and is produced in a nut free facility. The ingredient list for the provided cookie is as follows:
Bleached Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sugar Margarine (Palm Oil, Water, Soybean Oil, Salt, Mono-and Diglycerides, Artificial Butter Flavor, Calcium Disodium EDTA [preservative], Vitamin A Palmitate), Egg, Shortening (Palm Oil), Invert Sugar, Water, Whey Protein Concentrate, Artificial Flavors, Salt, Cream of Tartar, Baking Soda, Soy Lecithin (Emulsifier), Cinnamon Ground, Oil (Soy).
Can we take a train or bus to the event?
Train service from New York’s Penn Station, Hoboken, Newark, and points west to Morristown, NJ is available via NJ Transit’s Morristown Line. From Morristown, riders will need to take a cab or ride share service approximately four miles to Whippany Station at 1 Railroad Plaza, Whippany, NJ. For more information on train service, please visit www.njtransit.com
Limited regional bus service to Whippany (on weekdays only) is offered by NJ Transit Bus 73 which has a stop (labeled Hanover Twp) at Mt Pleasant Rd/Route 10 and Troy Hills Rd. From this stop, it is a three block walk to Whippany Station. Please see the full Bus 73 schedule HERE.
If you plan to take mass transit to the event, please allow ample time in case of delays and study schedules/maps carefully. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is not responsible for the on-time performance of mass transit. Trains will not be held for late arrivals and tickets are non-refundable.
Are there restrooms on board the train?
A limited number of restrooms are available on board the train. Please alert a staff member if a member of your party needs to use the restroom, as they may need to be escorted to another car to access the nearest one. It is important to note that there are no wheelchair accessible restrooms located on the train. However, there are wheelchair accessible restrooms located inside of Whippany Station.
Do infants ride for free?
Children under two may ride for free provided they are not occupying a seat and ride on an adult’s lap. A free infant ticket must be selected at checkout and the name of the child must be provided on the reservation. This is to ensure every passenger can be accounted for in case of emergency.
What should my family wear?
Families are encouraged to wear warm pajamas just like passengers from THE POLAR EXPRESS™ book and film. Passengers will spend time on an unheated platform as they board and disembark from the train, so appropriate winter attire is also recommended.
Where does the train go?
The train follows a point-to-point route through woods and neighborhoods surrounding Whippany, NJ during its trip to the North Pole. This route includes several changes in direction that are incorporated into the one-hour onboard presentation.
Are tickets refundable?
Like sporting events, concerts, and other live events, tickets for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride are not refundable.
Can I change my reservation to a different date or time? Can I change names on tickets?
Changes to the date and time of a reservation must be made within 24 hours of purchase and are subject to pricing differences. 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. Please call 973-419-6255 to speak with a reservations agent.
Name changes on tickets are allowed. Name changes need to be made at least 24 hrs before departure time by calling 973-419-6255 and speaking with a reservations agent. The reservation holder must make this request and be able to provide their name, email address, and credit card information in order to change names on tickets.
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 Morristown & Erie Railway’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 or natural disasters. Full refunds will be offered in these scenarios.
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.