What to Expect

What to Expect

Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the classic story as they are whisked away on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ for a magical one-hour trip to meet Santa. Once on board, your car hosts will work their way through the coach and punch your golden ticket before hot chocolate and delicious Walker’s Shortbread are served by dancing chefs. Passengers then read along with the classic children’s book, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg.

Santa and his helpers board the train to greet passengers and each guest is given the first gift of Christmas – a silver sleigh bell. During the trip, characters on each car lead passengers in caroling and onboard entertainment just like in the film! Each guest will take home a keepsake sleigh bell in addition to the wonderful memories made on this magical trip.

Further event information is available in Frequently Asked Questions.

Classes of Service

Coach Class

Each coach on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at Chicago Union Station offers the same class of service. In order to offer the best experience for all guests, seating is assigned on board the train and you will select your own seats during the online checkout process as you would on an airline. Please review seating charts carefully. The onboard presentation is designed to accommodate all seat locations and all passengers enjoy the same magical experience. Please review the Seating Chart carefully before booking. All seats on board the train are assigned and you will select your own seats during checkout.

2023 Event Pricing

Value Departures: $55 Adult, $47 Child (2-11) │ Standard Departures: $67 Adult, $59 Child (2-11) │ Premium Departures: $80 Adult, $72 Child (2-11)

Additional ticketing service fee and local tax will apply. 




Executive ProducerAllen Harper
Executive ProducerJohn Harper
ProducerMichael May
Artistic DirectorScott Calcagno
Production Stage ManagerMichael George
Lighting DesignerGuy Rhodes
Sound DesignerJoe Palermo
Costume DesignerJesus Perez
General ManagerJarrette Ireland
Production ManagerKevin Broomell
Company ManagerAnne Drysdale
Marketing ManagerJamie Ryan
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