All Aboard the Polar Express. Getting a ticket on the Polar Express Grand Canyon Railway, is a tradition for many Arizona families.
The ride is based on the magical classic children’s book, The Polar Express™, by Chris Van Allsburg. Passengers are encouraged to wear their pajamas during the ride and bring a copy of the book.
Every winter, the spirit of Christmas comes alive on this journey to the “North Pole.”
Seats on the train are bench-style, with two passengers per bench. The seats can be reversed. If you have four people in your group you can face each other during the ride.
Arrive early, so you have time to pick up your tickets and explore the depot. Passengers can have their photos taken with Santa and Mrs. Clause, visit with the elves and create some holiday crafts.
About the Polar Express Grand Canyon Rail Ride
The ride lasts about an hour and each night a train leaves at 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm from the depot in Williams. Every passenger is given a songbook of Christmas songs and are encouraged to sing along during the trip. Hot chocolate and cookies are served while you listen to the story of the Polar Express.
The “North Pole” and “Santa’s Village” has lots of decorations and lights. For some reason I had some misconceived idea passengers were able to exit and explore the “North Pole,” but this is not true. Passengers can only view the village from the train, this was a little disappointing. My daughter’s disappointment was short lived when Santa came on the train. He visited with all of the kids and gives each one a keepsake from their journey.
Tip: Plan early, tickets are often sold out by summer. If possible, choose seat on train that when you board you are seating to the right as you will have a better view of Santa’s Village.
Address: 233 N Grand Canyon Blvd, Williams, Arizona
Directions: From Phoenix take I-17 north to Flagstaff, at the 40 interchange go west about 30 miles toward Williams.
Hours: The ride lasts a little over an hour, and most days the train will leave at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
- Bearizona (about 2 miles)
- Grand Canyon Deer Farm (about 9.5 miles)
- Route 66
- Flagstaff (about 30 miles)
- Grand Canyon (about 54 miles)