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Polar Express Rides Through Saratoga Springs

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The classic children’s book, The Polar Express, comes to life with a special train ride in Saratoga Springs, just in time for the holidays. NY1’s travel reporter Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.

Saratoga Springs is a whole lot closer to the North Pole over the holidays.

The magic of Christmas comes alive onboard the Polar Express, a seasonal train operating out of Saratoga Springs, New York.

Based on the popular children’s book, later made into a movie, The Polar Express follows the storyline so closely that kids show up in their pajamas.

The story, narrated by a recording of the iconic book’s author, Chris Van Allsburg, seems so real, some characters literally jump right off the pages.

During the half hour journey, hot chocolate flows into keepsake mugs along with fresh baked cookies delivered by dancing chefs. The conductor punches souvenir tickets as children ride with wide-eyed anticipation of what’s ahead, a stop at the “North Pole” to pick up a VIP, a very important passenger, Santa Claus.

Amidst a chorus of rousing carols, Santa and his elves work the train for the return trip. He hands out silver bells to all the children, but only those who believe can hear them ring.

It’s a holiday getaway parents can believe in.

“It’s nice to have an experience that the whole family can share together,” said David Parfitt of

The Polar Express hotel package includes Amtrak train tickets from New York City’s Penn Station, an overnight in Saratoga, tickets onboard the Polar Express, 10 percent off a meal at Circus Café, plus free homemade cotton candy. Rates start at $235 per adult and $75 for kids , 2 to 15 years old.

The Polar Express departs twice daily through January 6. Tickets to the train are available separately for those who don’t need a hotel.

For tickets, go to

As is common practice in the travel industry, Travel With Val often receives complimentary travel or reduced "media" rates at hotels, resorts and attractions, including those that may be featured in these reports. Such consideration is not taken in exchange for any express or implied promise or understanding of any nature, particularly regarding the content of these reports. These reports only feature travel providers personally recommended by Valarie D’Elia in the exercise of her independent editorial judgment, and do not represent the endorsement of Time Warner Cable or any third party. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP