WILLIAMS - It is not too soon to make reservations for the 2010-2011 presentation of the Grand Canyon Railway's Polar Express®. The Grand Canyon Railway will offer 71 runs this year Nov. 12 through Jan. 8.
"We expect this year's presentation of the Polar Express to be as popular as ever, and we have already sold thousands of tickets," said Angela Berrigan, vice president of sales and marketing for the Grand Canyon Railway. "Polar Express is a perennial favorite, especially among Arizona families, and we have many guests who return year after year."
The Polar Express sells out many nights, and always on Christmas Eve, said Berrigan. "Potential visitors who can only take the Polar Express on certain dates should consider booking now so they are sure to experience this fun and memorable train excursion on the date they desire."
Closely following The Polar Express book by Chris Van Allsburg, this nighttime trip from the Grand Canyon Railway depot in Williams travels 17 miles to the "North Pole" and features a special reading of The Polar Express while passengers enjoy hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies. The "North Pole," a Christmas light village featuring an "Aurora Borealis," was extensively renovated last year with enhanced lighting and the addition of features such as storefronts, mailboxes and other structures to give the village a more permanent and three-dimensional look and feel. Upon arrival at the North Pole, passengers are welcomed by Santa Claus and Elf Bernard before Santa boards the Polar Express for the return trip to Williams. Santa makes his way through the passenger cars, greeting every child and presenting each one with a special gift - a jingle bell signifying their belief in Santa Claus. The round-trip journey is a little more than an hour in length.
Most evenings the Grand Canyon Railway offers two trains, one departing the Williams Depot at 6:30 p.m. and a second train departing at 8 p.m. The Grand Canyon Railway will offer a Charity Train at 8 p.m. on Nov. 12 with free tickets for non-profit organizations. To download an application to be part of this year's Charity Train visit http://www.thetrain.com/polarexpress. The "Christmas Eve Limited," departing at 8 p.m., includes special gifts from Santa that are not included during other excursions.
Polar Express reservations can be made by calling 1-888-848-3511 or by visiting www.thetrain.com/polar-express. For more information about the Grand Canyon Railway or to purchase other tickets or packages visit www.thetrain.com or call 1-800-The-Train (1-800-843-8724).