Dear Heber Creeper Management, Jan. 2010
My family and I were delighted to be able to board the Polar Express in Dec. 2009. It was a splurge my husband and I decided to surprise our children with because we realize that they will not be young forever. All of us have thoroughly enjoyed the Polar Express tale for years through means of reading or watching it together. Our family consists of 4 children ages 8, 6, 4, and 18 months.
During the drive home from our train ride, my husband and I discussed in detail things we especially liked about the experience, and also some improvements we felt would add more of a magical, storybook feeling. We hope you will take our suggestions into consideration.
Outstanding Elements of the Polar Express Experience:
• Costumes- including the elf hats, chef hats, and conductor’s uniform
• Delicious hot Chocolate served at just the right temp and in a cup with a lid & straw (good for kids)
• Help on and off the train by the gentlemanly chefs
• Décor on the train (garland, lights, and ornaments)
• Happy Mrs. Claus
• Ample time for photo opportunities with staff, all were friendly and willing to pose
• Music with reading of the Children’s’ Book, The Polar Express, multiple copies so all could see
• Proper warning before Santa was spotted in snow (so that kids knew exactly where and when to look and didn’t miss seeing him). Santa waving his lights in the darkness
• Interactive Songs during ride home
• Letting kids tell jokes, sing in microphone
• Cute ticket punch had by conductor, added to ticket souvenir
• Santa handing out silver “believe” bells
Suggestions to add energy and magic to the experience:
• Someone needed to signal the start with a loud proclamation: “ALL ABOARD THE POLAR EXPRESS!”
• Announcement reminding families that young children who were not charged for tickets should be seated on LAPS. (We ended up not being able to sit as a family because we didn’t realize the seats were first come, first serve. In addition- when we got into the car, there were only 3 seats left. We had paid for 5. It was rather “cooped up” ride).
• An initial peppy and even theatrical greeting/ welcome on the microphone once we sat down would have made the moment of departure as exciting as we had imagined.
• I wanted to hear the “Hot Chocolate” song from the movie!!! My kids and I LOVE that song. It makes everyone feel light, and spoiled, and giddy! I wanted the servers to tap dance!!! I was envisioning the tap dancing, or even just some simple form of choreography.
• More dialogue during punching of the tickets- more of an imitation of Tom Hanks’ character. This would have thrilled my kids.
• The “Just Believe” song. People identify so much with this beautiful song which is the anthem of the Polar Express.
We hope that you find this feedback helpful. May you enjoy spreading the spirit of Christmas to all of the families who excitedly join you on the journey of the Polar Express!
John Alden and Julia Whitehead
It was negative four outside . Brrr! I guess that's typical temp. at the "North Pole!"