Frequently Asked Questions:

How much time should I plan for the full POLAR EXPRESS™ experience?
To get the full experience, we recommend allowing a little over an hour for the entire event. The round-trip train time to the North Pole and back is 35 minutes. You’ll want to be at the Durango Depot 20 minutes before actual departure time in order to experience the performance that occurs as the train STEAMS into the station! Final boarding is 10 minutes before departure. After the train arrives at the North Pole and drops you off, you’ll want to meet the LIVE reindeer and visit Santa’s workshop. While visiting, you will have the opportunity to take your own photo of Santa with proper social distancing.

Can I purchase alcohol during THE POLAR EXPRESS™ event? This is a family-friendly, kid-focused, alcohol-free event. We will not offer any alcoholic beverages and passengers are not allowed to bring their own alcohol onboard the train.

Are there restrooms on the train? Yes. Restrooms in most coaches will be available. There are family-size portable restrooms next to Santa’s Workshop.

How soon should I book my tickets? For best seating we recommend you book your seats as soon as you are able to finalize your date. Certain departure times and certain cars book quickly! If you are in town during THE POLAR EXPRESS™ and HAVEN’T made a reservation, please check to see what we have available. We often have seats available even on the same day!

What choices do I have when choosing what car I want to ride? We have Standard, Deluxe, and Premium-class seating to choose from every night. All cars are heated. ALL children receive a bell. ALL cars are decorated for Christmas.  
 Seating: Forward-facing; two people per seat.
Seating: ‘Flip-over’ seating enables parties to face each other. Upgraded amenities include your own take-home souvenir ceramic THE POLAR EXPRESS™ mug.
Premium First-class: 
Seating: Table and chair seating in historic, first-class style as the whole family enjoys the upgraded amenities including your own take-home souvenir ceramic THE POLAR EXPRESS™ mug. Special ‘theme’ Christmas decor!

Is the D&SNG wheelchair-accessible car available on THE POLAR EXPRESS™? Yes, our wheelchair-friendly coach has a hydraulic lift to load a passenger in their wheelchair into the coach to ride right along with family and friends. It also features an ADA restroom.

How should we dress? As in the story, we encourage everyone to wear their pajamas on this special journey, but be sure your pockets don’t have any holes! Layer your clothing so that you’ll be warm outside while waiting for the train and be able to shed a coat while riding to the North Pole and put it back on after the train ride! Snow boots are recommended.

Where can I park my car? If you need downtown parking, it is available in the D&SNGRR Parking Lot on College Drive (next to McDonald’s) for $5.00 per vehicle. There is also public parking and City of Durango transit.

What time should I arrive at the station? We ask that you arrive no earlier than 1/2 hour before your departure time. Don’t miss the pre-boarding show!

What happens during our ride to the North Pole*?  This year’s event will be unlike any other you have seen before*.   Upon boarding THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride,  you will be magically transported to the North Pole.  Once you deboard you will meet 2 of  Santa’s reindeer and many friendly elves!  You will then be guided through the North Pole on a designated path where you will meet many of the characters from the movie.   You will have the opportunity to experience Santa’s workshop first hand. You will see Santa in his workshop and will have the opportunity to take a socially distanced photo of him.  Please remember to bring your own camera or phone if you’d like to obtain a photo.  Delicious hot chocolate and a cookie will be served at the end of your North Pole adventure.

* Because of the current COVID situation, we ask that passengers arrive no earlier than 1/2 hour before their train departure.  Masks are required and must be worn by everyone 10 and older.  Train cars will be filled at reduced capacity.

What happens at the North Pole? Enjoy the thousands of lights and see many of the characters from the movie as you walk through the North Pole on a designated path.

What if I need to cancel my trip?  Special and Licensed events (such as Polar Express) are non-refundable if canceled within 60 days of departure.  However, if you need to cancel due to COVID-19 health restrictions, we offer a full refund.

What if I need to change my trip?  If change is requested MORE THAN 60 DAYS before the trip date, the fee is waived. If a request is made LESS THAN 60 DAYS from the trip date, we will apply a service/change fee. If you UPGRADE  to a more expensive car or trip date, the fee will be waived!

Are the roads safe to travel in winter? Need to know current road conditions in Colorado? Click here:

Click on the kids below to return to the main page for THE POLAR EXPRESS™

Polar Express

Based on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ book and characters ™ & © 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg.  Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company.

All rights reserved. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


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