My family and I took a ride on the Train to Christmas Town from the Cape Cod Central Railroad a couple of weekends ago and I wanted to tell you a little bit about our experience.
Let me start out by saying that neither myself or either of my children had heard of this book before we got these tickets, so we weren’t entirely sure what to expect. They did have copies of the book for sale in the train depot, but I didn’t purchase a copy. I personally feel that a copy of the book should be included with the ticket price- maybe one per family? Obviously it’s not a popular book yet, so I don’t think many people are familiar with the story and having a copy of the book to read while we waited for the train to depart would have been nice.
But I digress……
Once the train got going, the conductor stamped each child’s ticket. He stamped out each child’s first initial onto their ticket.
Then the “Elves” passed out a cookie and hot chocolate to everyone. If you’re wondering, it was a chocolate chip cookie minus the chocolate chips and neither of my kids liked them. The hot chocolate was good, though – and it was refreshing to actually get hot chocolate as opposed to the ice cold chocolate we got on the Polar Express ride on that train last year.
About 15-20 minutes into the ride, they played a recording of the story through the speakers on the train while “an elf” walked around to show the kids the pictures in the book. The thing is, it was so loud on the train from all the people talking that we couldn’t hear any of the story, so we still don’t really have any idea what the book is actually about.
But then, after about 30 minutes,we arrived at Christmas Town where Santa was waiting and there were a few lights set up. Few being the key word.
Santa then boarded the train and visited each child.
And guess what? He handed every single child on the train whistles because there is apparently a song that they play on the train ride (from the book?) in which the kids can blow whistles along with the song.
Honestly, it was awful. The kids were ALL blowing their whistles for the entire 20 minute ride back to the train station and to say that I walked out of there with a headache is a complete understatement. Many of the parents I saw were literally sitting there with their hands over their ears. I strongly feel that there should be a warning for all parents about this. It was extremely loud and uncomfortable once the whistles were handed out and even if the song that they could blow their whistles along to was played – it couldn’t be heard over all the noise.
We did see Bumblebee the Polar Bear, who is a character from the book, on our ride, too. The thing is, my kids wanted to meet him, but he didn’t stop for pictures or even to say hi. He walked through our train car twice and that was it.
So, I will leave you with this. If you are interested in taking your kids on this, bring earplugs and maybe try to read the book beforehand so that you know the story before you go.