Frequently Asked Questions
Can I ride Brightline directly to and from the event?
Yes! Brightline is the best way to get to and from THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride in Miami. Hop on at Brightline’s West Palm Beach or Fort Lauderdale stations to easily and conveniently access Virgin MiamiCentral within one hour, extending the magic from door to door. Click on the logo above or visit gobrightline.com to book your ride.
Brightline tickets are sold separately, and are not valid for admission on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride. Please allow sufficient transfer time between Brightline trains and the event. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ passengers must check in prior to the event, boarding begins 20 minutes prior to listed event departure, for security purposes boarding will end 5 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. Trains will not be held for late passengers, all trains leave on time.
What is THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride?
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is a re-creation of the classic children’s story on board a real Brightline train. Passengers are served hot chocolate and a treat by dancing chefs, enjoy a reading of the book by Chris Van Allsburg, and receive the first gift of Christmas (a silver sleigh bell) after Santa boards the train to greet families. Attendants lead passengers in caroling and fun holiday activities on the return trip to the station.
How is this event different?
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at Virgin MiamiCentral is an immersive event that is officially licensed by Warner Bros. Consumer Products. This event features a staff of energetic hosts who lead the train in an interactive, hour-long experience. Each Brightline coach is dressed in festive holiday décor and features color-changing LED lighting synched with the activities on board. Trains depart from Virgin MiamiCentral Station on select weekdays and from Fort Lauderdale on weekends. Weekend tickets for Fort Lauderdale can be purchased at ftlthepolarexpressride.com.
Where does the train go?
The train travels on a point-to-point route beginning and ending at Brightline’s Virgin MiamiCentral Station. It is important to note that the focus of the event is on the entertainment going on inside of the train, not the scenery outside. The route itself is not decorated for Christmas and due to the urban operating environment, does not feature a North Pole set. Because of this, extra effort has been made to make the inside of the train a magical, immersive experience.
Where is Virgin MiamiCentral Station?
Virgin MiamiCentral, 600 NW 1st Ave, Miami, FL 33136
Where do we park?
Event parking is available in the official Brightline parking garage at 161 NW 6th Street, Miami, FL 33136 (Entrance is located on NW corner of 1st Court).
Parking Rates: $8 daily / $1 first hour & $2 per additional hour
Brightline parking garages offer hourly and daily rates available for payment via PayByPhone. How does it work? Download the PayByPhone app, save your vehicle and credit card info, search the location (#4012.1, Miami), choose your length of stay and pay.
How long is the experience? When should we arrive?
The entire experience is roughly two hours in length. It is required that guests arrive approximately one hour prior to their departure time. This allows time to park, pass through security, and check in at Will Call in the station. Boarding will begin 20 minutes (and end five minutes) prior to listed departure times. The train ride itself is one hour in length.
Where do we go once we arrive at the station?
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride departs from the normal Brightline platform at Virgin MiamiCentral. A Will Call desk will be located in a well-marked location in the station and passengers are required to check in prior to boarding. It is required that guests arrive approximately one hour prior to their departure time. Guests receive THE POLAR EXPRESS™ souvenir golden tickets wristbands and boarding passes at check-in. All passengers are required to go through Brightline’s security screening before boarding.
Boarding will begin 20 minutes prior to departure. Train doors close approximately 5 minutes prior to departure and trains will not be held for those arriving late. Trains depart and return to the same location.
Does Brightline utilize security screening at this event?
Yes. Brightline uses a threat detection platform that creates a physical security gate to specifically locate prohibited items on guests as they pass through security. Guests walk past with personal items in hand, while carry-on bags of size are placed on a conveyor belt to be x-rayed.
Are there different classes of service?
Each coach on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at Virgin MiamiCentral offers the same class of service. Seating is on Brightline equipment and is mix between standard and table seating in coaches that have been decorated for this magical experience. Please see the following FAQ for more information on table seating.
How does table seating work? Why should I buy the entire table?
A limited number of table seats are available in each coach and seat parties of two or four. Seats are arranged to face each other with a small table in between for hot chocolate and cookies.
Do you think sitting with a stranger at your table is a little awkward? So do we. To prevent this, we highly recommend that parties buy all seats at a table. The only premium charged is all seats are at the Adult rate. Children and infants are still welcome at table seating.
All seats on board the train are assigned and you will select your own table seats during the checkout process.
Do you have a seating chart? Which direction do seats face?
Please see the seating chart below for information on coach numbers, names, seat directions, and table locations.
What are the differences between Value, Standard, and Peak pricing?
The only differences between Value, Standard, and Peak pricing are the dates and/or times of the rides. Lower demand departures are priced lower to offer those on a budget options and higher demand departures are priced accordingly. The event functions exactly the same on all departures and passengers enjoy the same experience.
Is seating assigned?
Yes. In order to offer the best experience for all guests, seating is assigned on board THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride. You will select your own seats during the online checkout process as you would on an airline. Please review seating charts carefully as not all seats face the same direction. The onboard presentation is designed to accommodate all seat directions and all passengers enjoy the same quality experience.
How soon should I book tickets?
It is recommended that reservations are made as soon as your group knows which date and time you would like to attend. Tickets are expected to sell out quickly for this popular event.
How do I book group tickets?
Groups of 20+ are eligible for a $5 discount off each ticket, which must be booked over the phone at (770) 516-3836. Please note that the name of each member of your party is required to complete the check-out process, so please have these prepared prior to speaking with a reservations representative. Qualifying purchases must be made and paid for with a single transaction.
Do infants ride for free?
Yes. Children under two may ride for free provided they are not occupying a seat and ride on an adult’s lap. An “Adult with Infant” ticket must be selected at checkout and the name of the child must be provided on the reservation. This is to ensure every passenger can be accounted for in case of emergency.
How do I book Active Duty Military / First Responder tickets?
Active duty military members and first responders with the appropriate uniformed service ID card or badge are eligible for a 10% discount on up to 10 tickets. To check out, please enter promo code MILITARY2019 and select the applicable military discount ticket product. Please note, the active duty or first responder individual must be a member of the attending party and must present their uniformed service ID card or badge for verification when checking in at the event. If the appropriate identification cannot be presented by this individual, you will be charged the difference in ticket price before being allowed on board the train.
How do I book tickets for someone with a disability?
If a member of your party has a disability and needs the most accessible seating or a wheelchair space, please contact a reservations representative at (770) 516-3836 to select and purchase the appropriate wheelchair/companion seats. These seats are comprised of a designated wheelchair space (no seat) and companion seats located nearby.
Wheelchair spaces are available in the following coaches: Herpolsheimers (Car 1), Northern Lights (Car 2), Aurora Borealis (Car 5), and Flat Top Tunnel (Car 6). Virgin MiamiCentral Station is fully wheelchair accessible and each coach on board the train features an accessible restroom.
Additional information on Brightline accessibility can be found at www.gobrightline.com/accessibility.
Do you have a gift shop?
A full range of exclusive THE POLAR EXPRESS™ gifts and keepsakes will be available for purchase at the event. Want to arrive in style at the event with your own THE POLAR EXPRESS™ pajamas and book? Please visit www.raileventsretail.com to pre-order our exclusive, officially licensed pajamas and the classic book. Orders will ship in mid-October.
What should my family wear?
Families are encouraged to wear pajamas just like passengers from THE POLAR EXPRESS™ book and film. Passengers will spend time on an outdoor platform as they board and disembark from the train, so appropriate outdoor attire is also recommended in case of rain or chilly weather.
Are there restrooms on board the train?
Yes. Each coach has an onboard restroom that is available to passengers. All restrooms are wheelchair accessible.
Where can I find food allergy information?
Rail Events Productions does not guarantee an allergen free environment. Cookies and hot chocolate are served on the train. A complete list of ingredients is available at the Will Call desk for your review when checking in. Hot chocolate contains dairy products.
The Snickerdoodle Cookie is nut free and is produced in a nut free facility. The ingredient list for the provided cookie is as follows:
Bleached Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sugar Margarine (Palm Oil, Water, Soybean Oil, Salt, Mono-and Diglycerides, Artificial Butter Flavor, Calcium Disodium EDTA [preservative], Vitamin A Palmitate), Egg, Shortening (Palm Oil), Invert Sugar, Water, Whey Protein Concentrate, Artificial Flavors, Salt, Cream of Tartar, Baking Soda, Soy Lecithin (Emulsifier), Cinnamon Ground, Oil (Soy).
Are tickets refundable?
Like sporting events, concerts, and other live events, tickets for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride are not refundable.
Can I change my reservation to a different date or time?
Changes to the date and time of a reservation must be made within 24 hours of purchase and are subject to pricing differences. If seats are available on another date/train, our reservations agents will do their best to accommodate your request. However, no guarantees can be made that your reservation can be changed. Please contact an agent at (770) 516-3836 to request a date or time change.
Will the event take place if there is inclement weather?
Trains will continue to run in various weather conditions. However, trains may be cancelled or postponed at Brightline’s discretion due to weather or operational considerations. The event may also be cancelled or postponed if the State Highway Patrol closes major roads and freeways due to inclement weather. Full refunds will be offered in these scenarios.
Are pets or emotional support animals permitted on board?
No. For the comfort and safety of all guests, pets and emotional support animals are not permitted on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride. Only trained service animals with identification cards are permitted in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Florida law.
No Alcohol Policy
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is a family-friendly, ALCOHOL-FREE event. No alcohol is sold or allowed on board the train and intoxicated passengers or those found in possession of alcohol will be removed from the event without refund.
Brightline Terms of Service
Guests are subject to Brightline’s Terms of Service available HERE.
THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s19)
Based on THE POLAR EXPRESS book and characters © & ™ 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.