Frequently asked questions

What is THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride?


THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is a theatrical re-creation of the classic children’s story on board a real train. Set to the soundtrack of the motion picture, passengers will relive the magic of the classic story as they are whisked away on the Polar Express for a magical one-hour trip to meet Santa. 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 Galveston’s historic depot. THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride in Galveston consists of six separate cars pulled by vintage locomotives from the Galveston Railroad Museum’s collection. On board, you will be seated in either Coach or First Class according to your ticket purchase. Every guest will experience the same excitement and wonder of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride. Please call (320) 244-0213 to speak with a ticket specialist if you have further questions.




When does THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride take place?


Performance Dates:
November 15-17, 22-24, 27, & 30
December 1, 6-8, 13-15, 20-23, & 26-29
Show times:
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 5:00PM, 6:45PM & 8:30PM
Sunday Matinee: 3:15PM




Where is the Galveston Railroad Museum?


2602 Santa Fe Place Galveston, TX 77550




What do tickets cost?


Ticket prices vary by date and show time, and class of service the ranges are: Adult Coach: $35-55
Child Coach: $27-47
Adult 1st Class: $55-75
Child First Class: $47-67
Lap Infants under 2: Free Please call (320) 244-0213 for more information




Where do we park? Are Shuttles being Used?


Click HERE for detailed parking information.

We have identified two reserved parking options that can fit a range of needs as you plan for your Polar Express™ Train Ride and consider your explorations of Galveston Island. All the options are walking distance from the museum, one is also served by a a continuously running shuttle (approximately 20 min intervals).

Reservations and payment for options one (1) and two (2) below must be made at least three days before the dates of your ticketed performance.

  1. 2602 Santa Fe Place Galveston Railroad Museum parking lot (approximately 120 reserved spaces).

    1. Short distance to the museum.

    2. Staffed Fri-Sun 10am to 11pm each day.

    3. $15 per day. No ‘In and out’ privileges.

    4. Disabled parking with permit*

    5. No buses, motorhomes, or trailers of any kind

    6. If available, this lot will accept parking on a first come, first-served basis

  2. 225 25th Avenue (public parking)

    1. Short distance to the museum.

    2. Not staffed. First come, first served.

    3. $20 per day. No ‘In and out’ privileges.

    4. No buses, motorhomes, or trailers of any kind

  3. 2011 Market Street (approximately 200 reserved spaces)

    1. Served by shuttles.

    2. About a 10-minute walk to the museum

    3. Staffed to accept reservations at the listed times below. Shuttle runs until 11pm.

      1. Fri 5:00pm to 10:00pm.

      2. Saturday 2:00pm to 10:00pm

      3. Sunday 1:30pm to 5:00pm

    4. $10 per day. No ‘In and Out’ privileges

    5. No buses, motorhomes, or trailers of any kind

  4. 2337 Post Office (public parking)

    1. Served by shuttles. It is about a 10-minute walk to the museum

    2. Not staffed. First come, first served.

    3. $10 per day. No ‘In and out’ privileges.

    4. No buses, motorhomes, or trailers of any kind

  5. 2100 Market Street (public parking garage)

    1. Served by shuttles. Shuttle stops across the street

    2. About a 10-minute walk to the museum

    3. Not staffed.

    4. Rates vary. No ‘In and Out’ privileges

    5. No buses, motorhomes, or trailers of any kind

*Parking for those with the proper disabled parking placard or plates is available at the Galveston Railroad Museum on a first-come, first-served basis.

If a member of your party has mobility issues, but you did not secure disabled parking, passenger drop-off will be available at the museum as long a member of your party is available to move your vehicle to the off-site parking lot and walk or ride the shuttle back to the event.

The shuttles are ADA accessible




Where does the train go?


It is important to note that it is not a scenic site seeing trip. The emphasis of the event is on the live, immersive onboard entertainment. The train will depart from and return to the Galveston Railroad Museum after operating on the museum’s historic track.




What do THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride tickets include?


Each ticket includes access to the Polar Express Train Ride, an hour long train ride and retelling of Warner Brothers’ classic holiday movie, The Polar Express. It also includes admission to the Galveston Railroad Museum’s historic passenger depot where you will pick up your tickets, shop, and enjoy entertainment while you wait to board the train. Children under the age of 2 do not require a separate ticket, and must be seated on an adult’s lap during the show. At the end of the ride, passengers can shop in both the Polar Express Gift Shop as well as the Museum’s own Gift Shop.




What can I expect if I am able to get First Class tickets?


First class tickets are limited in number and usually sell out first. Passengers will ride on the former Santa Fe dining car City of Galveston. Each ticketed passenger will be seated at a four place dining car table, and receive hot chocolate served in a commemorative mug.




Is the train ride accessible to persons with disabilities?


The Galveston Railroad Museum’s THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride uses vintage rail cars and cannot accommodate handicapped passengers. However, people with limited mobility have been able to board the cars with the assistance of a caretaker. If you need any extra time to board the train, please let us know at the will call box when you pick up your tickets and a station agent will preboard your family member who needs assistance, plus one other person from the party to accompany them. The remaining members of the party will line up with the rest of the passengers for regular boarding.
The Galveston Railroad Museum’s grounds are fully accessible to persons with disabilities, except as noted above.




What should my family wear?


Families are encouraged to wear pajamas, like the passengers in the Polar Express book. Part of the event will take place on an unheated, outdoor platform as passengers board and disembark from the train, so appropriate warmer attire is recommended. For accurate weather reports on the day of your ride, please visit www.weather.com and use the zip code 77550.




How do I become a member to participate in Member Advance Ticket Sales?


We encourage you to join the Galveston Railroad Museum to learn about upcoming events and exhibits. Members at the Brakeman level or above will receive advance notification and the opportunity to buy advance tickets for the Polar Express. Please note that membership does NOT guarantee your purchase of tickets. Available tickets are limited and sell out quickly. Please visit: https://www.galvestonrrmuseum.org/membership for more information




No Alcohol Policy


THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is a family-friendly event and no alcohol is sold or allowed on board the train. Intoxicated passengers or those found in possession of alcohol will be removed from the event without refund.




Are tickets refundable?


Like sporting events, concerts, and other live events, tickets for the Polar Express Train Ride are not refundable. In the event of an emergency cancellation due to weather or mechanical failures, performance(s) may be canceled. If we issue you a refund for a ticket due to a canceled or postponed event, we will issue a refund of the ticket price paid, reserved parking price and all service fees. In no event will delivery charges or any other amounts be refunded. If a refund is issued, it will be issued using the same method of payment that was used to purchase the tickets in the name of the person who purchased the ticket. We will not be liable for travel or any other expenses that you or anyone else incurs in connection with a canceled or postponed event.




What are the differences between the Value, Standard, and Peak pricing?


The only differences between Value, Standard and Peak pricing are the dates and times of the rides. Lower demand departures are priced lower and higher demand departures are priced higher. The event functions exactly the same on all departures and passengers enjoy the same experience.




How do I buy tickets?


Museum Members at the Brakeman level or above can purchase tickets beginning at 9:00AM Thursday, August 22, 2019. General Ticket sales open at 9:00AM Monday, August 26, 2019. Tickets will be available on www.galvestonrrmuseum.org/polar-express or by calling (409) 765-5700




Can I change my reservation to a different time or date?


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.




Will The Polar Express™ Train Ride run in inclement weather?


The Polar Express Train Ride is able to operate all normal weather conditions. If the train ride is cancelled due to a weather emergency, we will offer full refunds to the passengers. In the event of an emergency cancellation due to weather or mechanical failures, performance(s) may be canceled. If we issue you a refund for a ticket due to a canceled or postponed event, we will issue a refund of the ticket price paid, reserved parking price and all service fees. In no event will delivery charges or any other amounts be refunded. If a refund is issued, it will be issued using the same method of payment that was used to purchase the tickets in the name of the person who purchased the ticket. We will not be liable for travel or any other expenses that you or anyone else incurs in connection with a canceled or postponed event.




What if I miss The Polar Express ™ Train Ride?


Due to the volume of ticket sales, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to reschedule missed Polar Express Train Rides.




Where can I stay on Galveston Island?


There are many excellent hotel choices on Galveston Island. Please visit https://www.galveston.com/hotels-condos/ to learn more.




Where can I find food allergy information?


The Galveston Railroad Museum does not guarantee an allergen free environment. Cookies and hot chocolate are served on the train. A complete list of ingredients is listed below. Hot chocolate contains dairy products:

Hot Cocoa Mix Ingredients: Sugar, Whey, Cocoa (processed with Alkali), Coconut Oil, Nonfat Milk, Corn Syrup Solids, Maltodextrin, Contains Less Than 2% of Cocoa, Artificial Flavor, Calcium Phosphate, Salt, Sodium Caseinate, Cellulose Gum, Mono- & Diglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Silicon Dioxide (free-flog agent).

Contains: Milk, Soy.

The Sugar Cookie ingredient list is as follows:

Classic Sugar Frozen Cookie Dough Ingredients: Enriched Bleached Flour (Bleached Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sugar, Margarine (Palm Oil, Butter [Cream, Salt], Water, Contains 2% or less of: Salt, Mono- & Diglycerides, Natural Flavor, Citric Acid, Vitamin A Palmitate added, Beta Carotene [Color]), Eggs, Contains 2% or less of: Baking Soda, Salt, Natural Flavor.

Contains: Wheat, Egg, Milk.