Does your town do a Polar Express-themed train ride every holiday season?
And let me tell you – it is bullshit.
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad offers train rides to the “North Pole” and a visit with Santa every holiday season for some pretty…ahem…”affordable” prices.
Can’t put a price on magic? Think again.
Your magical Polar Express ride to the North Pole is a 90-minute experience which includes a hot chocolate packet, one cookie, one silver bell, a program, and a brief visit with Santa.
That sounds cute, right?
Until you start looking at prices.
First, I want to point out something that’s just INSANE to me: this experience has “class tickets.” There’s Coach, Deluxe, Executive, and First Class.
…For a children’s-themed ride…
…When parents and teachers and literally everyone in the country are preaching, “inclusion, inclusion, inclusion!”
…There’s an Executive Class option for the more well-off families.
Let’s look at the packages.
And keep in mind, that purchase options are only available in blocks. And I have a family of 5.
This option, can ONLY be purchased in blocks of 4. So, since there are 5 of us, we will have to buy 2 blocks. That’s 8 seats. For a total of $376, as long as we choose Monday-Thursday. And, these bastards can’t even guarantee that my kids will get to sit on the North Pole window side, but they promise they’ll get to see it some time.
This option, for $20/seat extra, gets you a North Pole view, dining table and chairs, AND a commemorative mug! Woop! These can be purchased in groups of 4 OR 6. So, 6 it is…Only $402! I better be getting an extra commemorative mug for the ticket I don’t need but have to purchase.
Again, block option allows purchases in groups of 4. So, guess we’re buying 8 tickets for a total of $736. And AGAIN, the North Pole view isn’t guaranteed. You get the commemorative mug in this option too! Sooo, for more money, we get commemorative mugs and a shittier view? Are my silver bells at least going to be real silver?
For the really snobby families who just don’t want to be bothered with OTHER snobby families in their jammies, you can opt for the Executive Class, which automatically gets you 18 seats and literally every single other thing exactly the same as the other classes. But, I guess, at least your bratty kid will get tons of 1-on-1 time with THEIR Santa (That’s right, there’s more than one Santa on the train. How else does magic happen in every compartment?) This option is available to you for the bargain price of $1,566, and the promise your child will come out more spoiled than when they entered.
If you’re wondering whether you should splurge this holiday season on a Polar Express ride, the answer is HELL NO.
Aside from being ridiculously expensive, programs like this set the bar WAY too high. Some of us parents operate on the basis that magic doesn’t have to be proven to their kids.
Anyway, it goes without saying, my family will NOT be riding the Polar Express this year.
I can buy my own Swiss Miss for $1.68, some crappy bells at the dollar store, and “cut n bake” a whole DOZEN cookies on my own without breaking the bank.