Select Brightline Trains in Fort Lauderdale Will Transform Into The Polar Express

What's a  Polar Express experience without hot cocoa? Brightline has that covered.
What's a Polar Express experience without hot cocoa? Brightline has that covered. Brightline
click to enlarge What's a  Polar Express experience without hot cocoa? Brightline has that covered. - BRIGHTLINE
What's a Polar Express experience without hot cocoa? Brightline has that covered.
You’ve likely read the Chris Van Allsburg tale. And, you’ve probably seen the film version starring Tom Hanks. Well, now it’s time to actually ride The Polar Express.

That’s right, Brightline has partnered up with Rail Events Productions and Warner Bros. Consumer Products to morph select trains into a real-life Polar Express experience. The special train rides kick off on Sunday, November 11, and they'll run on select dates through January 1, 2019.

All of your wildest winter fantasies – the ones you haven’t been able to experience because you live in a tropical paradise – are coming true on this adventure. And, this isn’t just one car of a train that’s being decked out – when you book your golden ticket, the entire train will be immersed in the Polar Express theme.

The rides start in Fort Lauderdale, traveling north for a 62 minute journey. Folks in Miami and West Palm Beach can also purchase a discounted, special “sleigh ride” Brightline ticket to Fort Lauderdale to access the experience.

On-board, there will be hot chocolate and cookies, served by dancing chefs and carolers. And, along the way, you will meet Santa and his special helpers, following along to the Polar Express tale read aloud. Guests will also get to take a golden ticket and silver sleigh bell home. And, of course, guests are encouraged to wear pajamas for a cozier trip.

In addition to the experience onboard, the Fort Lauderdale station will feature a special activation by the Museum of Discovery and Science, where guests may write a letter to Santa.

“We’re encouraging everyone to arrive early, so they can enjoy everything we have to offer,” said Ali Soule, a spokesperson for Brightline. “We’re not only reinventing travel, but we’re all about delivering meaningful experiences for our guests. This is certainly one of those experiences.”

The Polar Express experience has hit select railways and attractions throughout the U.S. in recent times, including the New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal, St. Louis' Union Station and the Kentucky Railway Museum. Check out the full schedule for the Fort Lauderdale rides at

The Polar Express Train Ride. Starting at 10 a.m. on November 11 with select dates/times through January 1, 2019, originating at Fort Lauderdale Brightline Station, 101 NW 2nd Ave., Fort Lauderdale; Tickets are $60 for children ages 2 to 11 and $65 for those 12-and-over. 
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Jesse Scott is a Fort Lauderdale-based contributor for Miami New Times covering culture, food, travel, and entertainment in South Florida and beyond. His work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and his hometown newspaper, the Free Lance-Star, among others.