FAQs

What is the Sensory Friendly departure on Dec. 19?

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride Sensory Friendly Performance

Date: December 19th, 2019

Time: 4:30pm

Location: New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal

Rail Events Productions has worked to create a performance experience of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride that is more enjoyable for families with children on the autism spectrum or with other sensory sensitivities.

How is this show different?

The run of the show is similar to our regular departures, however, there will be some design changes to accommodate individuals with sensory sensitivities. These changes will include:

  • Additional lighting on board the train
  • Limiting flashing lighting effects
  • Softer audio levels
  • Limited startling or jolting audio effects
  • Quiet spaces on board the train

On board, there will cars with passengers and select cars that are the designated Quiet Cars.

The purpose of the quiet car is to have a designated space on board in the event a passenger needs a break from the performance. Since passengers cannot leave the train during the ride, we will provide a quiet space to relax if necessary.

Arrival

The event space in the station will open up for check in approximately 1.5 hours early to allow extra time for these passengers to acclimate to the space.

Pre-Performance

A Social Story is available for interested passengers before their arrival. The Social Story will inform audience members about the sequence of the experience with pictures and language to help prepare children and families for what to expect.

How can I contact a reservations agent?

Reservations agents can be reached at 504-930-4408 during the following hours or at callcentersupport@ticketbiscuit.com.
Monday-Friday: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Saturday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
All times are Central Standard Time.

Where is New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal?

1001 Loyola Ave, New Orleans, LA 70113

Where do we park?

Parking is available for a separate fee in various locations near New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal. Parking rates may be at a premium for passengers riding THE POLAR EXPRESS™ during the New Orleans Saints game on Dec. 16. Please read posted parking instructions and restrictions in local lots carefully. An interactive parking map of the area can be found here: https://parking.amtrak.com/new-orleans-union-passenger-terminal-parking

Spot Hero Parking

We recommend booking convenient and affordable parking in advance through SpotHero.

To reserve your parking spot, visit the THE POLAR EXPRESS New Orleans SpotHero Parking Page and book a spot with rates up to 50% off drive-up.

New to SpotHero? Click here to download the SpotHero app.

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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 Amtrak 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 New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal is an immersive event that is officially licensed by Warner Bros. Consumer Products. This is the only officially-licensed THE POLAR EXPRESS™ event in Louisiana and features a staff of energetic hosts who lead the train in an interactive, hour-long experience. Each Amtrak coach is dressed in festive holiday décor and features color-changing LED lighting synched with the activities on board.

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 45 minutes prior to their departure time. This allows time to park and check in at Will Call in the station. Boarding will begin 20 minutes prior to listed departure times. The train ride itself is one hour in length.

Are there different classes of service?

Each coach on THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal offers the same class of service. Seating is a traditional layout on Amtrak coaches that have been decorated extensively for this magical event.

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.

Where do we go once we arrive at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal?

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride departs from the Amtrak platforms at the station. 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 45 minutes prior to their departure time. There will be a number of fun activities for families to enjoy while waiting. Guests receive THE POLAR EXPRESS™ souvenir golden tickets at check-in. 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.

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 (504) 930-4408. Please note that the name of each member of your party is required to complete the check-in process, so please have these prepared prior to speaking with a reservations representative. Upon arrival to check in at the event, groups must select one person to pick up tickets for the entire group and distribute accordingly.

 

How do I book active duty military discount tickets?

Active duty military members with the appropriate uniformed service ID card are eligible for a $5 discount on each ticket (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 individual must be a member of the attending party and must present their uniformed service ID card 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.

Is the event wheelchair accessible?

New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal and the train are wheelchair accessible, however, ADA seating is limited. Access to coaches will be provided by a mobile lift on the train platform and space for wheelchairs is located at the front of select coaches. More information can be found at http://www.amtrak.com/wheeled-mobility-device-services

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 there restrooms on board the train?

Each coach has onboard restrooms that are available to passengers, including some that are wheelchair accessible. New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal has a number of accessible restrooms.

Do infants ride for free?

Children under two may ride for free provided they are not occupying a seat and ride on an adult’s lap. A free infant ticket must be selected at checkout (after Adult and Child tickets have been selected) 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.

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 seasonal attire is also recommended.

Where does the train go?

The train travels approximately four miles North of New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal and returns over the same tracks to the station.

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 504-930-4408 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 Amtrak’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.

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.

Credits  

Did you have a great time on board? See where else the train can take you. Consider Amtrak for your future travel needs.

CREDITS

Executive Producer Allen Harper
Executive Producer John Harper
Producer Michael May
Producer Jarrette Ireland
Artistic Director Scott Calcagno
Associate Director Ericka Mac
Assistant Director Brittany Pena
Assistant Director Kasady Kwiatkowska
Production Stage Manager Michael George
Lighting Designer Guy Rhodes
Sound Designer Joe Palermo
Costume Designer Jesus Perez
Costume Designer Jane Debondt
Scenic Designer John Viesta
Hair and Makeup Designer Jesus Perez
Associate Lighting Designer Erin Kellam
Associate Sound Designer Rob Brooksher
Assistant Production Stage Manager Izzy Gorden
Casting Director Scott Calcagno
Casting Assistant Kyle Goleman
Associate Production Manager Chicago Company Nykol DeDreu
Associate Production Manager Whippany Company Meri Larsen
Associate Production Manager New Orleans Company Josh Courtney
Assocaite Production Manager Fort Lauderdale Company Daimien Matherson
Associate Production Manager Oklahoma City Company Christian Miller
Associate Production Manager Inland Empire Company Kyle Goleman
Associate Production Manager Fillmore Company Kyle Goleman
Business Manager Chicago Company Mary Zanger
Business Manager Whippany Company Jennifer Wright
Business Manager New Orleans Company Jamie Meltz
Business Manager Fort Lauderdale Company Carolina Perozo
Business Manager Oklahoma City Company Georgiana Hallock
Business Manager Inland Empire Company Mackenzie Leal
Business Manager Fillmore Company Isaac Randolph
Stage Manager Chicago Company Rita Vreeland
Stage Manager Chicago Company Lucy Schuh
Stage Manager New Orleans Company Molly Burch
Stage Manager New Orleans Company Marisa Christie
Stage Manager Whippany Company Becki Zatitsky
Stage Manager Whippany Company Joel Cote
Stage Manager Fort Lauderdale Company Miki Cayard
Stage Manager Fort Lauderdale Company Eric Joshua
Stage Manager Oklahoma City Company Kat Brown
Stage Manager Oklahoma City Company Amber Kay
Stage Manager Inland Empire Company Izzy Gorden
Stage Manager Inland Empire Company Sarah Nearhoff
Stage Manager Fillmore Company Sarah Tschripke
Stage Manager Fillmore Company Alli Gersbach
Production Electrician Trevor Dewey
Assistant Production Electrician Maggie Hart
Production Audio Supervisor Stephen Severn
Assistant Production Audio Supervisor Mary Radziszewski
Production Wardrobe Supervisor Sami Mihalik
Assistant Production Wardrobe Supervisor Reiley Morgan
Production Properties Meri Larson
Production Décor Nickie Dubick
Head Carpenter Justin Davis
Welder Spruce DeRussy
Props Construction Paul Dombrowski
Intern Kaylyn Eckhardt
General Manager Jarrette Ireland
Director of Production Michael May
Production Manager Holli Hipwell
Production Manager Kevin Broomell
Company Manager Anne Drysdale
Assistant Company Manager Georgiana Hallock
Assistant Company Manager Mary Zanger
Marketing Manager Jamie Ryan
Resident Designer Daniel Hosfield
Shop Foreman Justin Davis
Licensing Manager Matt Dowd
Licensing Manager Ed Roszickie
Product Development Sue Robano
Information Technology Manager Scotty Weits
Website J3 Media
Ticketing ETix
Audio Equipment TC Furlong
Lighting Equipment Christie Lights
Costumes J2 Costumes
Rehearsal Space Ripley Grier Studios
Dance Center Chicago
NOLA Spaces
Museum of Discovery and Science
Phill’s Ballroom Dance Studio
West Coast Dance Theatre
Merchandising Rail Retail Incorporated
Graphic Art Cindy Coleman
Trucking Clark Transfer
V2 Productions
Train Operations Amtrak
Morristown & Erie Railroad
Brightline Trains
Foxville & Northern Railroad
Oklahoma City Railroad Museum
Fillmore and Western Railroad
Southern California Railroad Museum
Special Thanks American Heritage Railways
Rail Events Incorporated
Kathleen Wallis
Warner Bros. Consumer Products
Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad
Jeff Cech
Cliff Miller
Larry Thomas