THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride  FAQ

Event Information

What is included with admission?

Admission to the show is inclusive of the following train journey, entertainment and mementoes:

  • Golden Tickets: All passengers will receive their own souvenir ticket upon their arrival.
  • Train Ride & Show: THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride experience is approximately 90 minutes. This includes a 45-minute Train Ride. 
  • Character interactions:  Throughout the journey, passengers will encounter characters like the Conductor, Hero Boy, Hobo and of course Santa Claus!
  • Book reading: The story of The Polar Express, will be narrated onboard the train, and the Train Stewards will have a large picture book so that everyone can follow the iconic story.
  • Entertainment: Keep an eye out for a lively performance of the ‘Hot Chocolate’ dance scene when the train stops mid-journey.
  • Refreshments: Just like in the story, passengers will be served a hot chocolate drink and homemade biscuit by our ‘Chefs’ on the platform at Lakers Siding and watch a special part of the show with the Hobo.
  • Carols: Your stewards will be inviting everyone to join them in singing popular Christmas carols as the train heads towards the ‘North Pole’.
  • Special Gift: Santa and the Elves will greet passengers after the train ride and present everyone with a memento of their journey – a sleigh bell.
  • Photo Opportunities: Parents are encouraged to capture photos during the experience, with their camera or mobile device. Plus, our Elves will be on hand to take a family photo with Santa, before you leave us. 
What time can we check in?
Patrons are welcome to present their pre-booked tickets and exchange them for a Golden Ticket at the ticket exchange marquee.

The ticket exchange marquee opens 30 minutes before each showtime.

Waiting area activities:

  • Children can add their colouring sheets to the display wall.
  • Take photos of our THE POLAR EXPRESS™ locomotive
What ages are suitable for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride?
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is perfect for individuals of all ages, delivering a truly enchanting experience that captivates both children and adults alike.

Whether you’re a curious toddler or a young-at-heart grown-up, this magical journey is designed to delight everyone.

What type of refreshments will be offered?

At the halfway point in the train journey, passengers will have the choice between a hot chocolate milk drink or water, accompanied by a locally baked biscuit (gluten-free) as part of the experience. Refreshments will be served on the platform.

As we are unable to provide for only other specific dietary requirements, parents are welcome to bring their own alternative drink and/or biscuit

Will other food options be available at the event ?
Patrons are welcome to bring their own food (BYO) or may choose from the following options available for purchase at the event.

EVENT WAITING AREA
Nelly’s At The Pier – One of Queenscliffs’ great cafes offering light snacks and fun treats like honey joys!

QUEENSCLIFF TOWNSHIP
Families are welcome to discover some of the great places to eat before or after their showtime, including bakeries, cafes, fish’n’chips and hotels.
Many are just a 5-minute walk away from the railway.

Interested in helping to feed our event Patrons?
Tell us what you would serve HERE

Will the event still go ahead if it is warm or raining?
The event has a mix of indoor and outdoor activities and goes ahead rain, hail, or shine.

Patrons should be prepared for changes in the weather (predicted/on the day), as shelter may be limited.

Terms and Conditions
ALL TICKET SALES ARE FINAL AND NON-REFUNDABLE 

Advertised events are held rain, hail or shine and tickets will not be refunded unless the operator cancels outright.

Booking Changes

Patrons are not entitled or guaranteed to have their booking moved due to, but not limited by:

  • Booking the incorrect show date and/or time.
  • Changes to personal or work commitments.
  • If the pre-booked train departure time is missed,
  • Non-attendance, whether in whole or in part.

As a volunteer organisation, we endeavour to accommodate requests, however, decisions are subject to availability and based on the ticket terms and conditions. Patrons should allow up to 2 weeks for the request to be considered/accepted and receive email advice.

All requests should be emailed HERE 

Disclaimers
Timetables, calendars, motive power (steam/diesel), and admission may be altered with little or no advance notice.

We reserve the right to operate the scheduled service with a diesel locomotive due to – but not limited to:

  • Unforeseen circumstances, such as engine breakdown or service requirements.
  • On days of the Total Fire Ban.
  • On days declared extreme the day’s service may be cancelled outright.
  • Regular maintenance requirements.

Photography and Video
From time to time The Bellarine Railway carries out photography and/or video recording which may feature visitors on its premises. By booking, you agree that The Bellarine Railway may use such images in perpetuity in any promotional, advertising or publicity material in any format whatsoever. You further agree that copyright in these materials rests with The Bellarine Railway. Photographer(s) are usually identified by wearing an orange hi-vis vest. Patrons are welcome to request they not be included in photos/videos.

Accessibility

Event and Carriage Accessibility

The event is held at the Queenscliff Railway Station precinct, which has a mix of sealed roadways, concrete paths, crushed rock, and grassed areas. While most of the precinct is level, there are some areas with gentle slopes or slightly uneven surfaces, including:

  • Car parking area at the bottom of Learmonth Street
  • Entry to the platform waiting area

Due to the heritage nature of the available carriages, doorways and aisles are narrow and restrict the accessibility for walkers, wheelchairs, and prams. A ramp will be provided to enable patrons to transfer from the platform to the seats adjacent to the doorway.

*** There are up to 3 accessible places per show and subject to availability. Please get in touch with us to discuss any arrangements, prior to booking tickets HERE

Please note that prams cannot be carried on the train and that undercover areas are required to provide shelter for all patrons. It is advisable to leave prams in the car.

Parents are advised there is a gap between the carriage and the platform, and children need to be monitored when boarding and alighting from our carriages.

Carriages are enclosed, with windows that should be opened/closed by parents.

Seating configurations vary, and sets of seats range from 2 to 4, 8 or 10. Patrons are likely to share a set of seats with fellow passengers. Carriages with ‘sets’ of  8 or 10 seats will have 4 or 5 seats facing away from the Train Stewards.

Entry to Santa’s Hall can be either by ramp or 2 steps. While the exit doorway has a slight step down, access to the ramp for exiting will be arranged upon request.

Restrooms and Baby Change Facilities

Accessible restrooms and baby change facilities are located inside the event venue at Queenscliff Station:

  • Queenscliff platform
  • Brick hall opposite station

One portaloo will be located at the east end of the platform at Lakers Siding – the halfway point of the 45-minute journey.

Please note that there are no toilet facilities onboard our heritage carriages

It is recommended to plan a rest stop at a public toilet, shortly before arriving at Queenscliff Station.

Booking Information

When will tickets be released?
Winter shows open on 1 May 2024 at 9:00 am

December shows release dates are yet to be announced 

How can I book?

*** Reservations should only be made through this website.
*** We do not accept tickets obtained from external sources such as eBay or rebooking sites – if unsure please email us HERE

Click the red BOOK NOW  button on this page and select THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride.

As this is a ticketed event, everyone wishing to attend is required to purchase a valid ticket.

Patrons need to select one of the following showtimes: 10:00 – 11:30 – 1:30 – 3:00

You can add additional tickets to your original booking. The confirmation email contains a link (top left) that allows you to view your booking online and increase your group numbers.

*** There are up to 3 accessible places per show and subject to availability. Please get in touch with us to discuss any arrangements, prior to booking tickets HERE    Also refer to accessible information detailed on this page.

Patrons who book will receive emails relating to their booking, such as booking confirmation, important updates, or a request for feedback (optional) following your visit to help us improve.

Can I book separately if I'm joining another family?
We strongly advise families and friends to make one group booking to ensure you will be seated together.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride carriage and seats will be allocated at the discretion of the Bellarine Railway and are subject to change without notice.

You can add additional tickets to your original booking. The confirmation email contains a link (top left) that allows you to view your booking online and increase your group numbers.

Passengers will receive their final carriage and seating assignments upon arrival at the ticket exchange marquee.

Changes to seating allocation cannot be made on the day.

What is the reason for infants limit?

All attendees, including free infants, will receive a gift from Santa and the Elves, however, our supply of gifts to be given is not limitless.

Depending on demand, we may consider allowing additional infant admissions. While not guaranteed families are invited to request any additional infants while booking tickets.

Do you accept Companion Cards?

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride event, held at the Bellarine Railway offers a restricted number of Companion Card holder seats for each showtime.

To inquire about the availability of a companion seat, please email a photo of the Companion Card, your name, mobile number, group numbers, and a few preferred dates/showtimes to:  booking@bellarinerailway.com.au

All requests must be submitted before purchasing tickets and close one week prior unless allocation is exhausted or the event becomes booked out.

Updated 10.9.2023

Can I use my voucher?
Please note that discounts and voucher offers are not valid for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride.

Travelling To The Event

Recommended arrival times

We recommend planning to arrive at the event, at 30 minutes before the pre-booked showtime

Please note that It is the responsibility of ticket holders to arrive at the event with enough time to:

  • Present tickets (printed or shown on a mobile device) for scanning at the Ticket Exchange Marquee
Where can I park?
Free parking is available at the Queenscliff site (on a first come first served basis) and in nearby streets.

Accessible parking is at the north end of Learmonth Street – corner of Symonds Street. At the bottom of Learmonth St, cross over Symonds to enter the station precinct.

There are 3 accessible parking spaces on the right of the road, with a further 3 on the left-hand side of the road.

 

I am running late - what should I do?
Please note that telephone, emails, and social media are not guaranteed to be answered while the event is in progress.

We understand that Patrons can experience travel delays, so please see our Volunteers at the Ticket Exchange Marquee when you arrive:

  • If you arrive after the train has departed, our volunteers will endeavour to move you to a later train. 
  • Should the remaining shows that day be fully booked, you may join your session on the train’s return to visit Santa.
  • Bookings will not be moved to another show date. 
  • If the train ride is missed, purchasers will be emailed a voucher for the Swan Bay Express within 1 week.
Where can I stay for the weekend?
The Queenscliffe Visitor Information Centre can help you find local accommodation – call 03 5258 4843.

Alternatively, visit the link below to see the accommodation options available on the Bellarine or in Geelong.

 

STAY HERE

THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. WB SHIELD: TM & © WBEI. (s24)
Based on THE POLAR EXPRESS book and characters © & ™ 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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