When one thinks of favorite childhood Christmas memories, what comes to mind? Vibrant twinkling lights … dreams about Rudolph and elves … Christmas carols that you’ve memorized by heart … a beloved holiday tale about a princess and an eagle that you want to read over and over again … a train ride to the North Pole … a gift straight from Santa himself? Verde Canyon Railroad will wrap all these recollections up with a great big red bow and put a Christmas smile on children’s faces all year long.
The Magical Christmas Journey™ aboard the Railroad taps into the rich tapestry of childhood and brings the mystique of Santa and the North Pole to life. The one-hour roundtrip adventure to the hometown of the man in the big red suit, which takes families through an enchanted tunnel that leads directly to Santa’s own tracks, is only part of the magical journey.
The holiday fun begins long before the train’s departure. With the purchase of train tickets, kids, from tiny tots to preteens, can join the “Magical Journey™ VIP Kids’ Club” online at verdecanyonrr.com/events/christmas-train/ to get their Christmas journey on track. By mail, the child will receive a copy of The Magical Christmas Journey™ book autographed by Princess Noel, a logo t-shirt, personalized letter from Santa about the upcoming Verde Canyon Railroad adventure, and a postcard to be sent back to Santa, with the child’s private wish list.
Starting in September, he or she will receive a digitally-delivered holiday puzzle each month through December. The puzzles showcase slices of The Magical Christmas Journey™ aboard Verde Canyon Railroad and help build excitement for the family outing. On the day of the train ride, the child also will receive “reindeer bucks” to spend towards treats or toys at the depot prior to the train ride.
When arriving at the railroad station, kids and grownups meet two of the stars of the storybook journey, Princess Noel and Flurry the live Bald Eagle, in a mystical wonderland of lights and festivities that envelop the depot grounds. The brilliance of décor is a glowing beacon in the high desert December darkness where the miniature “Bird’s-Eye Village” inspires more whimsical imagery. Children strap on a pair of eagle or fairy wings and let their imagination take flight through the tiny town to experience what Flurry the Bald Eagle sees when he soars over their hometown.
Goofy elves and carolers stroll through the grounds as guests enjoy festive food and beverages prior to the conductor calling all to board the train for the one-hour adventure to the North Pole. Onboard, passengers are joined by more elves and crazy car attendants with a goal of making the trip to the North Pole an event of its own.
After the train passes through the enchanted tunnel onto Santa’s private rails, the illuminated canyon critters that call the canyon home throughout the year, light the way to the North Pole as anticipation builds in the search for Santa and Mrs. Claus.
“There he is! Waving to us!”
“Hi Santa! Hi Mrs. Claus!”
At the North Pole, acrobatic elves entertain with their energetic leaps as the train rolls slowly past the amusing, all-original town, not once, but twice so that the whole family can soak in the fun, life-sized scenery … Santa’s Workshop … Mrs. Claus’ Bakery … Reindeer Flight School and Rudolph’s Barn … Ugly Sweater Factory … Elf Training Center … Polar Post Office, Naughty Kids’ Coal Mine and more! Because all passengers have an indoor seat with access to an outdoor viewing car, seeing the North Pole from this vantage point couldn’t be more spectacular!
As the train starts its return trip to Clarkdale, it becomes quite evident that there is another star of the show onboard. It’s Santa himself! Chatting with every child and sharing a special gift with each, Santa Claus is a fun finale to the incredibly memorable Magical Christmas Journey™ aboard Verde Canyon Railroad.
The Magical Christmas Journey™ is a one-hour roundtrip along “Santa’s Secret Rails” to the North Pole, departing Thursday through Sunday, December 6 through 28 at 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.. Ticket prices are $45 for adults and $35 for children. Reservations are highly suggested as some trains are already full. Parents are encouraged to sign children up for the “Magical Journey™ VIP Kids’ Club” when purchasing train tickets. Verde Canyon Railroad looks forward to welcoming everyone on its holiday rails this year!
It’s a Magical Journey and the Destination is the North Pole