Last Monday, our family got to go on Heber Valley Railroad's Polar Express ride. We had so much fun and the ride even exceeded Noah's expectations. Gabby, my 4-year-old, was a bit nervous at first that the train would run her over (my dad insisted on standing right next to the [fully stopped] train while holding her) but once we got in the car and were greeted by elves, she got excited. When the train got rolling, the train's "chefs" brought us all a cookie and warm chocolate (as opposed to hot chocolate). Later, Mrs. Clause came to say "hi" to everyone, which just thrilled sweet Gabby. But the best part by far was when we reached the North Pole (which consisted of 3 wire-framed houses with lights strung across them--a little disappointing for me, but the kid's didn't seem to mind in the least) and Saw Santa waving on the outside of the train. On the way back, Santa actually came inside the train to hand each child a silver bell with a ribbon attached (from his sleigh of course).
Word of caution: I wouldn't recomend showing the _Polar Express_ movie until after the train ride. In the movie, it's a bit frightning when the train comes off the tracks and turns circles on the ice, wouldn't you say?
Tickets are $29 for adults and $18 for children (3-12) and they are currently sold out so better luck next year. If you'd still like to ride on the train, last year we went on the tube 'n train excursion where you take a brief ride on the train to Soldier Hollow and go tubing to your hearts content, but the best part is that you don't have to climb up the hill afterwards--they have a toe rope for all of us lazy tubers out there. Tickets for that are $34 for adults and $24 for children. You can also skip the train ride all together and drive directly to Soldier Hollow just for the tubing (you do need a reservation however) at about half the cost.