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“Polar Express a magical evening for the children” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Mt. Hood Railroad

Mt. Hood Railroad
Ranked #12 of 69 things to do in Hood River
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Tourist railroad offering 4-hour scenic tours through the Hood River Valley to the base of Mt. Hood on a historic Excursion Train, Dinner Train or Brunch Train.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
Laguna Niguel, California
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Polar Express a magical evening for the children”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 December 2013

I have read many of the reviews. I imagine if someone was expecting a "gold" pass for the children or expectation of Disneyland this is not the forum. Our drive to the area was in the suv watching the Polar Express. I had never seen the movie. The conductor did spend time with each child punching holes in "their special tickets" making a special design or letter. Four children ages 9, 7, 6, and 4, they had enjoyed the experience for the last several years. This was my first. I sat with the children, and they loved every minute. No complaints about the lighting etc outside the train. The conductor, Santa and the his Elf each spent time with each child. Nothing rushed. The ghost hobo made several passes through...as well. The Polar Express was read, and illustrated by the helpers who brought "hot chocolate" yes it was hot....perfect for small mouths, and cookies. I had drank my water which I brought on board and requested a glass of water...brought to me without any question. The children were ringing their bells as we left and enjoyed again...yet another year for them...and "Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus" I will be back too...

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank PaulakLagunaBeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Meagan B, Manager at Mt. Hood Railroad, responded to this review, 26 December 2013
Thank you for joining us on the Polar Express. We are pleased to hear you enjoyed the trip and still truly believe in Santa! On behalf of the Mt. Hood Railroad we would like to wish you and your family a Happy New Year and hope to see you again next season.
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Portland, Oregon
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A Spectacular way to begin the holidays!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 November 2013

The Mt. Hood Railroad Polar Express was a stellar experience for our grandchildren and for us, it was a perfect way to begin the Christmas season in our opinion. We are well traveled, and are pretty discerning about where we take our grandchildren; we would recommend this experience highly. We read the kids the Poar Express book and watched the movie with them before we took the trip, so they understood the significance of the bells, the hobo, Santa and the elves. Our grandchildren thought it was "the best adventure ever!". We did purchase the upgrade to the dome car and had a fabulous view of the beautiful scenery along the river and forest. It got dark during the trip so the Christmas lights showed well, and Santa was dramatically illuminated as we came to the North Pole- the experience for the kids was very much like the movie. As for everyone who works on the Polar Express Train, they made the experience so much more meaningful-from the conductor, the chefs, Santa, the elves, the hobo. They were all enthusiastic, friendly, smiling, and engaged the children at all times-leading us in songs, getting us ready for Santa, hot cocoa and cookies, the North Pole, etc. In some earlier reviews there were complaints about the cocoa and cookies, but the cookies were yummy and the cocoa was not so hot that the kids had to wait to have it. We wanted to praise the Mt. Hood Railroad for the wonderful family experience they provided us, and to let others know this Polar Express is meaningful and well worth the money spent. Great job, Mt. Hood Polar Express Staff!!!!!!!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank Nancy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Meagan B, Manager at Mt. Hood Railroad, responded to this review, 26 December 2013
Thank you for the great review! It's so nice to hear that you and your grandchildren had such a good time on the Polar Express. We hope to see you all again next season! Happy New Year!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eugene
Level Contributor
93 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“Polar Exress, was fun for the kids”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 November 2013

The kids had a good time on the train. We sat in the dome car, but the windows fogged up before we left so that kinda sucked. Bring something for the kids to drink and snack on during the ride as there is nothing on the train but "cold" hot chocolate. Other wise, it was worth the money but I bring ear plugs because it is noisy !!!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank woody495
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Meagan B, Manager at Mt. Hood Railroad, responded to this review, 26 December 2013
Thank you for joining us on the Polar Express. I'm glad your children had a good time! We hope to see you again next year! Happy new year!!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Beaverton, Oregon
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Great Food, Trashy "Mystery", Lovely Scenery on Slow, Rocking Train Ride”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 November 2013

I booked the Mystery Dinner train for myself, my husband, 14yr old son, & father for my birthday. I love classic mysteries and good food so it seemed the perfect plan. The food was excellent. Two of us had salmon and other other two had the beef tenderloin. Both were really, really good as was dessert (cheesecake). Our waitress was unusually abrupt and unfriendly and was unable to tell us how far away from the mid-point we were in our journey because "she has been really busy." We had a appetizer before we left the station and then salad & dinner on the way up. The production started on the way back while we had dessert.

Unfortunately for me I tend to get motion sick (I always have to drive the car), but I was hoping a train would be fine. Not so. The rest of my family was fine for most of the trip, but I was not OK. It is a slow, rocking ride to a small town/park about 20 miles away (Parkdale) and back. I did fine for most of the way up during daylight, but it was about a 3-1/2 to 4 hr excursion with a short time to walk around at the turn-back point. If there had been any way for me to stay off the train at that small town and wait for my family to come back and get me I would have done that, but it was a very cold night and there was only a small grocery store open where I would have been standing for nearly two hours waiting for them to return.... but that is only a warning to anyone who gets motion sick.

My biggest disappointment was the mystery itself. We were given flyers with the character's names and some spaces where we apparently were going to be able to make notes about clues, etc to try and solve the mystery. I'm an avid mystery reader and tend to like the British mysteries from the 1930's - 1950's. The photo on the Mt. Hood RR website shows a couple of people in vintage clothing and the description says "Classic Murder Mystery" This show was not at all that genre. The actors did a good job with their characters, but I think the producer substituted trashy for clever. Sort of like comedians who rely on swearing for laughs instead of actually funny things in life. This production relied on characters who were pole dancers, scam artists and the like for entertainment rather than having a clever story line that was interesting to try and solve. There wasn't anything about it that could have counted as "classic". There were some other people on the train dressed in vintage garb. We initially thought/hoped they were the actors, but it turns out they were also guests. I think they were expecting something else as well. It was an unnecessary story line for my 14 year old son and my 70+ father, but I suppose that type of theme is entertaining to some people.

The main interaction the characters had with the passengers was to "kill" them off giving you a dead sign, or allude to adult encounters.... but maybe I missed some of the other interactions. I came back from the bathroom to find an scantly clad actress sitting next to my 14 year old son in my empty seat. Would have been fun had she been wearing something less revealing. I'm not outraged or anything... just disappointed.

The only real "clue/motive" I noticed in all the random drug/hit-man/scam artist/adult dancer dialogue ended up pointing directly to the character who committed the initial "murder".

So if you like that type of theme and really good food and won't get motion sick on a long, rocking train ride, then this is the trip for you.

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Trish246
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Meagan B, Manager at Mt. Hood Railroad, responded to this review, 26 December 2013
Thank you for joining us on the Mt. Hood Railroad's Murder Mystery Dinner Train.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
79 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Pretty cool, different.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 November 2013

Pretty fun ride, we went during christmas where they put on a show with the elves and what-not. Nice for the kids and those who believe in santa.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank Nathan U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Meagan B, Manager at Mt. Hood Railroad, responded to this review, 26 December 2013
Thank you for taking the time to post a nice review of your trip with us. We hope to see you in the near future! Happy Holidays!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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