North Pole Express 2013

We’re just ready to wrap up North Pole Express 2013 here at the Florida Railroad Museum in Parrish with our last run on Sunday, 22 December 2013.  Already we are getting great media coverage such as this article in the Bradenton Herald.  After all, the North Pole Express is certainly the museum’s biggest event next to Day Out With Thomas.

I had the opportunity to volunteer over three weekends in December on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday runs.  However, I’ll give you a complete report on what went on that makes this event the museum’s best event in my next post, which should be sometime soon.

If you have tried to get tickets for the North Pole Express, you probably know by now that the event is sold out.  But you can plan ahead of time for North Pole Express 2014 and here’s how:

First and foremost, buy your tickets when they go on sale at the first opportunity.  Tickets go on sale right around Labor Day, so you might want to check the Florida Railroad Museum website as Labor Day weekend draws closer to find out when tickets go on sale.

Second,  the quickest way to get your tickets is the museum’s website once they go on sale.  You will want to review your seating options prior to making your purchase.  You can also call to place a phone order for tickets, but be prepared for busy signals when you call.

Third, consider joining the Florida Railroad Museum as a member!  One of the major benefits of being a member besides getting free train rides on our regular ride weekends is the opportunity to purchase your North Pole Express tickets one week before they go on sale to the general public.  The number of tickets you can purchase depends on your membership level; being an individual member (as an example) allows you to purchase just one ticket before the tickets go on sale to the general public.  Of course if you need to purchase more than you are allotted in the member pre-sale you can purchase additional tickets when the tickets go on sale to the general public.

If you purchase your North Pole Express tickets as a member during the member pre-sale be sure to have your membership number – printed on your membership card that you received along with your membership materials when you joined – available when you call.  However, if you do not have your membership number don’t worry, the museum ticket agent can look your membership up for you.

On a side note, another important benefit of membership besides the free train rides on regular ride days and early access to select events such as the North Pole Express is the opportunity to be on the museum’s volunteer train crew!  After all, volunteers – especially the volunteer train crew – are the lifeblood of the Florida Railroad Museum, as it does not receive any funding from Federal, State or Local governments, even though the museum is one of a few railroad museums to be designated as an official State of Florida railroad museum.

So, if you are one of the lucky few out there that has tickets to tonight’s (Sunday, 22 December 2013) North Pole Express, welcome aboard!  Be sure to get to the Parrish station early enough to pick up your tickets (especially if you have not already received your tickets in the mail) and locate your boarding position on the train.  Be sure to look at your tickets for your correct car assignment (and seat assignment, if you are ticketed in Excursion Class or above).

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