VRE Santa Train review — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

VRE Santa Train review

I think that it had the potential to be a good trip, but it just wasn't quite there.  We rode the Woodbridge train on Saturday.  We got to the station at about 8:45 b/c we knew it would be crowded, and since there weren't assigned seats, we wanted to get seats together.  It's a good thing we did, b/c by the time the train arrived, the line was backed up all of the way into the parking garage.  It was a COLD wait though.

The trip started off well.  DS was really excited, particularly to see REAL CONDUCTORS on the train.  He wanted to know if we were going to go to the North Pole to see Santa like on the Polar Express.  The whole trip was a surprise for him, so that made it even more exciting for him.  As the train got started, people came through passing out colored pencils, coloring books, train engineer hats, and candy canes.  This helped keep the kids entertained until Santa arrived.  Both kids didn't want to be touched by Santa, so we got this awesome picture:

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Note DS's body language and DD glaring in the background.  :-)

Now for the bad part.  Either Santa was slow so they delayed the train, or something happened on the tracks, b/c at one point they stopped the train for a LONG time.  Perhaps 20-30 minutes.  It resulted in the entire ride being an hour and a half instead of just an hour, which was just too long for our duo, and for a lot of the other kids too.  Luckily, at some point on the ride back, some carolers came through and sang for a few minutes.  Unfortunately, they couldn't stay long enough to keep the kids happy for the rest of the ride back.  :-P

Overall, without the delay, I think it would have been a good trip.  I'm not sure that we'll ever have kids that are jumping up and down with excitement to see Santa, but we at least got through it without DS having a panic attack, LOL.  I thought he was close at one point.  As Santa was nearing us, he started just repeating, "I don't want presents.  I don't want presents.  I don't want to talk to Santa.  I don't want presents."  Luckily, he did pretty well.

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Re: VRE Santa Train review

  • I was just coming on her to post our experience.

    We probably live a little closer to Woodbridge than Burke, but we chose Burke for the 10:30 am departure time.  We got there about 10:15 and they were already letting people on the train.  I was nervous we wouldn't get seats together, but it ended up being no problem.  There was a short line to board and then we went down the platform to a completely empty car so we got to choose our seats.  They had given us crayons and coloring books as we were getting on the train.

    The train departed about 10:40 and drove pretty slowly and we got to Manassas around 11:10, waited a few minutes and then went back to Burke, this time at regular speed for the most part so it took only about 15 minutes.  There was not much to see out of the train but my DD (2.5 y.o) still loved it---"Look, a tree, a house, a car!" Etc., etc.  My son mostly stayed on DH's lap.

    I was definately disappointed with the Santa--he had a fake beard--I mean, really, they could not find an older man with a real beard!  He was nice enough though and DD took a picture with him.  DS was petrified of Santa at the mall, so I didn't even attempt a picture with him.  Santa's helper was handing out mini candy canes and Mrs. Claus came by too.  On the way back, Santa came back through the train and even took a few more pictures.

    Overall, DD loved the train ride aspect of it.  I would do it again, but its not a "must do."

  • Great reviews, thanks ladies!

    And OP, this is the first year DD #1 actually looked forward to seeing Santa at the mall, and even then, she balked when she actually saw him and mumbled out her wish list to him quickly to then run away from him.  She's a few months away from turning 5.  I don't think the kids really like Santa until they're older - 6 or 7 maybe?

    Wife, Musician, Fed, WW-er, and Mom of three little kids - not necessarily in that order.
  • Arts, DS was also looking forward to talking to Santa this year, which is why I thought it would go well.  :-)  Last year he talked Santa's ear off once he found out that he didn't have to sit on the big guy's lap.  I was really hoping he'd just plop right down and chatter away, but no such luck.
    image
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