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North Fork Trolley Polar Express

The North Fork Trolley’s Polar Express. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

North Fork Trolley Polar Express

Put on your pajamas and grab your golden ticket — The Polar Express is chugging back into town.

The North Fork Trolley’s Polar Express tour, which takes participants on a 75-minute round-trip journey to a fictional version of the North Pole, will once again depart Riverhead’s The All Star bowling alley on multiple dates this season. Due to its popularity, the tour has added a second pickup location at The Omni on County Road 39A in Southampton.

Tickets for the tours, which have sold out in recent years, went on sale in August. The first performance is set for Friday, Nov. 24, and tours run until Saturday, Dec. 23.

“Being fairly humble I never thought it would take off [the way it did],” said North Fork Trolley manager Jay Mooney. “But I’m not surprised because I absolutely love it.”

During the experience fans have the chance to interact with a character from the 2004 film adaptation of “The Polar Express” and listen to an audio recording of the book. Participants then disembark at a secret location, where they have the chance to meet Santa Claus and his elves. Cookies and hot cocoa are also served.

New this year will be a synchronized light show and additional costumed characters.

Attendance has grown since its launch four years ago, attracting 1,600 guests in 2013, about 2,200 in 2014 and 2015 and 6,500 in 2016, Mooney said. He expects 8,000 people to take the trip in 2017.

He boasted that the Santa performers on the tour will convince even the most skeptical of children.

“I’ve been a Santa for 30 something years and I take it seriously,” he said. “My personal belief is that they’re only kids once. Let them believe as long as possible.”

Tickets for the 2017 “Polar Express Trolley Ride” cost $53 each and can be purchased here. Most performances take place between 4:30 and 8:30 p.m. and participants must be age 2 and above. Pajamas are encouraged. For more information, call North Fork Trolley at (631) 369-3031.