Polar Express steams way into CT Post Mall for the holidays

MILFORD — The Polar Express, with Santa Claus in toe, rolled into the city this week.

Those walking through the Connecticut Post Mall through Dec. 24 can experience The Polar Express and get an interactive photo with Santa Claus. The Connecticut Post Mall held a previewing event on Wednesday for VIP guests and their families.

“It looks magical,” Dena Tabaczynski, one of the VIP guests at the event, said.

Her daughter, Charlotte Tabaczynski, was wondering how they put the train inside the mall because she said it looked heavy. When asked if she was excited to take a photo with Santa, she said she was excited but nervous.

“The Polar Express is an immersive entertainment opportunity that gives people who are waiting in line to get their photo taken with Santa plenty of selfie opportunities,” Kelly Hapken, marketing director for The Connecticut Post Mall, said.

The Polar Express is a new set that modernizes the traditional Santa visit, offering guests an interactive branded family entertainment experience. The walk-through set is a first-in-North America design by Parker 3D, and it combines the best elements of the highly popular selfie museums and interactive experiences.

“Centennial has five unique experience sets that rotate between the malls,” Colleen Heydon, senior vice president of marketing for Centennial, said.

Heydon said the interactive Santa photo experience is a unique way to draw people into the mall while giving them the Christmas feeling.

“This is an opportunity they can’t get anywhere else,” she said. “It’s a perfect family outing to come, enjoy The Polar Express set and take their photo with Santa.”

Both Haydon and Hapken said they weren’t sure which theme was going to come to the mall next year, but they said one of the themes that hasn’t been at the mall for a while is Peanuts Christmas.

“But for now, families and friends can enjoy The Polar Express,” Haydon said. “There is no cost to come and take pictures with the train. But we are asking those who want to take a photo with Santa to make a reservation because we are trying to keep everyone safe.”

“We feel there is a renewed sense of festivities and excitement this Holiday season here at the mall, especially when it comes to Christmas shopping,” Hapken said. “This is why we are inviting everyone to come to visit and enjoy the magic of The Polar Express and taking photos with Santa.”