All aboard the Christmas Carol Express! To promote their upcoming movie, A Christmas Carol, Disney has created a real-life locomotive experience for families that showcases graphic artwork, actor interviews, motion development, historical artifacts, and computer-generated characters from the motion picture.
Last Friday, I took my children out to see the moving exhibit, which stopped in Northern California. The train will make its way to New York before the film opens. A fan of locomotives, my daughter was fired up to set foot on the real deal. To set the mood, Disney provided fake snow flurries in July, which actually felt right for a Bay Area Summer morning. We gave the ticket handler our stubs and embarked on the stationary adventure that caters to kids.
To see what we found,
As if in a museum, we were surrounded by beautiful art and items worthy of glass cases. Straight from the Charles Dickens Museum of London, the author's manuscripts and musical sheets sat untouched for curious eyes to purvey. Flat-screen televisions in gold-colored frames repeatedly played conversations with the film's creator Robert Zemeckis and stars Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, and Colin Firth. As Scrooge, Jim Carrey won't disappoint and the 3D graphics will have audiences cheering. In the next car, we discovered a dummy with motion sensors that explains to viewers how human motion translates into animation. A tad too mature for my daughter's brain, older kids (and adults) will find it fascinating. Along with the texts and illustrations, guests can pour over the costumes adorning busts throughout the railroad experience. Before the exit, kids can entertain themselves by turning their own face into one of the character's by stepping into an HP TouchSmart PC screen and capturing a self-portrait. After a simple click of a button, the tot evolves into Scrooge or Tiny Tim. Not to be forgotten, wee ones can see it again as mom and pop can have the image emailed straight to themselves.
Due out just before Christmas, this train is chugging across the country to provide tots a lil holiday spirit. If the Christmas Carol express is headed in your direction, it's worth the time to check it out. Get there early to avoid waiting in line! Check out the scheduled tour dates.