The marketing genius that is the Walt Disney Company is at it again, and this time it’s a unique tie-in to the upcoming Robert Zemeckis-directed 3D digital CGI extravaganza, A Christmas Carol. Maybe you’ve heard of it? I don’t see how anybody can’t know about it – Disney has been pushing this movie hard since the beginning of summer at the Cannes Festival and followed it up with a good showing at Comic-Con.

To help mass-market A Christmas Carol, Disney teamed up with Amtrak and HP to help bring a train full of goodies to 40 cities. It all started back in May in Los Angeles and so far, the special train has stopped at 37 cities including my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. I went with my family today thinking it was going to be a whole lot of fun and the kids would get a kick out of seeing the train, because what kid doesn’t like trains?

Click the image for a larger view

This event was a full-out Disney project from beginning to end. They do what only Disney can do; that is make you feel like you having a true Disney experience. There is no mistaking it! Oh sure, it starts all whimsical enough with the signs and decorations leading up to the entrance, but I should have known it wouldn’t be that easy of a trip when I had to park one mile away and walk. Yes, everything about the experience was truly Disney related, right down to the long lines, park characters and multitudes of strollers parked outside the train.

So, let’s jump right into the pictures. I’m going to take you on the same journey I had to go on so that you can make up your own mind on whether you want to try and experience A Christmas Carol train. There are still three stops  – Charleston, Philadelphia, New York – and if you get a chance and don’t mind standing in long lines for very little return, then go out and take your kids; just don’t expect them to have a fantastic Disney experience.

Here’s where I’m headed. It’s actually a great advertising wrap job done by HP and they make sure you know it. It could have used a wash but that’s neither here nor there.

And off we go (yes that’s me)…

Annnnd then we stop. This is typical for everything Disney does. What was this line for? Well after ten minutes of standing in it like sheep, we find out it’s just for registering to win a pair of gold-colored Disney ears and information on the Disney Vacation Club. Well played Disney.*sigh*

Finally, we have an idea of how long we will be in line and whoever put this up was either a liar or very bad at estimating because we were in line for almost 2 hours. And here is the reason why it took us 2 hours:

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