The Polar Express 4D Experience Opens November 26 at The Maritime Aquarium

A holiday tradition in The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk goes to a new dimension – literally – as an exciting new version of the beloved film “The Polar Express” steams off the screen of the family attraction’s new 4D Theater.

The beloved film has played annually each holiday season in the Aquarium’s IMAX Theater. Although that venue is now closed, a condensed new version of “The Polar Express” arrives in the 4D Theater with thrill-enhancing special effects beginning Fri., Nov. 26 and will play daily through Jan. 2, 2022.

“The Polar Express 4D Experience” is a 13-minute version of the 2004 Warner Bros. film, based on the beloved Caldecott Medal-winning children’s book. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe.

This memorable cinematic experience visually spills over the audience in 3D, combined with such thrill-enhancing sensory special effects as snow, wind, scents of hot cocoa, and more.

Also playing daily in the 169-seat theater will be BBC Earth’s “Shark: A 4D Experience,” a 12-minute film that puts audiences face to face with some of the world’s most strange and mysterious shark species.

On weekends (including Nov. 26) and daily Dec. 26-Jan. 2, “The Polar Express 4D Experience” will play twice each hour, and “Shark: A 4D Experience” will show once each hour.

On weekdays, “The Polar Express 4D Experience” will play at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30, 2:30 & 4:30 p.m., while “Shark: A 4D Experience” will play at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 & 3:30 p.m.

Tickets for either movie are $7 ($6 for Aquarium members). They can be purchased with or without Aquarium admission.

Guests in the 4D Theater don 3D glasses, which are turned in and cleaned after every show. The Maritime Aquarium meets or exceeds state and federal COVID guidelines regarding theater capacity, cleaning between shows and other protocols. Masks must be worn in the theater and Aquarium by all guests age 2 and older, no matter their vaccination status.

The Maritime Aquarium’s 4D Theater opened in January 2021 and operates in partnership with SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment, the expert in integrating the highest-quality 3D high-definition projection with in-seat and in-theater effects to create fully immersive experiences.

“The Polar Express 4D Experience” was created by SimEx-Iwerks Entertainment in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

The Maritime Aquarium’s 4D Theater replaced the IMAX movie theater, which closed in January 2021 to make way for a railroad-bridge replacement project.

See the theater schedule and reserve your tickets at