Due to COVID-19, there will be changes to our operation this year to incorporate safety protocols – but our goal is still to provide your family with a wonderful experience!
For 2020, your family has two options – a contactless in person Santa experience or a virtual experience using Video Conference technology. All visits with Santa, in person and virtual, will be by appointment only. Here are the answers to the more frequently asked questions:
Q: What exactly is a contactless in-person experience?
A: Children will have no physical contact with Santa. Santa will still be in the photos and will still be able to chat with the children and hear their wishes, but there will be no physical contact. This includes sitting on Santa’s lap, hugging Santa, etc. Parents, we ask that you please have this discussion with your children prior to arrival so that everyone knows exactly what to expect.
Q: Is my family required to wear a mask?
A: Yes, we ask that everyone over the age of 2 wear a mask before and after photos. You may choose to remove the mask(s) for the photos or keep them on. If you choose to remove the mask(s) for photos, the mask(s)will need to go back on once the photos have been taken.
Q: How will the photos look?
A: This year, Santa’s photographer elves have some great ideas for getting some magical photos – while still keeping everyone safe. The set will have some modifications as far as distance to Santa.
Q: Where is Santa located?
A: Santa’s Workshop is located next door to the Paseo and Paper Source at 1915 Towne Centre Boulevard.
Q: Why are visits with Santa by appointment only?
A: Appointments are truly the best way to offer a relaxed stress-free experience for all visitors. In addition, this year appointments will help us keep families physically distanced and our guests and staff safe during the experience.
Q: How does the booking system work?
A: Simply visit VISITATC.COM/Santa and select either a contactless in-person visit or a virtual visit. Available times will be displayed on your screen. Choose the time that works best for your family and follow the instructions to complete the booking process. You will receive an email confirmation as well as a reminder the day before your appointment.
Q: What do I do when I arrive for my appointment?
A: Check in with the host. Only one family will be allowed in Santa’s Cottage per experience. We have arranged to have social distanced areas for each family to move through the process.
Q: Can I just show up and wait in line to see Santa?
A: No, all visits with Santa are by appointment only.
Q: Can I make an appointment at the photo set?
A: All appointments must be made in advance online.
Q: Is there a cost to make an appointment with Santa?
A: The appointment booking portal requires a $20 deposit for the contactless in person experience and full payment of $25 for a virtual experience when you book your appointment. For a contactless in person visit, your deposit includes your photo experience with Santa and $25 credit towards any photo package and/or digital download purchase. THERE IS NO CASH BACK AT THE PHOTO SET
Q: How does the virtual experience work?
A: The virtual experience is done using Video Conference technology. You will receive an email with a link and a passcode. At the designated time, you will log on to begin your experience. After the call, you will receive a video of the entire call via email.
Q: What if I need to change my appointment after I book?
A: When you book your appointment, you will create an account in the system. If you need to change your appointment, simply log into your account and do so or use the link in your confirmation email to do so. Please be sure to log in and change your appointment rather than booking a new appointment. There will be no refunds for booking multiple appointments.
Keep in mind that you may only rebook your appointment while time slots remain available.
Q: Can I cancel my appointment?
A: There are no refunds or cancellations after you have booked your appointment or if you no-show. You will be able to log in to your account and change your appointment while time slots are available as long as you do so at least one hour prior to your appointment.
Q: What if my child gets sick?
A: PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILD OR ANY FAMILY MEMBER THAT IS SHOWING SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS OF ANY KIND.
If your child or any member of your party is sick on the day of their appointment, you may log in to your account and reschedule your appointment as long as you do so at least one hour prior to your scheduled appointment.
If you do not reschedule at least one hour before your appointment and you no-show, you will not receive a refund. Towards the end of the season, if all appointments are sold out, there may not be an opportunity to reschedule sick children.
Q: When should I arrive for my appointment?
A: We ask that families arrive no more than 5 minutes prior to their scheduled appointment time.
Q: Where do I park?
A: Parking is conveniently located at 217 Harker Place (across from Target). Santa’s Cottage can be conveniently located via the Paseo connecting the parking structure to Santa’s Cottage. Be sure to look out for the signs that will direct you to your destination.
Q: I booked my appointment, but that time still shows as available on the web site. Am I really booked?
A: Yes. This year, we will schedule two families every five minutes. This allows each family double the time of the average Santa visit in other locations and allows us to distance families in the set to keep everyone safe.
Q: Do I need to make an appointment to visit with Santa on Christmas Eve?
A: Yes, all visits with Santa are by appointment only. If your family would like to visit on Christmas Eve, we suggest you book your appointment early, as this date has booked up quickly in years past.
Q: Can we use our personal camera or video recorder when we visit Santa?
A: Yes and no. There are several areas where you may use a cell phone to take selfies prior to your visit with Santa. These areas are clearly marked. The use of personal cameras is prohibited during your seated visit with Santa.
Q: Can pets Visit Santa?
A: Yes, with an appointment. Well behaved, leashed or crated and people friendly pets are welcome as part of family photos or for pet photos with Santa.
Q: Are there restrooms at the photo area?
A: Public restrooms are located next door in the Paseo.
Q: What steps are you taking to make sure that visitors are not exposed to Covid-19?
A: The safety of our guests and staff is top priority. The following processes will be used to keep the photo space clean and safe:
- Reservations are required. No walk-ins will be accepted.
- Face coverings must be worn at all times outside of your seated photo experience with Santa.
- Only two families will be admitted into Santa’s Cottage at a time.
- No cash will be accepted. Guests must pay with a debit or credit card.
- Touchless hand sanitizing stations will be made accessible for all guests.
- Santa will undergo daily temperature checks and symptom-screening protocols.
- A thorough cleaning of the Cottage will be completed each night.
- The set will be thoroughly cleaned twice daily.
- High touch points such as door handles and counters will be cleaned after each guest.
- Hand sanitizer will be provided in the entrance atrium and photo printing area as well as in the restrooms.
- Families visiting will be distanced as they move through the process.
- The ordering and payment process has been moved to the guest’s smart phone to make the process as touchless as possible.
- Staff members will be wearing masks.
- All guests over the age of 2 must wear a mask when entering and exiting the set.
- Families will be properly distanced from Santa during the seated photo experience.