Don’t just tell the kiddos about how magical the North Pole is; show them. After time in Greer, The North Pole Experience—the magical portal to Santa’s hometown—has moved to Flagstaff for the 2012 season, making it much closer to the Valley and 40 percent larger.
After years in Greer, the magical North Pole Experience (NPX) found a new home in Flagstaff for the 2012 season, which is currently underway. Partnering with the area’s Little America Hotel, the experience is even more memorable, as the hotel is decked top-to-bottom in Christmas lights and holiday décor.
So what is the NPX? After taking a festive trolley ride (don’t be surprised if elves by the names of Cocoa and Snowbear initiate plenty of Christmas carols) from Little America Hotel to the North Pole (via a magic portal), families with kids of all ages are dropped off at Santa’s toy hall of fame. Display cases are decked with current and vintage toys—taking even grownups back to their childhood. Then, it is off to meet Alabaster Snowflake, Santa’s main man. His explains how Santa and his elves go about making toys. After a chat with Alabaster, it is off to Santa’s workshop, giving the kids a chance to work hand-in-hand with Santa’s elves to create toys.
Once the toy-making is wrapped up, the families quickly head through the warehouse to see all the pretty-packaged gifts before settling in at Mrs. Claus’ kitchen for cookies and snowman soup (hot chocolate). Up next, a course at Elf University during which the little ones learn what it takes to be an elf and a meeting in the mailroom to write letters to Santa. The kids will also find out if they are on the “nice” or “naughty” list. In the end, families wait by Santa’s sleigh in order to have a one-on-one meeting with the man in red himself. That’s right—families actually get to spend several minutes with Santa privately, taking pictures and sharing their Christmas wishes. Finally, it’s back on the trolley, through the portal and back to the hotel for storytime with Mrs. Claus.