Have you heard of the North Pole Experience? We had a chance to visit Santa’s workshop a few weeks ago and I wanted to share my review with you!
Did you know that there is a portal to the North Pole just a few hours from Tucson? That’s right, Santa has a portal to the North Pole just outside of Flagstaff! It makes visiting Santa super easy!
We had a fun Flagstaff adventure right after Thanksgiving that included a trip to Santa’s workshop using that super secret North Pole portal! Have you ever been to the North Pole Experience? Previously they operated a smaller portal near Greer, AZ but Santa requested a larger portal and workshop which meant relocation to the Flagstaff area. Since this was our first North Pole Experience I can’t compare to previous years but I can say that the experience at the new location in Flagstaff is AWESOME!
A little bit about the North Pole Experience
The North Pole Experience is Santa’s interactive 8500 square foot workshop which invites families inside to build toys with the elves. Workshop tickets include a ride on the magic trolley, a tour of Santa’s Toy Hall of Fame, toy building in the elves, access to Santa’s large toy factory where all the real magic happens, cookies inside Santa’s Bakery, a lesson at Elf University,"Area 47", Santa’s secret sleigh hanger, one-on-one family time with Santa himself and MORE!
You start your journey by checking in for your trolley at the Little America Hotel.
The Little America Hotel was decked out in all it’s Christmas splendor and really set a great mood for starting our adventure. With trolleys departing every 30 minutes or so, it can get busy so you definitely want to arrive at least 30 minutes early to allow enough time to check in before your trolley departure.
Our trolley to Santa’s workshop was naturally driven by an elf. And another elf, Coco was our tour guide who led the trolley in Christmas carols during our trip. In under 10 minutes we arrived at the portal where after reciting the “Portal Poem” the kids are asked to close their eyes and strobes lights flash as we travel through the portal to Santa’s workshop at the “North Pole”.
The doors to Santa’s workshop were quite impressive. After everyone has exited the trolley, the kids are invited to gather up front and knock on the doors together.
We were greeted by more elves who led us into his Toy Hall of Fame where we could check out fun popular toys form the past.
Then it was on to Santa’s original workshop where Alibaster, Santa’s head elf spoke with the kids and showed them some of Santa’s original prototype toys.
Next stop was making toys! The boys had a blast! The elves took their time to make sure each kid was able to help with the toy building. This was Quinn’s favorite part!
Once the toys were built, we toured the toy sorting and gift wrapping room. It was quite impressive with it’s organization and professional wrapping… It reminded me a little of my sister in law who is quite talented and obsessed with the art of gift wrapping. She might be part elf.
The next stop was Santa’s Bakery, where the kids enjoyed cookies and hot cocoa. It was just the nourishment they needed before they headed to E.U.
At Elf University (E.U.), they learned how to be an elf. It might have been my favorite stop because of the “math” on the chalk board. (Yup I am a math geek!) and of course this fun “rap” that Pixie and Trixie did…
Then it was time to write letters to Santa in the mailroom and the kids get a chance to check if they are on the nice or naughty list!
The last stop before visiting Santa was Area 47 where Santa keeps his HUGE sleigh! I have no picture of it since my phone was just about dead at this point.
I was ABSOLUTELY delighted that the elves took a picture of all of us as a family with Santa. They even asked to take a 2nd shot because they noticed Elliot had blinked in the first one, I love that attention to detail. Having them take the picture, allowed Peter and I to enjoy the Santa experience with the boys! I just wish I had known ahead of time so I hadn’t worried about my iPhone battery all evening!
P.S. They hand you a disc with your image as you walk out the door, How sweet is that?!? (Note the CD is not Mac compatible)
After a trolley ride back, the evening ends with cookies and milk while Mrs. Claus reads stories back at the Little America Hotel.
And all kids receive a special commemorative North Pole Experience Golden Ticket and special chocolate lollipop from the Flagstaff Chocolate Company!
A special holiday dinner buffet and Breakfast with Santa can be added on. Tickets for the 2013 season will be available on their website soon, and since many popular days/times sell out quickly it would be wise to book in advance. Along those lines, there are still a limited number of times/dates available for the 2012 holiday season. Check the North Pole Experience website for the latest availability and to purchase tickets. Also check the NPX FAQ page for information on pricing, lodging partners, tips and policies! And follow NPX on facebook for fun pictures, NPX updates and last minute trolley openings!
Disclosure: My family received complimentary tickets to conduct this review. All pictures are my own except our Santa one which the elves provided. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.