Contactless visits with Santa Claus are in order in 2020
The set resembles the holiday classic A Christmas Story.
The Vancouver Mall promises, however, that Santa Claus in present day is nothing like the Santa from that film set in America in 1940.
“I work very closely with Santa, and he is amazing. He is the sweetest, sweetest Santa,” said Bree Sanchez, marketing manager at the mall. “He’s happy to hear your whole list. Santa and his elves are very friendly at the Vancouver Mall.”
And safe too, the mall declares. This Santa will not put a boot in your face to knock you down the slide, and he will keep a bit of distance.
Families are invited to visit with Santa Claus at the mall, every day through Christmas Eve. This is 2020, though, which means there are new rules.
This season, all visits are contactless. Guests can sit on boxes, designed to look like presents, a few feet in front of Santa. And with the angle of the professional photography, it appears Santa is right behind visitors. The boxes are cleaned between each family’s visit.
Sanchez also noted that Santa and his helpers get regular health checks.
When Santa goes on a milk and cookies break, the entire set is clean using hydrocastric disinfectant.
“Safety is the highest priority this year,” Sanchez said.
Oh, and visitors are also asked to go online to shopvancouvermall.com/holiday to reserve a block of time to meet Santa. That is intended to reduce the traditional long lines.
The set takes you “inside the movie,” as you visit the Parker house. Yes, the infamous leg lamp is there. There are also some fun filters available through the mall’s app to take selfies with you, including the chance to get your face to look as if you are the one wearing the pink rabbit pajamas.
Sanchez said visitors are encouraged to take photos in that part of the set, inside the living room. However, once visitors get to Santa, the only photography allowed is from the professional photographers provided. There is a cost for photos, but no one is required to purchase photos.
“All visits to Santa and the set are free,” Sanchez said.
Santa is available daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. through Dec. 23. (Santa takes a milk and cookie break from 3 to 4 p.m.) Santa also will be at the mall from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve, with a break from 1 to 2 p.m.
Also, on Dec. 12 and 13, look for special appearances from characters from A Christmas Story.
The Vancouver Mall is thrilled to be able to offer this opportunity. Sanchez noted many activities have been cancelled due to the government restrictions put in place.
“We really feel it is a safe experience,” Sanchez said.
“There is nothing more nostalgic than that photo with Santa at the mall.”