Santa Claus is coming to town and he's ready to welcome all who wish to visit him this year at the wonderful Santaland in Myer stores.
Santaland Myer Melbourne offers a unique free experience that your kids will love (or at least it will be very memorable).
When will Myer Santaland open?
Myer Santaland will open from Sunday 13 November to Saturday 24 December 2022.
First of all, you are shown onto the Santaland Express train by an elf. As you take your seat, you are whisked virtually from ‘Myer Central Station' to the North Pole to meet Santa.
The kids are mesmerised, gaping with their mouths open at the animations showing across the screens!
At the end of the short journey, the elf shows you out the carriage door, and there's an opportunity to have some shots taken with a green screen.
Note that because of this, it would be best not to wear anything green during your trip to Santaland to make sure you have some great shots and won't be blending in with the background.
Green screen prints are only available at Santaland Myer Melbourne (and other Santaland Express/Myer CBD stores around Australia). They are fun and ridiculous!
Then more elves lead you into a mysterious corridor with a door. The kids are encouraged to knock loudly….and then Santa is revealed!
Previously, in Victoria Santa was wearing a mask, while kids under 12 years did not need to wear a mask. They were also asked to sit 1.5 metres away from Santa, though, so was a little bit of an awkward shot as there was no physical contact with Santa (or his elves).
However, for the year 2022, there have been no announcements regarding the requirement of masks or the need to social distance. All we've heard is that Myer Santaland Melbourne will be following all local government rules and restrictions appropriate for each store. So if you're unsure, it would be best to check the relevant government website.
But back then, having to sit far from Santa was exactly the reason why we decided to get a Santa photo – to record what a weird year it had been.
The kids ham it up for the camera and then ask to wear masks ‘so we don't have to fake smile' says Lady AB.
Luckily, Santa was very friendly and takes it all in his stride.
To leave Santa's house, you'll have to ring a bell and then receive a free booklet of stickers. An elf leads you out, and then you have the option to purchase photo packages from the Santa Photo Factory booth.
In theory, you can book a Santaland experience for free and NOT purchase any photos….but really, that would be unfair and a waste of everyone's time, so I encourage you not to do it unless you're actually going to buy some photos!
Note that, unlike the previous year, for 2022, there will be no maximum amount of people that can join. This means you can bring as long as many people as you like! Which is great news for families that come in all shapes and sizes.
Also, in previous years, Santaland has hosted activity areas to further engage kids during your visit, and this year they're back on with some colouring-in and a post-a-letter-to-Santa activity.
Previously, there we're a mind-boggling number of photo packages to choose from. Prices used to start at $26.50 for a twin pack of two (15x20cm) Santa Prints or Green Screen Prints. We just wanted the one that comes with digital files on a USB, which at the time costs $84.95.
For 2022 Santaland is offering digital versions for as little as $12.95 and printed photo packages starting at $25.95.
After your Santaland experience, you can buy all your presents in one fell swoop at the Myer Giftorium. The two floors are dedicated to festive cheer and set out into sections, so it's easy to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones.
As far as Santa photo experiences go, I think Myer Santaland is a really well-run operation.
Though this year, you can drop in, it would still be best to make a Santaland booking online for a 10-minute slot to make sure you have a spot for that day.
Even if you arrive without a booking, Santa's helpers will do their very best to fit you in, but do note that you might have to wait a bit longer or maybe even come back later in the day should you arrive without a booking.
If you're unsure about booking, know that my favourite thing about making a Santaland booking online is that it will minimise queueing! Which makes for an easier experience if you have little ones.
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