A cautionary tale to anyone thinking about visiting WDW during the Christmas timeframe ….. and then considering taking their youngsters to see Santa Claus at Disney Springs. My friend’s youngest granddaughter is almost 2 years old, so good old St Nick is a must-see this time of the year. We somehow became the designated ‘scouting party’ and arrived at DS around 10am Sunday morning. Santa wouldn’t start his meet and greet until 11am, but already there was a line of 100+ people, just waiting to sign in to get a time to see the great man. At 10:30, Santa’s little helpers started to take names and give out times, and we were given a time slot of 11:45-12:15, so not to bad considering the number of people in line. No surprise, just after we were done, the family arrived !! so we all headed for Earl of Sandwich for an early lunch. Their Italian hot sandwich is superb …. definitely recommended to anyone visiting.
At 11:30 we had our text message to say Santa was ready to see us, so we finished off lunch and wandered across to the entrance. It was now 11:50 and the sign outside said the wait time was 240 mins !!
For the youngsters though, it truly is a magical experience, and he is one of the best Santa Clauses you will ever have the opportunity to meet. Disney spares no expense, no matter what the occasion. Although ….. I realise he can travel thru time and space to do his job on Christmas Eve, but just how does he go to the bathroom when he’s sat in the same seat for 12 hours ….. all a bit of a mystery …. :) His little helpers were reluctant to tell me, so the pondering continues.
After wandering thru the avenue of trees all done up with a different Disney theme, we entered Santa’s grotto and the grandkids were all starry eyed as they told him how good they’d been this year, and what they would like him to bring them for Christmas. Some of the kids costumes are amazing, and worth the visit just to see them all dressed to impress. Definitely a magical Disney experience in its own charming way. I must admit though, it didn’t quite have that overall sense of pure magic, going to see him in the daylight. Last year we saw him around 7pm, and it was much better in the dark with all the lights and the ‘snow’ flurries.
When we left the area, the sign outside now said the wait was 330 mins, so in less than an hour the wait had jumped hour and a half. Who knows what it might be during the weekend before Christmas, but last year when we went in later, we had to wait 6-1/2 hours. By all accounts the virtual queue was at 7-1/2 hours on Saturday. Some people were going home and coming back when they got the text message, as the return time wasn’t set in stone, and if you didn’t get there at a certain time, you didn't lose your place …. Thank goodness !!
It was also the first time I’d had chance to visit the World of Disney store after it’s grand reopening in October. Wow !! … what a difference. It’s so much more open, and the walkways are a lot wider, so all in all a great refurb. by Disney ….. but then would we expect anything less ?? If you know the WofD store of old, but have not been in since the change, then be ready to be amazed.