FREE DreamWorks DreamPlace Adventure to Santa Experience at Cherry Hill Mall – NJ

Disclosure:  My family received a Family Magic Pack to facilitate our review of the Adventure to Santa Experience.  All opinions are 100% my own.

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For those of you looking for a fun, new “experience” this Christmas, consider checking out Cherry Hill Mall’s awesome Adventure to Santa experience.  Unlike the traditional “wait-in-line to see Santa” set up at most local malls, this experience was created to enhance the fun and excitement of meeting Santa through an awesome family-friendly and unique interactive experience.  It’s the first and only of its kind in the Greater Philadelphia area (and one of only eight in the country!) and is already catching a ton of attention from kids and families all over our region.

The DreamWorks DreamPlace Adventure to Santa Experience is free and open to the public.  However, unlike traditional meet and greet experiences with Santa, the experience does require a reservation which can easily be made online at home.  Choose a date, secure your spot online and be ready to visit on your assigned date and time.  You may want to be prepared with pictures of your children and family as you will be asked to upload the pictures when registering.  They later will be used during your experience when you visit.  The experience itself is free of charge; the option to purchase photos, a USB of your experience and other souvenirs is optional.  Photo package prices range from $29.99 to $99.99.  Package options, reservations and detailed information can be found HERE.

Upon arriving at Cherry Hill Mall, you may find that parking near the entrance near Nordstroms and Seasons 52 restaurant to be most convenient.  The experience is located right next to the Customer service desk.  The incredibly festive Shrek cottage will certainly catch your eye as you enter! You will not be able to miss its awesomeness.  At the entrance gate, guests will be greeted by elf helpers who will verify your reservation and welcome you into a gate where you will join the line for the experience.  Guests are not permitted to enter sooner than 10 minutes before their reservation time.  Once in line, wait times can  be up to 30 minutes, so be prepared with snacks or items that will keep you child entertained until your experience is ready to begin.  The line forms along side of Shrek’s house, where screens on the walls are animated with holiday scenes and pictures.  Don’t be surprised if the kids start begging to take pictures with the giant Shrek characters at the front of the building.  It’a an adorable photo opportunity! During our wait time, the elf helpers were friendly and outgoing.  They took time to interact with the families and sing carols with the kids.  This certainly helped to pass the time and keep the wait a pleasant experience for us all.

passport fix

At the top of the line, guests meet another elf helper who will be your guide through the experience.   We were presented with a personalized Passport which we were told we would need during the experience.  While waiting to head in through the doors, our elf helper chatted with my kids about themselves and what they were hoping to ask Santa for Christmas.  Two additional families joined our party as we entered the experience.

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Through the grand doors to the experience, kids will quickly learn from Shrek that they will now be prepared to go on a very special adventure to the North Pole where they will meet Santa.

The first stop brings them to a room with several interactive tablets, where they will need to create a special magical sleigh. Kids get to choose colors and styles from the tablet options.  The room contains approximately 5-6 tablets – each of my kids were able to create their own sleigh.

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Check out my son’s awesome high tech sleigh:

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When everyone’s sleigh was completed, we were then escorted into another room containing a lifesize sleigh.  Everyone is asked to take a seat on the sleigh so that the magical, virtual ride to the North Pole can begin! Similar to virtual rides that you would find at amusement parks, the simulation of the ride is unbelieveable.  My kids absolutely loved it and it was by far their favorite part of the experience (aside from seeing Santa himself, of course!). I would caution that if you have issues with motion sickness or visual stimulation, you may want to consider asking to step into the next room.  This part of the experience may also be difficult for smaller toddlers and children who are not used to such movement or environment.  Slight mists of water vapor are also used during the virtual ride so be sure to keep this in mind when entering the experience.

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The trip leads us to the North Pole and the final stop before meeting Santa.  This room is also filled with interactive tablets where kids are encouraged to play a special game to see if they atre on Santa’s Naughty or Nice list.  The interactive game has kids throwing virtual snowballs – and certainly passes the last few minutes before meeting with Santa!

Once your name is called, your family will be privately escorted through the doors to meet Santa.  Kids are encouraged to sit next to Santa or on his lap.  He will then interact with the kids for several minutes while the photographer takes both candid and posed pictures.  You will have the option of purchasing tickets online prior to your experience or waiting until after the experience is complete to decide.

Our photos turned out beautifully – and I am excited to have the magic of their expressions captured forever.

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Photo credit: DreamWorks DreamPlace Adventure to Santa Experience

Cherry Hill Mall is located at 2000 New Jersey Rt 38, Cherry Hill, NJ.  The DreamWorks DreamPlace Adventure to Santa is open daily through December 24, 2014.  Reservations are required.  See website HERE  for available dates, times and more information. Each magical experience lasts approximately 15 minutes.  Wait times to enter the experience may vary.  By downloading the DreamWorks DreamPlace app HERE, children can input their wish lists to share with Santa and they can also be shared with friends and family as well for gift giving ideas!  For children wishing to “mail” their letters to Santa, there is also a cute Santa mailbox located right at the Customer Service desk next to the Adventure to Santa Experience.

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All in all, we really enjoyed the Adventure to Santa experience. My children, ages 9 and 12, were in the perfect age range to really enjoy the whole experience and it was a fun and different way to meet with Santa!  I certainly recommend adding it to your list of holiday fun if you are local to the area!

Have you visited the Adventure to Santa experience at Cherry Hill Mall?  If so, what did you think?



Comments

  1. This looks like so much fun. I might have to head to Cherry Hill.
    Julia recently posted…DIY Wine Bottle Holiday DecorMy Profile

  2. This looks very cool. And it’s so close for me!

  3. We went and it was so much fun! Much better than just standing in line!
    miranda papandreou recently posted…Orange Ricotta Cookies {25 Blogs of Christmas}My Profile

  4. We were just at Cherry Hill Mall the other day sans kids and I wanted to go inside and play it is awesome!
    Crystal Rodgers recently posted…Jersey Family FunMy Profile

  5. Cute! We need to visit Santa!
    Sarah recently posted…Whatever WednesdayMy Profile

  6. We saw just the outside – looked like fun!
    Rachel recently posted…Philly Phlash Holiday Evening LoopMy Profile

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