WHAT TO EXPECT

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Click a question to get answers about the North Pole Experience, and what to expect.

What is the North Pole Experience?

Voted “Best Holiday Experience for Children” by Arizona Foothills Magazine readers in 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, & 2022 the North Pole Experience™ is the critically acclaimed Santa Experience located in the idyllic and breath-taking resort ski/summer destination of Flagstaff, AZ.

A Christmas Adventure of a Lifetime, the North Pole Experience starts by taking families on a trolley ride through the magic portal to Santa’s massive workshop in the middle of the forest.  Once you arrive, Santa’s Workshop is a complete, hands-on experience for children and parents. Families work side-by-side with the elves, building toys and learning all of Santa’s Workshop secrets. They receive access to Santa’s main factory floor, attend Elf University, visit with Mrs. Claus and enjoy cookies and snowman soup in the bakery. Don’t forget Santa’s mailroom, and his top-secret “Area 47” Sleigh Hangar, featuring his famous sleigh, mission control center, radar systems and more. End the 1 hour 35 minute (approx.) experience with a private family visit with Santa himself.

Where is the North Pole Experience located?

The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff, AZ is the official North Pole Experience Trolley Departure Station, with 500 acres of beautiful private forest and decked out in over a million Christmas lights for the holiday season. Guests need to plan on arriving at the hotel 45 minutes prior to their scheduled departure time for Check-In; 2515 E. Butler Ave. Flagstaff, AZ 86004.

What makes the North Pole Experience different/unique compared to the Polar Express train ride or other Santa events?

Arizona has two (2) popular Christmas attractions, The North Pole Experience™ home of Santa’s Workshop located in Flagstaff, Arizona, and the Polar Express train ride in Williams, AZ.

The North Pole Experience is a 1 hour and 35 minutes adventure INSIDE Santa’s Magical Workshop. Voted Arizona’s “Best Holiday Experience for Children” in 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, & 2022 by Arizona Foothills magazine, the entire experience is a magical hands-on interactive adventure with Santa, Mrs. Claus and all his elves. The North Pole Experience includes private family time with Santa, cocoa and a special treat in Mrs. Claus’s bakery, a complimentary digital photograph with Santa, and each child* receives a Commemorative Teddy Bear from Santa himself.  (*1 bear per each paid Child’s ticket)

The Polar Express(TM) is a separate attraction in Williams, Arizona where you experience a train ride on The Polar Express™, where the children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg is read.  The train travels to the North Pole village, where Santa boards the train and walks through each train car to say hello to the children. The Polar Express includes cocoa, a cookie and a bell from Santa. You stay on the train for the entire trip. (Photos with Santa may be taken and purchased separately at the depot station)

What is the total duration of the experience?

The North Pole Experience lasts approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes (95 minutes) from the time of departure from Little America to your arrival back at the hotel. Times may vary depending on weather and/or unforeseen circumstances. 

Guests need to plan on arriving at the hotel 45 minutes prior to their scheduled departure time for Check-In; 2515 E. Butler Ave. Flagstaff, AZ 86004.

What is the difference between day time workshop tours and evening workshop tours?

The North Pole Experience Trolley Departure Station, Little America Hotel,  has over a million Christmas lights on display, therefore Night time guests will get to enjoy the lights. The Magic Happens INSIDE Santa’s Workshop and it is the same whether day or night. Both experiences are very popular and are identical in every way. Please see the Buy Tickets page on our website to see the Checklist of everything that is included.

 

Are strollers allowed at NPX?

If you have little ones, please bring a sling or infant carrier. If you have a non-ticketed infant, they are considered a lap child for the bus ride to and from Santa’s Workshop. NOTE: If needed, strollers MUST be Collapsible and will be placed underneath the bus for the ride to and from the workshop.

What should we wear (dress/attire) for the North Pole Experience?

Be prepared for winter  conditions and colder weather! You should dress appropriately as if you were traveling to a ski resort destination. For the NPX Experience, children and parents are encouraged to dress in pajamas with boots or shoes, and a jacket, gloves and hat or Christmas outfits! PJ’s is a tradition for many families!

Remember, these are memories that last a lifetime on those cameras! The trolleys are heated, and families will be outside for a few minutes to board and depart the trolley.  Once inside Santa’s Workshop, children can roll up their pajama sleeves and work side-by-side with Santa’s elves to build toys! After your visit with Santa, you will be outside for a few moments around our large fire pit as you wait for your trolley to arrive.

What treats are served in Mrs. Claus’ Bakery?

In Mrs. Claus’ Bakery all guests are to be served Snowman Soup (hot cocoa) and Yetti-O’s. (Sugared Mini Donuts.) While our treats are not gluten, dairy, or nut free, we do offer an allergy friendly treat that is available upon entering the bakery. Just ask an elf and they will be happy to accommodate you!

What can be expected this year due to COVID-19?

There are no restrictions for the 2022 season.

Click link below to read about or Advanced Health & Safety Systems implemented before our 2021 season.

2021 Advanced Health & Safety Systems

I have already purchased tickets but I would like to change my current reservation?  

North Pole Experience tickets are non-refundable upon purchase. If modifications need to be made, exchanges can be made online through the Self Service Exchange portal, you can find a link in your Order Confirmation e-mail.

ALL 2022 ticket exchanges will incur a $10 Exchange Fee. Please note that you may exchange to a different date and time provided that the ticket(s) you are exchanging are of EQUAL or LESSER value to the ticket(s) you are looking to exchange to. 

If you choose to downgrade your tickets, you will NOT receive a refund for the difference in price. 

If you have an existing order with ADA accommodations and need to make an exchange please email us at reservations@northpoleexperience.com.

  • Exchanges must be completed a minimum of 7 Days prior to your departure date, and must be made for the same operating season.
  • Ticket changes / modifications are subject to availability and are limited to adding guests, or making changes to your travel date.
  • If the Layaway option was used at purchase, the tickets cannot be exchanged to a different date/time until the balance due is paid in full. Ticket dates and times cannot be exchanged until all scheduled payments have completed. Payment plans cannot be paid off in advance of scheduled dates.

Are my tickets Refundable?

Tickets are non-refundable upon purchase.

Important: If you are late for your departure time(miss your scheduled trolley), or fail to show up for your scheduled tour time, you will forfeit all monies paid.

How do we receive our tickets?

Once you have booked your tickets, you will receive your confirmation and your tickets via email or mobile delivery. The tickets will be sent from ShowClix. If you cannot locate your tickets, please search for ShowClix in your e-mail. When checking in, please bring a copy of the tickets with you to Check-in OR have your Confirmation # available along with your Photo I.D. 

If you used the Layaway option at purchase, your tickets will be e-mailed to you upon receipt of the final installment payment.

How many people are on each trolley? If I book at the same time/date as another family, how do I ensure I’m in the same group?

Each trolley holds an intimate group of up to 55 people. This will be the group you are with the entire experience, so please plan ahead if you are traveling with friends or family, and be sure to book all your tickets at the same time and date. **It is highly recommended that one person from your group books all the tickets together to ensure you will all be on the same trolley.**

To ensure you are in the same group as another family, it is essential that you book the EXACT SAME TIME and EXACT SAME DATE to be on the same trolley. Every departure time is a completely separate trolley of 55 people, if booked 10 minutes apart you will not be in the same group. 

If there are not enough tickets to book your families on the same trolley, you will need to find a trolley time available with enough spaces. 

Want a Private Trolley? Private trolley’s can be reserved for your group, with a minimum of 55 ticket purchases. Private trolleys are booked at a “Private Trolley Rate” please email us at reservations@northpoleexperience.com for more information. 

Does Santa’s Workshop have handicap accommodations?

Some of Santa’s magical trolleys are equipped with wheelchair/ADA Bus lifts and the entire Santa’s Workshop is ADA accessible.  To ensure your that your visit to the North Pole is memorable, we do ask that our guests with disability accommodation needs please note the following:

  • Wheelchair guests – guests that REQUIRE A BUS LIFT please contact us at reservations@northpoleexperience.com to book your tickets. We want to ensure that a bus lift is available for your date and time of departure. (A bus lift cannot be arranged if you book your tickets online, so please contact us so there are no issues upon your arrival). Foldable wheelchairs and guests who DO NOT need an ADA BUS LIFT can be accommodated on all tours and times with no special arrangements needed.
  • Hearing Impaired Guests – guests who require an interpreter, please contact us at info@northpoleexperience.com to book your tickets. We want to ensure that a licensed interpreter can accompany you on your scheduled date and time.
  • Other Assistance or questions – for any other assistance, please contact us at info@northpoleexperience.com.

NPX FlexPay Layaway

Back by popular request, we did re-introduce our Flex-Pay Layaway plan for 2022. The plan expired on August 31st, 2022. 

NPX FlexPay allows you to reserve the best dates early, and pay a percentage in monthly installments by automatic auto draft. While purchasing tickets simply select “pay in full”, or “pay over 3 months.” Our 3 month layaway option will be valid through July 31, 2022, followed by a 2 month option.

Please note, if using the layaway option at time of purchase, tickets cannot be exchanged to a different date/time until the balance due is paid in full or all scheduled payments have completed. Payment plans cannot be paid off in advance of scheduled dates. Your tickets will be e-mailed to you upon receipt of the final installment payment.

Is there a military discount?

We love to support our troops! We offer a 10% off discount for military families (Up to 6 tickets)  Please email our reservation team at reservations@northpoleexperience.com for more information and to receive your discount. 

*Proper Military ID, and Driver’s License are required at check- in.

I would like to spend the night during our stay. Does the North Pole Experience have lodging partners?

The North Pole Experience works with many area hotels to ensure your stay is the best of the best. Our host hotel and Trolley Departure Station is the Little America Hotel which offers special rates to our guests. Other hotel partners can be found on the buy ticket page underneath the NPX calendar at http://northpoleexperience.com/locations/flagstaff-az/

Can I purchase tickets to the North Pole Experience without staying the night?

YES, of course! Many guests and families choose to stay the night in Flagstaff for their North Pole Experience, but many families also make a Day Trip up to Flagstaff for the experience, and then return home before bedtime, or continue on their travels. It’s all up to you.

How much time prior to my trolley time should I arrive to Little America Hotel?

Please plan ahead and arrive at the Little America Hotel 45 minutes prior to your scheduled trip to the North Pole. 

How far is the drive to Flagstaff and the North Pole Experience?

  • Arizona & New Mexico Guests:  The drive is a beautiful transition from desert vegetation, to the cool mountain pines as you near Flagstaff. Depending on weather conditions, you should plan on a 2 to 2.5-hour drive from Phoenix,  3 to 3.5 hours from Tucson, and 5 to 5.5 hours from Albuquerque.
  • Las Vegas & Nevada Guests:  The drive is approx. 4 to 4.5 hours from the Henderson and Las Vegas areas
  • California Guests:  For our many guests who travel from the San Diego and Los Angeles areas, it takes about 7 to 7.5 hours (est.)
  • International Guests:   All international flights will arrive at Sky Harbor International airport in Phoenix, Arizona. Drive time from Sky Harbor to the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff is approximately 2 to 2.5 hours (Airport to Flagstaff NPX Check-in Hotel).Weather Conditions:  Please check weather and potential snow conditions ahead of time and plan your trip accordingly to allow safe travels!

How are the road conditions and will I need a 4-wheel drive vehicle?

ROAD CONDITIONS: http://www.az511.com

Safety is our #1 priority for a fun experience. That includes our guests arriving safely in Flagstaff…PLEASE PLAN AHEAD! Road conditions can vary by weather conditions. We encourage our guests to check road conditions prior to their departure via 511 and the National Weather Service. Please make sure you adjust your trip timing if winter weather is present! When snow is present, front-wheel drive is highly recommended and four-wheel drive is strongly recommended. Flagstaff is a designated ski resort city at 7,200 feet in altitude. 

NOTE:  I-17 and I-40 are the major highways that intersect on the outskirts of Flagstaff, making Flagstaff one of the best driving conditioned roads with the State of Arizona highway department doing what they do best.

Weather conditions: Will there be snow?

While Santa really loves snow for landing his sleigh, weather conditions can vary in the Flagstaff.  We are nestled at 7,200′ feet which provides potential for a winter experience! If snow conditions are light, heavy, or non-existent on your experience date, rest assured the magic of Santa’s Workshop will be a treat to your family no matter what!

NPX Terms & Conditions

The North Pole Experience Policies, Terms & Conditions: 

Glossary: 

  • Flex Pay Option
  • Exchanges & No Refund Policy
  • Missing your time/date
  • Weather Policy
  • Strollers
  • ADA (Wheelchair Accessibility)
  • Guest Experience/Guest Removal
  • Special Requests
  • Prices/Rates/Availability/Amending Departure Times
  • Conditions of Sale 

All reservations for the North Pole Experience – Home of Santa’s Workshop require full payment at the time of booking your reservation unless a Payment Plan is offered. 

  1. Flex Pay/Layaway Option: If the FLEX PAY OPTION was used, then tickets will be reserved on the date and tour time you select, and tickets will only be released and active upon full payment of the online Layaway Plan which shall not exceed 3 monthly installments. Layaway plan and availability are subject to change at management’s discretion. If tickets are not paid in full prior to 30 days of departure date, guest will forfeit all amounts paid and the tickets will be canceled and released back in inventory for sale. In the event of any balances due, guest will receive 1 email and/or 1 phone call (from customer record provided at online purchase) from North Pole Experience in an attempt to collect any outstanding balances before releasing tickets for resale. If Layaway Plan was used during purchase, ticket dates and times cannot be exchanged until all scheduled payments have been completed. Payment plans cannot be paid off in advance of scheduled dates.
  2. Exchanges & No Refund Policy: ALL TICKETS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE upon purchase. Exchanges MUST be completed within 7 days prior to the original departure date and must be made for the same season. Each exchange will incur a $10 Exchange Fee. Ticket changes/modifications are subject to availability and are limited to adding guests or making changes to your travel date. Refunds will not be issued for any downgraded tickets and will incur a $10 Exchange Fee. If tickets are upgraded, the difference in the cost of the tickets will be charged to the guest in addition to the $10 Exchange Fee. (If you wish to Upgrade your tickets, you may do so by contacting reservations@northpoleexperience.com).  Like for Like tickets (same price tickets) may be exchanged using our Self Exchange feature through your Customer Portal and will incur the $10 Exchange Fee.  If using the layaway plan, all payments must be made prior to making an exchange. If Layaway Plan was used during purchase, ticket dates and times cannot be exchanged until all scheduled payments have been completed. Payment plans cannot be paid off in advance of scheduled dates.
  3. Missing your tour time or date: Guests should plan on arriving on-site a minimum of 45 minutes before their scheduled departure time to allow plenty of time for parking, etc.  Once on-site, guests should report to the NPX Check-In desk for wristbands. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you miss your trolley and tour time, your ticket(s) will be forfeited and will not be redeemable for another time or date. Tours sell out each season, and missing your tour time will forfeit your ticket(s).
  4. Weather Policy: In the unlikely event of a severe weather event, or Act of God that may inhibit travel to Flagstaff and the North Pole Experience, AND if this event causes the North Pole Experience to cease operations due to weather, or Act of God, then guests will be afforded a replacement ticket for another date & time in the same season, based on availability, or the replacement ticket may be used for the next years season. Guests need to be aware of possible winter conditions in Flagstaff and prepare accordingly to ensure they arrive safely, and on time for their scheduled departure time.
  5. Strollers: Small strollers and light carry on items are permitted, and will be stored underneath the trolley buses during your travel to the North Pole and Santa’s Workshop. Upon arrival, your trolley elf driver will retrieve your stroller for you to take inside the workshop, and will stowaway for you the same way upon your return to the hotel.
  6. ADA & Accessibility:
    1. Wheelchair guests – Guests that REQUIRE A BUS LIFT please contact us by phone to book your tickets, or email reservations at reservations@northpoleexperience.com  We want to ensure that a bus lift is available for your date and time of departure. (A bus lift cannot be arranged if you book your tickets online, so please contact us so there are no issues upon your arrival). Foldable wheelchairs and guests who DO NOT need an ADA BUS LIFT can be accommodated on all tours and times with no special arrangements needed.

 

  • Hearing Impaired Guests – Guests who require an interpreter, please contact us directly at info@northpoleexperience.com to book your tickets. We will either provide the guest with a written script of the experience or a licensed interpreter.
  • Other Assistance or questions – For any other assistance, please contact our reservation office info@northpoleexperience.com 
  1. Guest Experience/Guest Removal: Our primary focus is providing our guests a wonderful and safe family experience. Management reserves the exclusive right to ask, and remove ANY guest(s) who may be disruptive, or otherwise create a situation that impairs or diminishes other guest experiences. Rudeness, alcohol impairment, belligerent behavior, excessive loudness, inappropriate language, failure to follow cast instructions or provocative gestures will not be tolerated and guests may be removed immediately at management’s discretion. NO REFUNDS will be given to guests who are asked to be removed for any actions, or inappropriate behavior that affects other guests in a negative way.
  2. Special Requests: Due to the magical and interactive nature of the North Pole Experience, please note that special requests are not guaranteed, but we will do everything in our power to honor whenever possible and feasible.
  3. Prices/Rates/Availability/Amending Departure Times: Rates, times and schedules are subject to change by management’s discretion, and management reserves the right to modify or amend your tour time on a given date based on operational requirements, or maintenance issues. Management will do everything in their power to advise our guests ahead of time of any tour time adjustments that may be required. 

 

  1. Conditions of Sale: ALL SALES ARE FINAL AND ALL TICKETS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE. YOU ASSUME ALL RISK AND DANGER INCIDENTAL TO THE TRAVEL TO THE NORTH POLE EXPERIENCE. NO ALCOHOL, DRUGS, WEAPONS, FOOD, OR GLASS CONTAINERS ALLOWED. RECORDING DEVICES, STILL CAMERAS, AND VIDEO CAMERAS ARE PERMITTED WITH THE EXCEPTION OF SANTA’S PHOTO ROOM. YOU HEREBY CONSENT TO THE REASONABLE SEARCH FOR ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, DRUGS, OR WEAPONS. YOU FURTHER CONSENT TO THE USE OF YOUR IMAGE OR LIKENESS INCIDENTAL TO ANY DISPLAY, TRANSMISSION, OR REPRODUCTION OF THE EVENT. MANAGEMENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REFUSE ADMISSION OR EJECT ANY PERSON WHOSE CONDUCT IS DEEMED BY MANAGEMENT TO BE DISORDERLY OR WHO FAILS TO COMPLY WITH THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS HEREIN. NORTH POLE EXPERIENCE WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR DAMAGED, LOST, OR STOLEN PERSONAL ITEMS. GUEST ASSUMES ALL RESPONSIBILITY FOR PERSONAL ITEMS, THIS INCLUDES BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, CAMERAS, STROLLERS, WHEELCHAIRS, CLOTHING, JEWELRY, ELECTRONIC DEVICES, PURSES, WALLETS, AND ALL OTHER PERSONAL ITEMS. SEE FULL TERMS & CONDITIONS AT WWW.NORTHPOLEEXPERIENCE.COM

 

Is there a retail shopping experience available to purchase memorabilia?

There is an on-site North Pole Experience gift shop where guests can purchase light up snowflake wands, necklaces, NPX merchandise and the popular ornaments for Santa and the elves to sign at the workshop. It is highly suggested to visit the gift shop prior to attending Santa’s Workshop. Please check in for your trolley tour first and then feel free to visit the gift shop prior to boarding the trolley.

(Please note only paid children tickets receive a bear at Santa’s Workshop.)
However, guests can buy a bear wristband in the gift shop for $18 prior to their experience so that they get a bear from Santa vs. buying a child ticket.

What are the ages for children tickets?

Children 0-17 months old are free. (Please note only paid children tickets receive a bear.)
However, they can buy a bear wristband in the gift shop for $18 prior to their experience so that they get a bear from Santa vs. buying a child ticket.

Children 18 months and older through 17 years old qualify for Child pricing.

Do all guests receive commemorative teddy bears?

All paid children guests will receive a commemorative teddy bear from Santa himself at the end of the experience. If your child is 0-17 months old, or there is an adult in your party which you would like for them to receive a bear from Santa, guests can buy a bear wristband in the gift shop for $18 + tax PRIOR to their experience so that they get a bear from Santa vs. buying a child ticket.

Is there anything to purchase at the actual workshop itself?

No, there is nothing to purchase at the workshop so the on-site North Pole Experience gift shop at Little America is the only spot where guests can purchase light up snowflake wands, necklaces, NPX merchandise and the popular ornaments for Santa and the elves to sign at the workshop. It is highly suggested to visit the gift shop prior to attending Santa’s Workshop. Please check in for your trolley tour first and then feel free to visit the gift shop prior to boarding the trolley.

What are the hours of the NPX Gift Shop at Little America?

The North Pole Gift shop will be open 30 minutes prior to the first departure of the day and close after last trolley departs. Please check calendar posted on gift shop red door for daily start and end times.

 

I lost my photo card? What should I do?

Please contact our photo department directly at photos@northpoleexperience.com for further assistance. Please make sure to include as many details as possible you might have to help us identify your family.

Time and date attended
Number of adults and children in your party
Identifying photos / clothing descriptions

NPX Portal Location

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