When Santa’s Workshop opened its doors on July 1, 1949, floods of locals visited the Christmas-themed park. Technically, when the fun, family-friendly park opened its doors, the phrase “theme park” hadn’t even been coined. For a whopping 90 cents a person (and a 25 cent parking fee!), kids could ride on an electric spinning bobsled, hop on the Christmas Carousel filled with Santa’s reindeer, and even meet the Jolly Old Elf himself.
What’s more is that the main man Walt Disney sent colleagues to North Pole, NY, to check out why the park was so popular while planning Disneyland. As a Disney nut, I can definitely see how Walt may have taken a few cues from the winter-themed park, but the extent of it is still highly debatable and worthy of a heated arguement or two.
The weather was definitely in my family’s favor when we visited this past weekend. With more than a foot of snow covering the ground from two days previous, we took a scenic (and I mean SCENIC. The drive was breathtaking!) ride from Lake Placid to North Pole, NY, and discovered a theme park worthy of a nine hour drive from home.
What’s Santa’s Workshop and Why Should I Visit?
The Frosty North Pole isn’t called that because of the chilly winter weather we encountered- it stays frozen year round! How, you ask? Santa’s magic, of course.
Christmas Carousel has 20 painted reindeer and two sleighs for older children and adults. We opted to stand in between two reindeer during our ride and the view of the Adirondack Mountains from the carousel platform was beautiful.
After a carousel ride, jump inside of Santa’s Sleigh for a fun photo op. Check out that snow!
One of the highlights of our visit was a walk through the Reindeer Barn. All of Santa’s reindeer were taking it easy inside and saving their energy for Christmas Eve.
Pretty leather harnesses (one for each of Santa’s reindeer) hung in the barn windows. I bet they can’t wait to jump into them in a few days!
Throughout the day, Blitzen greeted park guests and even took time out of his busy schedule to take a reindeer selfie with me. You know me and animal selfies: I love adding goats, sheep, and even llamas into my photos. Put reindeer on the list! Just look at the snow on his nose.
Tannenbaum the Talking Tree wakes up throughout the day to entertain guests. If you’re feeling a little chilly, a nice fire pit is adjacent to the talking tree and S’mores kits can be purchased in the shop next door. S’mores and a talking tree? I’m down!
Santa’s Blacksmith Shop is the spot where his reindeer shoes are made. Ask nicely and you may even take home a specially made token of your visit.
The Candy Shop has the most heavenly scent- warm chocolate! We watched this skilled assistant creating Christmas treats.
Fun bridges connect areas of the theme park, and the calming sound of the small stream make for a picturesque view.