SoCal Families | DreamWorks Adventure to Santa at Victoria Gardens
By: Jamie Durante
Having your children take a picture with Santa Claus every year is a Christmas tradition that most families know all too well; you dress your children in their holiday outfits, wait in line at the local shopping mall, and your kids pose joyfully on Santa Claus’ lap after telling him the presents they would love to magically appear under their tree on Christmas morning.
While many elements of this experience will be your typical photo with Santa, the DreamWorks Adventure to Santa at Victoria Gardens elevates the trip to see Santa Claus in a whole new, exciting way.
After making a reservation in advance, my daughter and I set off to Victoria Gardens' Chaffey Town Square in Rancho Cucamonga to get her annual picture with Santa Claus. Although making a reservation does secure your spot in line, often you are still required to wait a bit for your adventure. Luckily for us, we had a reservation during the week at a slower time, so we were able to start on our journey to Santa after only waiting five minutes. (Last year, we made a reservation and still had to wait in line for quite a while.)
The elves welcomed us into the seasonally decorated cabin, and they handed each family in our group their boarding pass. We were able to upload our family photo to the boarding pass ahead of time, which made the experience all the more personal.
After playing games on touch screens to design our sled, we entered into the next room where we sat on a fsetive sled that would transport us to the North Pole to see Santa himself. The chilly air and giant screen made the experience all the more realistic, and we found ourselves soaring over a winter wonderland with characters from Shrek leading the way.
Once we landed, we were ushered by another elf onto the final destination before meeting the big guy himself. We played another game and decorated a digital gingerbread person, which my daughter dressed in a bathing suit and Santa hat. From there, one by one each family called through the door and were let in for their photos with Santa. My daughter made the same unsure, adorable face this year as she did last year in her photo, and I was happy she didn't cry.
Once our photo was done, we walked out into the lobby where photo packages and other goodies were available for purchase. This experience is highly recommended to those who are looking for an extra layer of excitement, adventure and interaction to their typical Santa Claus photo opportunity.
Make your reservation before it's too late by visiting this website. The experience is free, and photo packages start at $35. Cameras are not permitted within the experience, so you are unable to take your own photo with Santa.