6:36 p.m. CST:
What a great experience! Santa and I had a fantastic time meeting all of you. We loved the performances by the Choo Choo Bob Show and the Minnesota Dance Collaborative, and it was cool to see Po, Mei Mei, and Bao from Kung Fu Panda 3. We were also thrilled to see Mall of America partner with Toys for Tots for Veterans’ Day to bring toys to children in need!
Thank you all for following along. Santa is looking forward to meeting more of you during his time at Mall of America. We hope to see you soon for holiday photos in Santa Land at Mall of America.
5:50 p.m. CST:
Santa’s Arrival Ceremony is almost underway! I’ve got to get on stage, but it’s been so much fun live-blogging with you!
5:43 p.m. CST:
Did anyone just hear the jingle of sleigh bells? Perhaps see hooves pitter-pattering on the rooftop of Nickelodeon Universe? Believe your senses, because we’re here on top of Mall of America! I always forget just how big this place is…
We’ve got to put the reindeer in the their special stable, park the sleigh and get ready for the event. And of course Santa is insisting that he stop at Caribou Coffee for a drink to go along with Grandma’s Cookies he’ll be munching on during the event. He’ll see you soon!
5:29 p.m. CST:
We just crossed the Canadian border. We’re officially stateside!
Santa wanted to take a quick detour—a mere 850 miles off course—to fly over Mall of America’s sister mall, West Edmonton Mall. I had to tell him that we were on a strict schedule and that he’ll be visiting West Edmonton Mall later. We wouldn’t want to keep everyone at Mall of America waiting!
For those keeping track at home, Santa and I have now traveled approximately 2,657 of our 2,946-mile journey. Santa’s enjoying the “warm” air of Minnesota—so far we’ve had to brace freezing temperatures in the frigid air above locations like Ellef Ringnes Island in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of the Nunavut Territory of Canada, Bathurst Island, the Manitoba Territory and Ontario.
4:44 p.m. CST:
We encountered some unexpected turbulence over Prince of Wales Island. The jolt to the sleigh was enough to knock a few gift bags loose. Not to worry, though—Santa pulled his reindeer into a daring dive, and they were able to catch the bags feet from the ground.
Related: Santa and I are pretty sure that these reindeer will be ready to go when Santa’s core team retires.
One quick confession: Santa may have made a brief stop at Hudson Bay for a little ice-skating. Santa is famously fond of ice-skating and other winter sports, and he couldn’t resist testing the (frozen) water.
4:00 p.m. CST:
We have left the North Pole! Santa and I will arrive at Mall of America in approximately two hours—that’s one fast trip! Here’s a breakdown of the numbers:
- Traveling as the crow flies (in a huge sleigh, of course), we will log 2,946 miles in the air on this journey from the North Pole to Mall of America.
- Santa averages 1,473 miles per hour during his trip. While this may sound fast, it’s significantly slower than he travels on Christmas Eve. On that night, he flies at the speed of light or faster. This trip is a leisurely stroll compared to that!
The weather looks relatively clear from the North Pole to Bloomington. I’ll keep you updated!
3:39 p.m. CST:
Hi! My name is Ivy, and I’m one of Santa’s top elves. Thanks for joining us as Santa and I make our journey from the North Pole to Mall of America! I’m very excited to visit, and I’ll be providing you with exclusive information from our trip.
Right now, Santa is making final adjustments to his sleigh in preparation for the journey. His special gifts for people who attend his arrival ceremony at 6 p.m. at Mall of America are all packed, and the reindeer are ready to go.
Speaking of reindeer, here’s an interesting tidbit: While Santa’s core team of reindeer (Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph) fly with him on Christmas Eve, annual trips to Mall of America are a great opportunity for younger, less-experienced deer to test their flying abilities. Who knows which reindeer from this year’s trip might make the core team in the years to come.
Mall of America enjoys the tremendous privilege each holiday season of hosting the real Santa Claus at Santa Land in Sears Court. It is a wonderful honor that Santa travels to Mall of America in preparation for his global expedition December 24.
This year, in coordination with some of Santa’s top elves, Mall of America has obtained exclusive access to Santa and his crew for his trek from the North Pole to Bloomington, Minnesota. We’ll be following his progress, and one of his elves will even be posting live updates as he readies the reindeer, prepares the sleigh, and travels the long route south.
Stay tuned for updates as the day progresses. Santa arrives at Mall of America at 6 p.m. CST, and we’ll be bringing you exclusive content throughout his journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for additional updates.