September 10, 2020: Today, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel our Christmas Layout for 2020, due to mandated capacity limitations. We know that this is a family tradition for many, and we share in your disappointment. It is OUR family tradition too. Transforming the layout into a winter wonderland has become our favorite day of the season, one that we look forward to unveiling to our guests each year. However, the additions of the Santa hunt and festive decorations draw a very large crowd, with weekends already requiring extra staff to manage the flow of visitors. Unfortunately, we cannot safely accommodate this many people during a pandemic. After managing this summer's "crowds" (which were far below our normal numbers), we realized that the Christmas Layout would draw more people than we could handle. It would be unfair of us to entice more visitors, only to have to ask them to wait in a line outside (when it's very cold!) or worse, turn them away altogether. We are here to entertain, not disappoint. We WILL remain open with the layout running as it is throughout the rest of the year.
There are bound to be many questions, so we feel it is best to address those upfront:
1. Is the Christmas Layout cancelled forever?
Answer: No! Assuming that all is back to normal by November 2021, the Christmas layout will resume!
2. Why don't you offer timed tickets?
Answer: Prior to reopening in June, this was our biggest topic of conversation. The answer quickly became clear: Timed tickets simply do not work for our situation. For those who have visited before, you know that your pace in the layout is often determined by the guest who entered before you. We have no way of controlling how long someone wants to stay inside the layout, nor at what pace they travel around the perimeter. Please trust us - we have rehashed this idea extensively!
3. Does this mean you don't expect to be busy for the Christmas season?
Answer: No, it does not. These days, we rarely know what to expect! But Christmas and trains are an obvious match, so we do still expect to be busy, especially on the weekends. If given the opportunity to visit during the week, we strongly encourage you to do so. As always, we ask for extra patience during this time, as we are doing our best to make sure each guest has a great experience. Thank you!