SHORT HILLS, NJ – Visiting Santa at the Short Hills Mall is more than just a quick picture with the North Pole legend; it is an immersive experience to get everyone into the spirit of the holiday season. The one-of-a-kind setup lets children join "Santa's Flight Academy" and traverse a larger than life re-imagination of the North Pole as a member of Santa's crew. 
 
“It’s incredibly special to see the beloved tradition of visiting Santa come to life through this unique and interactive experience,” said Janet Cesario, marketing and sponsorship director, The Mall at Short Hills. “Santa’s Flight Academy personalizes the journey for every child by placing them front and center as the hero who saves the day.”
 
As an elite flight crew member, the mission is to ensure Santa’s sleigh is prepared to deliver presents to children around the world. Upon entering Santa’s Flight Academy, the ‘Cadet’ will present their official badge and immediately be recognized by name on digital screens. From there, children will be fitted for a virtual flight suit, navigate a flight course, inspect and power the sleigh all before takeoff. At the end of the adventure, each child will step inside the 22-foot-tall sleigh for an enchanted snowfall dance party before meeting and receiving a gift from Santa.
 
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If joining Santa's flight crew isn't exciting enough, the showcase includes a sneak preview of Ferdinand, an animated movie coming to theaters on December 15. The film tells the story of a giant bull with a big heart and proves you can’t judge a bull by its cover.

Santa’s Flight Academy opened November 9 and will close on Sunday, December 24. Visitors are encouraged to create official flight crew badges online via the center’s website or through the mobile app. Badges can also be created onsite at Santa’s Flight Academy kiosks. Santa's Express Lane passes are available for purchase online at shopshorthills.com/holidays that allow families to reserve a time block and avoid lengthy lines.