We took Peanut to Santa this weekend and were less than impressed. Last year, we went as a family with my parents, my brother and his little girl who is just a few weeks older. We had such a great time last year and so thought we'd make the outing part of our annual holiday festivities. Last year, we arrived mid afternoon, but received a ticket that wouldn't let us in line until later that evening. We went shopping, had dinner, had a minimal wait and the photo came out great. Santa was really great with the two infants. We didn't feel rushed.
This year, not so much. We went to Bass Pro Shop for the free Santa photo like we did last year. We went earlier in the day, hoping to work around nap schedules. We arrived at 11:20 and were given 12:00 tickets. We were surprised when we arrived and realized we would only have a 20 minutes to wander the store, as we were told to get in line 15 minutes before our time--no problem.
We went and stood in line at the appropriate time. The kids are both now toddlers and don't like to sit still--so some of us would stand in line while the others took the kids to check out the cool activities the store had set up--no problem. 1/2 hour later, the natives are getting a little restless, but we finally make it to the front of the line. Except--there's a problem. At 12:15 exactly, Santa is going on break--right when we get to the front of the line. So we get to wait patiently at the front of the line while Santa goes to feed his reindeer. Because we are coralled in to position--there's no taking the kids to wander. There's just standing in place with two active toddlers and nothing to do but wait.
I get that Santa needs a break too, but couldn't they have put it in the schedule? The line backs up even further and gets twice as crowded, as the folks with 12:30 tickets have arrived right on schedule. Wouldn't it have made more sense to give Santa a break at 12:30 and instead skip the 12:30 crowd and go straight to 1? Instead I smile and pump peanut full of cherios and point out trains to try to keep him from crawling everywhere.
Santa returns, and it's painfully obvious he's either having a bad day, or just doesn't like kids. We place peanut on his lap and peanut instantly squirms. Santa does nothing to interest or entertain the kid, just says "I can't hold a child against his will" and lets peanut plop to the ground. After all that--we get no picture--I thought they had snapped one when they moved us on, but no such luck. What a waste. I know Peanut's not perfect--I get that it's hard to get him to sit still at times, but really, the whole experience rather soured my holiday. So maybe we won't be waiting forever at Bass Pro next year.