MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The River Hills Mall in Mankato has made communication with the North Pole much easier this year by offering new virtual visits with Santa or Mrs. Claus using JingleRing.
Those who sign up may personalize their experience by choosing a visit with either of the two. Users can also specify ethnicity, language and faith.
“If you think about it, you don’t get Santas of color. Generally speaking, it’s not very widely adopted at retail. This was going to be an opportunity to really expand the story and the diversity of the story of the North Pole and of Santa,” said Walt Geer, CEO and Co-Founder of JingleRing.
CCO and fellow Co-Founder Sarah Blackman added, “We also offer faith-based options so, you know, you can say a prayer with Santa if your family wants that type of experience, and like you said, we have Santas that take multiple languages as well as American Sign Language, and we do have Sensitive Santas for children with special needs.”
The live virtual visits include pre-session entertainment and an option to include a story time with Santa or Mrs. Claus.
“You login, they immediately have animated characters we’ve created, so there’s these animations sequences so we’re kind of giving you the warm up act. We’ve partnered with Kids Bop. There might be a Kids Bop video of them singing and doing a dance party with you. So there’s just a lot of fun stuff going on, and then, there’s a countdown where our elves go through this really cool animation sequence and then connect you to the North Pole,” said Geer.
Given the accessibility of virtual calls, you can choose to invite your family and friends from across the world to join the call. Up to four guests can be invited for each reservation.
Santa or Mrs. Claus also offer pre-recorded messages personalized for your family. When you sign up for the session, parents will provide a family profile so that each call can cater to each family in their own, exciting way.
“So, they know their names, what they want for Christmas, they know—maybe Mom says, ‘Hey Santa, make sure you know my son or daughter is doing well in school.’ Or maybe you can say, ‘Hey Santa, would you mind making sure my son or daughter helps with the dishes at night?’ You know things like that, right?” Geer mentioned.
“It’s a pretty powerful message coming from Santa, like hey, you need to help your mom clean your room! How does Santa know I don’t do that?” said Blackman.
For the keepsake memories, each call is recorded and a photo is taken to capture the magic.
You can find more information on the virtual Santa experience here. Visits to the North Pole will be available until January 7th.