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According to Tauny, Santa’s Workshop, which was designed to look like Santa’s village, opened July 1, 1949 in Essex County, NY in Adirondack Park as America’s first theme park. North Pole NY, Home of Santa’s Workshop states that the concept of the park was originated by Julian Reiss, a Lake Placid businessman. He had once told his daughter about the magical North Pole where Santa Clause lived. when she then asked him to visit Santa’s summer home, but since he was unable to fulfill her request to take her there, he bought some land and began to make her dream a reality. The concept of the park originated from a storybook about the year-round frozen North Pole with legendary characters and animals, and so with the help of Arto Monaco, who was hired to sketch the park, and Harold Fortune, who contributed to the construction of the park, the village was underway and almost a reality. When the park finally opened, on July 1, 1949, there were only a total of 212 visitors, but the park was featured in daily newspapers across the US and Canada, and two years later, on September 2, 1951, had a single-day record of over 14,000 guests. Not only is this theme park the oldest in the nation, but it was also the first to have a petting zoo, was assigned its own zip code, and launched tourism in America. After the opening of the park, the developers felt that in order to exemplify the true meaning of Christmas they needed to give back in the community. They deliver gifts to underprivileged children in upstate New York, and within six years of being opened, they were able to expand the Christmas spirit across 13 states, DC, and two provinces of Canada. The park became a public favorite because it was so unique. Crowds would get up to 10,000 in the summer, even though the park is quite small. The park only has one roller coaster but has twelve other attractions to visit.
For those who love a white Christmas, North Pole is one of the best places in the Northeast. According to historical weather data that has been gathered at Tupper Lake every year since 1948, there's a 96% chance of some amount of snow for the holiday .
The United States Census Bureau treated North Pole as part of a larger area including Lake Placid, NY for its 2000 census figures. Out of 8,098 people in the region, 1,444 are under 18, 1,072 are age 65 or over, 87% are White and 10.7% are African American.
North Pole does not have its own bank, school, library, fire department, newspaper, police station or community organizations and most local businesses have closed their doors. North Pole has a small community postal station at 201 Main St, which is open only on a seasonal basis.
In 1954, Burlington/Plattsburgh-market NBC affiliate WPTZ (channel 5) was licensed to North Pole at the time of its sign-on (as WIRI). In 1999 the station petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to reallocate its broadcast frequency (now on digital channel 14) to Plattsburgh, on the grounds that the hamlet has always been small and continues to lose population, with only four houses remaining near North Pole's main crossroads.
While the station's studios were built on Television Drive in Plattsburgh, that lakeside city is low-lying ground relative to the surrounding Adirondack Mountains. The station's analogue broadcast transmitter had therefore been situated upon a mountaintop near North Pole, operating from this location until 2009. While WPTZ's digital UHF TV transmitter facilities are now located atop Mount Mansfield, Vermont, alongside WCAX-TV and other broadcasters in the region, the station's license (and therefore the on-air station ID) remained in North Pole until January 5, 2011, when the FCC approved WPTZ's request and formally moved its license to Plattsburgh.
The North Pole hamlet's main attraction is Santa's Workshop on Whiteface Mountain Memorial Highway, Route 431.
Open from mid-June onward[vague], it bills itself as the oldest theme park in the United States, featuring Santa at the North Pole with live reindeer and a traditional Christmas theme with the North Pole post office (ZIP code 12997) serving as a fine place to mail holiday greetings.
Santa's Workshop in North Pole was ahead of its time and spawned many imitators. It was created in 1949 featuring costumed characters, a frosty "north pole" ice column and a small petting zoo. It was originally built on the road to Whiteface Mountain by a Lake Placid businessman whose daughter desperately wanted to see Santa's house. It then caught the eye of planners designing an entire generation of theme parks, including the first Disney parks (designed in the 1950s).
Even though the park isn't as busy today, the afternoon Christmas Parade is still led by Frosty the Snowman, Alice in Wonderland, Little Red Riding Hood, Rowdy the Reindeer, and Chris Moose (Santa’s Workshop Roadside America) and continues to bring joy to young children at all times of the year. Park Prices DAY PASS Adults - $21.50 Seniors (65+) - $19.35 Children (ages 2–16) - $19.35 Children under 2 are FREE. A reentry pass is available for those who are unable to complete their visit in one day. The reentry is only valid for the next day, please request from one of Santa’s elves, at the Post Office as you conclude your visit. SEASON PASS Everyone (2+) - $53.95 Children under 2 are FREE.
VILLAGE OF LIGHTS Everyone (2+) - $10.75 Children under 2 are FREE. Admission Rates include all rides, shows, parking and NYS Sales Tax.
Christmas in July
The evening begins at 5:30 where guests will be welcomed and sat at reserved tables in Mother Hubbards Restaurant, a part of Santa’s Workshop. There guests will find personalized “family candles and place settings for each individual child and a special surprise from Santa himself.” Guests will sing along to Christmas carols during dinner with the one and only Santa. After dinner, one of Santa’s toy makers, Woody, will show the children how he makes toys, then there will be a campfire to make s’mores. The Christmas in July package includes, dinner with Santa, character breakfast, admission to Santa’s workshop, commemorative Reindeer Shop, candy from Santa’s Candy Maker, toy building with Woody, a family ornament, a family candle, Christmas Bells, a stuffed animal, and a stocking
2013 Christmas in July Pricing (may vary year to year) $69.95 per Adult $119.95 per Child (2-16 Years old) $64.95 per Child (Under 2) Prices do not include NYS Sales Tax
Yuletide Family Weekends
These weekends are designated for children 2–10 years old and their family to spend special time with Santa. During the weekend, the children, with the help of Santa’s helpers, will create their own ornaments and decorate the tree. Then, in order to capture the true Christmas spirit, there is a performance consisting of caroling, story telling, and magic shows performed by Santa’s helpers before a big family dinner. At some point during the families stay, there will be a surprise visit by Santa where they can share their Christmas traditions. The children will also be able to visit the Claus’ home where they will see many famous characters like Frosty the Snowman and Mother Goose.
Prices will vary depending on the party number and package chosen, but a deposit of $250.00 is required when making reservations.
Breakfast with Santa
Is only held at certain times of the year from 9:00AM to 9:45AM at Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard Restaurant and reservations are highly recommended and may be made by calling 518-946-2211 x-140 to reserve a table. Village of Lights The park is made into a Winter Wonderland where there is lots of caroling, roasting marshmallows, shopping, and of course feeding the reindeer. The night is concluded with the Nativity Pageant which is set on the village hillside. $10.75 Per Person NYS taxes included
The park is located at 324 Whiteface Memorial Highway Wilmington, NY 12997 US
"From New York City take the New York State Thruway (I 87) to Albany (Exit 24) and transfer to the Adirondack Northway (also I 87). Continue north to Exit 30, then follow route 73 to Keene. At the Elm Tree Inn in Keene take the right hand fork (route 9 N) and follow signs to the Wilmington/Whiteface Area (North Pole)."
"From Montreal or Plattsburgh use Exit 34 on the Adirondack Northway (I 87) and follow routes 9 N and 86 to the Wilmington/Whiteface Area (North Pole).”
"From Vermont access to the area is via the Lake Champlain Ferries (North Pole)."
"Travelers from the west may elect to exit the New York Thruway at either Syracuse or Utica and reach the Wilmington/Whiteface Are via Lake Placid (North Pole)."
There are numerous hotels in the area for overnight trips.
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