NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Santa Claus may be coming to town, but you will need a reservation to see him.

As WCBS 880’s Ethan Harp reported, the days of cold-calling Kris Kringle at Macy’s Herald Square are kaput. A chance to sit on Saint Nick’s lap is by online appointment only this year, for the first time ever.

Starting Monday, eager families can go online to sign up for a time slot from 30 minutes to five days in advance. Admission is free to Santaland Herald Square. Professional photo packages start at $20.99.

Macy’s says the system was designed to cut down on wait times that got very long, especially during the busiest days.

At the holiday window display out front Sunday evening, Vanessa said she thinks it is good for parents.

“That’s right, because normally, when you was at Santaland, sometimes depending when you came, there was a large wait,” she said.

Adriana, 13, of the Bronx, wondered if there is a downside.

“Not everyone might get a chance to see him, because, you know, everyone wants to – and it’s like, everyone’s trying to make an appointment,” she said.

The department store says families can cancel a reservation and make a new one at any time. And they say don’t be too early or late for the time slot.

One man said we should see it from Santa’s perspective.

“Santa is very busy, must be, this year,” he said.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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