NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s a new reservation policy this year at Macy’s in Herald Square; if you want to see Santa Claus, you’ll need to RSVP.
Some feel it’s a naughty move, while others are saying “nice!”
Every year, thousands of people flock to the flagship store on 34th Street to shop, view the Christmas displays, and visit with Kris Kringle.
Traditionally, you just walk inside, stand in line, and wait for your turn on the big guy’s lap. This year, the visit will have to be arranged ahead of time.
“When you sign up for a reservation, you’re given a time to join the line so if I’m joining the line at 11, that’s when I’ll come and start the queue,” Macy’s Director of Media Relations Emily Hawkins said. “I’ll get to walk through the beautiful and glorious Santaland and eventually see Santa himself.”
The new system is getting mixed reviews.
“Sometimes the lines can be really long, so if it meant I could walk in and not have to wait a long time especially with little kids, it would work out better,” Los Angeles resident Cassie Moungey told CBS2’s Elise Finch.
Others aren’t buying it just yet.
“The children should just be able to walk up and visit Santa if they want to,” East New Yorker Renee Gomes said.
Hawkins said to get on Santa’s calendar, just head to the special website where you’ll need to enter your name, email address, size of your group, and the day and time you want to visit.
It only takes a minute to make a reservation, but it’s designed to save people hours of waiting in line.
“In years past, families would join the line when they came into the store and they could wait for upwards of anywhere from two to four hours, but now that the reservation system is in place we anticipate that time is going to be dramatically and significantly cut down,” Hawkins said.
People who spoke with CBS2 said the new system might result in shorter lines, but it also takes some of the fun out of a visit with Santa.
“I think it takes some of the fun out of it,” Brownsville resident Keithlyn Rivera said. “You know, when you’re in line you tend to meet a lot of people.”
Others are trying to look on the bright side.
“At the same time, it helps a little bit because waiting and the craziness is too much sometimes,” Irvine resident Jackie Moreno said.
Hawkins says the new reservation system will still allow for spontaneous fun, because there are kiosks inside where people can sign up for same-day reservations when available.
Reservations need to be made at least 30 minutes before a visit and up to five days in advance. Santa’s taking appointments from Black Friday through Christmas Eve.