Santa’s Enchanted Forest
Santa’s Enchanted Forest made its debut in 2021. This magical Santa scene helped us to raise more than $6400 for Cystic Fibrosis!
Santa’s Enchanted Forest is now part of our four-set, four-year rotation, a version of this pretty set will be slated to return in 2025. The idea for this set evolved from a variety of ideas and then it became a reality. This one was more difficult to create than it looks.
In 2020, during the whole Covid-19 mess, I, Elf Michael, decided to start creating a whole new scene for our Santa Claus photographs. I actually had a pretty good idea of the look I was going to create, I just had to find the pieces, and then put it all together. It all started with finding flocked Christmas trees.
I’m very picky when it comes to my Christmas trees. I love trees that don’t look fake, or overly perfect in shape. I knew that I’d need at least six Christmas trees to “fill out” the background.
Every year, we have larger family groups that come to visit with Santa, so I know I need to have at least twelve feet of background coverage. I also knew that I wanted each tree to be different in height, shape, and type. After all, in the natural world, you would never ever see two, or more, exactly alike trees side by side?
Well, that was much easier than it sounds. Joannie and I went everywhere to look at, and purchase trees. We ended up with seven trees, all of them different in height, shape, and size. I mixed in some birch trees, a brick pathway, a pretty red park bench, and lots of snow.
Frosty the Snowman
And then the cute finishing touch, Frosty the Snowman was added to complete the scene!
It turns out that doing all this shopping in 2020 was a really good idea! Because of all of the shipping and supply chain shortages of 2021, I’m certain that this set would not have happened in time for Santa’s arrival in 2021! We had a hard enough time finding all of the other goodies that we have each year for Santa’s visit.
What You Need to Know
We think that being able to see what each theme looks like ahead of time will help you decide on what everyone should wear when you schedule your Santa Claus Experience each year. Clothing ideas for Santa’s Enchanted Forest can be anything from dressing up to casual, but we highly recommend solid colored clothes to stand-out better on this pretty set.
It is very important to note, that at some point Santa will include your entire entourage in at least one photo, so you might as well all look great for what will probably be the cover of your beautiful heirloom storybook and your Christmas card!
Santa Claus and Mother Nature
Santa’s Enchanted Forest is a pretty nighttime scene in the snowy forest where Santa loves to go and be out in nature. This is our only Santa Experience set that has variations available as well. On this set, the sky can be changed!
For 2021, we had three options to choose from, the Milky Way, a full moon, and the Aurora Borealis! When this theme returns (we think in 2025), there will more than likely be other options. We’ll have to wait and see what skies I photograph in the future!
When your kids arrive in Santa’s Enchanted Forest, they will meet Mr. Kringle and discover that there’s something missing in this pretty location! Frosty the Snowman is there, but something is amiss! The kids will help Santa figure it out, and then the real magic begins!
From there, Santa will move on to several other fun activities. The big ice breaker is a Magic Snowball Fight against Elves Michael and Joannie (and probably another one with everyone in your party too)!
At some point, Santa will ask Elf Joannie to bring “The List”. Probably the most important thing to every child at Christmastime; checking to see if their name is on Santa’s Nice List! But that’s still only the beginning of The Best Santa Experience!
More Santa Magic
By the time your family’s magical visit with Mr. Kringle is complete, Santa will read “The Night Before Christmas” from Santa’s Magic Book.
Santa will also show them how he finds his way to their house on Christmas Eve on his Magic Globe!
And, one of our favorite activities, they will witness the magic inside of Santa’s Magic Toy Bag.
Then each child, and maybe other members of the family, will take Santa’s Magic Flying Sled out for a spin!
Then they’ll share a very special treat of milk and cookies with Santa.
And every visit always concludes with presents from Santa Claus too! It’s an action-packed, fun-filled hour, and one that none of you will ever forget!
Elf Michael’s Light Painting Magic
Our magical Santa Experience photographs look the way they do because of a unique photographic process called light painting.
“Elf” Michael is one of a very small number of photographers in the world that knows how to do this. We’re also pretty certain that The Best Santa Experience is the one-and-only Santa Experience that creates light painted Santa Art.
It is not an easy process to master, and it’s pretty time-consuming to produce as well. But our finished Santa artworks look like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
That’s exactly why we do it! We want your entire Santa Experience to be unlike anyplace else, especially your photographs! And we’re pretty confident that we accomplish just that every time, for every single family!
How Does Elf Michael Do That?
This is how it works. Our main camera is placed on a heavy-duty camera stand and the wheels are locked into position. That camera will not move for several weeks.
Then Elf Michael photographs the light painted images and completes the light painting process of the whole scene in post-production. The resulting “Master File” will be the basis of each whole-scene photograph of every child, family, and activity that happens in Santa’s Enchanted Forest.
On the day of your visit to Santa’s Enchanted Forest, Elf Michael will then be capturing images with that stationary main camera while he’s also grabbing some cute video highlights from a second camera.
Elf Joannie will be using yet a third camera to get different angles of the action too. There will be no shortage of images for you to select from to create your beautiful custom-written storybook and wall art afterward with “Santa Magic” added where appropriate.
Yes, as we mentioned, it’s a lot of work, but we love it! It’s all part of what makes The Best Santa Experience totally unique, and what makes our images into the artwork that your family will treasure for generations to come.