"What's going on when I don't see any availabilities?"
How does the Scheduling application Work?
When you click on the scheduling link your computer will open a page on a separate website and you will be given the option to choose the type of reservation you would like. When you click on that button it will show you the available dates and times. When you choose your date and time, by clicking it you are securing that time temporarily while you are entering the registration form and making payment. Because of this process, we can lock in your date and time while also securing contact tracing information (just in case).
Why are you taking full payment in advance?
Fortuitously in the pre-Covid-19 timeline, we were experimenting with scheduling appointments without requiring deposits or payments. We discovered some interesting things: if there is no financial commitment from the "visitor" a few things happened.
1. over 60% of reserved visitors didn't show up
2. People would make numerous appointments and show up for the one that suited them the most
In 1 & 2 above some people were effectively blocking other people from visiting, and that just isn't right.
So in 2020 we were one of three malls that had Santa continued to learn how to make visiting Santa better with paid reservations.
3. We found that when visits are reserved with payment over 90% of visitors show up on time and are prepared for the visit experience they want and we appreciate that. When your visit is secured people who "show up and stand in line to visit" cannot bump you because we have no line. See our cancellation/rescheduling policy here.
But there are too few appointment times to choose from (or there aren't any to choose from) what do I do?
Sadly, as we get closer to Christmas, this does happen.
The scheduling software doesn't allow for entering into a cancellation list or being notified of an opening. Additionally, for the safety of all visitors, we do not have lineups - in these Covid-19 times, it would be irresponsible for us to encourage anyone to stand in line at a busy mall.
The best course of action is to visit the scheduling page between 6 and 12 hours prior to the scheduled Santa/Mean Green Santa appointment window.
As we send out reminder emails/texts to registered visitors 12 hours prior to their appointment time those visitors have an opportunity to reschedule or cancel their reservation. If they reschedule or cancel then their previous time becomes available immediately.
example: Mary has an appointment with Mean Green Santa on December 23rd at 4 p.m. Mary receives an email reminder at 4 a.m. and reads it at 8 a.m. Mary forgot that the boss called for a staff meeting at 3:30 p.m. and now knows they cannot attend the Mean Green Santa appointment. Mary clicks the button on the reminder email that allows her to reschedule or cancel. Mary enters the portal that gives them the optional other times and the option to cancel. Seeing that there aren't any times that suit their schedule, they opt to Cancel. As soon as Mary "cancels" the reservation it becomes available to anyone visiting the scheduling website. We then receive a notification that Mary has cancelled and we will issue a refund to Mary at the end of the day.
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