Photo advertises “The North Star Experience” on Guildford Town Centre’s website. (

Photo advertises “The North Star Experience” on Guildford Town Centre’s website. (

3D Santa coming to Surrey’s Guildford mall in train-themed ‘North Star Experience’

‘Santa and his furry friends will make a virtual appearance’ at the end of 10-minute adventure

A 3D “holiday experience” will involve photos with a virtual Santa Claus at Guildford Town Centre.

The trained-themed North Star Experience will offer rides “to the northern lights and beyond” at Surrey’s largest shopping centre from Nov. 24 to Dec. 23.

The 10-minute adventure, billed as “a magical 3D projection experience through light and sound,” will be located on the mall’s lower level, near Centre Court.

Santa won’t be there in person this year.

“In an effort to provide the safest possible holiday experience for our shoppers this year, Santa and his furry friends will make a virtual appearance in 3D at the end of the experience,” explains a post on the mall’s website ( “You can capture the memory by taking a photo with your own device.”

Last year, photos with an in-person Santa were cancelled at Guildford Town Centre due to the pandemic.

This season, the Christmas “train” will travel through the Canadian wilderness, and passengers will disembark to discover “3D Santa in his natural element, the North Pole.

“Spot animals, big and small, through trees and valleys,” the webpost adds. “When the sun sets and the moon rises, spirit animals will come out to play while they guide you and the North Star through a winter wonderland. Mountains, valleys, villages, oceans flash by as you make your way further and further North, all with the magnificent background of the Northern Lights.”

A reservation fee is required to book a spot, with all proceeds donated to Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre.

The North Star Experience will also be at Tsawwassen Mills (near Entrance 3) and Metropolis at Metrotown.

Each pod on the train seats two people, and kids under two years of age can sit on a lap.

The attraction “will be thoroughly cleaned between showings,” according to a Frequently Asked Questions section of the mall’s website, which includes details about mandatory face masks, reservations and more.

North Star Experience project collaborators include Live Video Art, founded in 2015 by Scott Guy, along with artists Veronica Johnny and Chrystal Sparrow, and television host/producer Lucy Tulugarjuk.

Charitable partner Qajuqturvik Community Food Centre is described as a non-profit organization that strives to “strengthen health, belonging and food sovereignty in Iqaluit utilizing the power of tradition and community. Qajuqturvik improves access to good food by supporting local harvesting, preparation, education, training, and advocacy.”

Meantime, the annual Toy Mountain donation drive returns to Guildford Town Centre on Dec. 2-3. “Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to build a mountain of toys this year,” notes a webpost, “but we will be on site accepting new unwrapped toys at centre court and accepting cash donations online, all in support of the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau.”

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