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Driving through a Christmas light tunnel, bright green, red and blue reflect off the hood of the car. To the right and left along the route, there are elves balancing on a ball, rollerblading and even doing backflips. The warmth of complimentary hot cocoa, the sounds of elves greeting you, the sight of the beautiful lights all while inside the comfort of your car. This is Christmas during a pandemic.

The Elf on the Shelf’s Magical Holiday Journey is at the Pomona Fairplex until Jan. 3.

While great for both kids and adults of any age, the $24.95 per person ticket price point might be a bit steep for those with many children. Despite that, the experience is well worth checking out, especially for those who are in desperate need for some holiday cheer during the stress and isolation COVID-19 has brought.

Victoria Ivie/Courier
An elf measuring a cars holiday spirit at the Elf on the Shelf Magical Holiday Journey at the Pomona Fairplex on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020.

Given the pandemic, a mask is required of attendees while interacting with all elves. On top of that, everyone, even stunt elves and Santa himself had masks on for safety as well. While there was nothing saying guests should keep their masks on the whole journey (which takes about an hour), it would be recommended that at least the driver do so as there are frequent interactions with elves to assess the level of holiday spirit in cars.

The journey route is an extremely immersive drive thru experience with really impressive acrobatic stunts, including tight rope walking and spring board flips. The thousands of lights, including a huge train scene at the beginning, winter houses and lake scenes are along the route, making for some stunning sights.

Victoria Ivie/Courier
A stunt elf walking a tightrope at the Elf on the Shelf Magical Holiday Journey at the Pomona Fairplex on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020.

Attendees were encouraged to download the app to go along with the storyline to raise the holiday spirit of each carload. The app allows riders to follow along in English and Spanish and numbers throughout the route coincide with the app to keep up with the elf narrating their journey. Christmas lovers will enjoy this drive thru experience that measures holiday cheer throughout the journey with elves evaluating the carload’s holiday spirit at the Spirit Escalation Stations. Once the carload holiday spirit reaches “soaring” on the Spirit Escalation Station, Santa is there at the end in all his glory.

A really cool part of the journey was also a convenient plug for their Letters to Santa kit. At the beginning of the journey, attendees are asked to complete a wishlist on Santa’s special paper which will then be collected 10 minutes in. While slightly odd in the moment, this detail is made much cuter when cars receive them back at the end to see them as shrunken versions that can be ornaments hung on the tree or given to their Elf on a Shelf for them to pass along to Santa.

At the end of the route, there was a toy donation collection for Toys for Tots and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as well.

Click below for a gallery with more photos from this event.

Victoria Ivie

Victoria Ivie is the Editor-in-Chief at the Courier. She is majoring in photojournalism and hopes to work as a photojournalist in a major publication where she is able to travel for work. Her photography work can be found in the Courier as well as on instagram at vi.photos.

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