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You better watch out, you better not cry — and you better make a reservation.

Jess McHugh
November 22, 2017

For the first time ever, children who want to ask the New York City Macy's Santa for their Christmas wishes will need an appointment.

The flagship store on 34th Street, made famous by the holiday favorite “Miracle on 34th Street,” has had a store “Santa” for decades. The first Macy's Santa arrived in 1862, and the 34th Street store opened in 1902, with its yearly Santa Land growing to encompass 13,000 square feet of North Pole.

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Now, with more and more children wanting to whisper in the ear of the real Santa, they'll need a time slot, the Associated Press reported. Parents and children can make an appointment online or at a kiosk in the store from 30 minutes to five days in advance.

“Santa’s a popular guy, so the wait times to meet him have been quite long in previous years, especially on our busiest days,” Macy's said in a statement.

Reactions on the new policy have been mixed, but leadership at Macy's says it is looking to make the experience easier for customers by cutting down on wait times.

“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,” director of media relations Emily Hawkins told CBS News. “Now that the reservation system is in place we anticipate that time is going to be dramatically and significantly cut down.”

The store's Santa is set to make his first appearance at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Thursday in Manhattan, and visits with Santa in the store will begin Friday.

While the visit is free, photo packages start at $20.99. Reservations can be made on Macy's Santa Land website.

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