Santa at Phipps: Best Tips for Magical Santa Pics (2023)

Visiting with Santa at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead is a classic Atlanta holiday event. This is the Santa to see, and a visit with him is basically a rite of passage in Atlanta.

We’ve gathered up all the information you need to know about a visit with Santa at Phipps — from pre-registration to what you need to know when you arrive, we’ve got it all.

Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Santa at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta, Georgia.

Santa at Phipps: Best Tips for Magical Santa Pics (2023)



Santa at Phipps Plaza is Santa — at least, that’s what we think. He’s a popular guy as you can imagine, which is why a few steps are required before you show up at Phipps Plaza with your Christmas wish lists.

One of the most important steps is pre-registration.

Pre-Registration opened in July of 2023 and the link is available on their website homepage.  Appointment invitation emails started going out in mid-September, so you can get the date and time slot you want.

To receive an Appointment Invitation, it is mandatory that your Pre-Register each year.

They will send out emails reminding you of the Pre-Registration process, however, you do NOT have to wait for a Pre-Registration email reminder.  Once the link appears on their website, you can Pre-Register.  Feel free to forward the Pre-Registration info to friends once the system opens!

Pictures with Santa at Phipps begin in early November.

October 2023 Update: They have a little less than 500 appointments left for 2023, but most of these are weekday spots. These spots are great for parents of new babies and pre-school age children. Please let your friends know to come to this site and  “Pre-Register” if interested in one of these appointments!


The process of Appointment Invitations is spread out to help alleviate any issues with overloading the scheduling system and causing customer inconvenience.   There are over 6000 appointment slots in 2023 for Santa and they will be sending out about 150 appointment invitations a day via MyEmma, which is their email service.  

When you receive the appointment invitation, it contains a customized link to your info that will allow you to click and make an appointment. That email is non-transferable and specific to you. The weekends and prime dates fill up quickly, so it’s best to make the appointment as soon as you can. Once you book your appointment, you will receive a confirmation email.

Further notes on Appointment Invitations:

  • Do keep an eye on your junk mail folder — some get sent to the spam folder.
  • One appointment per family – one family per appointment. (Extended families need more than one appointment.)
  • Their schedule allows for 5 appointments every 15 minutes.
  • Their system only allows for one appointment per email address.
  • Book your appointment using a computer or laptop and not your phone. This will help cut down on issues.
  • If you are trying to book two appointments to coincide with another family and it is not working out – go ahead and book as close together as possible and then email them at


One of the amazing things about visiting Santa at Phipps is that not only do you have the option to buy photos — but you have the option to buy a DVD video of your experience as well.

Every visit with Santa at Phipps is recorded, and you have the option to purchase the DVD. It features a special animation to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” featuring Santa. And here’s the really cool thing! If you make visiting Santa at Phipps an annual tradition, they keep all of the videos on a hard drive so they can make a “Lifetime” DVD for you to purchase once your children are grown. How cool is that?

There are plenty of photo packages to choose from as well. Everything from one 5×7 photo ($34) to an All-In-One package that includes photos, video and an ornament for $133.

Speaking of ornaments, there are several other keepsakes you can get with your Santa photo on it. In addition to ornaments, they also offer plates, photo tiles, coffee mugs, pillows, blankets, and more. You can also order your Christmas cards from Santa at Phipps!

Cash and Check only are accepted and photos and DVDs will be mailed within 5 days of your visit with Santa. See the complete list of Santa at Phipps pricing here.


Santa at Phipps is located in the Court of the South – right across from Tiffany’s. You can access from both parking levels located directly below them via elevator or escalators.

In 2023, they are not providing Pre-Printed Wish Lists for sanitary reasons at the mall, but you could print and bring along your child’s wish list using this Wish List link. 


Santa at Phipps: Best Tips for Magical Santa Pics (2023)

We visited the Santa Phipps Plaza for the first time in 2014. Honestly, this was the first year my oldest was willing to pose with the Jolly Old Elf; I’m glad we did it right!  I’ve heard about this tradition for the 20+ years I’ve lived here, but never really understood the draw…the magic…until we visited that year.

We arrived at our designated time, and only had to wait in line about ten minutes.  While we waited, my oldest worked judiciously over at the table set up for young kids to write their Christmas List.  I knew that he had already written one to Santa, and sent it in the mail, so I wondered what he was writing.

I looked at the family in front of us – a girl about four. She was holding a two-page Christmas list, decorated meticulously with red and green pens, and candy cane stickers. I called Cooper over as the line edged forward. He brought his paper, on which he drew a large Christmas tree and stocking for Santa.  He was proud!

When it was our turn, a nice woman helped position Cooper on Santa’s lap. The baby was not willing to let go of Dad, so she worked with Santa to set us up for the photo.  She took her time making sure we all looked well. Then, the photographer worked with the boys for a while to get them to smile.  Again, the baby wasn’t cooperating that evening, but he got a great smile from Cooper. There was even time for Cooper to share his drawing with Santa after the shoot.

I was most impressed with the quality of the final product.  Truly, that will be the thing that brings us back each year.  The lighting was warm and the paper was professional quality. We always loved it — both the product and the experience, and highly recommend a visit to Santa at Phipps to anyone.

Santa at Phipps Plaza



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Santa at Phipps: Best Tips for Magical Santa Pics (2023)