The park is designed to emulate the cavern residence of Santa Claus on the Arctic circle. Popular culture often depicts Santa Claus (or joulupukki in Finnish) coming from Lapland. Therefore, tourists come every year to Rovaniemi to meet Santa Claus.
History and the business concept
Santa Park was opened on 28 November 1998 as an amusement park. The concept was created by Santaworld Ltd. (UK) and the cost of construction was 6.7 million Euros. The ownership consisted of Finnish companies such as Finnair, MTV, Sampo, Lasten Päivän Säätiö, Posti. Ministry of trade and industry was also involved. As an amusement park Santa Park did not reach its economical goals. Renewal of the concept was attempted in 2002 with a new ownership structure where the municipality of Rovaniemi was involved. The new concept featured Santa Claus, Christmas and Lappish culture and nature. On 24 March 2009 ownership was transferred to Santa's Holding Ltd. where the majority is held by Mr. Ilkka Länkinen and Mrs. Katja Länkinen-Ikäheimonen.
The attractions of Santa Park include
- Elf Show
- Santa's Workshop
- Gingerbread Kitchen
- Sleigh Ride
- Elf School
- Elf Workshop
- Post Office
A shopping arcade and Lappish cafe also serve visitors.
The structure is located in a huge man-made cavern inside bedrock where visitors descend via an impressive portal.
Location and transportation
Santa Park can be easily reached by car along the national highway 4. It is located about 9 km northeast of Rovaniemi and about 2 km from Rovaniemi Airport. Frequent flight to Rovaniemi are offered throughout the year to Rovaniemi from Helsinki and other cities. The majority of international tourist switch their plane in Helsinki-Vantaa airport. Also in the Christmas time there are many charter flights from Sweden, UK and other countries that fly directly to Rovaniemi. Also there is Ryanair flights to Tampere which also has regular connection to Rovaniemi. There is also a regular bus and train connection with all major cities in Finland. Local transportation is provided by Santa's Express (bus line number 8) from the centre of Rovaniemi to Santa Park and Santa Claus Village. The bus trip takes about 30 minutes.