2014: Santa at the mall until December 24
Last year, I was glad to see that Yorkdale Centre still has its wonderful alley with strings of crystal balls garlands suspended from the high ceiling and someone confirmed to me they're still there in 2014. In the past, this section also offered a light and sound show where the lights would dance over large stars in the air, but not anymore. On the other hand, the unique display of crystal balls still is impressive and goes from the entrance by the movie theatre to the information booth.
From the information booth, you turn right (westbound) to find Santa in its Swarovski Wonderland where Santa awaits in his silver sleigh until December 24, surrounded by crystal trees and life-size white animals. (Note that only those who pay to have photos taken can sit on Santa's lap. The cheapest package is $22 for two 4 X 6.) You can book a "fast track" ticket online to avoid long lines.
In 2012, I was quite impressed by the animated displays framing the theatrical entrance of Holt Renfrew. I could observe different Christmas animated scenes on the tall window-like screens. After a few minutes, frost covered the windows before melting into a new scenery. Each offered enough details for kids to play i-SPY games. (More pictures in our 2012 photo gallery.) In 2014, they offer a more subdued scenery of Northern lights, less whimsical but still interesting.
Yorkdale Shopping Centre includes over 150 stores (with four kids-only apparel stores), Disney Store, EB Games, The Lego Store, and the department stores Hudson's Bay and Holt Renfrew.