The Space Needle’s new glass floors—called the “Loupe”—are already making the observation deck even more of a photo op than it was before, complete with glass walls and benches that give the illusion of floating over the city. Starting later this month, the Needle will be adding a glass sleigh and combining the already selfie-heavy destination with the most classic of holiday photos: a portrait with Santa.
Starting at 11 a.m. on November 23, Santa photos will be included in the price of admission. Digital photos will look downward over the set, as if flying over Seattle. Santa’s suit will be a custom, nontraditional outfit, with blue crystals for an icy, glassy look.
The new glass floor, which opened to the public this past August, lets visitors stare down 500 feet to the ground. According to the Space Needle’s management, this is the first and only rotating glass floor in the world—something we can’t find any evidence to contradict. The remodel, part of a multi-year restoration effort called the “Century Project,” also gutted the observation deck for clearer views. All together, the overhaul used 176 tons of glass. To support visitor traffic and stuff like a full-on Santa sleigh, the glass floor was designed like reinforced concrete with between three and ten structural layers per glass panel.
Santa will be visiting the Needle on weekends through December 16, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. most days (the exception is December 2, which moves the schedule one hour earlier).