The North American Aerospace Defense Command is ready to track Santa’s yuletide journey!
The NORAD Tracks Santa website, launched Dec. 1 and features a mobile version, a holiday countdown, new games and daily activities, and more. The website is available in eight languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Chinese.
Official NORAD Tracks Santa apps are also available in the Windows, Apple and Google Play stores, so parents and children can countdown the days until Santa’s launch on their smart phones and tablets. Tracking opportunities are also offered on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. Santa followers just need to type “@noradsanta” into each search engine to get started.
Also new this year, the website features Santa’s elves in the North Pole Village. NORAD Tracks Santa is introducing the newest elf and asking the public to help choose the perfect name for him. Details can be found via NORAD Tracks Santa social media or in the “Name the Elf” video in Santa’s North Pole Movie Theater on the NORAD Tracks Santa website here.
Starting at 12:01 a.m. Mountain Standard Time on Dec. 24, website visitors can watch Santa make preparations for his flight. NORAD’s “Santa Cams” will stream videos on the website as Santa makes his way over various locations. Then, at 4 a.m. MST (6 a.m. Eastern Standard Time), trackers worldwide can speak with a live phone operator to inquire as to Santa’s whereabouts by dialing the toll-free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Any time on Dec. 24, Windows Phone users can ask Cortana for Santa’s location, and OnStar subscribers can press the OnStar button in their vehicles to find Santa.
NORAD Tracks Santa is truly a global experience, delighting generations of families everywhere. This is due, in large part, to the efforts and services of numerous program contributors.
This year’s contributers include: the 21st Space Wing, Acuity Scheduling, Alaska NORAD Region, America Forces Network (AFN), Analytical Graphics, Inc., Avaya, BeMerry! Santa / Noerr Program, Bing®, Canadian NORAD Region, The Citadel Mall, Colorado Springs Business Alliance, Continental NORAD Region, CradlePoint, Defense Video & Imagery Distributions Systems, DoD News, Federal Aviation Administration, Globelink Foreign Language Center, Harris, Hewlett Packard (HP), iLink-Systems, Kids.gov, Level 3 Communications, Marine Toys for Tots, Foundation, Meshbox, Microsoft®, Microsoft® Azure, Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific, National Tree Lighting Ceremony, Naturally Santa’s Inc., Newseum, OnStar, PCI Broadband, Portable North Pole/ Ugroup Media, Pueblo Riverwalk, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Colorado, Space Foundation, Spil Games, SriiusXM®, Strategic Air & Space Museum, Unity, U.S. Allegiance, U.S. Air Force Academy Band, U.S. Air Force Band of Liberty, U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West, U.S. Air Force Band of the West, U.S. Air Force Band, U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band, U.S. Army Ground Forces Band, U.S. Coast Guard Band, U.S. Department of State Family Liaison Office, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, U.S. Band of MidAmerica, Verizon, Visionbox, West Point Band, and Xtomic.
It all started in 1955 when a local media advertisement directed children to call Santa direct – only the number was misprinted. Instead of reaching Santa, the phone rang through to the crew commander on duty at the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center. Thus began the tradition, which NORAD carried on since it was created in 1958.
Read the history of NORAD’s Santa Tracker here.