MEDINA — Visitors to Castle Noel in Medina are encouraged to keep an eye out for the infamous yeti that has taken up residence inside the place where Christmas spirit never dies.
“This is our sixth year and we are on Castle Noel 2.0,” co-owner Dana Klaus said Wednesday.
Billed as the “America’s Largest Year Round Indoor Christmas Entertainment Attraction,” it’s hard to put into words just what it feels like to be inside a place that is so much more than jut a nod to Christmas.
At Castle Noel, Christmas hits you as soon as you walk through the door and doesn’t leave your side until sugar plum fairies are dancing in your head.
Klaus — yes, that’s really her name — said that displays change every season at Castle Noel, and her husband, Mark, had traveled the world looking for a yeti to incorporate into the attraction.
“He has gone around the world looking for a yeti, he found it in Tibet,” she said jokingly.
“He lured it out of there and brought it to Castle Noel by giving him gingerbread cookies.”
Klaus said some displays that were previously at Castle Noel have been put into the “vault” to make way for new features, such as the “Reflections around the World” display in Castle Noel’s Infinity Room.
“Mark has been planning this for six years. They started building it in January and he and his sister glued jewels for six solid months, eight hours a day and it is absolutely spectacular,” Klaus said.
The room showcases the 2013 Bloomingdale’s window displays, which depict Christmas scenes from around the world.
Castle Noel features an extensive collection of Christmas movie costumes, including items from the “Santa Clause” series starring Tim Allen, “A Christmas Carol” with Patrick Stewart and the 2003’s “Elf” starring Will Ferrell.
“Susie, which is the baby of Buddy the Elf and his young wife, and at the end there she is in this beautiful pink outfit and we were able to acquire the outfit and the blanket in full and we are so excited to debut that for 2018,” Klaus said.
The Susie costume joins a lineup of other costumes and props from the film, including pieces used by Ferrell.
Klaus said that window displays that have been featured in the past at Castle Noel have been upgrades, and at times can require extensive restoration work to make them appear as they did when they were displayed in New York City store windows.
“We have window displays from Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord and Taylor and much more,” Klaus said.
Klaus said her husband, the “wizard behind the curtain,” began drawing as a boy in school and then began professionally sculpting. Klaus’ current works, including official ornaments, are available in the museum gift shop, which features gifts including a mug reminiscent of the infamous moose from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and other Christmas film favorites.
“Mark is a naturally talented artist at the highest level and it is all God given,” Klaus said. “He does his own pieces. It takes one to five months to sculpt the original.”
Klaus said that seeing the happiness on guests’ faces as they relive their childhood memories and experience the displays is why the couple continues to do what they do.
“Our whole reason for doing this is to give joy back to folks, Mark and I, this is absolutely a labor of love,” she said.