I was at the hyperdome yesterday and the Santa there was fine
I took my youngest (6 months) in to try and get her used to santa before we get photos done with her brothers and sisters. They were happy for her to just sit there and talk to santa without getting a photo done - she didnt get offered a gift, but I would not have expected that as she was so young.
I notice you were there on the 1st of December...is that the day Santa arrived at the hyperdome? Maybe they were really busy that day, hence the rushing you through? If there were lots of people in the line (and it sounds like there was is you waited an hour) I can see why they dont want people 'talking' to santa for a long time - but they should have let your daughter talk to him for a minute or so! We normally go there during the day or straight after school and we have never had to wait anywhere near an hour (15 minutes maybe) and have never been told we had to get a photo