Sean: We recently went on a lightning fast 2-day trip to Europe for a concert, family, and 4 theme parks. The most time we spent on a single activity? Efteling. Not only is this park one of the world’s best theme parks, it’s also a personal favorite of ours! Join us at the Efteling, Een Wereld Vol Wonderen!
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First thing first, if you’re not familiar with Efteling, this is a giant park that features about as much natural beauty as one could hope for. Large stretches of the park are not occupied by major dark rides or roller coasters, a refreshing change of pace compared to most other destination theme parks.
Just like myself, this park is authentically Dutch. Though the theme park plays on an international playing field and markets itself in 4+ languages, much of the park pays homage to, and features story lines, particularly important to Dutch culture and history.
Python opened in April of 1981 and was the biggest coaster the nation had ever seen. Quickly Python rapidly grew in popularity and became a household name. The coaster has been an icon for Efteling ever since and has cycled thru 4 different sets of trains and received a nearly-complete track replacement!
Next up is a personal favorite coaster, Vliegende Hollander. Themed to an old Dutch port town, the legend of the Flying Dutchman lives on. The ride’s detailed, dark and mysterious queue along with one of our all time favorite soundtracks are just the beginning!
The ride features a stellar dark ride section with some surprise elements, lots of fog, projection mapping and waterfalls followed by a multi-element coaster section finishing in a splashing finale in the middle of the park’s “coaster corner” Ruigrijk!
We then made our way over to Vogel Rok, since the park had added some effects, new brakes and an enhanced soundtrack this year. On the way over we passed by the back side of Baron 1898, which we’ll come back to later.
Vogel Rok we missed you! Though this 1998 Vekoma doesn’t have the best looking queue or station, the entrance is rather impressive. A giant animatronic bird! The ride itself is fast, has a wonderful soundtrack, some classic effects and a fun finale. The only thing this coaster really lacks is length. It’s a lovely and fast coaster, but it’s over rather quick.
Droomvlucht was added as a counter strike to nearby Disneyland Paris opening and does not feature any narration in any language. The ride is such a fantastic trip through this fantasy world that no narration is needed, making it such a great ride for audiences from anywhere in the world.
Another great thing about Efteling is the fact that it’s been around since before Disneyland opened, and is home to not only classic theming, also some very classic attractions. The park is home to a shocking 5 carousels, including one of over a 100 years old inside the Carrousel Paleis!
Now to know Efteling is to know their Sprookjesbos (Fairy Tale Forest), it’s what made the park famous, it’s what so perfectly captures this park’s uniqueness, and it’s the best in the world. In addition to all that it’s also massive and features a ton of walk-thru attractions, gardens, and small attractions! Hallo Mr. Langnek!
Of course people are very into it, including things such as the animatronic tree that tells stories. Efteling really is a park where your very reasonable price of admission is not at wall wasted when you don’t ride coasters, there is just so much to do!
Symbolica takes riders on three different tours that they can choose to go on with Pardoes. The great thing about this 35 Million Euro dark ride is the fact that it is all physical effects and sets, all so wonderfully Efteling!
Right across from the park’s signature castle is a statue of Pardoes, the park’s jokster and magician in training. Pardoes has been the favorite park character for years and we couldn’t resist also having a quick meet and greet with the legend.
Efteling’s signature in-park restaurant is Polles Keuken, a traditional dutch pancake restaurant where pancakes of almost any imaginable version are available. The restaurant is a can’t miss and the staff is amazing (as is all of Efteling’s staff). Polles Keuken is located right next to Symbolica.
Sure it’s not as intense as SheiKra at Busch Gardens Tampa, but it sure is a whole lot better than Valravn for those that wonder. The ride has two inversions, a small but exciting drop underneath the midway (filled with fog), a 2 fun moments of airtime and a helix.
I usually view Dive Machines as invasive large coasters that can really dominate a skyline or area of a park, but that’s not the case with this smaller-yet-perfect coaster. It’s just the right fit, something Efteling is just so good at.
One of the last rides we rode, and of course rerode is Fata Morgana. Fata Morgana is the park’s Arabian Nights themed boat dark ride, about the size of the infamous Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, except older feeling, no first drop and a tad less happy. The ride is gorgeous features animatronics as far as the eye can see and features themes not seen in parks in the US. Definitely a must-ride!
Thank you for checking out this Efteling report! Stay tuned for reports from Toverland, Drievliet, Duinrell, Cedar Point and much more! It’s summer theme park season! For now check out these recent updates and reports: