Step into the enchanting world of the Efteling, where fairy tales come to life, and every visit promises a unique adventure. With a storied history dating back to 1952, this iconic theme park offers a captivating blend of attractions. From the timeless tales in the Fairy Tale Forest to the exhilarating thrills of the Python roller coaster and the enchanting Fata Morgana, the Efteling has something for everyone. In our article, you’ll uncover the natural beauty of the Efteling, its unwavering commitment to timeless design, and exciting new additions like the eagerly anticipated hotel set to open in 2024 and the mesmerizing Danse Macabre. The Efteling remains a place where cherished memories are created that last a lifetime.
Since the gates first opened in 1952, the Efteling has evolved into an enchanting realm. Where fairy tales not only exist but also come to life. With its rich history and ten original fairy tales that have enchanted visitors since its opening, the Efteling has grown into a realm of more than thirty stories, each carefully guarded by the Efteling Nature Park Foundation. This dedication to nature and story is the foundation upon which the Efteling rests, with a clear mission to provide a fairy-tale experience in harmony with nature.
Getting to the Efteling from Amsterdam
Getting from Amsterdam to the Efteling is a breeze, making it a perfect day trip or a must-visit destination during your stay in the Netherlands. Located approximately 70 miles (112 kilometers) to the south of Amsterdam, you have several convenient options for transportation.
- By Car: The most flexible way to reach the Efteling is by renting a car. Simply hop on the A2 motorway from Amsterdam, and follow the signs for ‘Efteling’ or ‘Kaatsheuvel.’ The journey takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions.
- By Train: You can also take a train from Amsterdam to ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch), which is the nearest major city to the Efteling. Trains depart frequently from Amsterdam Central Station, and the journey takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours. From ‘s-Hertogenbosch, you can catch a bus or a taxi to the Efteling, which is just a short ride away.
- By Bus: Another option is to take a direct bus from Amsterdam to the Efteling. Several bus companies operate routes to the theme park, and the journey typically takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the route and stops.
- Organized Tours: If you prefer a hassle-free experience, you can also join an organized tour from Amsterdam to the Efteling. These tours often include transportation, park admission, and a guided experience.
Founders of the Efteling
The founders, Reinier van der Heijden, Peter Reijnder, and artist Anton Pieck, whose timeless style still defines the essence of the park, have created a legacy that continues to grow.
The secret? A steadfast set of principles: build for eternity, pay attention to details, use organic forms, and let technology support the stories. These principles form the basis for the unique design of the attractions and the enchanting ambiance of the park.
Attractions and Accommodations of the Efteling
Each attraction is designed with an eye for detail and a pursuit of perfection, focusing on the use of organic forms and familiar fairy tale stories.
The accommodations are equally fantastic. The Efteling Hotel, opened in 1992, offers guests a fairy-tale overnight stay, complete with themed rooms. For those who prefer to stay in a wooded environment, there is the Holiday Village Efteling Bosrijk, an idyllic holiday park opened in 2009.
The Holiday Village Efteling Loonsche Land, opened in 2017, offers a more rustic experience. These hotels and parks are more than a place to rest; they are an extension of the magic that defines the Efteling.
What Can We Expect from the Efteling in the Future?
The Efteling continues to expand. In 2024, a brand new hotel will open next to the entrance, where guests will be welcomed with the latest amenities and comfort. The name of the hotel will be The Efteling Grand Hotel. Also, in 2024, a new attraction will open.
The Efteling is a well-known theme park in the Netherlands with a multitude of enchanting attractions. Here are some of the most popular ones:
Symbolica: Palace of Fantasy
Symbolica is a magical palace where visitors embark on an enchanting journey through various rooms filled with fantasy and surprises. It’s a dark ride that appeals to both young and old.
De Vliegende Hollander
This attraction combines an exciting descent with a boat ride and tells the story of the legendary Flying Dutchman.
This roller coaster takes you to a 19th-century gold mine, plunging you into a free fall before the coaster ride begins.
Droomvlucht is an enchanting dark ride through a fairy-tale world inhabited by elves, trolls, and other magical creatures.
The Python is an iconic roller coaster with double corkscrews and loops, thrilling visitors since 1981.
Fata Morgana is an enchanting boat ride through an oriental palace filled with exotic scenes and stories.
Joris en de Draak
This is a wooden roller coaster where you can choose to engage in a race with another train, creating an exciting competition.
This cheerful dark ride takes you around the world, introducing you to different cultures and peoples in a colorful and musical journey.
Vogel Rok is an indoor roller coaster with an adventurous theme, taking you through a mysterious temple.
Piraña is a whitewater rafting adventure where you navigate through rapids and waterfalls in a rubber boat.
These are just a few of the many attractions that the Efteling has to offer. The park is known for its fairy-tale and imaginative atmosphere, making it a great destination for families and thrill-seekers alike.
The Danse Macabre is an experience that pushes the boundaries of the traditional theme park attraction. It’s offering a 360-degree immersive experience. Located in the heart of the Efteling, where once the Spookslot gave visitors goosebumps, this new attraction is a modern tribute to its predecessor.
The Danse Macabre takes visitors on a spooky journey with an orchestra of the undead, led by a monstrous cat personifying Death. As part of the audience for this macabre ‘concert,’ guests are surrounded by images and sounds. The attraction is intended for visitors aged eight and older and offers a unique experience that is both terrifying and fascinating.
The Danse Macabre is not just a ride; it’s a performance where visitors are lifted and surrounded by undead musicians and ghosts dancing to the enchanting tones of the namesake composition.
The attention to detail and commitment to quality are impressive. For example, the background music is performed by 76 musicians.
The Efteling Grand Hotel, which will be bookable from the spring of 2024, promises luxury and convenience. The Danse Macabre promises an unforgettable experience, where the music of the old Spookslot is revived in a new, breathtaking show.
At the heart of this whimsical wonderland lies the Sprookjesbos, or “Fairytale Forest.” This magical realm is a treasure trove of classic fairy tales and timeless folklore, brought to life in larger-than-life scenes that captivate visitors of all ages.
As you wander through the Sprookjesbos, you’ll encounter beloved characters and iconic stories around every corner. Picture yourself strolling alongside Little Red Riding Hood as she embarks on her journey to her grandmother’s house, all while keeping a watchful eye on the lurking Big Bad Wolf. Nearby, you’ll find the enchanting castle where Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger on a spindle.
Further along the enchanting path, you’ll stumble upon Cinderella’s pumpkin carriage, the remnants of a magical evening’s transformation at the ball, and Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs’ cozy cottage. Don’t miss the bewitching moment when the Evil Queen becomes the wicked old hag.
Venture deeper into the forest, and you’ll encounter the gingerbread house of the witch from Hansel and Gretel. A tale of sweet temptations and clever escapes. Nearby, the Frog King waits to be kissed by a princess, revealing his princely form. And don’t forget to stop by the castle where six servants with extraordinary abilities await, straight from the pages of a lesser-known Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale.
As you continue your journey, a charming parrot perched outside a castle regales you with witty commentary. A tranquil scene unfolds on the water with colorful water lilies, creating a serene ambiance. At the heart of the Sprookjesbos stands the Fairy Tale Tree. It’s a magnificent storytelling tree that interacts with visitors and shares stories from a wide array of fairy tales.
The Sprookjesbos is just one enchanting facet of the Efteling, a park renowned for its immersive storytelling and imaginative attractions. From the daring roller coasters like Baron 1898 and De Python to the magical dark rides of Symbolica and Droomvlucht, the Efteling offers a world of wonder and adventure for families and thrill-seekers alike.
Whether you’re exploring the magical scenes of the Sprookjesbos or embarking on a high-speed adventure. The Efteling promises an unforgettable experience where fairy tales come to life and dreams take flight. It’s a place where every corner is filled with wonder, and every moment is an opportunity to create cherished memories.
An Amusement Park for All Ages
The Efteling is not just a theme park; it’s a global phenomenon. With guests coming from the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, and beyond, the park remains a popular destination.
The school holidays are bustling and lively. Even on weekdays, the park is filled with an occupancy rate of around 85%.
The Efteling is more than a collection of attractions. It’s a vibrant theme park full of adventure. With each new year, and every new expansion, it continues to grow.