Though we used to lived nearby I never got a chance to visit the oldest and most famous amusement park in the Netherlands, Efteling. My husband told me many things about it and I would often see the stylized characters. I finally made it there on Thursday.
The whole of Efteling is based on the art of a famous Dutch artist. It has an ‘old world’ feel filled with greenery and immersed in nature. The theme takes a bit of getting used to but then you can appreciate the great detail each attraction, building, and tiniest feature carries. The park is just a few years older than Disneyland and has some common attractions. It is clean and is maintained well.
Efteling is most known for the original Sprookjesbos (Fairytale Forest). The ones we really enjoyed were Assepoester (Cinderella), Vrouw Holle, and Repelsteeltje (Rumpelstiltskin). Some are very nice but beware that a few of them are creepy. It may be my personal preference but I recommend staying away from the Snow White Mirror, The Chinese Nightingale, and the Matchstick Girl.
As with most theme parks, rollercoasters and other rides have been added. The newest coaster, Joris en de Draak, is fantastic! This wooden but smooth running coaster features two cars that run side-by-side as they ‘race’ through the tracks. There are no loops or corkscrews but plenty of fun drops. The coaster is fast and exciting but not scary or what I’d call a ‘thrill’ ride. Even my 9-year-old daughter enjoyed it. Droomlucht (Dream Flight) was an indoor ride that was a lot of fun. Droomlucht is hard to describe but it’s a family attraction that will put a smile on everyone’s face.
Prices are very reasonable, at least by American standards. General admission is 27 Euros (about $30) and you can bring in your own food. Our group of five (4 adults, 1 child) decided to sit down and purchase lunch. We ate a filling lunch for 40 Euros ($45) including drinks and a souvenir plate for my daughter. By the way, small souvenirs were available in a few places in the park that cost less than 1 Euro. For example, we put 30 Euro cents in the donkey pictured below and it pooped out a gold souvenir coin!
Language is not a problem as much is translated or can be easily followed. We had a great time and would recommend it if you are staying a while and want a nice outing for the family. I’ll leave you with a video of one of the various trash receptacles in the park that say “Papier Hier”, meaning ‘paper here’. This one had particularly good manners. By the way, ‘dank u wel’ means thank you.