If you are looking for a fantastic theme park in Northern Europe to visit then why not give the Efteling Theme Park in Holland a try. Situated in the middle of Holland within an hours drive of Rotterdam and Eindoven, the fantasy theme park of Efteling which although not well-known outside of Holland is a great day out to have with kids of all ages.
EFTELING – WHAT IS THERE TO DO
Upon arrival at Efteling Themed Park you are immediately made aware that this is one of Europe’s major theme parks and not a run-of-the-mill amusement park as the car park appears to stretch for miles and you are greeted by a grand entrance which can only be likened to the entrance to a medieval castle.
First impressions at the entrance are that you are going to be cramped and struggling for personnel space all day as you appear to be surrounded by thousands of people but as soon you pass through the entrance the masses of people seem to disperse which enables you to amble around the park and experience many of the attractions on offer. It should be added that queues to some rides are advertised as being quite long however once you join them they appear to be constantly moving, there is plenty to distract the children and you often board the ride in less than the advertised queuing time.
There is something for everyone at Efteling and dependent on whether you want to visit the magical fantasy themed rides or white knuckle attractions will depict which way you navigate around the park. If you are visiting with young children you may be best served exploring the park in a clock wise direction.
If travelling in a clock wise direction the first attraction you are likely to encounter is a fantasy themed woods with interactive attractions to enjoy from your favourite fairy tale characters such as Pinocchio, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel. As you exit the magical fairy tale woods you will enter your first area of rides which includes various carousel themed rides. There are also a couple of amazing rides in this area most notably Droomvlucht which is an amazingly detailed interactive ride similar to the standard you would expect in a Disney park and Monorail which is a tree top ride which circumnavigates this area of the park.
From here you will then travel into another area of the park where you can experience Efteling’s own version of It’s a Small World ride in the Carnival Festival and if you are fancying something a little more fast paced then the Vogel Rok ride maybe more suitable.
As you wander around there are plenty of restaurants, cafe’s and fast food eateries to enjoy and at this point you will be located at a wonderful pavilion self-service restaurant known as the Panorama a la Carte which is the perfect place to stop for a snack or a drink and admire the beautiful lake which it sits adjacent to.
From here you are located in the centre of the park and there are some wonderful rides to enjoy such as Pagode which provides amazing panoramic views over the entire park and the Symbolica ride where you travel around the palace in a carriage which includes ballroom dancing with some fantasy characters and provides the ultimate interactive experience. You can also take up the opportunity at this point ride the Gondoletta around the lake.
After leaving the centre of the park you can then head over to the east side of the park where you can enjoy the faster rides on offer such as Baron 1898 and the Python plus many more which will offer you a full white knuckle experience. If after enjoying all these rides you still have time for more then why not board the parks steam train which navigates the entire theme park s you can have a closer look at what you may have missed.
In addition to all the ride mentioned above there is so much more to enjoy and it may be the case that you choose to stay for more than one day so the next question would be what accommodation is available.
As you would expect from a theme park the size of Efteling there are many choices of Accommodation available and there are many options available directly from Efteling which are detailed below:
Efteling Hotel is a 4 star hotel with a variety of different themed rooms available from themed rooms to junior suites. Facilities that you can expect to enjoy at the Efteling Hotel include a childrens area for checking in, a themed play area, shows and the availability of a breakfast buffet.
Efteling Loonsche Land
Efteling Loonsche Land is a holiday village located within walking distance of Efteling and is set in woodland. There is a wide variety of accommodation options to choose from including holiday houses, themed rooms or stay at the Loonsche Land hotel. Facilities you can expect to see at Loonsche Land include outdoor play areas, small animal pens and restaurants.
Within walking distance of the Efteling theme park is Efteling Bosrijk which is a high end holiday village consisting of holiday homes ad apartments. At Efteling Bosrijk you can expect to enjoy access to the indoor swimming pool including a paddling area for toddlers, an outdoor play area, a restaurant which includes pizza delivery and a bar. Some accommodation also includes a sauna of a Jacuzzi.
If you are looking for more budget accommodation than those listed above then major dutch cities such as Rotterdam or Eindoven are situated within an hours drive.
In order to save money when visiting Efteling it is best to book in advance of your visit. There are package deals available such as purchasing a ticket to include your lunch, a snack through the day, half an hours early access to the theme park and 20% off at the gift shop.
If travelling with a family this deal can offer quite a saving as your lunch options include a choice of panini, sausage or a veggie option which comes with a bottle of pop. Your snack will include a hot drink and a muffin which is ideal when everyone requires a rest from stomping around the park during the day.
The early entry also provides an opportunity to beat the queues by getting on the more popular rides earlier and the 20% discount equates to 1 discount per person and can offer a fantastic saving when picking up those souvenirs at the end of the day. If you choose to purchase the above offer you can obtain all your relevant vouchers at the Gastenservices which is situated to the left of the main entrance.
The above offer and similar offers can be found on the official Efteling website or ticketing websites such as attractiontix.com.
Additional deals can also be obtained for those wishing to stay over and visit the theme park. Package deals can be taken advantage of by visiting the Efteling website.
It is also important to note that there is also a 10 Euro charge for car parking at Efteling which you pay at the end of your visit by purchasing a ticket as you exit the park. This is easy to forget after an exciting day at the park therefore it is recommended that you purchase you car parking tickets in advance at the Efteling website.
Efteling Theme Park is easily accessible by all road, rail, boat and plane. The Rotterdam Hague Airport and Eindoven airport are within an hours drive of the theme park and the more major airport hubs of Amsterdam and Dusseldorf in Germany are situated within a couple hours drive.
Alternatively if you are travelling by car from the United Kingdom you can travel by ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland which will leave you with just over an hours drive or as mentioned in a previous article you can travel from Hull to Rotterdam which will leave you with a short drive of less than an hour to theme park.
If travelling by train you should get the train to either Breda, Den Bosch or Tilburg. From here you can board a local bus which will transport you to the theme park.
TIME TO VISIT
Efteling is open 365 days a year therefore there is never a bad time to visit. Obviously Efteling is quieter out of school holidays and also accommodation will be cheaper during these period.
Efteling has many indoor and outdoor attraction so no matter what the season there will always be something for everyone and the theme park is also magically decorated for periods of the year such as Christmas. In conclusion Efteling is a magical theme park that would give some of its more globally well-known competitors a run for their money and have you coming back time after time.
If you have any queries or anything to add to the above article, please feel free to leave your comments below and we will endeavour to get back to you,