What is Efteling?It’s one of Europe’s best theme parks! The first version of Efteling park was founded in 1935 as a sports park, which was expanded in 1936 to include a carousel, pony ride, and playground. In 1952 the Fairytale Forest was added and the modern Efteling was born, with sculptures of 10 classic fairytales including Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and the Frog Prince. Gradually more fairytales and attractions were added, including a miniature steam train and a steam carousel. From 1978 more rides were added, including the first rollercoaster. Today the park is a proper theme park, with rides, shows, and attractions suitable for visitors of all ages, plus its own hotels and golf course in the surrounding area.
What age group is the park designed for?There aren’t as many thrill rides as there are in other amusement parks, but that doesn't mean this park is just for children! It’s certainly family-friendly, but it has some dark elements to it which might be intriguing for older visitors. It’s fairy tales are closer to the original versions published by the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson than they are to the Disney versions, so they can be a little bit eery and might even be very scary for more imaginative kids (and adults!). Having said that, the park is full of bright colors and play areas for younger children and it has several excellent rollercoasters and water rides for thrill seekers, so everyone will find something to enjoy.
How long should we plan for our visit?You can definitely spend a whole day at Efteling, and if you’re traveling with small children you might need two in order to explore the whole park slowly. There’s more to the park than meets the eye at first, and you can easily spend a couple of hours just exploring the fairytales before trying any rides.
Where should we eat? Should we bring a picnic?The park includes several restaurants, all of which are reasonably priced when compared with food options at other theme parks. If you can, try to eat at Polles Keuken, a pancake restaurant (prices start at €6.50 for a pancake, the children’s menu costs €7.50), where the castle’s kitchen will come to life around you while you eat! Many restaurants also stay open after the park closes, so you can visit for dinner as well if you’re staying in the area. You’re also welcome to bring a picnic, but the park requests that you don’t eat your own food inside the park’s restaurants. Feel free to sit on the lawns if the weather is nice!
Who are the Paper Gobblers?The Paper Gobblers are the park’s fun way to encourage children to pick up litter! The most famous one is called Holle Bolle Gijs, who’s always hungry for paper. Try feeding him something and see what he says in response...