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Efteling (Netherlands)

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I don't know where to begin…

Fairy Tales, albeit whimsical places, are tricky to replicate. They are weird, sometimes personable, but other times, creepy and weird again. Most of all, they are magical; only a few places I have been to feel as magical as The Efteling does, let alone a theme park.

While I visited the park for one and a half days with mostly cloudy skies and rain, I still couldn't get over the fantastic landscaping. Some areas are just large open fields of grass or water, and others are within large forest areas. It's excellent; none of the attractions are really tall enough to break the immersive areas surrounded by trees and foliage.

As with other European parks, the park has a variety of walkthroughs, including The Fairy Tale Forest (Sprookjesbos), which, surprise, was the highlight of the park for me. The displays are great and feel very authentic, communicating the tone of the source materials while the artists/creatives at Efteling put their own creative touches to make it fit the Efteling style.

In terms of actual rides, Dreamflight (Droomvlucht) was my favorite, just for the ride system alone. I loved the unconnected story of the ride, as the story was more of an atmospheric dream. It might be one of the most incredible dark rides in the world. Fata Morgana is another memorable dark ride. The ride plays it really straight with its dark tone.

The Efteling has a strong coaster collection (6 coasters total, two of which are dueling), with my favorite being The Flying Dutchman (De Vliegende Hollander). I appreciate when I can go on a water ride, with great theming and storytelling, and not worrying about getting soaked. Baron 1898 and Joris and the Dragon (Joris En De Draak) are fun.

Symbolica is an excellent modern dark ride that uses the ride system to its advantage. Some of the scenes are just truly beautiful. When I first rode the ride and entered the Observatorium, it was a crazy moment to finally be there after seeing that room in photos and videos for many years. It's almost a perfect ride, but the only thing keeping it back for me is the interactive elements, which are only engaging if you are in the front row, and at least for me, the effects they turned on weren't too mind-blowing.

Polles Kitchen, which is right across from Symbolica and connects the ride, is the best restaurant in the park. I wouldn't say I like pancakes, and it was great. I didn't have one bad meal or snack in The Efteling.

If anybody ever plans on visiting who hasn't been before, I would recommend spending two full days if you go, as I didn't get to see everything, like the shows or some areas of the park, with the one and a half days I had.

There wasn't a bad ride or experience across the entire park; everything was quality. The staff is fantastic, like a unique kind. @P@n!K_Sw1tC# is absolutely right; Efteling is like the Ritz Carlton of theme parks. It has extravagant design, exceptional service, attention to detail, and high-quality experiences.

I can't wait to be back for the new hotel and attraction someday. I would highly recommend anybody to visit!
Great review and I'm glad you had a great time.
Genuinely a fantastic park - I’m waiting for the new hotel and ride before a revisit. We stayed just off-site last time but I want to maximise that Efteling magic on the next visit.

Great review!
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