Opened in 1952, Efteling Theme Park Resort in Holland has gone on to become the fourth largest theme park in Europe.
It’s not your typical group attraction; it’s somewhat dark (although hardly scary) and draws inspiration from a number of mythical stories that visitors are bound to be familiar with.
Although largely unknown in the UK, Efteling is a year-round option for groups, offering a unique take on universal fairytales, combined with a wide range of thrilling attractions that are suitable for all ages.
For example, you can ride a rollercoaster in the dark, attend the Aquanura water show, said to be the third biggest water show in the world, or climb aboard the attraction’s new Baron 1898 dive coaster. The live Raveleijn Park Show is staged in multiple languages, performed three to five times daily and features a four-headed fire-breathing dragon!
Popular amongst families and now looking to attract more visitors from abroad, Efteling is “typically Dutch” and so lacks the commercial feel of various other similar attractions throughout Europe.
It’s a quaint attraction to combine with a coach tour to nearby Belgium, where our group stopped off at Ghent, before heading back to the ferry terminal for our return journey home, courtesy of DFDS Seaways and Coaches Excetera.
Efteling Theme Park Resort takes more than a day to explore, so it’s worth looking into overnight accommodation at nearby Efteling Hotel.
#Enjoy Winter Efteling
Every year for more than 11 weeks, Efteling Theme Park Resort is decorated with warming bonfires, garlands with thousands of twinkling lights and special winter attractions, such as an ice-skating rink and cross-country skiing course.
The indoor ice palace has a 384-square-metre outdoor ice rink, which is connected to the traditional indoor skating rink via an entrance and exit, so visitors can skate in and out as they wish.
Additionally, the 12-minute Aquanura water show can be seen, featuring more than 200 fountains, which depict Fata Morgana, Monsieur Cannibale, and George and the Dragon, accompanied by music, fire and light. Meanwhile at the Efteling Theatre, a fairytale musical can be seen throughout the winter months.
Efteling Theme Park Resort celebrates New Year in style. A ticket, which includes refreshments, offers admission from 1900hrs. Attractions remain open until midnight and there are live performances on various squares. At midnight, the New Year is celebrated with a spectacular firework display and a glass of bubbly.
For more information visit www.efteling.co.uk/en/winter-efteling.
The Efteling Hotel has been described as a picture-postcard “floating castle filled with fairytales.” It houses 122 bedrooms spanning eight floors, and is located a short walk to Efteling Theme Park Resort via a ‘secret’ passage.
Efteling could be described as an ‘easy sell’ to UK operators planning a group trip overseas, with both accommodation and entertainment sorted for a day (or two).
Visitors to Efteling Hotel can relax in various Comfort Rooms – some adapted for disabled guests – spacious Junior Suites (five people) or fairytale-themed suites, including the four-person Snow White Suite. Unlimited admission to Efteling Theme Park Resort is included in the booking price. It is also worth mentioning that overnight guests are awarded early entry, 30-minutes before standard paying visitors.
Efteling Hotel’s imaginative guest rooms are full of surprises, with the opportunity to decipher backwards writing through an oval mirror, keep the kids entertained with a games board, plus – can you spot the cheeky white mouse and pretty red shoes?
The entrance to Efteling Hotel is embellished with sculpted hedgerows depicting mythical creatures that surround a moated lake. Coach parking is available near to the entrance.
Once entering Efteling Hotel, there is plenty to keep adults and children alike entertained, with Efteling Theme Park Resort proving a highly family-orientated attraction. Special school group rates are also available.
In the reception, there is a tiny TV screen and adjoining play area. This is located opposite the restaurant, which serves a hearty breakfast daily, including cooked and continental, served with a side of savoury sprinkles and funky straws. In the evening, De Hoffelijke Heraut (aka The Courteous Herald) is transformed into a more formal dining experience.
Larger groups can be comfortably accommodated, as the restaurant can be separated into two areas.
For more information or to book visit www.efteling.com/en/hotel.
#New Accommodation For Efteling
It has been announced that over the next 18 months, Efteling will be investing around €30-million in the construction of a new holiday village, which will border Efteling Theme Park Resort, Efteling Golf Park and the Loonsche Land nature district.
The site will be more than eight-hectares in size, and will consist of facilities and holiday homes designed to be compatible with the area’s natural surroundings.
Once the new holiday accommodation opens, Efteling will offer a total of 3,000 beds: 450 in the Efteling Hotel, 1,550 in Efteling Village Bosrijk and a further 1,000 in the new holiday village. Guests are expected to be welcomed in early 2017. For more information visit www.efteling.co.uk.