And although it can get crowded in high season and you may have to wait longer for some of the attractions, trust us, it is worth it. Efteling Park is fun for the whole family. Adrenaline junkies will get their money’s worth and there are plenty of attractions for children of all ages. From the moment you enter, you are immersed in a land of fantasy and adventure, surrounded by lush greenery. Here you will meet well-known fairytale characters and learn about lesser-known stories from Dutch legends and folklore.
Efteling Park Kaatsheuvel – what do you need to know?
Efteling Park Kaatsheuvel is one of the oldest theme parks in Europe and certainly the most magical. It was founded three years before the first Disneyland – on 31 May 1952. In the 1970s, it won an award as the best park of its kind in Europe. 20 years later, it was voted the best theme park in the world.
De Efteling is located in Kaatsheuvel in the Dutch province of North Brabant, near the city of Tilburg. The entire park covers 72 hectares and is surrounded by woodland, which adds to the fairytale atmosphere.
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Make your childhood dreams come true in Fairytale Forest
The Efteling will make you feel like a child again, no matter how old you are. Sprookjesbos, or the Fairytale Forest, will bring back the most wonderful memories. You will feel like Hansel and Gretel trying to escape from old woman, visit Granny with Little Red Riding Hood or the wolf disguised as Granny, take a look at Sleeping Beauty’s castle or visit Geppeto in his workshop. The world of fairytales is open to you.
Sprookjesbos is the Efteling’s oldest and most popular attraction. In several hectares of picturesque woodland, characters and places from the Brothers Grimm, Christian Anders, Charles Perrault and other authors we know from our childhoods await you at every turn. There is the Enchanted Tree that tells stories, there are dragons, flying carpets and magic mirrors.
The Enchanted Forest is a place where anything can happen. And you never know what character might be waiting for you behind the next tree… Your childhood dreams are about to come true. Escape for a moment from adulthood into a world where everything has a happy ending.
Gondola tour around the world
One of the most popular attractions at the Efteling is the Carnival Festival. You board a gondola and travel around the world in 8 minutes. Music plays in the background as you admire scenes from different countries, starting with the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain, Switzerland, Africa, Japan, China, Mexico, Hawaii and Alaska.
But if you’re looking for a bigger dose of adrenaline, a kayak trip in Pirana is a must. You’ll feel the call of adventure and you won’t get away with it. Pirana is a 350 metre rafting trip with numerous cascades and four waterfalls. And it’s all done in Indian style. You don’t need to close your eyes – you’ll really feel like you’re on a wild and dangerous expedition somewhere in South America…
Conquer your fear. Roller coasters and dark rides
Like any theme park, Efteling has no shortage of thrilling roller coasters and dark rides. Some of the most popular attractions at the Dutch park include:
- Droomvlucht (Flight of Dreams) – You board a boat and embark on a magical journey through a fairytale world. Elves, trolls and fauns, magical castles, adventurous forests and impregnable fortresses await you. It’s like a dream, only awake!
- Symbolica – is an interactive journey to a certain magical castle, which you will explore in great detail, visiting places inaccessible to mere mortals. The tour ends with an audience with King Pardulfus himself.
- Vogel Rok – on this ride you will discover fantastic scenery, meet a variety of birds and experience exciting special effects.
- Fata Morgana – is a tour that takes you into an oriental world full of mystery and magic. In small boats, you will travel through a labyrinth of corridors and courtyards, enjoying scenes based on Middle Eastern themes.
- Baron 1898 – Feel like a prospector as you slide down a high tower. You may not come out with a few bars of gold, but you will come out with strong emotions! Spectacular decor and sound effects will add to your adrenaline rush.
- Python – it looks like a classic steel rollercoaster, but don’t let that fool you. The adrenaline rush is guaranteed. The twists, turns, drops and loops will give you so much excitement that you will remember this oldest rollercoaster in the Efteling for a long time.
Villa Volta, for horror lovers
If you like stories with a twist, you should definitely take a look at Villa Volta. There you will learn the story of the curse placed on the leader of the Bokkenrijders bandits. But that’s not all! In the living room of the villa you will experience paranormal effects. Furniture, sofas and everything else in the room will start to dance and fall over with you. Maybe it’s an illusion, or maybe the curse is still at work… 😉
Feel another dimension – Fabula Cinema
There is also a 4D Fabula cinema in the park. This is one of the Efteling’s newest attractions. The interactive 4D film combines elements of computer animation, special effects and moving seats. The result is an extraordinary world of nature and animals, guided by a bear and his squirrel companion.
The water show Aquanura
You just have to see it. Europe’s largest water and light show combines special effects, music and projections on a curtain of water. The Aquanura show takes place in the evening against the backdrop of the Water Castle. During the show, hundreds of jets from waterfalls and fountains seem to dance to the rhythm of the music, creating striking patterns and figures. The water is illuminated in different colours, adding to the magic and mystery.
Theme Park Adventure
There are many more attractions than the few we have described. If we tried to give you an overview of them all, we wouldn’t have enough space 😉 There are haunted castles, miniature towns, a Wild West village, hundreds of merry-go-rounds and roller coasters.
There are parades and magic shows with special effects in the Efteling area. There is also a games gallery with an old-fashioned shooting gallery, a playground for the little ones and a well-equipped refreshment area. Luckily, you have 10 hours (up to 12 in high season) to explore Europe’s oldest amusement park to your heart’s content.
Before you enter a world of adventure. A handful of practical information about the Efteling Park
The park is located at Europalaan 1, KW Kaatsheuvel. Outside the season, the park is open every day from 10.00 to 18.00 and at weekends until 19.00. During the summer season, the opening hours are extended to 21.00 or 22.00. The price of the ticket depends on the time of day you visit the park. You can choose from the following options:
- Giant Ticket – €48, valid for six months,
- Fairy Ticket – 42 euros, valid on selected days,
- Dragon Ticket – 45 euros, valid on selected days,
- Fakir Ticket – 38 euros, valid on selected days,
- Moon Ticket – 27 euros, allows evening visits, from 6pm until closing from 30 June to 3 September 2023.
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The park also has a boarding pass system – you have to scan a digital or paper card before each attraction, so your wait will be no more than a quarter of an hour.
At the Efteling, as at many other theme parks around the world, you can take advantage of the ‘baby switch’ – if your child is too young to enjoy some of the attractions, other parents waiting in line will look after them while you play.
Children under the age of three are admitted free. If you are travelling by car, you can leave it in the paid car park. The all-day fee is €12.5. Inside the park you will also find:
- The four-star Efteling Hotel,
- Bosrijk accommodation village – cottages and apartments for rent,
- Loonsche Land holiday village – more cottages and apartments for rent, including a tree house,
- A golf course,
- numerous restaurants and cafés.
Don’t wait for your childhood dreams to come true. At Efteling, you are the one who can make them come true! The only condition is that before you enter the park, you forget how old you are and play as if you have stepped back in time.