I really enjoyed this amusement park for several reasons. The park is not focused on terrifying scary roller coaster rides but rather on enjoying your day in at a park with rides. Efteling is set up as fairy tales come to life so even my husband and I enjoyed reliving some of our childhood favorites with all the dark undertones our parents didn’t allow us to read. I have a copy of original Brothers Grimm fairy tales and I used to read them under my bed sheets afraid I would get in trouble if my parents found out. They are dark, twisted and quite scary to little children. So, that will be my first warning to parents who have sensitive children. There are some scary parts to this park. A walk through the enchanted forest allows you to witness some tales that have been brought to life complete with a topless little mermaid, cackling witches and a dragon that breathes fire and smoke. But, don’t let that prevent you from going, there is so much to see and do you can just buzz past or skip the scary stuff if you fear childhood nightmares.
What I really loved about this place was there were so many activities and rides for my 4 year olds to do. They got to really drive the electric cars, got to ride down the bobsled at really fast speeds, had a nice time puttering around in the electric boats and thoroughly enjoyed the entire section of things that spin round and round at fast speeds (including the dreaded spinning tea cups of watch-mom-turn-green).
Address: Europalaan 1 5171 KW Kaatsheuvel The Netherlands
Hours: Consult website because it is extensive, but it is open 365 days a year. Also notice there are large corporate events on some days that are listed on the webpage below.
Cost: 33 euros (1 euro discount for online purchase), children under 4 are free. Parking is 10 Euro
Know before you go
This is a fairly expensive family outing so make sure everyone is well and in the mood to have some fun before driving all the way up there.
I also recommend taking your child out of school and going to visit during a weekday before summer break. Weekends are fairly busy and during the summer when school is out you will also find it extremely busy. Weekends during the summer? don’t even bother going. You will end up having a miserable experience due to long lines, a mile walk from the packed parking lot and pushy people. We went the week before school got out on a Tuesday. There were no lines and on a few of the rides we didn’t even have to get off after the ride was over, we just stayed on and went again!
They have opened up a new pancake restaurant which looks pretty good, pancakes are served starting at 11:30.
If you would like to save money, unlike most themeparks, you can pack a picnic lunch and it is most certainly allowed into the park. This can be a nice way to save some money, especially when a bottle of water costs so much!
**Stay away from the Fata Morgana! I’m not kidding. It is a boat ride through the Tales of the Arabian Nights, and scary as hell. It even freaked me out. There are devils, demons, women screaming, some guy gets shot, people being tortured, oh good lord. My husband and I saw children coming out of the ride crying their eyes out and we should have took that as a warning. Our children were shaking under our armpits hiding while crying huge tears. Don’t repeat our mistake.
**See look, I’m not even kidding. This guy is about 2 stories tall and the boat passes between his legs while smoke fills the room, his eyes glow and he lets out an evil laugh. Don’t go on the Fata Morgana!!