Seven reasons Efteling is the perfect getaway with kids
Done Disney? Love Legoland? But, looking for an alternative theme park this summer, or for October half-term? Then check out Efteling in the Netherlands for quick and thrilling family getaway
Efteling: Why you should consider this Dutch theme-park
With the last few weekends of the summer holidays to fill, or for those for those that like planning ahead for the October half-term then look no further than Efteling for the perfect family getaway. The beloved Dutch fairytale theme park in the Netherlands, is the ideal destination for a short break with easy access from the UK.
Packed with fantastic entertainment, plenty of accommodation options, thrilling rides, plus there's plenty of activities for little ones, teens, and parents to enjoy the park's storybook atmosphere, which radiates through miles of natural surroundings. This makes Efteling the perfect choice for a multigenerational adventures too.
Efteling is the largest nature theme park in the Netherlands and the third-largest theme park in Europe, but it may not be on your immediate radar. With this in mind, Junior has gathered up the top seven reasons you should visit Efteling soon.
- World-class attractions
Efteling's attractions are some of the best in the world, with plenty of choices for thrill seekers or those looking for a gentler pace. Efteling's six world-class rollercoasters offer plenty of white-knuckle adventure and include Baron 1898, which plunges riders down a mineshaft at a speed of 90 km/h, wooden rollercoaster Joris en de Draak and water coaster De Vliegende Hollander. Efteling is also home to a host of iconic dark rides, including Symbolica, Fata Morgana and Droomvlucht, each offering unique adventures
New for 2024, Efteling is introducing Danse Macabre, a spectacular ride with a first-of-its-kind mechanism not yet constructed anywhere else in the world. Danse Macabre will be a haunted spectacle full of dark twists, and its creepy-themed area includes a takeaway eatery and a host of intriguing characters to meet and greet.
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There is also a swathe of gentle and scenic attractions, including Efteling's beautiful gardens that can be seen via boat or steam train for those that want to experience the magic at a slower pace. Regardless of age, everyone will also enjoy Efteling's Fairytale Forest, where thirty family-favourite fairytale characters such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Pinocchio are waiting to be found.
- Efteling boosts 65 hectares - its not all about the rides
While Efteling boasts some of the world's best rides, the unique park is more than just an exciting attractions. The park is committed to always being 11% rides at most, which is the antithesis of other larger and more hectic theme parks. Efteling is filled with lakes, open spaces, and forests perfect for those who want to sit and relax with the family and enjoy time away from loud noises and crowds. This also makes the park the perfect place for its Winter alternative, Winter Efteling, where the park becomes alive with the wonder of the festive season with decorations, festive food stalls and even an ice-skating rink.
Efteling has always been firmly committed to nature and the environment, supporting nature conservation and sustainability in various ways. The park has recently announced plans to achieve climate neutrality by 2030 and aims to be climate positive by 2032.
- Amazing experiences
As well as being home to a host of world-famous rides and attractions, Efteling is home to unique entertainment for little ones and adults alike. Efteling's CARO Show, held in the park's dedicated theatre, contains breathtaking acrobatics and incredible music which tells the story of a magical carousel through action without the need for language.
For a true spectacle, visitors can enjoy a Burgundian heroes' dinner in Het Wapen van Raveleijn restaurant. Join the victory celebrations in the inn and discover all the secrets of Raveleijn. The three-hour spectacle begins in the magical city of Raveleijn, where you can watch the show from an exclusive section of the stands.
Efteling ends every day with the spectacular Aquanura water ballet show, where four magical frogs transform the pond into an incredible display with fantastic lights and iconic Efteling melodies. The story of water, fire and light is told with hundreds of lights and giant fountains for twelve minutes of fun.
Of course, throughout the day, Efteling's cast of fairytale characters is on hand around the park for little ones to get up close to the cast of friendly faces.
- Efteling is all seasons
In addition to being open to visitors all year round, Efteling marks each season with unique celebrations, each more enchanting than the last. Those visiting in the summer can expect extended opening hours, Efteling summer beach and pop-up themed squares to make the most of the great weather and long daylight hours.
Those visiting later in the year can experience the magical Winter Efteling when the park transforms into a winter wonderland complete with warming campfires, twinkling lights and beautiful decorations, as well as more warming foods and special festive attractions. Efteling also celebrates throughout the Spring and Autumn with the colorful changes in nature transforming the park's extensive parklands and forest.
- Efteling has a helpful app to help plan your day
For those wanting to navigate the park without the hassle of long waits, the Efteling app makes navigating the park quick and easy. The app is excellent at informing you about queue times, showing maps and the fastest routes, and allowing you to plan your day to save time, especially with little ones. Those staying with Efteling overnight can also store their accommodation bookings and show tickets all in one place for the ultimate convenience.
> For more information, please visit here.
- Accommodations choices for everyone
With three choices of location and several options for overnight stays, Efteling's accommodation offerings make a short break to the park easy to book and suit every family. With a range of styles and prices with self-catered rooms for a family of four starting at £270 a night, every family can find their perfect place to stay. Those staying at Efteling properties will also have access to the park half an hour earlier than other guests via a separate entrance.
Guests can choose from Efteling Loonsche Land, Efteling Loonsche Land Hotel, Efteling Bosrijk and the fairy-tale-themed Efteling Hotel. Bosrijk and Loonsche Land holiday villages feature a host of cosy holiday homes spaciously set up with luxury homes and family rooms, or those looking for the complete fairytale experience can indulge at Efteling Hotel with its enchanting and luxurious themed suites, including those inspired by Sleeping Beauty, The Flying Dutchman and Cinderella.
Set to open later in 2024, Efteling Grand Hotel will be uniquely positioned in the square near the House of the Five Senses, the park's main entrance. The largest hotel within the World of Efteling will be a striking seven-storey building, the first accommodation to be set inside the park's walls. The 143-room hotel will have nearly 700 rooms, two restaurants and shops, a swimming pool and a spa.
> Accommodation begins at 319 EUR (£270) based on a family of four in a two-bedroom self-catered accommodation, inclusive of 2x days of park tickets. For more information, please visit here. (A trip for a family of four is approximately £250 less than a trip to Disneyland.)
- Efteling is easy to reach from the UK
Accessible by a multitude of transport types, including train, ferry, and plane, Efteling is easy to get to from the UK, with several accessible routes for families. For those who prefer to fly, visitors can jet directly from London, Manchester, and Liverpool to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, only one hour and fifteen minutes from the iconic park by car.
Families can also reach the park via fuss-free ferry with direct 12-hour overnight travel from the UK to Holland. For those who want to enjoy the Netherlands with the convenience of their own car or prefer by car or travel by coach, Efteling is also accessible via the Eurotunnel. Efteling is also easily accessible via train, with visitors able to catch the Eurostar from London St. Pancras directly to Amsterdam Centraal, just a short train ride away from Efteling once in the Netherlands.
> Travel options to Efteling can be found here.
> VISIT: the Efteling website here for up-to-date information, prices and offers