We paid an ice cold visit to the most popular park in the Netherlands: Efteling. Even in the cold, construction workers continued on the new Joris & De Draak. Meanwhile, we spotted the remaining parts of Spookslot for the new Danse Macabre ride. Finally, another major construction going on right at the entrance for the Grand Efteling Hotel. Let’s Baron 1898 dive into it!
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The Three Little Pigs
Efteling wouldn’t be Efteling without theming their construction site. In their true style, they added a fairytale to the Grand Efteling Hotel construction. Non other than the Three Little Pigs get featured with their own cart showing off some of the concept arts. Signs of the pigs can be found all around the site.
Speaking of which, you can’t miss the construction as it takes place right next to the entrance. Consequently, the midway after entering the park got moved a bit. A massive hotel will open in 2024 and thus the construction fences definitely take up a lot of place. Right now, you can mostly see foundation work.
The second construction site lies a bit deeper in the park as a brand new ride will open in 2024 as well. The old Spookslot got completely demolished to make way for a thrilling new Intamin experience. Although, that’s not entirely true as you can see here that parts of the old building still stand visible. These will remain as parts of the building for the new ride.
The storytelling already started by introducing the “Charlatan” family. Otto and his wife Virginie can be found daily at the park with their mysterious organ: Esmeralda. They sing and talk about why they decided to come to the wood in the park as they search for “The Unspeakable”.
The New Joris & de Draak
As previously announced, the GCI dueling wooden coaster Joris & De Draak receives an upgrade! The ride should reopen on Christmas Eve, right in time for a very busy period at the park. Even in – 5 degrees Celsius, construction continued on the transformation of the ride by adding steel track to the turns. Respect!
The Lovely Winter Efteling atmosphere
Don’t worry if you think the whole park holds construction sites. Besides the popular dark ride Droomvlucht, which undergoes major refurbishment, pretty much all other rides opened. Some of them a bit later than usual due to the cold weather. Both Python and Baron 1898 started running around 2 pm so keep an eye out for those if they initially show a closed sign.
The hot spot for Winter atmosphere lies in the heart of the park near Carnaval Festival. “De Warme Winter Weide” (translated as Warm Winter Meadow) holds lots of food & beverages stands, an ice skating rink and a stage which has all kinds of different entertainment throughout the day. We saw the Pinocchio show which the kids enjoyed very much.
Also in the famous Fairytale Forest, the different inhabitants dress up for the occasion! For example Langnek shows off his nice bonnet and scarf during these chilly times.
Efteling offers quite a few special food options during Winter Efteling. In my favorite restaurant Polles Keuken, you can order the Schrobbelèr crêpe. A special sweet with a local alcoholic shot which tastes a bit like Jägermeister. The shot costs extra but the included ice cream features the flavor of the drink. Definitely one to try!
Winter Efteling never fails to disappoint and although we did notice less decorations this year compared to previous years, we most certainly recommend a visit to the park during the winter time. If you can’t make it this December, you can still visit during the Winter Efteling season until March 5th.