Distinctly Dutch, Authentically Efteling

Sean: One of Europe’s best known theme-parks is the Efteling, which opened as a nature driven park in 1935 and then was launched as a fairy-tale forest in 1952. Now, 66 years later it is one of the most infamous attractions in The Netherlands with some of the world’s best rides! Let’s see what makes Efteling so incredibly unique…

– Over the years, many of our images have popped up on other sites and forums, awesome that our coverage spreads, not so awesome that not everyone mentioned where they got the images from. We are totally fine with our audience using our images, BUT ONLY IF credit is given to californiacoasterkings.com. Thank you! –

It was a cold day, but that didn’t stop me from wearing shorts and skipping my way over to the wonderfully iconic Efteling entrance!

Our timing was perfect as the New Python had just opened and BOB had reopened after a long time of being closed. All coasters were open during our visit to the fairytale wonder world. 

The park opened conveniently early, so we were able to scope out where we wanted to head to first. BOB was our choice!

The central midway into the park is just gorgeous. 

BOB was testing all day, but it took a while to open up. We ended up riding a few other attractions first. 

We’ll talk about those other attractions next, let’s dive right into the experience on BOB, a custom Intamin Swiss Bob coaster that opened in 1985.

The ride is quite long and weaves its way through the forest. Which usually makes the ride hard to photograph, but luckily it was still early in the season. 

The ride has not been open much lately due to its aging, mechanical issues, and true lack of capacity. We’re so excited to see the park reopening this coaster, though even on the quiet day we were there BOB had a long line. 

The coaster has a fun amount of speed and is much smoother than its American counter parts. 

Its trains are helpful for capacity issues as it runs specially designed 6-seater bobs, in true Efteling style of course. 

Another great thing is their dispatches! They board 12 passengers at a time (2 vehicles) and thus have plenty of bobs running at once!

This was certainly Alex’ favorite coaster at the park on his last trip there, so we took the time to appreciate how nicely it was maintained. 

Bye BOB, time to check out other Efteling magic!

One of this park’s quirky characteristics is the wonderful “Papier hier” trash cans. Below is the most infamous of all, Olle Bolle Gijs, which like most of these themed human trashcans tells you to feed him paper every few seconds. All around the park you’ll hear them say… “Papier hier”!

From BOB we made our way over to Ruigrijk, which is the corner of the park that is home to the majority of the park’s large coasters! 

First up is their ingenious 2015 B&M Dive Machine: Baron 1898, which is so special because of its insane amounts of theming and custom structure!

The ride features a valet bag storage service, several pre-shows and on-ride scenes that create such a wonderful story. These themed elements are what really sets the ride apart from other Dive Machines.  The ride’s unique superstructure makes for a great impression both on and off ride.

The park is quite dedicated to keeping the ride nicely landscaped <3

Oh look its our friend Synticha who joined us for some theme parks, she too was very impressed with Baron 1898!

The drop is small but very effective, all you really need for an experience like this 123 feet, and a fog filled tunnel!

And a few fun inversions of course!

6-seater B&M Dive Machines are becoming increasingly more popular, and righteously so! These things pack a fun punch!

This picture really allows you to take a good luck at the beautiful custom superstructure. 


Next up was KumbaK’s only coaster! Efteling’s infamous Vliegende Hollander! A big surprise on how much fun this ride is!

The station is beautiful, soundtrack amazing, and the dark ride boat scene offers a great Dutch Pirates of the Caribbean feel!

This is a water coaster as well! Which is not terribly long for coaster standards, but a great size for a water coaster! The ride is not the most forceful, but with its effects, scenery and location, makes for a fun ride experience! It’s one of my favorite coasters at the park! So I made sure to prioritize some rerides on it!

Vliegende Hollander of course features a splash down, as any water coaster should <3

Before heading on to riding more coasters, we stopped for some pastries 

OKAY TIME FOR RACING GCI WOODIES! The park is home to a low to the ground, action packed GCI racing coaster that feels incredibly unique! Not only is the setting amazing, the racing obviously vastly improves upon the ride experience!

Joris en de Draak has 2 sides, Vuur (Fire) and Water! The ride loves triple jumps and double downs! There are several! 

Ride near Joris en de Draak we find one of the best themed and prettiest swinging ships out there! Of course themed to be distinctly dutch. 

We then made our way through the park’s beautiful green landscape to the other side of the park to get to Vogel Rok!

Vogel Rok is an indoor Vekoma Coaster that hauls ass! The ride doesn’t let up after releasing from the lift and is a great family coaster with some great speed and pacing! The theming is a tad old school, exactly how we like it! One of the few complete surprises on this trip!

Next door we find the old-school Carnival Festival, an It’s A Small World-esque dark ride with old puppets, funny scenes, and amazing capacity. 

Efteling has a ton of classic old-age dark rides that are beloved by the whole world! It is as important to their stellar lineup as their coasters are!

Efteling is very large for European standards! With a beautiful landscape that makes you forget you’re in a park that features some world-class coasters! 

Let’s appreciate their scenic attractions! Views like this explain why Efteling started as a “Wandel Park”, which is a recreational park meant for scenic strolling around nature. 

No scenic park is complete without one of these:

The park’s signature coaster is in this picture. Do you see it? 

Next it was time to check out Efteling’s new Disney-level quality trackless dark ride: Symbolica! Which just looks absolutely stunning from outside!

The ride features three tours, and riders get to choose which one they’d like to experience, and the ride is quite long with fantastic detail and effects. One of the most impressive dark rides we’ve been on! 

Surely the ride gets quite busy due to its unprecedented quality experience and popularity! But it’s a can’t miss at Efteling!

Next up was an important coaster for myself, what I call Dutch Viper, it’s Python! Which just had most of its track replaced to offer an incredibly smooth ride experience!

Python is the coaster that put Efteling on the map, being a major thrill ride when it opened in 1981. Currently Python is a reservation-only ride, meaning that you reserve boarding passes either on your phone or on the machines at the entrance of the ride to confirm your ride time.

Oh look it’s Joris en de Draak! Note how funky the new supports and track look for Python! We love it!

Python is now a much smoother experience, and to be honest doesn’t feel like a traditional looper at all anymore! Thanks to the new track and the amazing Vekoma MK1212 trains! 

I am obsessed with this ride. As our avid readers know, I love my classic looping coasters. Python is particularly amazing. 

Python is a staple attraction in Dutch culture, as a native Dutchman myself I will confirm that everyone know Python and the coaster is a beloved memory of people from any generation. 

For the nerdy people that share love for detail on coasters, here is a great close up look at the new track!

Goodbye Python! You were great! People make sure to prioritize this coaster on your visit. It will make you fall in love with classic looping coasters all over again!

Next up… POTATO TWISTS! The had several flavors available and the line for this snack was quite long! It was completely worth the wait! 

Random Dutch people agree!

Another thing that made Efteling so great were the awesome staff members and guests, just a great environment overall.

On the other side of the park, near the entrance we find one of the park’s most iconic dark rides, Fata Morgana. Which depicts a 1001 Arabian Nights story with wonderfully aged animatronics and music. The ride is quite long, but also quite ‘real’. European dark rides are not afraid to show you reality, such as slavery. It’s a can’t-miss for its fascinating ride experience!

It was very chilly on our visit so we didn’t stick around for AquaNura, which is their fountain show. We hear it is spectacular at night!

Towards the end of the day we decided to ride Pagoda, the park’s Vekoma Flying Island, which was such a neat experience for obvious reasons:

We got to look back on our experience on Baron, the world’s best themed Dive Machine.

As well as the beauty of the park.

And of course Vliegende Hollander and Pyhton!

Efteling you were absolutely gorgeous and awesome! A great balance of entertainment, dark rides, water rides and coasters! Clean and worthy of your status in the industry! We highly recommend everyone to visit Efteling when in Europe! We even bought an “I <3 Efteling” mug on our way out. 🙂

Thank you for checking out our next installment in our efforts to explore the best parks around the world!

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