Sven: So Efteling has been open since the end of May but, as I live in Belgium, I wasn’t allowed to cross the border until this week. What kind of measures can you expect at the park regarding Covid-19? And how about we talk about their newest coasters: Max & Moritz?
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First of all, I was really excited to visit the park again. Why? Well, my first visit to a theme park since the lockdown was this park. We had to make reservations on the website with our annual pass to get access plus we added another special reservation: preview rides for Max & Moritz! The process is quite smooth and you can make one reservation at the time to visit. However, they also added a new function to make a second last-minute reservation for pass holders. That way, if you have some unexpected time off and there’s still slots available, you can visit the park!
We visited on June 15th so at that time, Max & Moritz wasn’t officially opened yet. That also meant that we were not allowed to take pictures in the queue or station. Nevertheless, we can tell you about what to expect and took some pics from the outside.
The theme of Max & Moritz is inspired by drawings and stories of German writer Wilhelm Busch. Especially in German speaking countries, the stories are well-known so they did a nice move to attract more German guests. Max & Moritz are two boys that love to prank. In the original stories, they end up dead because of it. Here however, they made a version more fitting for the Efteling. In the queue there are all sorts of activities such as a fart cushion organ. Like they usually do, they wrote specific music for both in the queue as on-ride as well. See these lamps here? They also function as speakers!
The story goes that the boys get locked up in the cuckoo clock workshop of their mother (the station, which remains 80% the original Bob station). Here, they develop a kind of machine to launch their own built soap box race cars to escape the workshop. Guests can join them and leave the station for a calm ride through the alpine themed area. However, you do the track twice.
For Max, the second time you launch faster as he put gunpowder in the teacher’s pipe which obviously explodes when he lights it. As you return in the station, you see the teacher coming out of his window with smoked head and he says: “Alles kaput!”
For Moritz, his brother Max is jumping up and down a fart cushion and with one of his big jumps, the wind blows you even faster! At the end of the ride, you also see that he jumped so high that his head is stuck in the roof.
Are the coasters better than former Bob? No, they are not. But Efteling did not have a coaster more oriented for smaller kids. So it made sense that this time, they chose to put this double Powered coaster. It also increased capacity drastically to 1800 people an hour because of the two large trains.
Can you enjoy it as an adult then? Yes, because the compact layout with helices and s-bents does impress the second round when the speed is increased. The jolly theme doesn’t overdo it and keeps true to the Efteling spirit.
After a ride on both coasters, we went into the park for the rides we love. Surprisingly, no one wore a face mask as it is not obligatory in the Netherlands. Not even on rides and in queues. But there are other measures, like in the queues you have to keep a distance at all times. They do this by making white and red zones. White is where you can stand still, red zones not. Dutch people almost always keep to these rules so that way, you felt quite safe. They also extended some of the queues. For example here at Vliegende Hollander, the queue now goes backstage and up on the station which usually is a free space to walk.
Also here, the Carnival Festival queue extends onto the square in front of the ride.
Speaking of this square, a ride that’s under discussion a lot now is Monsieur Cannibale. The theme of this teacup ride has a cannibal cooking guests in cauldrons while they ride. However, the figure in the center of the ride that has been there since 1988 is up for discussion again. When you see the picture, you’ll understand why.
A downside for me at the park is that you don’t have a disinfection station at every ride. That means that you just get into the same seats as the guests before you.
They do have disinfection rounds with the trains from time to time. And also on a coaster train for example, they leave open spaces between riders that are not from the same family.
At Symbolica, we still were not able to ride the best tour of the ride: the Treasure tour. However, we heard that they are working on fixing that. Also the queue that is used after you go under the stairs is the Single Rider queue. So as many parks, no Single Rider queues are available at the moment.
The ride capacity that’s most impacted is the one of Baron 1898. The queue first goes besides the rides next to the lockers where one by one, you get your locker. Then, you need to do the rest of the queue without luggage which is annoying. And once on the ride, it’s one row per family. I think you can do the math.
Food-wise, you can make digital reservations at several restaurants and food corners. We did experience a downside on that as online, you cannot get your Annual Pass discount.
But probably the biggest remarkable change are the toilets. You are only allowed in one family at the time. That also means that they had to make a lot of new temporary toilet areas.
So as a whole, I did feel rather safe at Efteling but I would prefer to have even more disinfection stations. If you don’t want to visit a park with face masks, the Dutch parks are the place to be.
Thank you for checking out this Efteling report! We’ve got lots of post-covid reports coming soon, some of which are already live, such as our Frontier City article!