Efteling Theme Park Review: A Perspective from Visiting This Fairy Tale Theme

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After making the trip from Amsterdam, I recently spent three days in Efteling Theme Park. I was excited to make the trip as I’ve heard so many good things about Efteling, the largest theme park in the Netherlands and one of the oldest theme parks in the world.

After renting a car and driving from Amsterdam, I spent three nights at Efteling. It was about an hour and a half drive from Amsterdam. On the way, we stopped at Castle De Haar, which was an ultimate treat. If you are driving from Amsterdam, it’s decently on the way so I definitely recommend making the stop!

We booked three nights during the off-season due to a special offer that was available for a village house in the Efteling Bosrijk section of the amusement park resort grounds. Here’s the welcome package when we checked into our room:

Cozy living room in Efteling Bosrijk Village House with themed wall art and personalized welcome package.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

This is only a 10-minute walk to the theme park. You get admission into Efteling daily when you book on-site accommodations like village houses or hotels. We also included the theater tickets located right next to a decent restaurant. 

Overview of Efteling Theme Park

Joyful family carousel ride at Efteling Theme Park, Netherlands
Here’s me and my family enjoying our time on the carousel (Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers)

Imagine stepping into a world where fantasy and reality blur, where every turn leads you to an enchanting tale or an exhilarating ride. Efteling Park, situated in the heart of the Netherlands, offers a magical adventure like a page turned straight from a storybook.

The park itself is known for its fairytale theme and is a foundation that is privately held in the foundation is it sold, so all the profits are held within the theme park to help it operate independently.

Themed Attractions:

  • Fantasy Realms: Transport yourself into mythical forests and pristine gardens.
  • Iconic Rides: Experience the thrill of roller coasters and the charm of family-friendly carousels.
  • Live Entertainment: Be captivated by live shows, bringing fantasy characters to life.

When you set foot in Efteling, you’re not just entering the largest theme park in the Netherlands but embarking on an adventure that caters to all ages.

From the fairy-tale forest where your favorite stories come alive to enchanting attractions to the spirited rides that sweep you off your feet, there’s beauty and excitement at every corner.

Family bonding at Efteling Theme Park - Parent and child explore fairytale gateway in the Netherlands
Me and my daughter enjoying the experience (Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers)

Efteling promises an enchanted outing where you and your family can weave fairy tales into your narratives. Although your journey here might be a day, the memories created amid these beautiful landscapes and thrilling attractions will keep the sense of wonder alive long after you’ve returned home.

Things to Know About Visiting Efteling

Plan your visit

Consider visiting during off-peak times to avoid crowds and reduce ride waiting times. Weekdays and non-holiday periods might offer a more relaxed experience.

The park is family-friendly for all types

Enchanting encounter at Efteling Fairytale Forest - folklore-inspired statue in lush surroundings
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Efteling is very much a family-oriented park. Look for attractions and shows suitable for children, as plenty of options are designed to enchant visitors of all ages.

Get there early and prioritize your favorite attractions first

Enchanted Efteling Theme Park entrance in serene morning light
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Arrive early to beat the opening hours and crowds, and if you’re staying at the Efteling Hotel, you’re gifted with the bonus of entering the park 30 minutes before the official opening time. Use this to your advantage and enjoy popular rides with substantially shorter queues.

Create a personalized plan:

  • Select your must-see attractions and rides in advance.
  • Identify quieter times for popular rides through the app.
  • Set aside time for unexpected discoveries—Efteling is full of surprises!

Inclusive and handicap friendly

It is a very inclusive park that is handicap-friendly and provides access to everyone, no matter what. This is very inspiring since experiences like these are often the hardest for the handicapped and can be a lifetime experience. 

Rest assured, knowing that every park corner is designed to be accessible, allowing you to experience the whimsy and wonder easily.

For your convenience, special maps highlighting accessible routes are offered, ensuring that you can plan your adventure without guesswork. You’ll appreciate the availability of wheelchair-accessible rides alongside comfortable resting areas, perfect for a moment’s pause in your day.

Available FacilitiesLocation & Accessibility
Wheelchair RentalNear Park Entrance
Accessible RestroomsThroughout the Park
Service Animals WelcomeAllowed in Most Areas

Efteling is committed to a family-friendly environment by offering priority access to certain attractions for visitors with disabilities. This thoughtful touch ensures that your time is immersed in joy, not waiting in line.

Use the Eftling app

Charming Efteling Bosrijk Village House 207 mobile app screenshot, traditional European architecture, digital check-in, family-friendly accommodations
The House We Stayed in at Efteling via the Mobile App (Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers)

Download the Efteling app before you arrive on Apple iOS or Google Play. Your digital compass guides you through the park, revealing queue times and helping you plan your itinerary seamlessly. With the app, your journey through this fairy tale kingdom becomes a breeze, letting you focus on the magic rather than the logistics.

The Efteling app was quite impressive, and it’s a testament to the details of the theme park. When we arrived, we didn’t need to speak to anyone to check into our room, and the same goes for check out throughout the theme park.

We could monitor wait times for rides and attractions, track where we were on the map, and get push notifications for the timing of events, shows, and other activities. 

Pack smart

Pack smart, remembering that the weather can be ever-changeable. A light jacket or poncho could save your whole day trip from an impromptu downpour. Comfortable shoes are necessary as you’ll be on a quest across this sprawling wonderland.

An overnight stay provides the ultimate experience

A sunlit cobblestone street lined with picturesque red brick village homes at Efteling Bosrijk resort.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The Efteling Hotel is conveniently located on the park’s north end, but that isn’t the only accommodation available. We stayed in the Efteling Bosrijk, which featured villas and cabins in the forest.

Queue Management

Enchanting Efteling Theme Park, Netherlands - Fairy-tale architecture, serene pathways, and lush greenery invite adventure-seekers.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Prepare for queues, especially for popular rides. Consider planning ride visits during less busy times. We even visited during the off-peak season, and a few of the most popular attractions had queue lines that were over 30 minutes long.

Attractions and Entertainment

Enchanting Encounter: Big Bad Wolf at Efteling's Fairy Tale Forest
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

There are a number of great things to do in Efteling, ranging from activities for toddlers and even younger ages to adults, with rides that cater to everything in between.

Attraction NameType of AttractionDescription
Sprookjesbos (Fairy Tale Forest)Themed AreaA magical forest with lifelike dioramas depicting classic fairy tales.
Baron 1898Roller CoasterA dive coaster with a 19th-century gold mine theme, featuring a 37.5-meter vertical drop.
DroomvluchtDark RideA dark ride through a dreamlike world filled with fairies and mythical creatures.
SymbolicaTrackless Dark RideAn indoor fantasy adventure through the magical palace of King Pardulfus.
Fata MorganaWater Dark RideA boat ride that takes you through scenes from the tales of 1001 Arabian Nights.
Joris en de DraakWooden Roller CoasterA dual-track coaster where two dragon-themed trains race each other.
De Vliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman)Water CoasterA combination of a dark ride and a roller coaster with a splashy descent.
PythonSteel Roller CoasterA classic looping coaster with corkscrews and high-speed turns.
Spookslot (Haunted Castle)Walk-through AttractionA spooky haunted house with eerie effects and a ghostly atmosphere.
Villa VoltaMadhouseAn illusion-based attraction that creates the sensation of the room spinning around you.
RaveleijnShowA live-action show with stunts and special effects, telling the story of five siblings battling an evil ruler.
PagodeObservation TowerA flying Thai temple that offers panoramic views of the park from above.

Please note that this table is a simplified summary of the key attractions at Efteling and does not represent the complete list of all the attractions available at the park.

Fairy Tale Forest

An animatronic talking tree in the lush Fairy Tale Forest at Efteling Theme Park, The Netherlands.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

We were quite excited to go into the fairytale forest, which features attractions, monuments, and themes for each fairytale.

The fairytales featured in the best theme park here are based on Hans Christian Andersen, like Little Mermaid, Brother Grimm fairytales, Tom Thumb, Rumpelstiltskin, and even trolls and talking trees. What’s not to love about that?

Droomvlucht

Efteling Droomvlucht ride entrance, fantasy-themed attraction in Netherlands
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

There’s a ride called the Droomvlucht, the dream flight, and a fairytale indoor dark ride roller coaster suitable for even our three-year-old toddler. She loved it. 

Baron 1898

For the thrill-seekers among you, dare to plummet into the unknown on Baron 1898, a heart-stopping dive coaster that drops you straight into a mineshaft with the adrenaline rush that makes your trip unforgettable. But the excitement doesn’t stop there; Efteling is a treasure trove of roller coasters and rides for every level of thrill.

Python

Thrilling Python Rollercoaster at Efteling Theme Park
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Located on the Northeast corner of the amusement park, conquer the legendary double-loop coaster that winds and spins rapidly. This is a short ride, but worth it. I rode it in the single line and got there earlier. There was no one in the single-rider wait queue!

CARO Theater Show

Sunlit Efteling Theatre, Netherlands, against deep blue sky.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

The CARO Show is a treat you can’t miss. It’s a spectacle that merges storytelling and circus performances so that the magic catches the imagination of children and adults alike.

Witness huge moving animals and be captivated by a visual feast fit for all ages. Your little ones will be glued to their seats as the story unfolds in the Efteling Theatre, conveniently near the park’s entrance.

Ticket Prices and Packages

Enchanting fairytale architecture and Pagode ride at Efteling theme park, Netherlands
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

As you plan your journey to the world of Efteling, understanding the variety of ticket options and packages available will help you maximize your adventure in Efteling. At the gateway to this fairytale kingdom, entrance fees are your ticket to a realm where fantasy becomes reality.

  • Single-Day Tickets: Prices start from €38.00 per person. Your journey in this magical world varies in cost depending on the day of the week and the season. Check the ticket calendar to see specific prices for your planned visit.
  • Multi-Day Experiences: Book a multi-day ticket for more time to explore. With each additional day, you immerse yourself deeper in Efteling’s wonders, with less rush to experience all the attractions.

For more savings, consider arriving in a group. Group tickets offer discounted rates, giving you and your fellow adventurers a shared experience at a better value.

As you prepare for your trip, remember that visitors under 3 enter the holiday park for free—a little bit of Efteling’s hospitality. If you wish to sprinkle extra magic on the journey, glance at Efteling’s special packages.

These may include early park access, which allows you to step through the gates and onto those rollercoasters before the crowds arrive.

Dining Options

Eethuys at Efteling Bosrijk: Charming Dutch dining venue with glass panels, mustard-yellow doors, and lush greenery.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Imagine you’ve just embarked on a magical day at Efteling, and your senses are already tingling with excitement. Now, it’s time to feast, not just on the thrills of the rides but on the impressive array of dining options spread across the park.

We tried several of the restaurants and enjoyed the Eethuys for dinner. Here’s a photo of our experience.

European charcuterie and artisan bread spread at cozy restaurant 'Eethuys'
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

But it doesn’t stop there; plenty of other options exist on and around the resort grounds.

  • Family-Friendly Favourites: Efteling doesn’t forget the little adventurers. Family-friendly restaurants like the whimsical Polles Keuken, famed for their pancakes, ensure that everyone is well-fed and satisfied regardless of age.
  • Themed Delights: Immerse yourself in the fantastical themes of Efteling and dine in style. The Het Wapen van Raveleijn offers a Burgundian heroes’ dinner in a medieval setting, transporting you back in time as you dine.
  • Quick Bites on the Go: If you can’t stand the thought of missing out on fun, quick service kiosks like In den Swarte Kat offer refreshments to energize you throughout your journey.
  • Hotel Convenience: Guests staying at the Efteling Hotel experience culinary convenience. Not only do you get early park access, but you also enjoy the comfort of dining options within the hotel, making your stay effortlessly enjoyable.
  • A Taste of the Exotic: Efteling’s variety touches even the most exotic preferences. Kashba Restaurant offers Oriental dishes to tantalize your taste buds with unique flavors.
Enchanting Pancake Carousel at Efteling Theme Park Restaurant - Family-friendly fairytale dining experience with vibrant interior and whimsical pancake carousel.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Is Efteling Worth It?

Efteling Theme Park aerial view from Pagode ride, showcasing enchanting beauty and atmosphere.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Overall, I enjoyed visiting at Efteling. The theme park is done in a very detailed manner and is a unique experience. It provides a beautiful take on old classics, a modern flair with roller coasters, and an opportunity for all types of visitors to enjoy.

If I weren’t staying on-site at the theme park, it would even be more of a no-brainer, considering the park admission is only €40-€45 per person. The park was incredibly clean and was not overfilled with loud visitors.

Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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