Yesterday it was Boyfriend’s birthday and as a surprise, I took him to the Efteling, a theme park in the Netherlands that focuses on fairy tales. When I was a kid, we went every year because this theme park is amazing and definitely a must when visiting the Netherlands!
The Efteling is a theme park that is often compared to Disneyland. Both focus on fairy tales, but they approach them in a different way. First of all, they use different fairy tales. While Disney obviously focuses on Disney movies, the Efteling rather chooses tales as told by the Grimm brothers, stories such as Hansel & Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Tom Thumb and many others.
The greatest charm of the Efteling is the fairy tale forest. It’s a forest where you can walk around at your own speed and where you will walk from one fairy tale into another. There are castles that depict stories such as Snow White and Cinderella, a dragon that will fight you when you touch its gold, a parrot that will repeat anything you say, a tree that tells stories and fairies that dance in waterlilies.
The fairy tale forest is such an awesome way to learn new stories. Though some stories have a narrator that tales the tale in Dutch, all stories are accompanied by a fairy tale book that tells the story, in short, in four different languages, including English.
When you walk, run or skip from fairy tale to fairy tale, you will find these gigantic musical mushrooms lining the path that play the Efteling theme. It’s one of the things the theme park is famous for, and everyone takes pictures with them.
Besides the forest, the Efteling also has some cool rides. Rollercoasters like the Divecoaster Baron 1898 (a ride designed like a mineshaft, inspired on the Dutch myths about ‘De Witte Wieven’ – White or Wailing Women, kindof like Banshees) Joris and the Dragon and The Flying Dutchman.
You can also go into the Pagode and oversee the entire park, visit the Droomvlucht to find yourself in a fairytale world, take a ride in the Carnaval Festival to take a tour around the world or take a boattrip to relax a little bit and maybe have lunch.
I would definitely recommend going to this theme park if you’re nearby. They call it ‘The World of Wonders’ and that’s true, it’s such an amazing theme park. To be honest, I like it better that Disneyland and I’ll tell you why. It’s a lot less crowded and a lot cheaper. Every time I went to Disneyland, I could only go for three rides because the lines were so long, while yesterday, we went on about ten rides and spent a couple of hours walking through the fairytale forest.
We had a wonderful day. We spent the morning doing some rides and rollercoasters, had lunch in the Gondoletta (little boats) and spent the afternoon in the fairytale forest. A wonderful day in the World of Wonders.