That time of year is here!
Video by Eftelwesley.
Well only one dive coaster actually, but a lot of pancakes! This week, Polle’s Keuken attempted to beat the world record for pancake stacking. With a lot of pancakes and some Efteling magic, the two bakers, Humphrey and John managed to beat the record with a stack of 242 pancakes(!) reaching 91.2cm high. That is a lot of pancakes to try and keep upright, and they had to remain in the stack for 5 seconds to break the record. There’s even some English in this video for those who don’t speak Dutch!
On the subject of the new dive coaster which we’ll see open next year in the park, it now has a name! It’s a little bit of a mouthful maybe but…ahem…
Tada! It doesn’t completely roll off the tongue, however we imagine it will end up getting called ‘Baron‘ for short. The theming looks great, but we don’t expect anything less from Efteling, a real theme park!
We received this today, and every word is true!
People who visit Efteling soon realise what a beautiful, unique place it is – blending thrills with more tranquil areas in a stunning natural setting.
Attendance seems to be growing year on year, and new attractions appear on a regular basis.
In England however, Efteling seems to have gradually disappeared over the years. When I first visited the park, in about 1997, several tour operators included Efteling in their literature. This year (2014), as an experiment, I enquired at several travel agents. Only one woman in one of the shops had vague memories of hearing of it. Another offered to Google it for me!
In earlier days those loyal ambassadors the Laafs had a strong presence in many Garden Centres, with elaborate displays naming them as “Laafs of Efteling”. All are now gone – some retreating to the Laaf village or into private collections, and a few fighting a rear-guard action on e-bay.
The contrast with the publicity for that other well-known European theme park is dramatic. A multitude of travel brochures and TV ads all try to persuade you to visit the home of the “Mouse”. Eurostar will whisk you there faster than it takes to say Supercalafragalisticexpialadoshus.
Why is Efteling being forgotten by the British public and travel industry? Is it the difficulty of getting there? Without an organised trip, getting to the park by public transport can be rather involved, and not everyone will want to drive there. It should be easy for a travel company to put together a package of air and/or rail travel with a dedicated mini-bus transfer from the nearest station. But none seem to think it worthwhile.
Could it be a deliberate marketing policy by Efteling? Is the park in its present form approaching capacity, so that overseas visitors are not actively sought?
Whatever the reasons, it seems a great pity that many UK children (and adults) are, by lack of knowledge, missing out on a fabulous experience.
From Dave H.
In our last post we talked about the updates that are happening in Fata Morgana right now. It’s due to open again at the start of October, but that’s only the beginning of the construction going on in the park. The bulk of the work is of course the installation of the new dive coaster near to the Flying Dutchman. Recently, they have chopped a corner off the Gondoletta lake so that they can move the path over that currently exists there, allowing more space for the coaster. There isn’t a whole lot to look at yet ride-wise, but construction is definitely underway! Here’s a video taken by Eftelwesley yesterday:
In addition to a new coaster, Bosrijk is currently in the process of receiving 18€ million worth of new accommodation. The sign outside reads:
‘We’re continuing to build on dreams…Expansion of Efteling Village Bosrijk’.
Construction is set to finish in mid-2015. Click here to see how it’s coming along.
Also getting some TLC is the house of the five senses. Mainly the roof. That thatched roof must look it’s best since it’s the bold and beautiful entrance to the park! Efteling are currently fixing some bald patches (that happens when you get older, even to thatched roofs) and most likely removing a lot of moss that has being growing there for a while. It is mainly the Efteldingen store that is covered over at the moment.
Next up: Villa Volta. As pointed out last year by looopings.nl, Villa Volta’s exterior had seen better days. Basically, crumbling and cracking in the walls etc was making it look like less of a magnificent mansion and more like a haunted house. Well at the moment, the maintenance walls are up! We can only hope that they will take down these horrible signs while they’re there…
Last but not least…well, we actually don’t feel too excited about this last one in honesty. It seems as though there’s an Aquanura 3 on the way to Efteling. Yes, 3…already. Some WET employees (the guys who created the show) have landed in Efteling and have been testing some new sequences out at the Vonderplas. It seems very early for phase 3 of the show considering that part 2 only started earlier this year (with preview shows at the end of last year). Also, most of the music from the park has already been used in the first two shows, so that does leave the question: which music will they use next?
It has been pointed out that this could be a show specifically for Winter Efteling, but that’s pure speculation. It’s a mystery for now, so we’ll wait and see!
The Pagoda is also listed as reopening at the end of October.
It was said when the new CEO of Efteling, Fons Jurgens came along, that he would be concentrating more on maintenance of what was in the park rather than adding new things. Well there’s a bit of both going on at the moment and that’s great!
We’re still hoping for a Spookslot overhaul too, and it is closed for 5 days in November, but that’s only time for a mere dust! ;)
Fata Morgana is 28 years old now, and sometimes it feels like it could do with a refresh. The ride has had a number of small changes over the years, inside and out, including new masks for the characters and many changes to the building itself. The main difference with the ride will be new boats, which we’re quite interested to see. Although details of the changes are sketchy at the moment, it seems that the changes will be more ‘enhancements’ than massive differences in the ride. For example, the lasers in the Tilt Room were originally red, then they were changed to green, then this year they were changed back to red…so we’re expecting small changes like that.
There are many small details which have become noticeable after riding, such as limbs not seeming to be attached to the figures properly, effects not working or figures simply looking very rigid and dated. Although we’re not expecting the animatronics to change, (there’s 104 of them!) it would be nice to see them get a little TLC. In fact, not long ago, we’re sure that the Tiger got a new fur coat! Check out this old video of the ride to get a closer look at the figures, you can see that many have not changed over the years.
Next, maybe Efteling could sort us out some Fata Morgana themed souvenirs for the Bazaar, instead of hookahs and random jewelry!
There are plenty of on-ride videos of different Efteling attractions available on the internet, but now, there are official Efteling ones available! Obviously these are massive spoilers for anyone who hasn’t visited the park yet, but for the rest of us, they simply help us to get our Efteling fix in HD (actually, the videos are also available in 4K resolution :o )
Here’s a couple of the best ones:
The Pagoda has been having a rough time recently. A couple of weeks back, a leak was discovered in one of the cylinders that keep it running, obviously not a good thing to happen! It is now thought that the attraction will be closed for another 4-5 weeks while the part gets replaced.
The Pagoda, has had 27 years of going up in the air, so it is understandable that it would require a little rest at some point!
We’ll admit it, we’re suckers for souvenirs, but only if they’re really nice souvenirs! We posted recently about Efteling’s web shop no longer delivering to the UK, which made us a little sad. However, it seems that the online store has reduced its range of stock massively. The ‘new’ section has items from quite a while ago, and its slim pickings unless you’re after crockery, Sprookjesbos items or Jokie paraphernalia.
Take us back to the days of items like these:
…and other typical Dutch souvenirs. If any of you have visited parts of the Netherlands other than Efteling, such as Amsterdam, you will be familiar with the barrage of clogs, tulips and other Dutch paraphernalia that adorns the souvenir shops.
Did you ever think ‘I wish I could get traditional Dutch souvenirs themed around Efteling’?
Well now you can!
Clogs, clog money boxes, clog keyrings, pencils wooden tulips, the works!
That’s a lot of clogs. But we like them; they’re different at least, and they’ll make a really nice present for your Efteling-deprived friends back at home.