Life-sized Jokie

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Have you ever wanted a life-sized Jokie in your home? Excellent! Now is the time for your dreams to become reality, because the Efteling webshop is now selling an ‘XXL Jokie’ for the bargain price of 200€. By life-sized I mean, the size of the figures in the ride, or thereabouts. Click the link here to see how he measures up in Carnaval Festival.

Oh, Efteling still don’t ship to the UK, so you’d have to find a nice Dutch friend to send him onto you!

Construction Taking Place in the Laaf Village

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You may have noticed if you visit the site regularly, that I love a bit of Laaf.

Laaf news is thin on the ground, as nothing new is really added to the village and in general, this part of the park has remained the same for many many years (there’s no Winter Olympics here during Winter Efteling anymore). So although not the most exciting addition to the village, but a nice refresh nonetheless, Lal’s Brouwhuys is receiving a new tunnel entrance. If you can think back to your last visit to the Laaf brewery, you may remember an enclosed tunnel that leads you inside.

The current tunnel

According to Efteling, this tunnel has, with age, succumbed to birds plucking at the reeds on the roof, and the rain has caused the walls to become damp and therefore start to crumble. Of course, Efteling are very good at looking after what they have, and on this occasion have decided to replace the tunnel, which will now be almost completely open, and will also be given a new wooden roof. This will allow a new view on one side of the tunnel, of the sleeping Laaf outside and the waterwheel. Here’s a photo of the current state of the tunnel, where you can see how it is going to look once it is completely finished:

Photo from the Efteling blog

Any work on the Laaf village gets 2 big thumbs up from me!

Lets Talk About Food!

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Theme park food, you either love it or you hate it. But how do Efteling’s food offerings measure up against other theme parks? Let us take a look at some Efteling food; if you’re not hungry, you will be soon! In this post I am focussing only on counter service meals, maybe another day we can talk about the restaurants.

Burger, fries and a drink. Maybe a hotdog instead of the burger. That’s probably what comes to mind when you think of theme park food, but that’s not always the case. Over the years, the food available at Efteling has changed drastically, in my opinion, for the better. Back in the 90s, if you turned up at a counter service restaurant in the park, you would be greeted with something like this:

De Likkebaerd in 2002, image from Eftepedia.nl

Of course, you could be easily fooled into believing that the image above is from any regular fast food place (just look at those perfectly formed burgers!) but it is actually from the Likkebaerd, which stood where you will now find Station de Oost. In comparison to what looks like a very limited menu here, Station de Oost sells items such as Turkish Pizza, Doner Kebab, Salads, Soups, Baguettes, Fruit, Chips, Yoghurts, Cakes, wall food and more! A massive improvement in choice, and the whole building itself is in fact a huge upgrade compared to the Likkebaerd.

So in this case, many burger meals were swapped for many different choices and a beautiful building with lots of seating. Where else provides good choices, with healthy options?

Definitely Fabula World Kitchen! How many theme parks can offer you a Norwegian salmon baguette, a grilled soy paprika burger with kimchi, or giant couscous with cod fillet and grilled vegetables?! That’s without even mentioning the korma curry, the chicken with ratatouille or the salmon burger. The kids aren’t excluded from these amazing choices either. Far from shoving a few chicken nuggets in a box with some fries, the Fabula World Kitchen offers choices of chicken burger with sweet potato chips, small vegan pasta or small wrap with sweet potato chips, all of which come with juice or water, and fruit salad or vegetables, and you get a free plate to take home too! Click here for a look

This counter service restaurant is located not far from the park entrance, and is also accessible from the exit of Fabula. It is marketed as ‘Burgers, Mealboxes, Salads’ and you can order via interactive screens inside the restaurant if you wish to do so. Also located in this building is the Savannebar which of course serves drinks, as well as some cakes. The drinks range from basic Coca Cola to Pineapple and Mango Yoghurt Smoothie, and from coffee to Chocofabunaan (hot chocolate and banana, I highly recommend this one!).

Chocofabunaan

As I’ve already mentioned kids meals, I have to briefly look back in happy nostalgia and slight horror at the 90s food offerings for kids. Nostalgia for the nice presentation and horror for the food (I’m laughing on the inside). Check these out:

Image from Eftepedia.nl
Image from Eftepedia.nl

Nineties fast food at it’s smiley-faced best, complete with toy and amazing take-out boxes, what child in their right mind could resist these beauties?! In fact, the first box won an award for design! I’m not ashamed to say that I still own my Kijkdoos box, it was just too pretty to throw in the trash. As well as the little Pardoes keyring which came with it. Of course, Efteling do still sell kids boxes, most recently being the Symbolica box that comes with a toy twinkle torch, and they’ve marginally improved it by adding a fruity dessert and a carton of juice or bottle of water.

Image from Eftepedia.nl

Alternatively, I did come across a small meal designed for kids, a cold food option, at Het Witte Paard, although it was hidden amongst all of the other sandwiches. It includes a small sandwich, a piece of fruit, a small pastry and a slice of cucumber with a tomato. Perfect for the little people, or anyone who doesn’t like to eat much.

Without going into detail on every eating place in the park, some honourable mentions for ‘better than theme park food’ food also go to:

De Vrolijke Noot – Just inside the entrance, completely focused on healthy food and drink,

Toko Pagode – Thai style takeaway food,

Den Gulden Gaarde – Healthy soups, smoothies, fruit cups and baguettes,

De Meermin – Fish and chips, herrings, lots of ice cream,

Panorama Self Service – Soups, stews, sandwiches and salads, lots of sweet treats.

And so many more things that I either don’t know about or have forgotten to mention, but really, it’s all good food, and more importantly it is also at a good price!

Goodbye 2020

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I think it is agreed amongst us all, that 2020 has not been the best year, to say the least. Many of you will have had trips cancelled or postponed (me included), and we’ve been stuck in the house more than we’d have liked. Things were still ticking away in Efteling of course, between closures. Although some things, like the rebuilding of Vrouw Holle’s house, have been postponed until who-knows-when.

Thanks to Eftelwesley for this video of all the highlights of the year. We’ve gained some things (a temporary supermarket in the Carrouseltheater) and lost some things, (goodbye Polka Marina) but hopefully, we can all return sooner rather than later; we all need it!

Happy New Year everyone!

Efteling Christmas Dinners

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Efteling are making Christmas dinner! If you’d like to have a Christmas dinner cooked by Efteling chefs, ready for you to pick up on Christmas Eve, this is now possible.

Choose from a menu of meat, fish, or vegetarian, and priced at 29,50 per person (19,50 for kids). You can book your meal and pick a timeslot in which to pick it up on on December 24th; I believe you pick it up from the Efteling Hotel car park.

Click here to see the menus

Efteling Hotel Renovation

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On January 4th, refurbishment of the Efteling Hotel’s comfort rooms and junior suites will begin. The two-person rooms will gain an extra bed, making it a three-person room, the floor will be given a new carpet around the beds, and a wooden-look floor in the rest of the room, and the bathroom now appears without a bath, and has a walk-in shower instead. The corridors and the elevators will be re-themed in the near future too, which hasn’t been done for a while.

Yes that does appear to be a duck with a lamp as a head…

The new rooms look very nice of course, very different from the fresh white and royal blue that they are now. Personally I can’t see that they needed refurbishment because I always thought that they looked great, but change isn’t always bad! Having said that, I can’t agree with ditching the bath, because sometimes after a long day of walking around, you just need to take a bath! Or you might have a baby, who you can’t just stick in the shower.

The walk-in shower.

The hotel will reopen on March 8th (closed from January 4th).

Efteling Medley (Must See!)

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If you need some Efteling music to get you through the day, but don’t have time to listen to a full soundtrack, have a listen to this wonderful Efteling medley by Matthew Wakefield! Accompanied by some Efteling visuals, this is a wonderful arrangement that includes some of the best Efteling music.

Efteling’s Winter Meadow

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As there can be no Ice Palace at Efteling this year, they have set up a ‘Winter Meadow’ instead. It includes food stands, merchandise stalls, and a fire pit. There is also a lovely sleigh which you can sit in and have your photo taken. It is in the same place as where the Ice Palace usually stands, so it is nice and spacious. Live entertainment such as the Lichtpuntjes and the Fire Prince and Snow Princess can also be seen here. See the video from Eftelwesley below:

Efteling have also introduced some covered seating to a few places in the park, such as on the Ton van de Ven Square, since you can only buy takeaway food still for the moment.

Photo from the Efteling blog

In other non-winter related news, November 30th is the last day to ride Polka Marina. It has been in the park for 36 years and has come to the end of its life. In summer 2021, a play area called ‘Nest’ will open. From the Efteling blog:

‘Between De Vliegende Hollander and the Game Gallery, Nest! Will open in the summer of 2021: a play forest with various play options for all children, with or without a visible or invisible restriction.’

Concept art for Nest

I’m personally not sure about this change, although I’m sure that it will be great because Efteling do great with everything that they do! As the parent of a toddler, I really do wish that there was some sot of indoor play area for the little people, for the times when it is raining or just too cold outside.

Aquanura met een Zachte G

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A few weeks ago, Efteling debuted a new incarnation of Aquanura, featuring Dutch singer Guus Meeuwis. I have to be honest, I’d never heard of him before now. The show however, has definitely grown on me. The Carnaval Festival segment in particular is very catchy and gets into your head. This show also features Symbolica which was really nice to hear.

Check out the video below.

Efteling UK Artwork

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A lot of you who read this site will also follow us on Facebook. We have an Efteling UK page and an Efteling Fans UK group.

Now we have the first Efteling art for the group for Efteling UK! A special thanks to our creative centipede Anthony Hanssens, we now have our own group cover, based on and in the style of Anton Pieck.

I think you’ll agree that it fits perfectly and is beautiful!