Firstly, on the last post about Aquanura, the videos seemed as though they were edited somehow after I’d linked to them, so sorry if what I wrote about them made little sense! I tried to edit it to make it right. Here is Efteling’s video of the show, so if you do not want to see it, don’t click it! There are also spoilers later on so you have been warned!
So, I’ve watched it, and watched it again…and then yeah, I watched it again. Purely for research, of course. From the moment it went online, people were commenting on it on Facebook, and tweeting away about it on Twitter. I didn’t watch it live, but made sure to see the first uploads of it that I could. The ceremony was nice, with the clips about George and the Dragon, Anton Pieck etc, and lots of talking from Bart de Boer. Those were included in the original video that I posted, which now seems to have disappeared from YouTube. Then there was a little story about the Frog King, (I think that’s what it was, with the Princess holding the golden ball and a few shots of the frogs around the lake) and then came the countdown…
…And out came the water! First up was the ‘By the Sleepy Lagoon’ music, with almost golden water spurting from the frogs’ mouths and into the middle of the lake. Next up, Villa Volta, the dramatic side of Efteling. If you are very familiar with Efteling and have listened to the park’s music over and over (we’re all guilty) then here is when you start to realise the subtle changes in the soundtrack. The changes really freshen up the ageing tracks. Then comes the Indian Water Lilies, a favourite of mine, also with slightly altered music which livened up the piece even more! This one comes with beautiful blue and green fountains, just like the colours associated with the scene in the Fairy Tale Forest. Next up is Carnaval Festival, which bursts into being with colourful lights and rowdy fountains. After another brief interlude from ‘By the Sleepy Lagoon’ comes Raveleijn; and talking of dramatic..! In my opinion this is probably one of the best segments in Aquanura, as it includes lots of fire, which, if you have seen Raveleijn, you will understand the connection to. The music is absolutely superb and works well on a huge scale such as this.
Noticed anything missing so far? Any major attraction? For example, Droomvlucht? Well, that is what comes next in the show, after another small interruption from ‘By the Sleepy Lagoon’. The water does exactly what you would expect for Droomvlucht, slow and delicate, and best of all, it is pink! There is also an alteration on the music here, which is nice. What I wasn’t expecting was what came next, the musical toadstool music! You have to love those little things, and they totally deserved to be included in Aquanura. Unfortunately, (and I say this because by this point it is getting a bit old) ‘By the Sleepy Lagoon’ sneaks in again for a moment.
Last but most certainly not least, is another attraction with wonderfully dramatic and rousing music, Spookslot. If you watch the official video posted by Efteling on their YouTube channel, you will hear some guy shout ‘whey!’ as soon as the Spookslot music starts…Kudos to that man, I think he was speaking for the whole crowd at that point. Green, purple and blue fountains for this one, you know, spooky-type colours. I’m pretty sure that some chants were added on the music for this one, which makes it even more (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again) dramatic! Et Voilà, we have the ending of Aquanura.
What is everyone saying about it?
Well, as I mentioned in my last post about the premiere, there were a few fan sites, namely Disney ones, that were pulling the show to bits over Twitter as it was still happening. I find it quite saddening that these sites were so negative towards something that was so fantastic, especially on the birthday of a park that is a few years older than the original Disneyland. Some folks really do need to open their minds and realise that other parks such as Efteling can do things just as well, if not better, than Disney can, and that is coming from a huge Disney fan by the way! Most Efteling fans loved it of course. For those of us who have grown up with this music, it actually means something, and it is great to see it being used in a new way for a new generation.
Of course at some point Aquanura was going to be compared to Disneyland’s World of Color and Disneyland Paris’ Disney Dreams show. I’ve seen World of Color on YouTube and it was fantastic, though I have yet to see Disney Dreams, as I plan to watch it for real later in the year. The issue some of these sites seemed to have, was that Efteling had not used mist screens to project onto. Project what though? Efteling doesn’t have a back catalogue of 70+ years of movies to showcase, they are but a simple (and wonderful) theme park. So I’m not sure what it was these people had in mind to be projected onto mist screens. Showing people images of rides that they have most likely been riding all day probably isn’t the best idea. However, the music worked well on its own. I haven’t been to a great number of theme parks around the world, but I’ll bet that Efteling has one of the best sets of music associated with their attractions. From dramatic, to light-hearted, to plain adventurous, the music really awakens your senses, kind of like a Laaf beer at the end of a hard day!
I did mention a few times above that ‘By the Sleepy Lagoon’ was used a number of times through the show. I joked about it creeping in there frequently, but it is actually quite nice to have it there to break up the other songs. I also noticed a few comments around the internet saying that the show was a bit short. It runs at about 12 minutes long, which isn’t really too short at all in my opinion. I bet they won’t be complaining about it being short when they are watching it on a cold winter day!
So, was anything important missing?
Well, I kind of expected to hear some Fata Morgana in there somewhere, though maybe since it provides a backdrop for the show they decided to chop that one out? Some George and the Dragon or some Flying Dutchman would have fit very nicely in the show, however I guess it was not to be; maybe in the distant future when we see Aquanura 2.0?!
Oh and Efteling…Can we have a CD single of the Aquanura music? Many thanks!