“We have set ourselves the target to grow into an international destination instead of a one-day attraction” – Fons Jurgens, Director of Efteling.
Well, Efteling are definitely reaching out to an international audience lately, as recently we saw the launch of the Chinese Efteling website, and now Efteling are trying to capture residents of the UK by offering Efteling packages on DFDS ferries (a long time coming I think!). At the moment, the route only seems to be available from Newcastle to Amsterdam, and it is mandatory to take a vehicle with you, but other that this seems like a very positive step for the park!
Here’s what it says on the DFDS site:
If you’re looking for a family getaway this year then look no further than the magical Efteling theme park in Holland. Discover an enchanting world full of wonders, perfect for young and old alike, where fairy tales come to life!
Book a ferry crossing from Newcastle to Holland and package together with tickets and accommodation at Efteling theme park, staying at Bosrijk Village’s self-catering lakeside cabins, located just outside the park.
- 2 nights onboard our Newcastle-Amsterdam ferry in an en suite cabin
- 3 or 4-nights’ self catering accommodation
- Entrance tickets to Efteling theme park
- Includes transport for you and your car
Attracting visitors from a wider range of countries is all part of Efteling’s plan which will hopefully see the park meet their target of 5 million visitors by 2020.
This is not only good news for Efteling, but good news for the UK in terms of holiday destination choices! Based solely on ticket prices online (1 day ticket) Efteling comes out pretty well:
Alton Towers: £36.12
Disneyland Paris: £36-£52 (depending on date)
Efteling: €34.50 (approx £30)
Europa Park: €44.50 (approx £38, price drops in Winter)
You have to stay at Bosrijk with this package (no option for Efteling Hotel at this time), and as mentioned above, you must take your own vehicle. One thing that seems to be quite obviously missing from this package which would complete things, is an Efteling bus. While progressing through the booking, there is no option to add a coach transfer. Normally, you have to call DFDS to arrange coach transfers to Amsterdam, but in this case where the package is specifically a holiday to Efteling, one might think that there was a bus to Efteling included, particularly for people who don’t want to navigate the Dutch rail and bus networks possibly with young children. This is where Disney have the upper hand, with their airport shuttles. Of course, this explains why they insist that you take your own car!
These buses operate in the Netherlands, providing day trips to Efteling. A bus like this would be perfect to shuttle guests straight to the park from the ferry terminal:
I think we can all agree that that is one nice bus!
So, a positive step forward for Efteling, or do you think this means that the park will become too popular? Either way, I may feel a research trip coming on!