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