It’s finally here!
Winter Efteling runs until January 31st.
So, Efteling aren’t massively into Halloween in the way some other theme parks are. However, our friend Eftelwesley has put together a great video of all the scary and spooky things that you can find around the park all year round…
It’s been a little over a month since our last post; time flies! Since then, there have been a few news items trickling out of Efteling.
First off, the Summer evenings will be held on Fridays and Saturdays as from next Summer, instead of solely on a Saturday. The park will be open until 23:00 instead of the current 00:00, but spreading the crowds out over two nights makes much more sense as the park gets pretty busy on these evenings. This will bring the number of Summer evenings up to 17, with entertainment on all nights.
A new Eigenheymer location will open on Capricorn Square within the next couple of weeks, making it the third location in the park where you can pick up a twisty potato snack. Yum!
Hansel and Gretel is still undergoing some maintenance for another week, but when it opens we can expect to experience some sweet smells coming from the building! A wonderful idea that totally fits with the story. Sweet!
Symbolica is really starting to take shape, as you can see in Eftelwesley’s video below. Of course, Efteling don’t just do theming, they do theming, so it fits in perfectly with the park and most importantly, with Polle’s Kitchen across the way.
And last but certainly not least, Bosrijk have started selling Bosrijk Brouw (beer). Perfect!
For more Efteling news and photos, check us out on Facebook!
When you think of Efteling, you probably think of big attractions like the Flying Dutchman, Baron 1898, or the Fairy Tale Forest. However, tucked away in Anton Pieckplein you will find the Vermolen Carrousel, an often overlooked attraction, particularly amongst adults and thrill-seekers. The carousel is the oldest in the Netherlands, and dates back to 1865.
The carousel was originally owned by Mr. Leander from Wageningen, who travelled around the Netherlands with it, including in his travels a visit to Kaatsheuvel in 1957. After his wife’s death in 1900 Mr. Leander went on to marry Ms. Vermolen, whose children then took on the responsibility of the ride under the name ‘Brothers Vermolen’. Later on, the carousel was run solely by Ben Vermolen.
In 1985, Mr. Vermolen was asked to take his carousel to the World’s Fair in Vancouver. As there was already decades of tradition in his family of travelling the carousel around the Netherlands, he decided to send the original ride to Vancouver, and build a new one to continue travelling around the Netherlands with. Everywhere the carousel has visited is documented in the canvas pennants on the ride. In the new carousel, a Carl Frei organ was installed, whereas in the original ride a Richter organ was used. After the World’s Fair was over, Vermolen sold the carousel and so it remained in Canada, residing in a shopping mall for 10 years.
In 1995 the ride was bought by Efteling, who had the task of restoring it to its former glory; it is also decided at this time to switch the organs, providing Efteling’s new purchase with a Carl Frei organ. After a brief time at the Tilburg fair, Efteling temporarily install the Vermolen carousel on the grass where you will now find Winter Efteling’s Ice Palace. It was moved to the Dwarrelplein outside the House of the Five Senses in 1997, and in 2000 it was erected next to the Laaf Village. By 2004 the attraction has found its final home where it stands to this day, outside the White Horse on Anton Pieckplein.
This past winter (2015-16) the Vermolen Carousel has received a complete restoration at Efteling’s Gildehuis, which took around 4 months to complete. The horses, sleighs and carriages have all been sanded down to their original wood and repainted, new lights were installed, the panels and canvases were renewed, a whole new steel frame was built and installed, and the organ has been completely restored, allowing it to produce up to 30% more volume. A new control both has also been built alongside the ride.
This video shows some of the restoration work at Efteling:
Here are some photos and a video of this beautiful carousel, by our good friend Eftelwesley; please click on the images to see them in their full glory!
So, 20 years ago this month was my first visit to Efteling. I thought I’d share a few photos of the park from that trip, although there aren’t too many to share, as this was of course an era before everyone had a camera in their pocket!
That ticket on the left is my original ticket from August 1996.
If you are a regular visitor to Efteling, you can see that many things have changed in 20 years, and many things have stayed the same! The square flowerbeds are (I think) where the Chinese Nightingale building now stands, you can also see Monsieur Cannibale before the roof was built on it, and you can just make out the rowing boats on the Vonderplas with Fata Morgana in the background.
Please click on a photo to scroll through the full size images.
“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.
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!
Aagje is Efteling’s second oldest steam locomotive that transports guests on a grand circle tour of the park. Built by Orenstein & Koppel in 1911 and originating in Berlin, Aagje was sent to be used at a brickworks in IJesseloord. Aagje was eventually retired from her job, and after a few years of relaxation, she was bought by Efteling. March 1968 saw her first test run in the park, and she’s still running today!
Video by eftel1ngfan.
The other day we were talking about Efteling’s new addition of a zoetrope in Station de Oost. Our good friend Eftelwesley has shared this video of the zoetrope; take a look!
It looks great! Slightly odd but hey, that’s how Efteling is, and that’s why we love it! 😀