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!
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.
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.’
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.
To avoid having too many people too close together, Efteling have made the queue lines stretch around the rides, here, there, and all over, including backstage areas. Take a look at these videos below. The Pirana one will really keep you fit!
It was revealed at a recent Efteling staff party that in 2017, the park achieved it’s 2020 goal of 5 million visitors, having a massive 5.2 million people walk through the park’s gates. In 2016 there were only 4.8 million visitors; still a lot, but not as impressive as 2017!
A little while ago we talked about how Efteling are wanting to expand their park Eastwards, on the side of the Efteling Hotel. This would mean doing away with the road that runs between the park and the Hotel, which residents of the area are not happy about. With that road gone, it would mean a much longer path around the outside would have to be taken.
Efteling, however, have had interest from Russia and the Middle East who want to invest in the theme park. This is why Efteling are stressing the importance of their expansion plans to the residents of Loon op Zand; if they can’t expand, they will eventually struggle to turn down offers from outside investors. Ideally the park is planning to welcome 5 million visitors in 2020, and are targeting neighbouring countries Germany and France to gather this number of guests. Efteling have also mentioned building another hotel alongside their existing hotel and holiday village Bosrijk, to allow all these extra visitors to stay at the park for longer. In addition, they have acquired the Rabobank building across the street which is believed to be planned to be used as offices.
Efteling are still in talks with the local community to try to come to an arrangement that everyone is happy with.