Here is a little tour around the pop-up store from Efteling’s Benten. We would love to see this store stay, as well as maybe a few more dotted around! How about Tilburg to start with? 😉
Recently, we had a little rant about the Dream Flight shop at the exit of the ride. Basically, there were almost no souvenirs that related directly to the ride, as in they are selling very generic fairy statues, unicorn figures etc. However, this is not the only place that is suffering from a bad case of drab merchandise! Another one which springs to mind is the Fata Morgana shop, which you will also pass through as you exit the ride.
Now, unless you visited Efteling specifically planning to buy incense, a pretty scarf, an ornamental elephant or a hookah, then there isn’t anything of much interest here. The only ‘Efteling’ things you will find here, are room sprays, which are very nice, but not a redeeming feature of the shop. Sometimes we wonder, does anyone actually buy any of these gifts? Although, the image of someone sitting on the Python whilst nursing their hookah is quite amusing, it does not make a lot of sense to buy one of these and then cart it around with you all day!
Why do we keep moaning about merchandise? Well, you can buy incense and elephants anywhere, so why buy one from Efteling? Wouldn’t you be more inclined to buy a nice t-shirt, or some Fata Morgana-related ornament, which you can’t buy beyond the park? Here, you used to be able to buy Pardoes on flying carpets! We’ll dig that photo out some time 😉
So, the top and bottom of it is, where is all the Fata Morgana and Dream Flight-related merchandise? We only ask for a little!
Exit through the gift shop! We’ve all been a victim of the attraction gift shop, and although Efteling doesn’t seem to push souvenirs down your throat in general, some rides do have their own shops at the exit; Carnaval Festival, PandaDroom, and Droomvlucht are 3 of the main ones. Dromerijen (the Dream Flight store) is located at the exit of the ride, and you will encounter it after walking through De Gulden Gaarde, which serves pastries, coffees etc.
First off, the theming of the store is lovely, and is very in-keeping with the ride. A large tree is the centrepiece of the shop, with its leaves taking over the ceiling, and large round lights hanging from it; the same as the ones you pass under at the main entrance. It is beautiful!
However, there is a small problem, though possibly only though the eyes of a dedicated Efteling fan…the merchandise. In fairness, you can buy fairies here, which is obviously what the Dream Flight is all about, but not these fairies. Click the photo below to take a closer look at those fairies. They certainly don’t look like anything that you just experienced on the ride, do they?!
There was a time when you could buy Efteling fairies, but sadly, the fairies are generic, and you could probably find them in your local gift shop. We also remember Dream Flight dolls, mugs, t-shirts, snow globes and many other Efteling goodies. A more recent addition to the shop are the Droomvlucht house sprays, however on our last visit, there one none to be found.
Take a look at the fairy on the right. She hangs on a wall, and has ‘Efteling’ written along the top of her wing. She even looks like an Efteling fairy! There used to be quite a lot of these available. Also, take a look at our mug; couldn’t be more Dream Flight themed if it tried!
So, why no Dream Flight specific gifts in the Dream Flight gift shop? Who knows. But it would be lovely to see some genuine Efteling merchandise back in the store some time soon.