Efteling is a theme park located in Holland. Before visiting, I admit to not having heard of it, although I had heard really good things about Holland as a place to go on holiday. What makes Efteling different from other places is that is steeped in nature and stories, with every ride having a tale behind it – many of them Dutch myths and legends as well as traditional stories.
So here is the whistle-stop tour of our two nights in Efteling where we were thrilled, over the late May bank holiday, to visit the Blog House with the lovely Penny and children from Parentshaped!
We flew with Flybe to Amsterdam from Birmingham. The boys enjoyed looking at the flight board for news of our gate – and also checking out the other destinations and guessing where they were. Traveling is so educational Here are some great tips for flying with children.
This is the shortest flight the boys have ever been on at just one hour and they loved it. The plane was also the smallest they have flown on so that was met with much excitement!
Efteling is a bit of a hike from Amsterdam but the rail and bus networks in Holland are so brilliant and we loved this timetabling website which was invaluable in planning our journey.
We arrived into Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport around 6.30pm on Monday evening. The train station is within the airport terminal which was very handy!
We had some instructions of where to head and (without even having to ask anyone!) we found the train we needed, bought our tickets from the yellow machines and boarded our train within thirty minutes of landing! Pretty impressive! We were all very excited to be on our first ever double-decker train (of course we had to sit on the top deck)! With comfortable seats and free wifi, everyone was happy as we set off on our journey to s-Hertogenbosch.
You can change trains at s-Hertogenbosch or at Tilburg to catch the 300 bus which takes you to the gates of Efteling. On our return journey, we went to Tilburg on the bus and then changed to catch the train to Schipol (we also had to change trains at Rotterdam Central). Both ways were straightforward and it took around two hours each way.
Eventually, we arrived at Efteling Bosrijk which is located behind the entrance to the theme park. The welcome was enchanting and magical with pretty lights and friendly staff. We wandered wide-eyed through the trees to our village house home for the next two nights but bed beckoned as we had a very busy day planned for Tuesday!
With two adrenaline seeking 11-year-olds and two slightly more cautious nine-year-olds to entertain we wanted to make sure there was a balance.
The stories behind the rides are fascinating, and usually very dark! The newest, and possibly most frightening, ride is the Baron 1898. The story behind this is of a Baron who wanted to mine precious gold deposits from a cave that were guarded by spirits who would cause terrible consequences on anyone who touched the gold. The Baron enlisted the poor of the local town to work in the mine and suffer their fate whilst he took the profits, that is until one day when he has to go down the mine himself and is attacked by the vengeful miners. You can imagine the ride is pretty fast paced!
Of course this was the ride the older two wanted to go on! Once they did we were surprised to find that the younger ones weren’t interested in anything but the big rides as well! Peer pressure or sibling rivalry? Or just getting into the spirit of things? Who knows but these daredevils had a wonderful time!
The queue for the rides was good and we never waited more than 30 minutes to get on any ride. The Efteling app was very handy for checking out how to get to rides and also how long the wait was.
By the end of the day, they were desperate for more and it is always good to leave on a high!
Nature and Relaxation
The fun didn’t stop when we were out of the park.
Our accommodation, Efteling Bosrijk, was a short walk from the theme park.
These, typical style, Dutch houses are located amongst trees, around a pretty lake which is beautiful to stroll around.
Check out the tour that the very talented Penny put together..
There are also play areas dotted about amongst the trees and houses so plenty to keep children busy for hours.
We joked that we didn’t need the theme park and they would play here all day!
With weary limbs and a journey ahead of us we skipped the parks on our last morning and hit the pool after a chilled our breakfast. With a lazy river, jacuzzi and lots of splash areas for little children, it is a great way to unwind.
Being with friends
Now, these kids see each other every now and again but they never forget each other. It was lovely to see the bond growing stronger between siblings and between friends. Efling is a great place to meet up with friends with villages houses sleeping from 6 people up to lodges for famiy and friend groups up to 24!
The Fairytale forest, one of the oldest parts of the theme park, provides something for all ages with different tales brought to life for childen to play in or peek inside.
Here they are with Sleeping Beauty’s castle providing the backdrop.
So, overall views!
We had such an amazing adventure! Holland is beautiful – so clean and neat (and efficient)!
Penny has put together this cool video.. check it out!
The journey was smooth and hassle free and we were so impressed. The children also learnt lots about navigating their way aroud the train and bus systems they will be confident travellers as they get older.
The rides are great quality, captivating and clearly an adrenaline buzz yet there is plenty for the less ambitious or younger visitor too. The combination of nature and thrill gives a fantastic laid back yet buzzy atmosphere.
We can’t wait to go back and have left a few rides for the younger ones to battle their fears against next time.
For more details on our fun two nights have a look over at Parentshaped’s post..
Have you visited Efteling? Would you like to?