Well neither had I, until we received an invitation to experience this fantasy themed amusement park with other agents at the hand of SuperBreak and P&O earlier this year. How very exciting to have the opportunity to go to a Theme Park in The Netherlands, Kaatsheuvel to be precise! The theme of this park is drawn from the fairytales of Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm which creates a well thought out and exciting adventure.
On our P&O crossing to Calais we had the opportunity to try out the Brasserie for a much needed breakfast. A day is best started with a cup of tea and a full English breakfast just for good measure! Afterwards, we had access to the Club Class Lounge – quiet, great views, spacious, comfortable, waiter service and champagne – what more could you ask for?
From only £12, it is definitely worth the upgrade!
After a very scenic drive, no more than 4 hours through France and Brussels, we had arrived in a very sunny Kaatshuvel, in The Netherlands.
We checked into the Efteling Resort Hotel, sharing a family room that sleeps 4, having 1 double and two twin beds – it made for a comfortable and well decorated space – with little things to keep the children entertained – a game of snakes and ladders, colouring books and crayons and little mouse who lives in the wall!
There is a buffet breakfast provided in the hotel restaurant – eggs, bacon, smoked salmon, pastries, breads, cakes, donuts, and milkshakes! Of course there were healthy cereals of the continental kind – for the serious people amongst us. But please remember, if you are going straight into the park to enjoy more rollercoasters – every food item cannot be heavily sampled as tasty as it all looks!
For those who opt for self-catering accommodation… there is a great range to choose from with varying themes and capacities. From small families of 4, to those as large as 24! These holiday homes and apartments are a little further from the park and are located in the Efteling Village Bosrijk. There you will also find a convenience shop, and Eethuys – a restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, the very restaurant where we enjoyed a lovely dinner on our 1st night. There are also play areas to keep the children entertained when they are not in the main park – which can be accessed by foot, or a little train that drives through the park.
And this is where the fun really begins!
We were all given our maps, and very kindly – a gift card to use on anything in the park! I would recommend purchasing a few of these for the family – like any gift card, it’s small enough to fit in your pocket and can be topped up when necessary! Losing a gift card is a lot less stress than losing your purse… or wallet.
With a fairytale theme, the park had some interesting finds! Statues in honor of it’s prior Guinness World Record, having the tallest stack of pancakes, to giant gramophones used as cash machines… and many more yet to be discovered when you make the leap and visit!
Then there were rides and rollercoasters!
To name a few… walk under an impressively large bird to ride Vogul Rok – for those intrigued by the pitch black unknown. De Vliegende Hollander – for an indoor story, and a swift outdoor escape. Gondeletta – for a relaxing journey around the park’s lake. Baron 1898– unveiled earlier this year as a NEW divecoaster – diving 37.5 metres down a mineshaft. Definitely not for the faint-hearted – but a ride that should not be missed! And many more…
Take a look at this – Baron 1898! – skip ahead approx. 1 minute
More recently, they have made a new addition to the park – a Fire Prince and the Snow Princess to help transform the theme park into a winter wonderland with a range of winter activities including ice skating, snow slides, and cross country ski track beneath the trees. With amazing winter themes, attractions and treats, Efteling Theme Park makes out to be a special trip inclusive for all generations and abilities!
In 2017, there will be a new indoor attraction – Symbolica – set to open, a part of it’s 65th year anniversary. We can’t wait to see how it looks!
Don’t let this wonderful theme park go undiscovered by you for too long!
All images taken by myself.