Visit Holland - The Netherlands

Efteling theme park

Efteling is the largest theme park in the Netherlands and one of the oldest theme parks in the world. Efteling is located in the town of Kaatsheuvel, in the municipality of Loon op Zand. It has received (in total) over 100 million visitors.

Since its opening in 1952, the park has evolved from a nature park with a playground and a Fairy Tale Forest into a full-sized theme park. Efteling now caters to both children and adults with its cultural, romantic and nostalgic themes and its variety of amusement rides. It is twice as large as the original Disneyland park in California and predates it by three years.

The park is fantasy-themed; its attractions are based on elements from ancient myths and legends, fairy tales, fables and folklore.

The park
Efteling currently covers approximately 160 acres (650,000 m²). This area has changed only marginally over the course of its history. However, the park's foundation owns a much larger area of land, covered mostly with young forest, some grassland, roads, and an 18-hole golf course.

The park is divided into four themed areas or 'realms'. Originally, the park was divided into four areas called North, West, East, and South, with most of the park's historical rides and attractions, like the Fairy Tale Forest, located in West. When the park reorganized its infrastructure in the late 1990s (adding the Pardoes Promenade and a central hub called Efteling Brink), it also changed its area names. North was changed to Reizenrijk (Travel Realm), West became Marerijk (Fairy Realm), East became Ruigrijk (Rough Realm), and South became Anderrijk (Other Realm).

Although the park was not built with these divisions in mind and the names may seem cryptic, they do make a certain sense. Perhaps the area most suited to its name is Ruigrijk, where most fast rides like the double-loop roller coaster Python (constructed in 1981) are located. Marerijk is the home to the Fairy Tale Forest and the Fairies of the Droomvlucht, Anderrijk has some rides that are inspired by non-Western cultures (e.g. Fata Morgana and Piraña), while Reizenrijk has the Carnaval Festival ride, which travels through several different 'countries.'

Not only the Fairy Tale Forest, but almost the entire Efteling park was built in a rather rural area, with lots of pine trees, giving it a 'nature park' feeling. Together with the large ponds and gardens (with thousands of flowers, and maintained by an army of gardeners), the park's abundant green space is rather unusual among the world's leading theme parks. The Dutch climate and the integral role of natural greenery in the park's appearance and theming have prevented the park from remaining open year-round. Efteling used to be closed all winter (only being open from April through October), but the park's management, struggling to make the park more profitable and creating a better return-on-investment, has been experimenting with a so-called "Winter Efteling" since 1999 (see index below for attractions closed during "Winter Efteling"Niet in de Winter Efteling.gif). Thanks to efforts to decorate the park with pine trees and thousands of Christmas lights in winter, "Winter Efteling" has grown more popular every year, reaching a climax during the holidays when thousands of people visit the park.

In 2010, Efteling announced that it was going to remain open year round. From November through approximately February, the Winter theme is in place, with evergreen trees and decorative lights placed everywhere. Some of the regular rides are either closed (like Wild Water Ride Piraña) or temporary closed for maintenance (like The Flying Dutchman) during the Winter season.

Efteling Bosrijk
Efteling BosrijkLocated next to the Efteling theme park, Bosrijk offers apartments with views over the park, free wired internet and unique décor with an Efteling theme. The park includes a restaurant with a pizza oven, a souvenir shop and a bathhouse with a children’s pool.
The centre of Kaatsheuvel is 2.5 km away. Tilburg is 10 minutes away by car. De Loonse en Drunense Duinen National Park is less than a 10-minute walk from Efteling Bosrijk. The Efteling Golfpark is 5 minutes away by car.
Each of the air-conditioned apartments at the Efteling includes an open-plan living area with a double bed, a seating area with TV and a kitchenette with a microwave and tea/coffee making facilities. There is also a bedroom with a loft bed and a single bed for the children.

Efteling Hotel
This fairytale hotel is located next to the Efteling theme park in Kaatsheuvel, 20 minutes’ drive from Tilburg. It includes a themed restaurant, Anton Pieck inspired bar and free Wi-Fi.
The air-conditioned rooms of Efteling Hotel feature décor with magical touches and have a TV with film and children’s channels. Each private bathroom is decorated with a theme and includes a bath.
Children are welcomed at Hotel Efteling at a special check-in desk. There is also a play castle, playground and a theatre. The hotel also benefits from a spacious terrace for warmer weather.
The Efteling theme park is open throughout the year. During the winter the park turns into a winter wonderland with special activities including ice skating and sleigh rides.
The Efteling Hotel is a 15-minute car journey from De Loonse en Drunense Duinen National Park. ’s-Hertogenbosch is a 30-minute drive away. Free public parking is available on site.

NH Waalwijk
NH Waalwijk is ideally located, right between Tilburg and Den Bosch. The Efteling theme park is only minutes away. Benefit from free parking and the modern, luxurious rooms.
Each trendy room features a satellite TV, air conditioning and tea-and-coffee-making facilities. Choose a pillow from the NH pillow menu for extra comfort. Each one comes with free Wi-Fi.
At NH Waalwijk, the day starts with a tasty breakfast buffet in Restaurant Gusto. Lunch and dinner can be enjoyed at Brasserie Thyme.
There is a garden and a terrace where you can enjoy sunny weather. Sit out with a book or catch up on the news by reading a newspaper.
From NH Waalwijk, you can reach the Efteling in a 5-minute drive. The national park Loonse en Drunense Duinen is also close and excellent for beautiful walks. More info:  efteling

Steakhouse & Tapasbar Grill-ig
The place where everyone is welcome, for a quick bite or a full dinner party. Quality of fresh meat and fish on an electric grill. Good food in a lovely and welcoming atmosphere.

The  restaurant is located in Kaatsheuvel within walking distance of the Efteling, Loon and Drunen dunes, several campsites and a very large residential boulevard.

So after a day of hiking, biking or shopping you can really eat. There is also a beautiful terrace facing a windmill where you can have lunch on weekends from April / m August or just for a drink.