Toddler’s Day Out at Efteling [Summer Edition]

Tuesday, September 01, 2020

My family and I have been looking forward to summer, as it is vacation season and it’ll be warm in the Netherlands! But 2020 has been busy, especially with COVID hanging around the entire year. A vacation to tropical islands or nearby EU countries has been off the list. This summer vacation will be the perfect time to explore the Netherlands and its beautiful cities. I have planned out a whole week of exploring and on top of my list will be a visit to Efteling.



Efteling is the largest theme park in the Netherlands. It is also one of the oldest theme parks in the whole world being established in 1935. What sets apart Efteling to other theme parks that we’ve been to, is its natural charm and ethereal feel. If you know the Grimm Brother's fairytales and the series Once Upon a Time, Efteling has that theme all through out the theme park.

The park is open from 10AM - 6PM with longer hours during the summer season. We picked out a perfect day, Friday which was not too hot (24-27deg) and a 30% chance of rain. Daxton was super excited. He remembered his visit to Disneyland Paris because of our travel video

My son is 3 years old during our visit and below 100cm, so we were in the look for rides suitable for Daxton. I have compiled our favorite rides that is perfect for small toddlers (below 100cm).

- Polka Marina



The Polka Marina is a carousel which consists of small boats. My husband rode it with Daxton and had fun.

- De Oude Tufferbaan



It is a small train which the whole family can ride on. The little ones were seated at the front (driver seat) as they pretend to be drivers of the train. Daxton enjoyed this ride because he loves driving.

- Kinderspoor



The kinderspoor is another train ride with the diffefence of being a pedal train. My husband went with my son and had a good exercise with all the pedalling they did for the ride.

- Gondoletta



We all enjoyed this ride for it is mellow and scenic. You ride a boat, rest and admire the nature surrounding Efteling. If yo want a good rest for all the rides and walking, this is the best ride to hop on. 

- Pagode



This ride is also a mellow one. You go on a big temple, rest while admiring the entirety of the whole themepark as it slowly rises up.

- Carnaval Festival



This ride remids me of Disney’s “Its a small World” ride. It has a fun song as you go through different theme of countries/cities. This is the only ride we braved the long queue. The wait time was around 30 mins, but it was worth it.

- Monsieur Cannibale



It reminded us of the Mad Hatter Teacup ride in Disneyland, except this one will rock your world. The speed of the spinning cups are so fast, we were all tired and dizzy after.

- Anton Peik Plein



It is a small square filled with small rides for the little kids, like a carnival. There’s a chair swing, two traditional horse carousel and small roller coaster. My only concern is how fast these rides are. It is not kid-friendly as to what I am used to.

- Monorail



This ride goes through the Laveland which houses the ‘Volk van Laaf people’. You can also explore their village through walking .

- Stoomtrein



Daxton was really excited for this one. This ride was the first thing we saw once we entered. You can already hear the prominent steam sound from the train as it passes through the entirety of the park. It has two stations, but due to the restrictions, you can only ride at one station, Station Marijke.


Netherlands is known for its museum, and we visited two museum inside the theme park. 

-Efteling Museum



It is a collection of odd things associated to Efteling. It shows how Efteling started and the vision behind it. You can clearly see how it evolved to the theme park it is today.

- Diorama



It is a small display of miniature towns along the mountains. It is fascinating as the display transitions from a normal day to a dark thunderstorm night.


Inside Efteling there are two playgrounds where kids can still expel their energy.

- Kindervreugd
This playground is one of the first attractions established back then. According to the Efteling Museum, this playground is at its same spot as the attractions around it evolved into something new.


- Kleuterhof
This playground is near the Anton Piek Plein. It is small and near the restroom, perfect for parents to rest as the kids continue on playing more.


There are shows played across Efteling. We were able to catch two of them.

-Ravelijn



It is considered one of the best shows in Efteling. Unfortunately, due to the restrictions, they modified the storyline to fit into the regulations. It is only available in Dutch and we understood only a few parts to it. Overall, it was quite entertaining.

-Aquanara




This is the main highlight of all the shows. It is synonymous to Disneyland's fireworks. It is a spectacular water show like no other. The Netherlands prohibits the use of fireworks all throughout the country except on a few days before and after New Years. This is how the Dutch wrap up an exciting day at Efteling, which was quite nice and innovative.


One day is not enough to explore the whole park, these are the attractions we missed and will definitely go back for:

- Sprookjesbos (Fairytale Forest)
This is the most anticipated attraction in Efteling and sadly we missed it. It is called Fairytale Forest for you will have an adventure exploring through different sections inspired by various fairytale stories. It was unique and somewhat old school in comparison to princess/fairytale stories. 



We went in early at around 10AM, yet there are already a lot of families in the park. I was too anxious that everyone will head straight there, that we opted to go there at a later time. Time went fast that when we reached the forest, it was almost time for the Aquanura show. We decided to skip the forest and look for a nice spot to see the show.

- Symbolica



The path going here was near the entrance. It is only accessible from the Fairytale Forest or near the entrance. COVID made me more anxious that we also put it for later until it was too late, its near closing. 

- Stoomcarrousel



This is another ride that we didn’t make it because we didn’t have enough time. We were not able to see how this differs from the other traditional horse carousel.

-Droomvlucht



We skipped this ride because the waiting time was more than 30 mins, and the queue was a bit long when we passed by. We opted to catch the Ravelijn show instead.

-Fata Morgana



This was supposed to be the first ride we will try, but we backed out when we saw the queue was long. 


Food in the park

There are a lot of snack bars spread across the park. There are also restaurants or proper sit down places you can eat. We opted for Toko Pagode, which serves Asian cuisine. We need our rice/noodle fix so we can last the whole day at the park. 



If you are on a budget, you can bring your own food inside. Drinks tend to be expensive inside the park ranging for 2euro per bottle. We brought our own drinks, but the heat and all the walking, it wasn’t enough to last the whole day. We saw families with big coolers which was sooo clever. But our logistics was not too good to lug around many things as we go on rides. We allotted a budget for food to buy in the park.


Overall

It was one tiring but very fun day! We were not able to try the more exciting rides like the rollercoasters and such. It was okay because the smile and excitement on Daxton's face is enough for us. Daxton was too exhausted that he stretched his nap up until he cannot make it. He slept on the car on our way home smiling.

NOTE:
Photos were screenshots from the Efteling App, which was very useful as it provides real time info about waiting times, show times and ride closures. We took mostly videos, so wait for our Efteling travel video in my husband’s youtube channel.


What are your favorite rides at Efteling?

Share it at the comment box down below!

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Toddler’s Day Out at Efteling [Summer Edition]

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