De Efteling

De Efteling is the largest and most popular theme park in The Netherlands, and one of the leading theme parks in Europe. It is also one of the oldest theme parks in the world. Efteling is located in the town of Kaatsheuvel, in the municipality of Loon op Zand. Efteling was opened in 1952. With over 2 million visitors a year, De Efteling is the Netherlands favourite amusement park.


Efteling appeals to both young and old with its cultural, romantic and nostalgic themes and its variety of amusement rides. In over fifty years the park has evolved from a nature park with playground and a Fairy Tale Forest, into a full-size theme park along the lines of Disneyland. Efteling received the IAAPA Applause Award for Best Amusement Park in the World.

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 the park a very special and unique ‘nature park’ feeling. Together with the large ponds and gardens (with thousands of flowers and an army of gardeners) it gives the park a green and friendly feeling which is rather unusual among the world’s leading themeparks.

The only large park that seems to get close to this special atmosphere is Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. Unfortunately, Dutch climate and the reliance on greenery and trees for a huge part of the park’s great looks (and theming!) are putting a bit of a stopper on a truly successful year-round opening.


Efteling used to be closed all winter, only being open from April through October.