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Efteling is the biggest amusement park in the Netherlands and one of the oldest in the world. It is a magical place where both adults and kids can have fun!
Here’s all you need to know with practical details to plan your visit and where to stay near Efteling – or stay in the Efteling hotel!
In a Nutshell
Here’s a (very) short video just to get an idea of what it’s like!
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Tips for Visiting Efteling with Kids
When planning your visit to Efteling with kids, there are several key tips to keep in mind to ensure a fantastic experience.
- Book tickets here in advance – you cannot buy tickets at the entrance, only online.
- Download the Efteling app, so that you know real-time how much waiting time there is for each ride – it helps with spending less time queuing!
- If you are a frequent visitor or plan to visit more than once in a year, consider investing in an annual pass. This provides unlimited access and can be cost-effective in the long run.
- Parking is available at a fee. Purchasing your parking ticket online beforehand can save time and avoid queues at the park.
Where to Stay to Visit Efteling
Choosing where to stay when visiting Efteling depends on personal preference and budget, but here are some of the top recommendations from our Facebook group on Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg:
Stay in Efteling Accommodation
When planning your journey to Efteling, finding the perfect Efteling accommodation is important to ensure a fairy-tale experience, with options ranging from themed hotels to nature-kissed cottages and holiday homes.
Efteling Hotel: As close as you can get, this hotel is a mere 5-minute walk from Efteling through a special entry. The themed rooms and 20 suites offer an immersive experience and you can enjoy the indoor playground Kids’ Castle, with unlimited access to Efteling as a major perk.
Holiday Village Efteling Loonsche Land: If you’re after an escape to nature, consider these cottages on treetops. With playgrounds and a petting farm, this is a delight for the little ones. Enjoy unlimited access to Efteling, free parking, and the option to take a leisurely 15-minute stroll to Efteling or hop on a train, available on most days as an extra service.
Holiday Village Efteling Loonsche Land Hotel: Similar to its counterpart above, the hotel offers cottages under the treetops and on sand dunes. The same amenities and access apply here, giving you various options to suit your family’s needs.
Holiday Village Efteling Bosrijk: Perfect for larger groups, this location offers holiday homes, family rooms, and group accommodation. Entertainment is guaranteed with an indoor water play area that includes a paddling pool for the smallest ones, a toddler’s pool, and a deeper pool for older kids. Also, there are outdoor playgrounds. It’s a 10-minute walk to Efteling or you can take the free little train for a fun ride to the park.
Stay in a Hotel Close to Efteling
Outside of the Efteling bounds, other options that have been recommended in our Facebook group include:
GuestHouse Hotel Kaatsheuvel-Waalwijk: This hotel boasts modern rooms complete with bunk beds, a playground for kids, and even Efteling tickets as part of the package deal. Plus, parking is free.
Hotel De Kroon: Equally modern and kid-friendly, this hotel also offers bunk beds for kids, Efteling tickets as part of the package deal, and free parking.
Each option has its unique charm and benefits. Choose the one that fits your family’s preferences and enjoy your trip to Efteling!
How to Avoid the Crowds at Efteling
- Try to plan your trip on a weekday and outside of holiday seasons, as the park can become quite crowded during peak times.
- Try to go as early as possible! The later the more crowded it gets.
Is Efteling Suitable for Little Kids?
Yes! Efteling has so many areas that are designed specifically for little ones. Our daughter was a toddler one of the first times we went to Efteling and she also enjoyed it.
The most popular attractions can have a waiting time of around an hour, but you won’t be doing these with little kids anyway.
The attractions that are mainly for younger kids don’t have such a long waiting time – and you can always download the app to see in real time how much time you’d need to wait.
Can You See Everything in One Day?
It is possible to see everything in a day, but it might feel quite rushed. It’s best to stay somewhere for the night and enjoy the park for two days.
Remember that it’s nearly impossible to see everything in a single day, given the park’s size and variety of attractions. So, prioritize based on your preferences.
These are just a few tips to help you make the most out of your Efteling adventure!
Efteling for Wheelchair Users
Efteling is also committed to providing a welcoming experience for wheelchair users. Many attractions are accessible, and wheelchairs can be borrowed from the park.
There’s even an option to rent a mobility scooter, making the park more accessible for all. Additionally, a special ticket discount is available for those with disabilities.
See more details here.
Are Dogs Allowed in Efteling?
Pets are not allowed in the park.
Efteling opened in 1952 making it one of the oldest theme parks in the world. There are plenty of new attractions, but the overall theme is quite dark and nostalgic. The park owes this atmosphere to Anton Pieck, who designed the original illustrations for the Fairytale Forest.
There are several rides for young kids as well as for adults. There are also dark rides (indoor rides), which can be quite useful if the weather is not cooperating
A few of the rides for younger kids include carousels, a monorail, a pagode with panoramic view, an indoor steam carousel, a steam train, a speelbos (play forest), the Raveleijn show, Halve Maen the swinging ship (this is much more scary than what it looks like!)
The House of the Five Senses
The House of the Five Senses is the main entrance of Efteling. It is the largest reed roof in the world!
This was one of our most favorite rides overall.
Pagode with panoramic view
And this is the view from the top
Indoor steam carousel
Play forest Nest
Raveleijn, park show
Halve Maen, the swinging ship
Darkride Fata Morgana by night
Some rides have more pronounced the dark ambiance of the park, like Fata Morgana, Dream Flight, Symbolica, Villa Volta
Dream flight is another dark ride
Symbolica, a dark ride
Villa Volta, the first modern Madhouse in the world
Rides for Older Kids and Adults
There are also rides for adults only, like Python, the Flying Dutchman, Vogel Rok
Python, double loop rollercoaster
The Flying Dutchman, a water rollercoaster
Vogel Rok is another dark ride, an indoor rollercoaster
Playgrounds for Little Kids
There is also a playground for little ones. Although the playground is beautiful, don’t waste too much time there, as Efteling is huge and there are tons of things to see!
Efteling Nostalgic Pieces
There are several nostalgic pieces around the park, like Hollow Bulging Gijs, a paper gobbler designed by Anton Pieck
Also this charming music player
The Efteling app is an interactive map where you can check out live the waiting time for each attraction. You can download the Efteling app here (both Android and iOS). It is a valuable resource, providing real-time information and aiding you in maximizing your visit.
Download the Efteling app here
You can see the map of Efteling here and you can use the interactive map here.
There are many restaurants and canteens around the park, mostly reasonably priced. Restaurants also follow the magical theme of the park, eg one of them is a cave!
You can reserve one of the main restaurants of Efteling in advance here.
If you are looking for something special, book this restaurant that gives you also access to a 3-hour show.
There are also several other options to grab something quick to eat. You are also allowed to take picnic with you, but you cannot eat it at the restaurants.
We really enjoyed the restaurant with the outdoor play area!
Even souvenir shops have a certain ambiance in Efteling
Efteling also offers two hotels and two holiday villages, where you can stay for the night. Entrance for two days is also included in the price.
You can find prices and book your tickets on the official website here. You can only book tickets online – it is not possible to buy tickets at the entrance.
Book tickets here
- Try to avoid the weekend and holidays, as it can get crowded
- You cannot see everything in one day, so choose wisely!
- Use the Efteling app as well to make the most of it
- There are also annual passes
- Parking is paid (buy online parking ticket to avoid queues)
- For wheelchair users some of the attractions are accessible. Check out the overview linked here. You can also borrow a wheelchair or rent a mobility scooter. There is a ticket discount as well.
- Dogs are not allowed to enter the park.
About 1.5 hour drive from Schuman, Brussels (or about 3 hours by public transport). Efteling is also about 1 hour drive from Amsterdam (or 1 hour 45 minutes by public transport)
Europalaan 1, 5171 KW Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands
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I felt I found gold when I started diving into the Facebook group posts.
Thanks for beeing a real “childhood memories” builder!Cristina O.
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Indoor and outdoor activities, kids friendly cafés/ restaurants, hotels and more all under separate layers