To be honest I felt a little nervous writing about the Efteling. The reason being I can never fully able to describe Efteling into words that justify what Efteling is like. Efteling is pretty, dreamy and makes warmth filled your chest and that is all just the beginning. By the time I write this post, I have been to Efteling three times now, in the Summer, Autumn and Winter. Each visit left me in awe on how much love put into creating and operating the park.
Here I would like to share what I like about Efteling :
‘Stoomcarrousel’ (Steam Carrousel)
The stoomcarrousel was originally built in 1895 to travel through funfairs. It takes four days to unpack and build this carrousel each time and it fits on 25 train carriages and trucks. The carrousel now stays in the Carrousel Paleis surrounded by a bar and pretty authentic Victorian wooden floorings and wall paintings. The steam carrousel ride itself, powered by steam engine, is, I dare say, far more exciting than modern carrousel. The carrousel sped up substantially and those who ride on the carved horses and pigs have to actually hold on and grip just like you would riding an actual horse. The beautifully carved horse is complete with stirrups and reigns, too. In addition, there is several gondolas and coaches on the carrousel. As the carousel turns, the music starts playing from a fairground organ made by Gavioli, a Franco-Italian inventor and organ builder. And while it turns you can see the paintings and bar surroundings which gives you a sense of amusement and joy.
Rollercoaster (‘achtbaan’) options
What I like about the Efteling is that it has a range of roller coaster experience options. The Phyton – which has a rattling sound (I don’t think phyton makes rattling sound though, that would be the rattle snake), Vliegender Hollander – which includes water splash, Joris en de Draak, wooden roller coaster and Vogel Rok which is a roller coaster in the dark. Each offer different stories and experience. Once on a Summer we went on all of the roller coaster twice and gave ourselves a sufficient nausea and joy.
Above is an image of Baron 1898, a new addition to roller coaster family in the Efteling that is currently being built – scheduled to finish this Summer. This one would be a dive coaster, where you would be dropped on a 90 degree angle and would have a double upside down twist. I am very much looking forward to this one.
Station Oost and Halve Maen
There is a section of Efteling which was inspired by shared history of Indonesia and The Netherlands, Nederland Oost Indies. This section includes a colonial style train station named Station Oost and Stasiun Timur respectively and Halve Maen which is replica of VOC ship design from 1608. This ship first sailed to Hudson’s up to river, the present day of Albany, New York with its captain Henry Hudson. The same ship also sailed to Batavia, the present day of Jakarta. Halve Maen is one of my favorite rides not to miss in Efteling, the largest swinging ship in the world which gives you a 0 negative g-force experience for several seconds in air. Physically the experience is similar to what its like being in space (or so science says, I’ve never actually been in space o,0). For someone like me who likes the thrill of the ride, I always sit at the edge of the ship.
Dioramas and Aesthetics
De vraag wat kunst is en voor wie en voor wat men kunst ‘maakt’ houdt mij niet bezig. Ik vind het best als men argumenteert: dit is géén kunst, dat is wél kunst, maar het doet mij persoonlijk niets. Ik wil mijn kunst best anders noemen. Met grote bewondering heb ik het ambacht bij anderen leren zien, laat mij dan maar zo’n ambacht beoefenen, maar dan wel met vakmanschap en liefde voor het werk! – Anton Pieck
What I really cherish about Efteling is the amount of work they put to make the park aesthetically pleasing. For example, the placing of bricks that is intentionally made uneven to give a building more characters. Authentic cracks on the wall exposing bricks. Shadows around the building. They are very serious about creating a true environment of fairy tale in all the ways possible.
One of the aesthetical aspects that strikes me the most is their art of making dioramas. Not to confuse with Diorama attraction at the Efteling which feature a really large trainset and railway, but, conceptually diorama is a three-dimensional full size or miniature model, usually behind a glass showcase. In Efteling a number of dioramas are being used to illustrates fairy tale stories at the Sprookjesbos and they are truly wonderful and theatrical.
This is only a small part of my impression of the Efteling, there is so many more to tell, but this post will have to do for now. Perhaps next time I will be able to post decent photos of the park that I took myself. 🙂