It's an amusement park with a fairy-tale, folk tale, fantasy theme. But fairy tales in their old-school form, pre-Disney. I love Disneyland, and it will probably be forever untouchable in the ranks of amusement parks, but Efteling had a lot to offer. (It was actually even built before Disneyland.) It was charming, not crowded, and really inexpensive, while still offering and endless array of attractions, thrill rides, shows and FOOD. The kids loved it too, and it was really laid-back. In fact, we probably should have amped-up our intensity because we were there until closing and didn't get to do some of the things we wanted to.
Richard knew that the Fairy Tale Forest would be a big hit with the kids so we went there first. After a quick stop to see this amazing diorama.
But there were several others that were new to us. It's probably just a matter of time before Disney gets their hands on these tales. The Six Servants. The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids (Another Big Bad Wolf story.) The Red Shoes. (Pretty creepy.)
I put my camera away during the show and then for awhile afterward. We did some more rides including a monorail type ride for the non-thrill seekers, my favorite- the swings, a couple playgrounds and then this carousel.
There was a ride with an international theme that resembled Small World. There was also one that was probably the kids favorite that was easy going with just the right amount of twists and turns, it was like Toad's Wild Ride or the Peter Pan ride at Disneyland, great things to look at while you wind through the darkness.
There were two or three other rides we really wanted to do, but sadly we ran out of time. So we bought cotton candy and watched a really fun fountain show they play as the park is closing. In the summer months the park is open later, but Richard and I decided that we probably got to do just as much as we would have in the summer because we rarely had to wait in any lines, and when we did they were just a few minutes. So in other words, one day just wasn't enough.
"Why do you take your kids when they are so young? They will never remember it."
I know they won't remember it. But I'll remember it. I know it sounds cheesy, but I'll remember their smiles and giggles and excitement and nerves and euphoria and delight. Mim and Si likely won't remember Efteling, I think Cam and Eli will probably remember, but I know Richard and I definitely will.