As a kid in the Netherlands I grew up with the Efteling. Everyone knows it and every child would love to visit. The Efteling is the oldest, largest, best-known and most popular amusement park in the Netherlands. The Efteling is also the largest amusement park in the Benelux in terms of visitor. After Disneyland in Paris and the German Europa Park the Efteling is the most visited theme park in Europe.
Traveltomtom was invited to experience the Efteling and their holiday park Bosrijk. Traveltomtom team member and travel writer Ashley traveled to Kaatsheuvel with four nieces and nephews to fully experience the amusement park. And the best thing is they stayed overnight!
Efteling’s most famous attractions
The Efteling is a classic. Ask any Dutch person about the Efteling and they will be able to tell you all about it. It’s the Efteling classics that are the parks most famous rides and attractions.
The story of the Efteling all started back in 1952 with this Fairytale Forest. It’s a 15-acre wooded section within the amusement park. You can find a number of well-known fairy tales here. It’s in the Fairytale Forest where you can find the icon of the Efteling, ‘Langnek’ (long-neck).
When you say Python, you say Efteling. The Python and the Efteling belong together like no other. I think the Python is the most famous rollercoaster in de Netherlands. And truly a classic. It has good loops, a nice screw, just like a roller coaster should be.
Hollow Bulging Gijs paper gobbler
You will notice immediately when you come close to a HolleBolle Gijs garbage bin. You will hear him repeatedly say ‘paper here’. HolleBolle Gijs is inextricably linked to the Efteling and now an indispensable part of the amusement park.
Another famous ride and true classic is Dreamflight. This is a dark ride where visitors fly through a dreamworld of forests, castles, fairies, trolls and other fairy-tale-like creatures and scenes.
Half Moon – Ship Swing
The Half Moon is a pirate ship swing ride. It is a copy of the VOC merchant Halve Maen of the Dutch East India Co. VOC. It is the largest pirate ship in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records.
Of course, the Efteling has many, many more attractions and rides. There are simply too many to name them all here. We took our four nieces and nephews who are all aged between 8 and 15 and I’ll list our and their favorites here: Baron 1898, Python, Joris en de Draak (George and the Dragon), Symbolica, De Vliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman), Halve Maen (Half Moon) and Pirana.
This is de Vliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman) rollercoaster.
This is the famous Efteling Pagode that towers high above the park and gives you the most amazing 360 degrees views of The Efteling.
Be careful you might get wet in the Piraña water slide attraction.
The Efteling also offers a lot of shows, this is the Raveleijn Park Show, one of the most famous ones.
It is of course great fun to go out to an amusement park for a day. But it is much more fun to spend the night at that amusement park and have access to the park for several days. Well, the best part, did you know that you can spend the night right next to the Efteling? Not many people do, so it’s time to change that!
The Netherlands is full of amazing things to do and tourist attractions. Check out our list of the best places to visit in The Netherlands to get some extra inspiration.
Enchanting overnight stays at Efteling
There is nothing better than upgrading a day at an amusement park to a weekend at the park with 1 or 2 overnight stays. The Efteling offers several options for an enchanting weekend in either hotels or holiday homes.
This unique hotel offers enchanting themed suites, comfort rooms and spacious junior suites. A stay at the Efteling Hotel always includes breakfast!
Holiday Village Efteling Loonsche Land
Holiday Village Loonsche Land is located in the middle of nature and has simple, cosy holiday homes, all made from natural materials.
Efteling Loonsche Land Hotel
Comfortable rooms in a central location. Apart from standard hotel rooms, this hotel also offers themed rooms in the middle of nature. Overnight stays here always include breakfast.
Holiday Village Bosrijk
A spacious holiday park where you can relax in attractive holiday homes by the water or between the trees.
We were lucky to stay at Holiday Village Bosrijk, so we’ll tell you all about it.
Our stay at Holiday Village Bosrijk Efteling
Holiday Village Bosrijk is a spacious holiday park which is located in the middle of the woods within walking distance of the Efteling Park. After a busy and exhilarating day at the Efteling you can relax here in peace and quiet by the water, at a cozy village square or in a detached house among the trees.
Holiday Park Efteling Bosrijk offers luxurious and attractive holiday homes, family rooms and group accommodations.
All accommodations and stays include unlimited access to the Efteling! At the Holiday Village you will find a restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is daily entertainment and you can find multiple areas with playground equipment to clamber on for kids.
Even though it’s only a short 10 to 15 minute walk from the Village to the Efteling, there is also a train available on most days. This train is available as an extra service. You can ask the reception for information about the train and its time schedule.
There are different types of accommodation you can choose from if you want to spend the night at Efteling Bosrijk.
There are six types of Holiday Homes you can choose from. They are all for 6 to 8 persons. You can sleep in an atmospheric Village House or a luxurious Woodland House. You can choose between standard and luxury versions and even with or without sauna.
You rather prefer a fully catered stay? You should then go for the centrally located Poorthuys family rooms and the secluded Landhuys family rooms.
Travelling to the Efteling with a larger group? No problem! You can stay with 12 to 24 persons in one of the Woodland Houses. These group accommodations are all fully equipped.
Boshuys (Woodland House)
We were given a holiday home, the Woodland House for 6 persons. It is located in the Efteling’s natural surroundings. All these holiday homes are detached. The charming house is equipped with all comforts.
It has a spacious living room on the ground floor with a fully equipped kitchen, separate dining and seating area, as well as a toilet and access to an outdoor terrace.
On the first floor you’ll find the three bedrooms along with a bathroom, with bath, shower and separate toilet.
The bedrooms have 2x2 box springs and 1 bunk bed.
I love the details that the holiday homes have. The children have really been taken into account with special plates and cutlery for the little ones. And how about special nightcaps and a reading book. Absolutely well thought of.
Being surrounded by nature is the best there is. You wake up to the sounds of whistling birds, so nice. Also with the kids it’s perfect. While we were getting ready, they were outside playing hide and seek or playing tag.
Eating & Drinking
Restaurant the Eethuys is located centrally in the park, right next to the reception area. It’s your place to go for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast is included when you stay overnight in a family room. When you stay in a holiday home breakfast is not included, but can be added.
The restaurant is also opened for lunch and dinner. We had dinner here on both evenings of our stay and can really recommend having dinner here at least once during your stay!
Another recommendation would be the pizza delivery they offer. A day at the Efteling exhausts you completely. So no time and no energy for taking care of dinner. Just scan the QR-code in your accommodation and place the order online. They deliver the pizzas for free. Too easy.
We had the privilege of having breakfast included during our stay. And we didn’t even have to go out to the Eethuys for it. At Bosrijk they also offer breakfast delivery to your holiday home. And that is exactly what we had. A large bag full of fresh bread, fruits, yoghurts, and everything you need for a delicious breakfast is being delivered to your door.
The bag will be placed in front of your door before 8.00 AM. So have a sleep in, gently wake up and make your way downstairs where breakfast is waiting. You can order breakfast delivery by scanning the QR code in your accommodation, or you can place the order at the order kiosk next to reception.
If you don't have breakfast delivered to your Efteling Holiday Home you can have breakfast in the restaurant. This is as well where you can have dinner if you still have energy after a whole day visiting The Efteling.
The Badhuys is located in the Poorthuys main building and only accessible for overnight guests staying at the Holiday Village Bosrijk and the Efteling Hotel. The Badhuys has a baby bath, paddling pool, large swimming pool and various play elements.
The weather was great when we visited the Efteling, so we were at the park from opening to closing, the full hours.
I can only imagine visiting the Badhuys swimming pool when the weather turns really bad. As you can tell, we didn’t visit the Badhuys during our visit.
Ever wondered who lives in the big sand castle in the middle of the lake in the Holiday Village Bosrijk? It’s Mr. Sandman! And the good news, you can meet him and his helper during your stay at the park.
You can find him at the Eethuys every morning from 8.00 to 9.45 AM and on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Poorthuys at two different timings. His storytelling is absolutely fantastic and the best bed time stories out there.
We understand, when visiting the Efteling you simply can’t leave without getting some souvenirs. However, no one likes to walk around with bags full of stuff all day while going from rollercoaster to rollercoaster.
Well, not a problem at all. Guests at the Efteling Hotel, Holiday Village Bosrijk and Holiday Village Loonsche Land have the privilege of having the Souvenir Express. All your souvenirs will be delivered at the reception of your hotel or holiday village.
Efteling & Holiday Village Bosrijk Review
Why would you visit the Efteling for just one day if you can easily stay there overnight and extend your visit to 2 or even 3 days?! The Efteling has multiple accommodation types where you can choose from. Obviously we only stayed at Holiday Village Efteling Bosrijk and it was everything you want and need when staying next to a massive theme park. Their holiday homes are spacious and fully equipped.
Even if you’re located at the rear end of the holiday village, the walk to the park is really short. And a big plus when you stay overnight because The Efteling Park opens half an hour earlier for guests of the Efteling Hotel, Efteling Bosrijk and Efteling Loonsche Land holiday parks. From then on you can visit a number of attractions and then enter the rest of the park.
We already truly liked the Efteling as being the best and most famous theme park in the Netherlands, but staying there overnight just adds this extra dimension. You really get into the enchanting spirits of the park for the full length of your stay.
A massive thank you is in order here for The Efteling for inviting us and organizing our visit down to the last detail.
This blog was written by travel writer and Traveltomtom team member Ashley. She was invited to visit and explore the Efteling on behalf of Traveltomtom, and wrote this blog about her experiences.
Enjoy your trip to The Efteling!