Day 1 of a three-day event with Pleasure Beach Experience took place at Efteling Theme Park in the Netherlands, where we had an hour’s ERT on Joris en de Draak before park opening as well as a full day at the park. First and foremost, the park was very accommodating to us, and the staff were all excellent and friendly.
With it being my first visit to Efteling I wasn’t too sure what to expect, but I’d probably describe the park as very quirky and unusual. There are a lot of nicely themed attractions and some fun coasters, and I really liked the large spanning lakes, exceptional use of audio and some weird and wacky features around the park.
Operations seemed very good aside from Baron, with multiple trains running and queues moving fast.
Unfortunately, on my visit Bob was closed (to then open a week later – spite!) as were Fata Morgana and Villa Volta.
Joris en de Draak x17 (ERT & a few afternoon rides)
Flying Dutchman x3
Baron 1898 x1
Rogel Vok x1
Carnival Festival x1
Onto the rides!
Joris en de Draak
Joris en de Draak is a fantastic racing wooden coaster with some incredible moments of airtime, strange banking and a very fun layout.
Similar to Wicker Man, the ride’s queue line is landscaped around the ride well with some good viewpoints of the ride and interaction over the lake.
I really enjoyed the racing element of the ride, with the trains breaking off from each other and then joining back side-by-side for the final section of the race. There were some fun interactions throughout the layout, too.
The sweeping turns at both ends of the ride’s layout were great fun and felt very forceful, especially the first one where you dive suddenly to the right-hand-side – brilliant!
Whilst both sides were brilliant I marginally preferred the blue one, due to an insanely brutal airtime hill that seems to appear out of nowhere… absolutely fantastic.
I liked the features the ride has such as the flag announcing the winner, cheering/booing in the station and the flags being draped for the winning train; fun little extras which the park didn’t have to do, but they make the experience better.
Having enjoyed Valkyria I was fairly confident that Baron would at least be a fun coaster, but unfortunately, I just didn’t enjoy it.
The theming is excellent. The way the music outside differs to that inside, the station building, pre-shows and everything else are just incredible, and it’s clear that a lot of detail has been put into the attraction.
Ascending the (incredibly well themed) lift hill with the ghostly singing ringing in your ears, you approach the top. I found the drop was too small to achieve the freefall sensation, and the ride that followed fairly weak; the inversions didn’t feel overly forceful, the helix felt a bit awkward and the airtime hill didn’t produce any airtime.
Baron 1898 is a visually impressive ride and a good themed experience, but that’s as far as it goes for me.
Wow! What a brilliant attraction.
From the incredible theming in the queue to the highly detailed station, the presentation of this ride is superb both internally and externally.
Giving a false sense of security, you deport the harbour and things soon take a turn for the worse… I really liked the use of atmospheric lighting and audio here, and the mist screen effect is so well executed. The indoor section had a few surprises, and the outdoor section was good fun too.
Really enjoyed this, despite it being a fairly short coaster. The inversions were forceful, as were the helix’s, and the entire ride was very smooth (I’m guessing due to the recent re-track). I wasn’t a fan of the vest restraints though, they felt very restrictive when compared with B&M’s version.
Vogel Rok was awesome, a really fun indoor coaster with some interesting visual effects, fun audio and a really good sensation of speed.
Symbolica has a really clever ride system and I enjoyed it, even if I didn’t fully understand what it was about! External presentation is fantastic here also.
Other attractions included Droomvlucht and the Rapids, both of which were done to a very high standard with some surprises. Also, that rapids music is so catchy!
Overall, I really enjoyed Efteling. It’s a big contrast to parks in the UK, and offers something different to any other park I’ve visited. I did feel that one day wasn’t enough to take everything in, as there were a few other attractions I’d have liked to experience. A few more photos below
Thanks for reading