Oh Efteling! Where to start? This place was just about the most magical place to visit for our Christmas and I have been itching to share these pictures with you since we got back home. I hope they do them justice as honestly it was one of the most incredible places I've ever been.
I first heard about Efteling over on the travel site Globalmouse Travels and made a mental note of how close it was to Amsterdam. I love that city and I knew it wouldn't be long until we returned (we've actually managed to visit three times in the last three years, I would move there in a shot, although that's another story!). So when we were kind enough to be invited to spend a couple of days at the park I knew that I wanted to plan it over the Christmas break. Tom and I had talked before about getting away from the madness but couldn't really justify as trip away, until the idea of Efteling came to play. We decided to make a week of it and spend two nights here and three days in Amsterdam so I'll post where we stayed and what we did there in a post shortly.
We stayed over in the village attached the park. Guests can chose between the hotel or the village (photos of the hotel below). We chose the village which is a ten minute walk away because it felt a little bit more festive and also because when we travel with the kids we love to have a bit more space and also a kitchen. We met families there who had booked for the whole week and brought their Christmas trees with them, you could see them twinkling in the windows and made the walk through the trees to the park even more festive. Honestly I could take pictures every 5 minutes but I did try and reign it in a little ;) The village also had a really lovely swimming pool as well as things like a pizza delivery service, resteraunt and fresh bread and pastries you can order to arrive at your door. I think you could really fill so many days there without it getting dull in the slightest. Two nights did feel like a good amount of time for us although that being said Wilf was sad not to spend another full day at the park (I doubt he really would have been happy to leave at all to be honest!).
We arrive late afternoon so after settling into our house we headed out for a couple of hours as the light was fading, this was our first experience of Efteling and seeing it in the moonlight with the street lamps and fairy lights sparkling felt even more enchanting. We wondered around taking everything in before deciding on our first and only ride of the evening before we headed to bed. We stumbled upon Droomvlucht without knowing what it was about at all. I'm really glad we didn't though as it was such a surprise! You can see a little of it in the video below but all of us couldn't stop saying 'wow!' at every twist and turn. I wish I could have recored Tom's reaction as we got off as I don't think I've ever heard him say anything was 'epic' before!ha!
We had decided in advance that as Wilf didn't know the difference we would pretend that Christmas was the next day (we were there over the 21st-23rd although the park is open all year round). So we hung out stockings for the kids and the next morning (fake Christmas) we strolled to the park for a full day. There was something even more special about this being our Christmas day especially as we left the park watching the light show and drinking mulled wine!
Our favourite rides (apart from Droomvlucht) were Fata Morgana and Carnaval Festival which were all perfect for young children. Apart from that we mainly spent the day walking through the Enchanted Forest and recognising the characters from fairytales we knew and loved and also ones we had no knowledge of (especially the donkey that poos gold coins, wish I'd recorded that one!).
If I'm honest Wilf at just-turned-five was at time apprehensive of the animatronics but as long as he was holding my hand he was OK, they've definitely had a impression on him as we've chatted about them a lot since. Although we've done a fair bit of travel whilst Wilf was littler we took a bit of a break last year when I was pregnant so the trips we've taken this year are ones I think he will really remember.
Wilf chose to go on this boat ride and we were initially worried he would get bored and want to get off (it takes around 20 minutes) but he was so interested in viewing the park this way and I'm so glad we did it as the scenery was just stunning.
Mabli slept through it ;)
Typical holiday snap ;)
We were also given a tour around the hotel and some of the themed rooms. Our favourite was definitely the Northen Lights suite, you can see a few more on the video below!
We were guests at Efteling but all thoughts and picture are my own and we would return in a shot, we loved it!
All clothing Boden Clothing apart from my Boots which are from Seven Boot Lane