After a bit of research, I found that the trains were cheap (30 Euros return) from Amsterdam to Efteling but as I was only interested in the roller coasters, 6 hours in the park would be enough. I whipped out my phone and found a deal arranged by Viator. For 63 Euros I got a coach to and from the centre of Amsterdam, with park entrance tickets and 6 hours in the park.
The Baron 1898
Surprisingly there was no queue to hinder me and I quickly made my way into the park where I was met by a sea of kids with bright orange hats, walking slowly, hand in hand. I had to think quick.
“Trying to read the huge map of the park I was given whilst dodging small children, unsurprisingly resulted in me becoming hopelessly lost with the happy coincidence that I ended up exactly where I wanted to be. The main attraction of the park The Baron 1898.
I am a great fan of Oblivion in Alton towers in the UK, It was my first ever roller coaster and the big, vertical drop still gives me a thrill.
The Baron has that same drop, but then it slaps the face of Oblivion by pulling a few roller coaster moves that Oblivion lacks.
As quickly as the dry ice in the drop tunnel hits your lungs, the half loop throws you out immediately into a half barrel roll, it’s a fantastic way to add to the vertical drop section.
Another barrel roll followed by a fast vertical helix takes you back to the station and a pulse calming hour long queue before going again.
When the Python opened in 1981 it was the largest steel coaster in mainland Europe. This double looping corkscrew coaster was designed by Vekoma and is still a fantastic ride.
In 2007, the train became stuck at the top of the lift. One employee started to evacuate the train while another tried to pull the car back. It started moving as people were being evacuated and the riders were quick to pull down the safety harnesses and continued through the rest of the ride, one employee was injured.
After the drag lift your ﬁrst drop, a fantastic 72 feet takes you right into a double loop. Exiting the second loop the ride grows horns and hits you with 3.5Gs . After a banked turn it then goes into a double corkscrew followed by a helix bend which slows the cars down for the entrance into the station.
The queue times were reasonable for mid-July at around 40 minutes. I left the exit with a huge smile on my face.
De Vliegende Hollander
(“The Flying Dutchman”)
De Vliegende Hollander is a a water coaster. Half of the ride is inside, mostly dark and holding some surprises. For a better view of the ride check out the video at the bottom of this post.
13 other intrepid passengers and I were loaded into a barge and departed for the gaping maw of a darkened tunnel where we encountered the holographic Flying Dutchman. We bobbed about, surrounded by water before being pulled up 22 metres to an open door. Plunging through this into almost blinding daylight we dropped with a curve before coasting back into darkness and some sneaky twists. A small bunny hop (as pictured) before dropping into more water to slow us down. During winter months a braking mechanism is also used here to minimise Splash.
This was only the second bob sleigh ride I’ve been on, the ﬁrst is at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in the UK.
Getting Pictures of the track was near impossible due to the ride being hidden in the trees.
Reaching speeds of around 40mph this ride was opened in 1985.
As the train left the staging area, you experience the unique (to this style of coaster) quiet acceleration and absence of rails. The high banked corners and fast turns are fun and you can’t help but smile as it gets faster and faster. At more than one point I felt like the car would come off the side of the ride which just adds to the excitement.
Joris en de Draak
I saved Efteling’s Joris en de Draak for the last ride of the day for one main reason, I have ridden woodies before, and I know how much they can hurt. The last time I Rode the Steeple Chase at Blackpool I left it a broken man; crawling oﬀ the ride bruised and winded on all fours.
Joris en de Draak is a wooden racing coaster opened in 2010 with two trains (Fire and Water) that go head to head in completing the 2600 feet of track the fastest.
The first thing I noticed was that the ride seats were very padded, the most padded I have seen on a woodie. I was fortunately riding solo, as the banks on woodies never seem to be backed enough and so you tend to end up crushed by or crushing your ride companion.
This ride feels fast! Hitting speeds of up to 47 mph it is faster than Bobbaan. The best parts of the ride for me was when I could see the other train. I got a real kick out of wanting to beat them back to the station. The trains do meet fairly often along the track, giving an exhilarating feeling of closeness between the two as they race along, although in reality there is naturally ample space between them. It doesn’t feel that way when on the ride.
This ride does throw you about so brace yourself but not to the point of being uncomfortable like most woodies I have ridden, altogether it was not as violent as I expected. I left the exit wanting more.
My six hours at Efteling, was perfect, I experienced all the rides I came wanting to try and left hungry to return. As a seasoned theme park attendee, I didn’t stop for food until I was on my way back to the coach, I grabbed a burger which was reasonably priced for a theme park. Another bonus to eating at this later time was no queue at the food stall.
(Top Tip: never eat at lunch time in a theme park, that is the time the rides are the emptiest. )
Drinks are a couple of euros and there are plenty of drinks machines around the park, Toilets or toiletten are few and far between, …at least in the areas of the park I was hanging out in.
There were a few pushing in incidents but mainly by over excited children that couldn’t wait any longer to get on the rides. I just let them get on with it, except for the one kid I allowed to push in front of me at the ride gates, his face was a picture when he was loaded onto a ride without his friends as they couldn’t get past me.
If you are in the Netherlands or Belgium and like a bit of adrenaline with your holiday I can’t recommend Efteling enough. I had a fantastic day out for a lot less than the price of a UK theme park.