Friday morning I realized we were about to leave the Netherlands and had not been to Efteling, which many had described to me as the Dutch Disneyland (it's much better!). I considered going for the day as it's only a 50min drive from our house, but ended up booking us a night in their Holiday Village which included Friday and Saturday's entry into the park. We threw some clothes in a bag and off went.
The drive was super easy. I've driven 50min in Houston traffic before so this was cake. In no time we were pulling up in front of the pretty magical entrance to our Efteling holiday village- Bosrijk.
My expectations for the accommodations were pretty low, so I was really impressed by what we found. I paid an extra 25 euros to choose our location within the village and got a great spot close to the reception and restaurant as well as the parking lot and "train" stop which taxied guests to the park.
Calvin was still pretending to be sad about our trip at this point. He'd wanted to go back to Plaswijk park in Rotterdam for the day but I vetoed that idea. As my children are super spoiled with adventures, he had the incredible privilege of sulking over our trip to the largest amusement park in the Netherlands. Wait for it. You'll see his smile pretty soon :)
The little train saves you a 10 min walk to the park which isn't so bad. It's a paved footpath that meanders through a little forest. But I heard there would be a lot of walking inside the park, so we opted to hop on the train which came by our holiday house every 30 min.
The entrance to Efteling is interesting.
I took this photo on the last day as we were leaving in case you're curious about the outfit changes.
Efteling is not trying to grab your money at every corner, but the first thing inside the park is a little store and I wanted the kids to get in the spirit of the park. So of course I dressed my little dolls up. Calvin's shirt has a little cape on the back and Oliver got a little wizard's necklace.
I photoshopped this little map below of the park to point out to you two of my favorite rides; Symbolica and Droomvlucht. Do you see the little pink circles and yellow highlighted names? These rides are 100% family friendly and just completely magical. They can both have very long waits, but we managed to get in to Symbolica first thing with only a 5 minute wait. The next day we road Droomvlucht and the "20 min" line moved quick and no one complained. It was totally worth it.
It's too dark to take photos inside that really show you how magical it is, so you'll just have to trust me. Don't miss these rides!
Each little section of the park has rides for all ages, so whatever path you choose you will find something fun to do. The Efteling app was super helpful for knowing where we were going and what we were going to find when we got there. There is a lot of walking in this park so make sure you bring your stroller and carriers and all the things you'll need for that. My 6 and 8 year old never complained. The 4 year old needed a piggy back ride a couple of times, and the baby was in our stroller the whole time.
The trash cans are even fun!
There is a train that goes from the north west side of the park to the south east side. They may put up a fuss about you taking your stroller on even folded up. Luckily, we have the smallest profile stroller on the market (GB Pockit stroller- $150 on amazon) and no one said a word when I quietly tucked it under our seat on the train.
One last thing I want to mention about the Bosrijk holiday village is that the menu had veggies and dip for kids' appetizers for dinner, and the buffet breakfast, while expensive, was seriously really good. They even had little characters come visit us during meals. Super fun for them.
We had a fantastic time at Efteling and I really do recommend you guys take a day or two to see this park with your kids if you get the chance.