Last Week on Inked Brownies

#SFATW: Things I love about Holland: the Efteling

Welcome to my first SFATW post! For those of you who are unaware of what this means, here’s a quick recap:

Souvenirs From Across The World (SFATW) is a feature created by Marie@Drizzle & Hurricane Books to get to know each other a little better, focussing especially on where we are all from, and share a bit from our countries, cities, cultures, traditions, writers, and authors while we’re at it.The main goal of Souvenirs From Across The World is to create a link between all bloggers, from everywhere, and to share a bit of the diversity that makes everyone unique on the blogosphere.

This month (September 11th – October 9th)’s theme is:


Because my hometown is nothing but a little shitling on the map of Holland and I don’t want everyone on the interwebz to know where to find me, the hometown option was a no-go zone. So I made a list of beautiful/fascinating places/things for tourists to go to when it hit me: my most favourite place EVER happens to be in Holland as well. And because there are just too many awesome things to show you and tell you about, I decided to dedicate this entire post to it.

Let’s all just pretend that this is my hometown for today and let me welcome you to the fabulous world of:


Wait, what the heck is this? Is she talking about a theme park?! Yes, but no; the Efteling isn’t just some kind of theme park.

“It’s is a fantasy-themed amusement park in Kaatsheuvel . The attractions are based on elements from ancient myths and legends, fairy tales, fables, and folklore.

The park was opened in 1952. It has since evolved from a nature park with a playground and a Fairy Tale Forest into a full-sized theme park. It now caters to both children and adults with its cultural, romantic, and nostalgic themes, in addition to its wide array of amusement rides.

It is the largest theme park in the Netherlands and one of the oldest theme parks in the world. It is twice as large as the original Disneyland park in California and antedates it by three years. Annually, the park has more than 4 million visitors. Over the years, it has received over 100 million visitors.”

It’s (as they happen to advertise it themselves as well) a world of wonders that I’ve been visiting since I was like, three years old. You’d think the magic would have lost its spell over me by now, but hells no, I’m still occasionally having nightmares about going there and not being able to see everything in time before the park closes.

After a mere 30-minute car ride with music from the Efteling CD blasting out of the speakers, we arrive at the entrance:

Efteling Entrance

Now isn’t that a sight for sore eyes already?? (yes, please ignore the obvious tourists in clothing from the ’90’s here)

With 4 million visitors a year, Efteling is the most popular day trip in the Netherlands and one of Europe’s leading theme parks.

Here’s a little bit of history before I take you through the gates of AWESOME. (Don’t worry, I won’t add every little detail because it would bore the crap out of you)

In 1933, Chaplain Rietra and Father De Klijn come up with a plan to create a sports ground to the south of Kaatsheuvel.

Two years later, on 19 May 1935, the Roman Catholic Sports and Recreation Park opens, comprising a football pitch, two training pitches and a playing field. A year later, these are joined by a playground with a merry-go-round, a tall slide, a zip wire and a pony trekking course.

In 1950, Mayor R. J. Th. van der Heijden, Peter Reijnders and Anton Pieck establish the Efteling Nature Park Foundation. Its aim is to encourage “the physical development and recreation of the residents of the Loon op Zand municipality, and to promote tourism to and within the municipality, all in a catholic spirit”.

Even though it doesn’t contain any roller coasters or attractions with special CGI techniques (edit: it actually does in a couple of fairy tales) and whatnot, one of the absolute must-sees is The Fairytale Forest.
Efteling is known as the custodian of fairy tales in the Netherlands. And with good reason. Where else would you find so many fairy tales in the same place? There is much to learn about fairy tales.

The Fairytale Forest opened on 31 May 1952 and is now a 15-acre (61,000 m2) wooded section where a number of well-known fairy tales and fairy tale figures are depicted by animated statues and buildings. Most of the figures are inspired by the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, and Charles Perrault.

Here’s a small impression of what the Fairy Tale Forest looks like today:

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Of course, this is only a small representation; you can see the full selection of fairy tales in the forest HERE.

The entire park is divided into five realms. One of them is the entree which is kinda weird but all for the sake of being able to find things easily I guess. Although the park was not built with these divisions in mind and the names may seem cryptic, they do make sense. The other four themed realms are:

Travel Realm

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Fairy Realm

(the Fairytale forest is also part of this)

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Adventure Realm

This is where the rough stuff happens…

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Other Realm

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My favourite attraction?

It’s really hard to pick one because everything is so amazing, but I can never get enough of The Bird Roc. It’s an indoor rollercoaster which is completely in the DARK. The story (because there’s a story to every attraction) is based on the adventures of Sinbad. In this particular scenario, he’s hanging from one of the feet of a Roc while it’s flying through the night sky. So while you’re flying through the dark atness 65 km/h with a 3.5 g force, you occasionally see stuff like floating crystals and a bird’s nest. No cool photos here because, you know, darkness and all.

My least favourite attraction?

I’d have to go for the Baron 1898 here because I’ve never been on it. Not because I didn’t have the chance to but because it’s a dive coaster and it just looks too terrifying in combination with my dizzy spells at the moment.

The food!

Just like there are so many themes inside the park, there are so many different types of food as well. There are several Dutch pancake houses, normal restaurants, a Chinese takeaway stand, a 1001-nights inspired takeaway stand, lots of cotton candy, popcorn, cupcakes, and brownies, an Italian restaurant, a Burgundian restaurant based on a knights and dragons theme etc. etc.

And, of course, when it’s winter (the park’s open all year) and the entire park transforms into a winter wonderland, there are sausage stands on every bloody corner. Pork sausages, mind you, which I’m allergic to!


I could go on and on about this fantastic place and I will, but I won’t. You can bury me here is all I’m saying. Here are some pictures of me at the Efteling when I was still a little turd.ccf04102016_00001



I particularly like the shocked dramatic look I’m giving here while my sister hauls me out of this giant mushroom. Even looks like I might’ve just shat myself as well…

So now you know it: if you ever visit Holland, forget about Amsterdam and go here instead! There might not be any marijuana for sale (not that I know of, at least) but there are plenty of shrooms and mirages at the Efteling to make up for that.

For better pictures, videos, and information, go

About Anne (231 Articles)
Dutch book reviewer who reviews in English. Grammar nazis beware!! I like brownies. And chamomile tea.

60 Comments on #SFATW: Things I love about Holland: the Efteling

  1. Mybookfile // 04/10/2016 at 18:59 // Reply

    All the memories ^^ absolutely loved holle bolle gijs 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WOW! WOW! WOW! I WANT TO GOOOOOOOOOO! You seriously can’t do the entire park in one day though, right? I am planning on visiting someday (after my son gets into graduate school and I can once again spend my own money, ha ha). I want to visit all of my ancestors’ homelands, and the Netherlands is one of them. Thanks for sharing this and your adorable childhod pics. 😀

    PS: I love your new background.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 ❤ You can, but you should definitely take more time for it ;). It also depends on the season. Right now, there are only very short waiting lines, and since fall is my favourite time of the year anyways: guess who scored a cheap ass ticket?! 😉 That would be so awesome! Don’t forget to stop by if you ever do! 😀 ❤ Thank you! I’m quite smitten with it myself as well :O


  3. Wow, this is mighty cooool! Netherlands has been on the to go list for myself and hubby. Obviously we can’t miss this place when we do manage to get our ducks in a row and hop on the plane! 😁
    Love the pictures of little you 😊 adorable!

    Also- love the new look on the blog! Very pro! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • :3 If ye ever do, this is only 30 minutes away from mah house! ^^ Amsterdam is SO overrated, you’ve seen it in 2 hours: filth and weird people mostly. Haha, I searched my arse off to find those pics this afternoon, so that’s good to hear! ❤ Thank you! It took up a lot of my time, but I’m so in love with it now. Unsuspecting strangers will think this is a pro website and then stumble upon a sausage poem XD


  4. I NEED TO GO THERE, wow. What a fantastic post, and thank you SO much for your contribution to my little feature ❤ I love these pictures I love this whole idea and I want to go there right now ahah. These pictures of you are the cutest! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow that news ticker and all, this looks amazing!! I really want to go to the Efteling now too! I went with school once when I was 12 or so and I can’t remember anything from the attractions, only that I lost my little group of friends and spent my day walking around trying to find them. I finally joined another little group but against my will ;-).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! Screwing up your theme can be a good thing in the end ;). I’m so happy with it now! It should be relatively close by! 😉 Hahahaha, omg, the childhood trauma! No wonder you never went back afterwards XD. If you ever get lost there again, you can call me! Or you know, call the people you’re with…cell phones sigh.


  6. I want to go through the Gates of Awesome! I love fairy tales.. so jealous! So I clicked the link to explore, but this concerns me haha

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Me and the wife have talked about going to your country. On the way to rediscovering my Norwegian and Scottish roots. Looks very nice there, even better with some ganja.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow, nice place!! Not too sure you would’ve ever gotten me on the drop coaster though, as much as I used to love roller coaster that straight down stuff isn’t for me. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  9. rashthedoctor // 05/10/2016 at 06:51 // Reply

    Woah! this looks absolutely fantastic . I’m supposed to go to Germany in February next year , maybe I’ll make a slight detour to this place.

    very interesting blog feature as well, i think I may give it a go sometime as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Let me know if you do! 😉 I live right around the corner! Sort of…You totally should! I, for one, am very interested to see some things from your local area. Or India in general!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I really hope I get some time off to write mine before Oct 9th, but I’m so happy you did youuuurs! WHAT??? I need to visit this theme park! I used to love them as a kid, but this one sounds just as awesome for adults! It does not have the silly aspect of usual theme parks and it looks filled with fantastic attractions and stories. How did I not know about it? I totally need to come and visit you and the park!!
    How can the sausage queen be allergic to pork sausages?? That’s awful!

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s still pleeeeenty of time left ;). Haha! But you’ve got Disneyland Paris, though :D. I’ve never been there because it seems awesome but very crowded at the same time. There are way less people dressed up like cartoon figures in this one for sure ;). YES!!! I’ve got enough anti-anxiety medication for the both of us to get in the dive coaster as well XD. I know 😥 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  11. bookheathen // 06/10/2016 at 18:09 // Reply

    How interesting! I don’t care for marijuana but I loved your shifting pictures; you make Efteling seem very attractive indeed. I think one has to love one’s own country more than a little if one is to fall in love with others. [doesn’t mean I have to love its politics!]

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh this looks like such fun! Yumm love the sound of the food! And I’ve always wanted to go to Holland (though if I went I don’t I couldn’t miss out on Amsterdamn- it’s my dream to go to the Rijks museum!)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Fairies! That themepark looks so cool! I want to come just for that and some pancakes. Now I know why you kept asking about IHOP. 😂 Lol I’ll admit I know nothing about Holland, but that does look like a lot of fun. That beats Disney or Six Flags here. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Cool post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, I got married in a pancake house last year actually :D. The ceremony, the dinner, the party, EVERYTHING was done in the pancake house <3. I’m not a sausage queen at all, but shhhhh! Plus IHOP is where you take your girlfriend after you’ve physically abused her or so I’ve heard! Ha! Stay tuned for more stuff about Holland then during the coming months ;). Thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Omg…I want to go!
    If I signed up for that souvenir around the world thing where you swap internationally and give a box with books and goodies, do I do a post like this? Where do I find info on how to do this thing right? Lol.
    Btw, you need to smuggle me into Holland. I don’t care about shrooms or marijuana…all I care about is the fantasy theme park! I. Am. In. Love. 😍😍😍😍😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • ❤ Lord if I know!! XD I don’t think you have to though…Damn, now I’m confused as well!
      Hahaha, I’m going to order some stuff from the US soon anyways, maybe you could sneak into the box, depending on how bendy you are XD.


  15. katelynnhillier // 18/10/2016 at 20:56 // Reply

    HOW HAVE I NEVER HEARD OF THIS?! This is magnificent and absolutely wonderful and will be my first stop in Holland! Are you getting commission on future sales? Because you’ve sold me – on admission and a cemetery plot. This looks like the happiest place on earth! ♥
    We have an Enchanted Forest in Canada that I went to once as a child – my mother thought it was the most ridiculous thing because it’s not interactive and just has mushrooms and little fairy huts all over the place – but I absolutely LOVED IT. Every time I head west I keep working to try and stop, forgetting that it’s FOUR AND A HALF HOURS AWAY FROM ME which is just painful. My heart aches. But now I will fill it knowing that Efteling exists and I WILL GO THERE SOMEDAY!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahaha, IF ONLY!!! God damnit, that would’ve been a brilliant idea since tickets for it are SO bloody expensive. You can lie next to me on the cemetery. Creepy? Yes. Awesome? Also yes. Oooh, I just checked it out and while your mother was right about it not being very interactive..who cares?! It’s absolutely fabulous to walk through it!! We’ve got a couple of similar ones like this one (the Enchanted Forest) spread across Holland as well. Not much happening there but WHEEEEE!! Oh man, I feel your pain. Canada’s just too big to only have one of those! O_o

      Liked by 1 person

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  1. #SFATW: What I Love About France and Alsace | Drizzle & Hurricane Books
  2. #SFATW: A Dutch Bookish Guide – Inked Brownies

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