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There's A Magical Theme Park In Europe 'Better Than Disney' That Most People Haven't Heard Of

There's A Magical Theme Park In Europe 'Better Than Disney' That Most People Haven't Heard Of

It opened back in the 1950s – three years before Disneyland came to California

There’s a magical theme park in Europe that is billed by fans as being ‘better than Disney’, despite the fact many people have never even heard of it. Find out more about the attraction here:

Efteling is a fantasy-themed amusement park inspired by fairytales, folklore, myths and legends, which opened back in the 1950s – three years before Disneyland came to California. 

Located in Kaatsheuvel, the Netherlands, the site previously opened in 1935 as a sports park, before expanding over the years to incorporate attractions like a steam carousel, a high slide and a cable way. 

It wasn’t until 1952 that it officially evolved into a full-sized theme park, with the grand opening of the park's Fairytale Forest, designed by the famous Dutch illustrator Anton Pieck. 

Efteling theme park.

The forest originally focused on the 10 fairytales of Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The Frog Prince, The Magic Clock, The Chinese Nightingale, The Talking Parrot, Long Neck, The Gnome Houses, Mother Holle and Wee Walter Messenger, but has since gone on to incorporate many more – the latest being based on a Brothers Grimm story The Six Swans, which takes you through the story of six princes changed into swans by their jealous stepmother. 

The Six Swans at Efteling.

Along with the attractions, the theme park also puts on free of charge shows and entertainment, from the 'courageous riders of Raveleijn' to 'Europe’s biggest water show'.

There are various options for food and drink, including a traditional bakery called Bäckerei Krümel, pancake house Polles Keuken, a restaurant specialising in French fries called Frau Boltes Küche and a three-course 'Burgundian heroes' dinner' in the Het Wapen van Raveleijn restaurant.

Entry to Efteling costs from €38 per person, depending on which day you choose to visit, with group tickets also available at a discounted rate starting at €33 per person. 

Efteling during the festive season.

If you don’t mind arriving a little later, a ‘Moon Ticket’, costing just €22 each, allows entry for an evening visit after 6pm, meaning you can explore the park until closing time. However, these are only available until 4 September 2022. 

The site even boasts its very own holiday village with a hotel, holiday homes and 'Woodland Houses' for groups, including a luxury option sitting right by the lake.

Luxury lakeside Woodland House.

With all this on offer, it's no surprise that Efteling has a firm fanbase, with many people over the years comparing it to Disneyland – arguing that the Dutch alternative is even better.

One person tweeted: "I've said it once and I'll say it again, The Efteling in the Netherlands is a better theme park than Disneyland." 

Someone else also said: "Efteling will always be better than any Disneyland and that's a fact." 

Some people reckon it's 'better than Disneyland'.

Another wrote: "We found that @Eftelingin The Netherlands was far better than Euro Disney... Plenty to do and amazing accommodation." 

A fourth added: "I've been going to Efteling since I was a child. Love it there. I think it might even be better than Disney." 

Someone has even said it's better than any 'other European theme parks', which just shows what we're up against. 

Featured Image Credit: Efteling

Topics: World News, Theme Park