The Efteling Experience

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Efteling (October 2015)

I have been dreaming of going to Efteling the moment I read about it in Lonely Planet’s Guide. This theme park is nothing short of amazing, and truly can be defined as the “Dutch version of Disneyland”. A group of ten friends who live in my building and I ventured to the park, which is about forty five minutes away by train and bus. Efteling has an aurora of magic; every structure looks like it came straight out of a fairy tale. Everywhere one goes, there is beautiful music playing – even along empty pathways. All of the attractions are based from Dutch folk lore, such as the Fairyland which has a Dutch version of many popular fairy tales like Sleeping Beauty.

Among many of the amazing rides, one of my favourites was The Baron. It is a new roller coaster that simulates a rich man sending his miners down into haunted gold mines. I went on this ride by myself and I sat in the front row! It was exhilarating, as at part of the ride, I hung from a very high drop looking down into the misty, underground mine. It was a scary, yet exhilarating experience.

What I really enjoyed about this park is that every aspect of the park is a well thought out experience. Even the ATMs (as you can see in a photo above) were pre-planned and this one was displayed as a magical steampunk contraption. Though the line for a ride may be over an hour, there was always so much to look at along the way. For example, in one of the rides, the line trails through a haunted house with beautiful “old” rooms, trinkets, and a theme of ancient ships. All of the food is typical Dutch, and so very greasy! For lunch I ate fries with mayonnaise (my favorite snack) and a cheese croquet.

One of my most favorite moments was riding a roller coaster called The Python. The park was nearly closed and the line was quite short. The ride simulates a snake’s body and twirls and swirls with many gut-wrenching moves; but first, it drags you up to the highest point of the amusement park. The sun was going down at this time and we had the most beautiful view of the surrounding area.

I heard a quote the other day that went something like this, “There is a sunrise and a sunset every day. It is your choice to choose to be there for it. You can choose to put yourself in the way of beauty.” So my friends, I hope that no matter where you are in the world, you take notice of this amazing life that you have, and even if it is just for a moment, get out there and experience something beautiful.

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