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Efteling (De Efteling) is the biggest and most popular theme park resort in The Netherlands, located in Kaatsheuvel (province of North Brabant).

It opened in 1952, and has evolved from a nature park with a playground and a fairy forest into a full-sized amusement park. Its main themes encompass fantasy and romanticism based on legends, fairy tales, folklore and myths, and its most recognizable designs are the trademark of Anton Pieck. The park's mascot is Pardoes, a jester and magician, and its signature rides include "Python", "Baron 1898", "De Vliegende Hollander", "Symbolica", "Joris en de Draak" and "Pagode".

It had over 5 million guests in 2017, which makes it the third most popular theme park resort in Europe behind Disneyland Paris and Europa-Park.

The Official Youtube channels for "Pardoes", "Sprookjesboom", "Jokie", and the park itself.

Efteling has its own Youtube series called "De Magische Klok" which is a retrospective of the park and it's previous attractions. They also created a documentary on Anton Pieck, the main designer and illustrator for the park's "Fairytale Forest" section.

Efteling also has its own dedicated theater called "Efteling Theater" located near the park's entrance. The theater features live stage shows and musical adaptations based on Efteling's version of public domain fairy tales and mythology. Some of their previous shows can be viewed on the [["Efteling Theater" Youtube Channel in it's entirety.

See also the character sheet for the park's own storytellings.

Rides that have their own pages:

The park provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Species Change: The Fairy Tale Forest features a dragon with wings and four legs. In the TV-series "Sprookjesboom", the dragon has only two legs, which makes him practically a wyvern.
  • Adapted Out: "Langnek", a long-necked man who can be seen in the Fairy Tale Forest, hails originally from a story called The Six Servants, in which he is one of the titular servants. Although a bust of one of the other servants can be found, the other four servants are only seen as drawings on the wall at the ice-cream shop near Langnek.
  • All-CGI Cartoon: Efteling has produced two CGI animated shows based on their properties:
    • The first is Sprookjesboom, created in 2006, which stars a selection of different characters from the park's Fairy Tale Forest in a Fairy Tale Free-for-All-setting.
    • The second is called Jokie, which was created in 2012. It stars the characters Jokie and Jet from the Carnaval Festival ride.
  • Alternate Company Equivalent: Carnaval Festival is very similar to "It's a small world" at the Disney Theme Parks. Both of these rides feature stereotypical depictions of different cultures, childlike puppets and catchy music.
  • "Arabian Nights" Days: Fata Morgana is a dark ride with 140 animatronics in a One Thousand and One Nights setting, complete with turbaned magicians and seers, belly dancers, pet tigers, djinns and royal harems.
  • The Artifact: The location in the Fairy Tale Forest where currently the dragon resides was formerly occupied by the Chinese nightingale. The branch where the nightingale used to sit is still standing in front front of the wall where the dragon resides upon.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: Averted in Fata Morgana, where all characters speak real Arabic phrases.
  • Ascended Extra:
    • O.J. Punctuel started out as a minor background character in the drawings and TV-series about Pardoes universe. Starting with the "Symbolica" ride in 2017, O.J. Punctuel is now a supporting character hosting the behind the scenes videos and the Symbolica ride, showing up as a meetable character in the park and hosting some events. He even starred in his own music video in February 2019.
    • "Langnek" is only a minor character in the fairy tale "The Six Servants", but his incarnation in the park's Fairy Tale Forest has gained a status as one of its most iconic figures.
  • Audio Adaptation:
  • Belly Dancer: Fata Morgana features several.
  • Big Eater: "Holle Bolle Gijs" is a character of a fat man who can be found in numerous incarnations throughout the park where he serves as a trash can. The character asks repeatedly for paper and he thanks visitors if they put garbage in his mouth.
  • Bizarrchitecture: The park contains numerous examples.
    • "Villa Volta" is a house that, after its owner got cursed, does not follow the laws of physics anymore.
    • The attraction "Het Volk van Laaf" is made up as a an entire village full of assymetric, crooked architecture created by the fictitious people of Laaf.
    • The park's entrance building called "The House of the Five Senses" is in fact a wooden construction with a thatched roof containing five conical towers.
  • Break the Haughty: The owner of the "Villa Volta" house used to be a very arrogant and selfish man. When he treated someone very condescending for calling him out about his being a thief, he got cursed. Now he is a sad, tormented man.
  • Bright Castle:
    • "Symbolica", more or less the park's equivalent of the Sleeping Beauty/Cinderella castle from the Disney parks.
    • The castle of Sleeping Beauty in the Fairy-tale Forest is also a archetypical example, despite its rather small size.
  • Calling a Rabbit a "Smeerp": The haunted castle features a characters which is called 'the enchanted crow', but merely looks like a dragon-like creature.
  • Captured by Cannibals: The theme of a merry-go-round called "Monsieur Cannibale", in which visitors were seated in 'cooking pots' gyrating around the figure of a cannibal chef, accompanied by the song "Monsieur Cannibale" by French artist Sacha Distel. After drawing multiple protests over the years due to the racial caricature of the cannibal chef, the ride was completely re-themed to Sindbad the Sailor in 2021, with the cooking pots becoming merchant ships.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Pardoes's original friends Paddel and Pieter Muis vanished from Efteling merchandise and the Pardoes universe around 2005. They still can be seen as portraits in the Pardoes Suite in Efteling Hotel.
  • Cool Old Guy: Klaas Vaak is a friendly and energetic person who's passionate with his job as The Sandman. He loves creating special sand to help give children and people pleasant dreams and dislikes when their dreams turn nightmarish and unpleasant.
  • Denser and Wackier: The TV show De Sprookjesboom Show portrayed many fairy tale characters from the park in a more cartoony fashion but is very lighthearted with frequent musical numbers.
    • The TV show later gained a spin off called De Sprookjesboom Show, which is a lot more humorous and goofy compared to the original CGI series. The characters are all portrayed as puppets.
  • Dragon Hoard: The Fairy Tale Forest features a dragon called "Draak Lichtgeraakt" guarding a treasure box. Guests can wake up the dragon by pulling on a crown inside the treasure box.
  • Drunken Song: While guests are in the queue for "De Vliegende Hollander". A group of unseen men is heard singing a drunken version of the ride's theme song.
  • Fairy Tale Free-for-All: It's notably averted in the park's famous Fairytale Forest, where all different depicted fairy tales stand on their own. The trope is present however, in derivative works, such as the succesfull Sprookjesboom-franchise and live shows featuring the characters.
  • Fantasy Landmark Equivalent: Symbolica, its own equivalent to the Disney Theme Parks' castles were modelled after Neuschwanstein, the famous Big Fancy Castle of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. It's smaller and the towers are square-shaped, however.
  • Flying Dutchman: The mystery dark ride/splash rollercoaster "De Vliegende Hollander" is all about the original sea legend involving the Dutch East Indies Company in the late 17th century (i. e. no reference to how the story plays out in either Richard Wagner's opera or Pirates of the Caribbean).
  • Funny Animal:
    • Efteling's version of The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids are portrayed as funny animals.
    • Rattar (Pantagor's henchman in the Symbolica universe) is an anthropomorphic rat.
  • Giant Flyer: The dark indoor rollercoaster "Vogel Rok" is themed after a mythical bird of prey, the Roc. The entrance itself is a giant one.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: While the main antagonists of The Wolf and The Seven Young Kids (The Wolf), Hansel and Gretel (The Witch) and Tom Thumb (The Giant), don't get along very often in Sprookjesboom. They are seen singing along with the protagonists in some episodes. They are also much friendlier and humorous in Sprookjesboom Show.
  • Haunted Castle: "Spookslot". Unlike most theme park examples, it's not a dark ride. It's a show that blends the use of animatronics, lighting of the scenery, music and sounds effects, and thus emphasizes the beauty and romantic aspect of its ruins setting over spookiness.
  • Haunted House: "Villa Volta" is a Mad House ride, the story of which is that its owner got cursed, after which everything in the house got lopsided.
  • I Am a Humanitarian: The teacups ride "Monsieur Cannibale". The teacups in which the guests sit are pots and there is a giant cannibalistic tribesman with Savage Piercings in the middle.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: Benjamin the goat from The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids and Jokie appeal to younger guests. Benjamin is also one of the main characters in the animated series ''Sprookjesboom'' and shows up in live shows as a puppet.
  • Leitmotif: Pardoes Promenade, a song heard as guests first enter the theme park serves as the character theme for Pardoes and Pardijn. It also served as the park's theme song in earlier promotional material and eventually the Symbolica theme since the ride's opening in 2017.
  • Live-Action Adaptation: In 2011, Efteling created a 13 episode TV series starring Pardoes called "Pardoes en de vele Veranderingen" that aired on Nickelodeon in the Netherlands. The series serves as a Prequel, showing how Pardoes was chosen as the savior and hero of Symbolica, with Almar and King Pardulfus preparing him to go up against Pantagor and Rattar. The series also explores the lives of the characters outside of their royal duties, with one episode dedicated to Pardulfus's young life before he became king of Symbolica. In 2016, Efteling created a Youtube channel that has all the episodes from the series that can be viewed worldwide.
  • Long Neck: This guy, whose name is "Langnek". He comes from the fairy tale The Six Servants by The Brothers Grimm.
  • Magic Music:
    • In the "Symbolica" attraction, the music route takes guests to a magic organ which contains various instruments. Guests have to interact with the screen on their vehicle in order for the music to play.
    • In the TV series De Magische Wereld Van Pardoes, Pardoes uses his magic to perform on a trumpet which plays a role in the 5th episode. Pantagor casts a spell that makes music at Hartenhof play off-key on the day the kingdom is about to perform a concert. Almar sends Pardoes and Pardijn out to find a magic flower that only activates when one of them sings.
  • Mayincatec: The river rapids ride "Piraña" is themed after different pre-Columbian South American civilizations.
  • Named by the Adaptation: Efteling's creation of a new series called Sprookjesboom based on the characters featured in Fairy Tale Forest resulted in one of the goat kids being given a name. The goat child that survived from the wolf and hid in the clock is named Benjamin. Benjamin has been very popular with child guests since 2008. Before the existence of Sprookjesboom, the goat children were unnamed.
  • The Musical:
  • Never Smile at a Crocodile: Fata Morgana features menacing crocodiles.
  • Non-Ironic Clown: Pardoes is a Court Jester rather than a clown, but he's still very much both a friendly, cheerful entertainer and a heroic magician.
  • No Name Given: The six goat children from The Wolf and The Seven Kids are unnamed, while Benjamin (the goat that hidden in the clock) is the only one given a name.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: The wooden rollercoaster "Joris en de Draak" is based on the legend of Saint George. A giant animatronic dragon is attached to it, and it is very much a Western-type one.
  • Product Placement: The former 4D cinema "Panda Droom" was established in cooperation with the WWF, which resulted in a lot of examples of this trope.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: In the past, the park mostly used existing music as soundtracks for its attractions. The music of "Spookslot" (Haunted Castle) is a well-known piece of classical music, "Danse Macabre" by Camille Saint -Saëns, and the musical mushrooms in the Fairytale Forest play the well-known "Menuet in G Majeur" by Christian Petzold (commonly attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach). Only in the 1980's, the park started to consistently providing new attractions with originally composed soundtracks.
  • On Ice: Efteling used to have an ice show starring Pardoes in the park called Efteling on Ice. The show only ran for one year in 2001.
  • The Sandman: Efteling has it's own interpretation of The Sandman mythos called "Klaas Vaak" introduced in 2009. Klaas Vaak lives in a castle and travels by riding a night owl at an unknown location. He creates magical sand to help children have pleasant dreams with some assistance from a group of gnomes. Klaas Vaak starred in a web series called "Sprookjes van Klaas Vaak" creates scenes (via making drawings on sand) from various fairy tales while reading the stories out loud. Efteling later created a musical stage show which expands the character's role and universe.
  • Scenery Porn: The whole park is well known for its beautifully maintained greenery and natural landscaping, so much so that many people over the years have speculated that Walt Disney copied it for his own parks (he didn't.)
  • Snakes Are Sinister: The tracks of the "Python" rollercoaster are modelled like a snake's skeleton, and a hissing snake head with glowing eyes and an animated tongue greets guests at the entrance.
  • Stewed Alive: Up until 2021 there was a merry-go-round called "Monsieur Cannibale" in which visitors were seated in 'cooking pots' gyrating around the figure of a cannibal chef, accompanied by the song "Monsieur Cannibale" by French artist Sacha Distel.
  • Subverted Trope: The park subverts a number of common theme park tropes. To wit:
    • Most big parks (and the Disney ones above all) have at least a few Merchandise-Driven rides and attractions based on pop culture IPs and shops attached to them. Efteling has none, featuring Public Domain themes and its own characters, storytelling and merchandise instead (and most of the latter is concentrated in one big shop at the entrance).
    • The Haunted Castle is a show of animatronics, sound and light instead of a dark ride.
    • Pirates are a staple of animatronics-heavy adventure-based dark rides in most parks. Efteling has an "Arabian Nights" Days ride instead.
    • The "teacups" of the teacups ride are pots in which a cannibalistic giant cooks the guests instead of actual teacups.
    • The park's fairy castle ("Symbolica") has square towers with onion domes instead of more classic cylindrical towers with conical roofs.
  • The Theme Park Version: "Carnaval Festival" is an 8-minutes trip around a theme park version of the world, with the ride's signature character (Jokie) reproducing easily recognizable clichés from each continent.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The fictional people of Laaf, who inhabit the eponymous themed area Het Lavenlaar, form a communtity which only consists of male characters with their archmother and matriarch Lot as the single female.
    • The same is true for the gnomes in the gnome village, where apart from all the male gnomes only one female gnome can be seen.
  • Tilting Tower of Pisa: The Italy section of the Carnaval Festival ride features a model of the tower of Pisa wobbling back and forth a bit as someone pushes against it to keep it from falling over.
  • Urban Legend: Rumors have circulated for years that Walt Disney visited Efteling in the 50s and directly modeled his own theme parks on Efteling, enough for the speculative connection to have its own sub-heading on the park's Wikipedia page. Disney never actually visited the park himself and Efteling management eventually dispelled the rumors themselves, however, the two companies maintain a great working relationship, and Disney Imagineers have even sought advice from Efteling's own staff when constructing the Paris expansion.
  • Warning Song: Performed by the "Witte Wieven" in a preshow and just before the car ascends the lifthill on "Baron 1898".
  • With Lyrics: The song "Pardoes Promenade" was given lyrics in the TV series in the 5th episode "Pardoes en het Bijzondere Bezweringsbrouwsel", where it is first heard when Rattar is singing briefly in Pantagor's layer before Pantagor stops him. Pardijn sings the full song while performing at the end of the episode.
  • You Dirty Rat!: Rattar the rat is Pantagor's main henchmen, who does his dirty work by messing with the citizens of Symbolica.
  • You Must Be This Tall to Ride: One must be at least 1.2 meters tall to be allowed on the rollercoasters.