Planning to visit Efteling in winter? You will find all the essential Efteling tips in this post.
I visited the theme park Efteling in winter together with my sister and my three-year-old niece for two days. My previous visit to this theme park dates back to primary school.
As a child, I thought this beautiful theme park world was awesome, so I was very excited to go on an unforgettable family short break and rediscover the magical theme park.
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Efteling Tips: Visiting Efteling in Winter
What is the Efteling?
The Efteling is the largest fantasy theme park in the Benelux area which attracts more than five million visitors annually. This amusement park features myths, legendary fables, fairy tales, and folklore.
The Dutch park opened its doors in 1952 which makes it one of the oldest theme parks in the world!
It became world-famous thanks to its full-sized fantasy Fairytale forest and several themed attractions that were added along the way. The park nowadays covers roughly 72 hectares.
Entrance fees for the Efteling
Listed below are entrance fees for the Efteling:
- Adults and children from 4 years old: €40.
- 60+ and disabled guests: €38.
- Children up to 3 years: Free access to the park
Book your tickets online, to save two euros.
Where exactly is Efteling located?
The Efteling is located in the Netherlands. Specifically, it lies in the village of Kaatsheuvel in the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant, near Breda and Tilburg.
If you are arriving by air, the closest airport is Eindhoven. From the airport, you can take the bus and train then the bus again to Efteling.
It is only a 1-hour drive up north out of Antwerp, Belgium, so it makes it easy to visit from other places in the Benelux.
How far is Efteling from Amsterdam, Brussels, or the UK?
From Amsterdam, you will be 1 hour and 15 minutes on the road by car. Without a car, you can take the train to get to Efteling. So from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) to De Efteling, take the train and then line 301 bus via Breda. The entire trip takes close to 2 hours, and costs €25 – €55.
From Brussels, it is 1 hour 30 minutes by car.
From London/UK, you can take a train from London King’s Cross to De Efteling via Rotterdam Centraal, and Tilburg Centraal Station to reach Kaatsheuvel. It takes around 5 hours to get there.
Address Efteling: Europalaan 1, 5171 KW Kaatsheuvel, the Netherlands.
Do you need a car to visit Efteling?
Efteling can easily be reached by public transportation from the Netherlands and Belgium. You will have to make connections to one of the following stops
- the Park,
- Efteling Hotel,
- Holiday Village Efteling Bosrijk or
- Holiday Village Efteling Loonsche Land.
You can use buses, trains or a combination of both to get to these landmark places, and then get to the park.
How many days should you plan for Efteling?
If you visit Efteling with small kids, an overnight stay is not a superfluous luxury. You will easily need two full days if you want to discover the whole park and enjoy most of the attractions and rides.
Efteling hotel located next to the park is perfect for accommodation. They are pretty expensive and in demand, so book them in advance. Hotel prices start at $250 USD per night.
Stay at the Loonsche Land Hotel Rooms and Private Homes
Loonsche Land Hotel is located near Efteling and it offers 75 private rooms for visitors to stay and enjoy the views. You can also book a theme hotel, or opt for a regular suite.
Loonsche Land Hotel is great for families traveling with kids as they can enjoy the playground, or enjoy the walking trails. For adults, there is a restaurant and a souvenir store onsite plus board games at the bar!
You can enjoy seasonal and local produce from the hotel’s garden, and delight yourself with their amazing breakfast, lunch, or dinner menu.
All Loonsche Land Efteling hotel stays include breakfast and access to the park during the entire stay. Parking is provided on-site for free.
Ensure you download the app, as it offers practical information
As you might know by now, Efteling is huge. I recommend downloading their app to get all the information about park attractions, rides, etc. to plan your trip.
Remember to download the app prior to your trip, so that you can save some data.
The app is super handy in the winters as it will alert you about weather conditions, or ride updates (temporarily shut down), etc. Plus it tracks your location so you can see how long it will take to walk to the next thing you want to visit.
Just like any useful app, the Efteling App also lists shows, and their timings, and locations, along with a handy park map. You can also view the menu for restaurants on your phone, and even pre-order them.
Tip: If your kids are a big fan of this amusement park, then read the Efteling kids website, and download their apps and resources to experience the magic at home!
Is Efteling pet-friendly?
Pets are not allowed into Efteling, but there is a service at the main entrance where your dog/s will be looked after. Note that you must bring in food or a basket for your pet.
Why should you visit Efteling in winter
There are so many reasons why you should visit Efeting in winter. Let me highlight some of them:
It is cheaper to visit Efteling in winter
If visiting the Efteling is on your bucket list, winter is the perfect time to take the opportunity to explore, as hotel prices will be reasonable around this time!
We were already trying to plan a weekend in Efteling for ages but the prices for two-day entrance tickets and an overnight stay in the Efteling hotel usually account for up to € 600 for 3 people (2 adults and 1 child).
As we thought these prices were excessive, we postponed our visit.
But when we found a promo in our mailbox from Voyage Privée in last-minute sale, which offered 1 night at the Efteling hotel including breakfast, parking and 2 days access to the park for the three of us for a total of € 240, we didn’t hesitate for a second!
Holiday pirates also offer cheap deals during the winter period.
Fewer crowds in Efteling in winter
Visiting Efteling in the winter means beating the rush and exploring the park at ease. It is important to note that Efteling has four enchanting seasons, events, and schedules, and their opening hours might change during this time.
Typical, Winter Efteling hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m, and they are open daily. During the weekends, Winter Efteling is open an hour later. Do check the current hours and restrictions here.
We visited the park during the week, and it was as if we had the park for ourselves. It was incredibly quiet, and we almost never had to queue at an attraction. If you sleep in the Efteling hotel, you can also enter the park half an hour earlier than the other visitors.
Soak in festive decorations in the winter in Efteling
Winter Efteling is a real winter wonderland.
Imagine the whole park puts winter clothes and accessories – yes, and all the attractions also get special winter decorations.
There’s artificial snow, Christmas trees, countless beautiful lights and you can warm up your hands at the bonfires at each square. The entire park gets transformed into a real winter paradise.
If you have visited Efteling in the past and it was not in winter, then here is another reason why you must spend a snowy weekend here. On a weekend trip, you can stay at the hotel or a holiday house nearby, and then enjoy the seasonal Christmas menu and decorations!
This is perfect for a couple’s or a kid’s vacation.
Get front row seats in every show
Efteling hosts different shows throughout the day, and in the winter you are able to experience these from the first row! Isn’t it amazing?
Plus there are really no line-ups, and you can easily take photos without the crowds. Especially the photo opportunities with Pardoes, which in summer can take for ages, are now no rush private sessions.
Enjoy the night by staying in the Efteling Hotel Rooms Holiday Special
I have to make a special mention of the Efteling Hotel once more. First off, you must stay overnight to enjoy the amusement park thoroughly and at ease. And for that, you have to book a hotel or a holiday home next door.
Now, what really struck me was the friendliness of the staff, in the park but especially in the Efteling hotel!
For example, my niece received a super tasty and beautiful cupcake and a gift at check-in. After we got into our family room, the phone suddenly rang… It was the sweet receptionist who just wanted to check if everything was as expected.
Top service, no? You can find plenty of accommodation deals for an overnight stay in the Efteling hotel. Book your stay at the Efteling hotel here.
Efteling Tip: In order to save money, try to avoid school holidays when booking your overnight accommodation. Same goes for the days when any type of school trip is organized.
Enjoy winter snacks and food in the Efteling
During the winter season, Efteling offers a unique menu. You can enjoy plenty of wintery snacks, from winter pancakes, cookies, Belgian waffles, soups to hot chocolate milk. Imagine warming up to cuppa cocoa when it’s cold outside!
All food items can be bought at stalls located inside the park.
When staying at the hotel nearby, meals are included in the room rates. Hotel restaurants also have a seasonal menu that you must not miss!
Check out special winter attractions
The Winter Efteling always is a magical winter fairytale, bringing that much-needed winter coziness we need this year. Only during the Winter Efteling, the park adds a 400-meter-long ice-skating rink to its attractions.
You can also catch Aquanura, which is the largest water show in Europe.
Every day in the winter season, the Snow Princess and Fire Prince pay a musical visit to the bonfires in their sleigh. Then they return to their Ice Palace, where there’s a real snow slide.
You can also explore many of the other winter attractions in the fairytale theme park, like the winter garden, the indoor ice rink, the fairytale forest, and the real snow slide.
If you want to do something offbeat (and not the usual Christmas markets), then heading to Efteling in the winter is a great idea.
So these are the essential Efteling tips to help you plan your visit to this awesome amusement park in the Netherlands!
Do check out their Christmas schedule, and information to help any visitor with a disability here.