Monday, July 11, 2016

Efteling Fairy Tale Forest

Efteling is a theme park in the Netherlands that includes a walk through Fairy Tale Forest. It's one of the places I would love to be able to visit someday...

The website even encourages visitors to learn more about the fairy tales in the park-there's a page where you can read the stories of all the fairy tales in the forest or read about the most famous fairy tale authors!

Also-I'm out of town for a bit! I've scheduled a couple posts to go out but I won't be able to respond to comments or read your fabulous blogs until I return!


  1. Fairytale Forests like these are quite common in Germany and the Netherlands. OUnfortunately many are of poor quality, because they lack resources, because visitors nowadays prefer the more modern themeparks. Of course their poor quality also does nothing for their popularity,the creepy, rundown fairy tale park that traumtizes children is kind of meme Germany, that is ironically fading in obscurity along with the parks it makes fun of. No wonder that more and more have to close.

    Perhaps the concept really is outdated, perhaps confronting children with scary-looking witch animatronics never was the best idea... But personally, I'm quite sad to see something that holds quite a bit of nostalgia for me slowly fad from awareness. Efteling definitely did the right step by broadening its profile into a modern amusement park, but still sticking true to its routes. It's good to know that somewhere the fairy tale park is still alive and striving.

    1. Disneyland definitely overshadows any similar parks in America, which don't seem to be that common. I heard of one in New Jersey that is now out of business, and the fairy tale characters have been destroyed by time and trespassers. I agree, it's sad...if the props and characters could be kept modern and realistic they wouldn't have to be too creepy (and people still flock to some of the more old school rides in Disney, like Peter Pan and such). I love the idea of immersive learning experiences like that

    2. Sometimes parks like this are contained within other parks as things grow. There are two situations like this here in Upstate New York. There's The Great Escape and there's Enchanted Forest/Water Safari. The Great Escape started as Storytown which featured kiddie rides and statuary and little cottages based on fairy tales, nursery rhymes and other stories. They included a small Cinderella castle, one of the three pigs' houses (including a pen of piglets behind it), the Three Bears' house and a large pink whale that depending on what period of time you encounter it is either supposed to be from Pinocchio or Moby Dick (last I checked, there was a doll dressed like Captain Ahab visible inside it. The thing is that Storytown grew to include a carnival style midway with games, a lumberjack themed "Timber Town", the Western themed "Ghost Town" and a sort of Bavarian themed front section with shops and restaurants that has since been dubbed "International Village" until it became The Great Escape. Eventually, a lot of that got overshadowed by thrill rides like The Steamin' Demon and The Comet as well as the water park Splashwater Kingdom. Storytown's still there. It's just this tiny part of a bigger thing. The whole thing has since become part of the greater Six Flags franchise.

      Enchanted Forest/Water Safari seems to have gone down a similar path with the whole "Enchanted Forest" part of their name being reduced to the smallest part of their logo. They appear to still have "Storybook Lane", but it definitely seems to take a backseat to the rides and in-house water park.

      Now, the thing with Disney and the resources they have in park building is that the fairy tale stuff and the rides can be one and the same. They don't just have a roller coaster they bought from some ride maker next to a "Snow White Cottage", they have a straight-up "Seven Dwarfs Mine Train" ride featuring both characters and thrills. It's that level of synthesis and immersion that sets them apart.

    3. That's really interesting! I don't think we have anything like that around here in the Midwest, that originated as a storybook land, but I could be wrong. And you're right, part of Disney's genius is combining the thrill and the immersive imaginative aspects in their rides. I've noticed Six Flags' newer rides tend to copy the atmospheric elements at least when you're waiting in line, making the whole thing into an experience and not just the two minutes you're actually on the ride.