Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I just discovered a fairy tale amusement park! Efteling is in the Netherlands and looks like an enchanting place to visit.
You can browse their website. It definitely appears to be influenced by Disneyland-not only the fairy tale influence, but there are different realms-an Adventure and Travel realm, which are probably similar to Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom; an old fashioned train like that which encircles the Magic Kingdom, a bobsled run that is rather reminiscent of Matterhorn Mountain...

But once again...while Disney claims that the California park is the first theme park, it's sort of debatable...this park began as a sports park with a playground. But the fairy tale forest was opened in 1952, three years before Disneyland! It really depends on how you define "theme park," as I believe the fairy tale forest is a walk-through experience and not a ride, but it does give the experience of "stepping into" your favorite stories. Walt Disney may or may not have been aware of this at the time, I don't know how well known it was in America...but given that he did research amusement parks before opening Disneyland, it's possible...in fact, it's interesting to compare the history of the two parks. The children's railway was also in existence before Disneyland opened, but the Haunted House, bobsled ride, and division of realms came first to Disneyland. For those interested in theme and amusement parks, this timeline of Disneyland shows how it influenced the other major parks in America.

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