Kaatsheuvel, The Netherlands,

Efteling marks 20 years of Winter Efteling

From 12 November 2018 to 31 January 2019, Efteling – the fairytale theme park in the south of Holland – will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its winter festival - Winter Efteling. For eleven weeks, the park will be transformed into a winter wonderland of twinkling lights, bonfires and snow-covered pine trees, which will enchant all its visitors.

Winter Efteling was first introduced in 1999 when Efteling became the first theme park in Holland, and one of the first in Europe, to remain open during the winter months. The festival was launched following research that showed consumers were looking for alternative holiday options with different activities during the winter season and fast became one of Efteling’s most popular times of the year.

When it first launched, preparations for Winter Efteling included ensuring indoor rides would be suitable for the colder months, creating sufficient indoor and heated catering facilities and adding ambient lighting and winter decorations.

Now in its 20th year, Winter Efteling has evolved to offer a wide range of special winter attractions such as an indoor ice rink IJspaleis with ice skating, tubing, and cross-country skiing, while the whole park is cloaked in a wintry atmosphere to offer a seasonal experience. All of the park’s attractions are open as usual during Winter Efteling, aside from the water rides, meaning that winter visitors can enjoy the fun, magic and thrills that Efteling has to offer with an additional winter wonderland touch.

Highlights at this year’s Winter Efteling include:

Winter stories at the Fairytale Forest
The Fairytale Forest, covering around a quarter of the whole Efteling park, brings fairytales to life with attractions, sculptures, and interactive scenes depicting well-known stories, such as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. During Winter Efteling, the forest becomes even more magical and enchanting as the temperature drops and snow falls. In the heart of the forest, the Fairytale Tree, which comes to life as children approach him, gives a special winter performance.

Efteling’s new international show – CARO
Those visiting during the colder months will love escaping the chilly weather with an evening at Efteling’s new international show at the Efteling Theatre. Directed by famous Dutch actor and director Stanley Burleson, CARO was created for an international audience with very little language. Inspired by Efteling’s 100 year-old steam carrousel – CARO features stunning visuals, dancers, music and acrobats, as well as special interactive guest roles for children.

Special winter entertainment
As dusk falls, the façade of Villa Volta – Efteling’s indoor ‘madhouse’– is illuminated with an impressive 3D projection that brings the building to life with the story of Hugo the Buckrider from the eighteenth century. The Aquanura water show, Efteling’s spectacular show featuring 200 fountains and fire, is also particularly impressive against the dark winter sky. Children and adults alike will also love taking in the Park show Raveleijn in which horses and ravens play a leading role.

Cross Country Skiing
Exclusively for Winter Efteling, guests can enjoy 400 metres of cross-country skiing at the cross-country ski track, which weaves around a beautiful Dutch landscape, complete with windmills and granaries.

Ice skating at IJspaleis indoor ice rink
At Winter Efteling’s indoor ice rink IJspaleis, visitors can now skate on a frozen pond at the palace of the Snow Princess and Fire Prince in the heart of the park and children that don’t want to brave the ice can slide down a slope on inflatable tyres. The Snow Princess and Fire Prince make daily musical appearances to encourage singing and dancing on the illuminated dance floor in the IJspaleis Guests will also be able to enjoy a range of musical acts, including a children’s choir, taking place around the Efteling bonfires.

New Year's Eve Celebrations at Winter Efteling
From 7pm on New Year’s Eve, there will be live performances in various squares around the park, marking an enchanting end to 2018. The Efteling attractions will remain open until midnight, after which the New Year will be celebrated with fireworks and bubbles. Special tickets are available for New Year's Eve, priced at €40, which includes a glass of bubbles, typical Dutch doughnuts and admission from 7pm to 1am.

Enchanting overnight stays
Those who want to enjoy the amusement park for two or more days can stay in the nearby Efteling hotels or in holiday homes or apartments in the holiday parks. Staying at Efteling is always including unlimited access to the amusement park.

Practical info and opening times: efteling.com/openinghours

Jet2holidays offers a three nights stay at the Efteling Hotel priced from £323 per person (based on two adults sharing a standard double room). The package includes unlimited theme park entry, breakfast, return flights from Leeds Bradford airport to Amsterdam and car hire. Efteling hotel is located approximately 1 hour 15 minutes from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. For more information visit: www.jet2holidays.com/netherlands/amsterdam/kaatsheuvel/efteling-hotel