Efteling’s play forest Nest! almost ready to open
Accessible play equipment has been installed
Today, Efteling – the fairytale theme park in the south of Holland – put in place the final piece of play equipment in the new play forest, Nest!. The construction of the play forest is still in progress, but on 31 May - the 69th birthday of the theme park - the play forest will be ready to welcome its first guests. Nest! will be a safe place where all young children, with or without disabilities, can play together. Accessibility was the most important principle in the design and production of the play equipment in the play forest. In the coming weeks, the finishing touches will be added, so that Nest! is ready for its opening on 31 May. In accordance with the latest announcements by the Dutch government, Efteling will be able to open again on Wednesday 19 May, just in time for the opening of the park’s newest attraction.
Accessible waterbed part of the play forest
In the play forest, young guests will soon be able to play to their heart's content with various play equipment and objects. The dragon tower, comprising two slides, and a large ship are the real eye-catchers. At the centre of Nest!, there will be a waterbed in the shape of a compass on which children can play. This will be made completely level and without any barriers, so that it is accessible for everyone, including guests in wheelchairs. There will also be several play panels at different heights and in different materials, which children can grip and feel. To enhance accessibility for everyone, the floor around the play equipment is made of smooth EPDM, a soft rubber material. This material is commonly used as a floor in playgrounds, but Nest! will have a uniquely designed version that matches the various elements in the play forest.
Dutch theatre creator and wheelchair athlete Marc de Hond and his family enjoyed the Efteling theme park for years. As a special advisor, he regularly shared his ideas about physical accessibility with the park management. As a result of this special collaboration, besides Nest! play forest, another project will become reality in 2021. Marc de Hond wrote an inclusive fairytale De redders van Ruigrijk, in which children with disabilities play the leading role. The new fairytale will be available as a video on the Efteling YouTube channel with an audio description in four languages, as well as a tactile picture book. Up until his death in June 2020, Marc de Hond was closely involved in the realisation of both Nest! and the creation of this new fairytale, which will also be available from 31 May.