Kaatsheuvel, The Netherlands,

Winter Efteling: ice skating, bonfires, live entertainment and thousands of twinkling lights

From 6 November 2014 until 1 February 2015, it’s Winter Efteling once again. During this 12-week period, the park receives a winter makeover with hand- and heart-warming bonfires, garlands with thousands of twinkling lights and winter attractions, such as an ice skating rink and a cross-country skiing course. New this winter are the Fire Prince and Snow Princess, who make appearances at the bonfires. The Fairytale Forest is illuminated by fairy lights and the residents make their houses seasonably cosy. After sunset, the outer walls of three attractions creak to life with impressive illusions, where nothing is as it seems... Europe’s biggest water show, Aquanura, makes an even greater colourful impression in the dark and is the perfect finale to a day at Winter Efteling. The Efteling Theatre is also staging ‘Fairytale Tree the Musical: a wonderful festival of music’ throughout the winter months. Winter Efteling is open daily from 11.00 to 18.00 hours and until 19.00 hours at weekends. During the Christmas holidays the park stays open until 20.00 hours. And New Year’s Eve will be celebrated at Winter Efteling once again this year.

Winter bonfires and live entertainment
Five camp fires at Efteling are being transformed into winter bonfires this year. With their decorative crowns, they are even more enticing for visitors to take a break and warm themselves up. The new Fire Prince and Snow Princess make daily visits to the bonfires to perform a musical ceremony. During weekends and holidays, live music is performed around the bonfires and winter performances of the Fairytale Tree park show are staged in the Fairytale Forest. There’s also time for a meet & greet with Jokie and Jet. Visitors can witness the battle against the cruel ruler of the magical city of Raveleijn four or five times a day, during the park show in which live horses and ravens play a leading role. Pardoes the Magic Jester and Princess Pardijn also make daily appearances in the park.

Only during Winter Efteling
Special winter attractions form a unique part of Winter Efteling. Visitors can turn pirouettes to their hearts’ content in the sheltered Ice Palace, with its indoor and outdoor ice skating rink. And they can also whizz down a real snow slide, go cross-country skiing through a traditional Dutch landscape or stroll around the atmospheric Bavarian Market. Apart from the water-based attractions, the Piraña and The Flying Dutchman, all of the attractions remain open as long as weather conditions permit.

Aquanura, The Second Efteling Symphony
The Aquanura show ‘The Second Efteling Symphony’ can also be seen at Efteling during winter. This 12-minute musical extravaganza on the lake features more than 200 fountains and uses music, fire and light to depict Fata Morgana, Monsieur Cannibale and George and the Dragon, among others. Aquanura’s colourful spectacle is even more spellbinding after dark.

Impressive illusions
As darkness begins to fall, three attractions that are home to ghoulish apparitions take on an entirely different appearance. A couple of residents escape through the outer wall of the Spookslot haunted house and visitors to The Flying Dutchman can see the eternally roaming ghost ship on the wall outside. The outer wall of the Villa Volta madhouse also creaks to life, allowing the curse of its owner to break through into the world outside...

Fairytale Tree the Musical: a wonderful festival of music
This new family musical from Efteling Theatre Productions is being staged at the Efteling Theatre throughout the winter. Every year, a wonderful music festival takes place in the Fairytale Forest and features a big competition. Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella and even Dragon are all busy rehearsing their acts. Witch is going all out to win and Benjamin the kid goat would dearly love to enter. Then a music teacher and her pupils unexpectedly arrive at the music festival. Alongside the music teacher and the well-known Inhabitants of the Fairytale Forest, 14 children also form part of each performance. The musical, which is performed in the Dutch language, can be seen exclusively in the Efteling Theatre until 1 March 2015.

New Year’s Eve
Special tickets are available to celebrate the New Year at Efteling. These provide access to the park from 19.00 hours onwards and can also be combined with various catering arrangements. The park’s attractions remain open until midnight and there are live performances on various squares around the park. At midnight, the New Year is celebrated in appropriate style with a breathtaking firework display and a glass of sparkling wine.

Winter Efteling opening dates and times

  • Thursday 6 November 2014 until Sunday 1 February 2015
  • weekdays: 11.00-18.00 hours
  • weekends: 11.00-19.00 hours
  • Christmas holidays (20 Dec. to 4 Jan.): 11.00-20.00 hours
  • New Year’s Eve (31 December 2014): 11.00-18.00 and 19.00-01.00attractions until midnight

Further information is available at Efteling.co.uk/winter-efteling