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Eftoverling - Pre GF Warm Up.


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Ghosterforce 2017 happened last week, you may have noticed. Thing is, I went to Heide Park and Hansa Park only last year and as good as they are, I couldn't really justify going again so soon. Phantasialand and Movie Park however, hadn't been to either of those so it was definitely worth going to them. And seeing as Toverland is just up the road, I may as well go there too right? And seeing as Efteling is just up the road from Toverland, I may as well start there, yes? And if I'm going to Efteling, may as well fly into Amsterdam and buy a big bag of weed for the trip, correct? And if I'm flying into Amsterdam, makes sense to fly out of Amsterdam too, and tag Walibi Holland on to the end, yes? So that’s how my trip came about.
@Sandman certainly thought it sounded like a good idea, so he came along too.

Apart from a really intense moment trying to negotiate the narrow, bicycle-ridden, canal-lined, cobbled streets of Amsterdam, everything went swimmingly and we arrived at Efteling on the morning of day 2 to a very empty car park. God, I DO love an empty car park :)

You can’t go to Efteling without taking a picture of the fabulous entrance, it’s just soooo cool.

Let me tell you a story; I have actually been to Efteling before. Way back in 2003, on one of many stoner weekends to Amsterdam, me and some mad woman I used to knock about with tried to visit Walibi Holland, but did a full Griswald - trekked halfway across Holland on the train only to find it closed. Anyway, as sort of a consolation prize, we went to Efteling the following day instead. It was ok, I remember it being quite charming, and pretty, and thoughtful, but this was before Baron, and before Joris, and before the Flying Dutchman, so on the whole the ride line-up didn’t really get me very excited. It would be interesting to see how the park fared with a fresh perspective and new coasters to try.

Naturally, we headed for the newest coaster first, Baron. Such a beautiful looking thing, even in gloomy light conditions.

At one point I fancied myself as a bit of a @davidm and tried to recreate THAT photo - you know the one, that one with Baron reflected in the lake, with the morning mist. As you can see, I failed miserably. Try as I might, I just couldn’t get the composition right and ended up chopping off the top of the lift hill AND the bottom of the reflcted loop. Fail.

I am quite pleased with this one though:

The ride itself is great, I really liked it. I still think Oblivion is the Daddy of dive machines, but this one could easily be my 2nd favourite, I think I even like it more than the big American ones. Like Oblivion, Baron succesfully manages to marry the theming to the ride concept in a way that makes sense. Nice little pre-show, some cool effects, great soundtrack and a fab, action packed little layout. Loved the zero-G, the airtime hump and the nippy little helix. Plus those lovely little Efteling touches, like the ticket guy and the bell at the top of the drop. Great package all round.

Next we minced over Joris and de Draak.

Nice empty loading station. Lovely!

We had a couple of laps on each side, great little racing woodie this. Loved the flags that drop down above the winning train, the cheers from the knights on one side, the boos from the knights on the other, the little fanfare as the trains leave the station. I really liked it.
Josh really liked it too.

The dragon is pretty awesome.

I tried to get a good action shot with the dragon in front and the train roaring past, had it all lined up, waited patiently, and then at the last minute the bloody dragon lifted its head up. Twat!

Also really liked the theme music for Joris. Very catchy and appropriate. Play this and tell me it doesn’t send you right back to that happy place!
Great stuff.

Python spited, so this one is easy. Didn’t bother me cos I already have the cred, but Josh was miffed. Here’s a picture anyway.

I can never remember how to spell De Villg… Die Vileg… Die Vleig… The Flying Dutchman, so I’m just gonna call it The Flying Dutchman. It’s good. I really liked it. Ok so the coaster bit and splashdown is fairly ordinary, but the dark ride section is very impressive. That bit where the mist rolls in and the only source of light is that lantern on the front of the boat? Ooooh, spooky.

Nice looking building too.

I only managed to get this photo of Bob, but I really enjoyed the coaster. I know I rode it last time I was here, but really couldn’t remember it at all, but it’s pretty good fun. I like bobsled coasters in general, they make me giggle, and it was nice to ride one that’s a bit different to the Mack ones. Shame its days are numbered, recommend riding it while you can.

We had a rip on Vogel Rok. Just like everyone else, I only took a picture of the big bird outside cos there’s nothing else to photograph.

It’s good, I really liked it. It’s a fairly ordinary, indoor Vekoma made ten times better by having on-board audio and a great soundtrack. Check out the last 30-odd seconds of this track, inspirational stuff.

We had a couple of goes on the big pirate ship. When I rode this before, I remembered it being really big, the biggest pirate ship I’d ever seen in fact, but I’d sort of convinced myself since that my overactive imagination had exaggerated the size of the thing and it was, in fact, the same size as any other pirate ship.
Nope, it’s fooking massive!

Lovely condition too, they really know how to look after stuff here. Still looks brand new. Guess what? I really liked it.

Next up we rattled out some of Efteling’s many dark rides. Symbolica, the newest one, was first. It looks beautiful;

Bit of a strange one, Symbolica. Technologically it’s astounding, truly cutting edge stuff (how the ride vehicles don’t just go bumping into each other is a minor miracle). The theming is lavish, the budget is all up there for everyone to see and the attention to detail is mind=boggling. However, it doesn’t matter how you dress it up, you can’t ignore the fact that,as a ride, it doesn’t actually DO much. Essentially, it’s the same as Efteling’s other dark rides - all you do is move around very slowly looking at pretty things.
It’s good, I still kinda liked it, I’m just not quite sure that I ‘get’ what they were trying to accomplish with it.

I really like Droomvlucht though. Another slow moving, scenic dark ride featuring fairies, pixies, cute little animals and quaint, magical forests… and it’s brilliant!
I’m a 43 year old man for God’s sake - I’m not supposed to enjoy things like this. I’m a coaster guy, a thrill guy, not a fairytale forest guy, but Efteling has that effect on you, it creeps up on you, draws you in, envelops you. Where Phantasialand (for example) is a bit shouty, a bit in your face, it kinda hammers you into submission with its no-expense-spared quality, Efteling on the other hand has a lot more ‘charm’, a subtle, seductive approach that gently cups your ripe plums for the entire day, giving them a little squeeze every now and then while whispering in your ear ‘You like this don’t you? Eh? You like my trees and my magic forests, you like my themed cashpoint and my talking litterbins that say thank you, you like this, right? Oh yes, you like my ride music too, don’t you? Yeah, let me cradle those plums for you some more…’

This is the themed cashpoint:

I’d heard so much about it, I just had to try it out. Didn’t even need any cash, but I drew some out anyway just to see what the cashpoint does. ‘So what does the cashpoint do, Howie?’ Sorry, can’t tell you that. You have to go there for yourself to find out.

We had a blast on the rapids. They were good, I liked them.

Bit short maybe, but nicely themed, nicely landscaped, nicely paced, just… nice.

After a bit of a mission trying to find it, we had a rip on Fata Morgana, or Fat Morgan, as I like to call it. I missed this last time round and it’s easy to see why. Proper hidden away this ride, innit? It’s what CF veterans refer to as a CBR - a Crappy Boat Ride - except it’s not in the least bit crappy, it’s good. We really liked it. Lengthy, atmospheric, quality animatronics, good music, casual racism, prostitution - everything a good CBR should have. Despite being built in the 80’s, it’s still in surprisingly good nick too. Sadly no pictures, but I think Josh has some. Probably millions.

We had a rip on Villa Volta, the Vekoma madhouse. You won’t believe this, but I really liked it. Now obviously it’s not Hex, Hex is bestest, but it is quite a good one. Nice looking building:

The pre-show, consisting of an animatronic dude babbling away in Dutch for 10 minutes or so is a bit long winded, but the spinny room is pretty cool and the music is fab. Structurally, you can really hear the similarities to the Hex theme, but this has a cheesy, Eurovision kinda vibe that’s kinda hard to resist. The big finish gives me goosebumps!

Apologies for sharing another ride music clip, but this stuff matters. Everyone seems to go nuts for IMAscore these days, but I actually think they’re a bit overrated. Not a fan, it all sounds a bit too ‘synthesised’ for me, a bit Hans Zimmer rather than John Williams, you get me? Give me a full orchestral piece like this any day.

With all the rides pretty much done, we had a go on the flying island thing to get some nice aerial photographs:

Love how they even themed the rooftop of the Symbolica building:

Got a feeling you may see a few more pictures from this viewpoint:

With that done, all that was left to do was wander round, take some more pictures, get some rerides and generally chill out, soaking up the Efteling atmos’. Here is some more random pretty stuff:

Some of the greenery and parkland reminds me of Alton Towers:

Oops, bit blurry this one.

Boobies :)

We rounded off the day by watching Aquanura, the fountain/lighting/pyrotechnic show on the lake. Biggest fountain in Europe, apparently, third largest in the world (behind the one in Dubai and the one at the Bellagio).
It was good, we really liked it. I didn’t take any pictures of it, but I’m sure Josh did.
I just love the fact that Efteling spent (a rumoured) 12 million euros on a fountain, just so they can put on a free show for their guests at the end of every day. You’d never in a million years find Merlin doing that.

As you’ve probably gathered by now, Efteling is really good, I really liked it.. Last time I visited, it was just a back up plan, somewhere else to go when Walibi spited and I found it ‘ok’.
This time, the park has really won me over, it’s just a really, really nice place to be. Great rides, beautiful landscaping, thoughtful detailing and a warm, welcoming atmosphere. In fact, I’ve decided that this was my favourite park of the trip which means - gasp - that I actually prefer it to Phantasialand.
There, I said it. What can I say? I like my theme parks to have trees, sue me.
Phantasia is amazing, not gonna argue there, but it’s not got any (real) trees and it’s just so very… what’s the word? German! ‘VE ARE ZE BEST, JA?’ Well, no actually Fritz. Efteling is better.
I just prefer Efteling’s inherent, gentile, chilled out Dutch-ness. My mum’s half Dutch, y’know. Maybe that’s why I feel so at home there. Or maybe it’s because I’m a huge pot head. I dunno, you decide.

Anyways, here’s a blurry picture of me n Josh at the entrance again:

Ta for reading, Toverland coming soon. :)

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Active Member
Great report! It's great to see someone who really "gets" Efteling. It is indeed a very Dutch park and over here it's universally loved. For foreigners it seems to be much more of a hit/miss park.

You nailed the whole Efteling vs Phantasialand thing. That's exactly how I feel too. Phantasia is more in-the-face impressive, but Efteling has a lot more of a subtle charm. Ultimately I prefer being at Efteling, now that I've been to both parks quite a lot. It's just so nice and cosy, especially in the winter <3

I like your top 5 coasters btw, very similar to mine ;)


Staff member
Social Media Team
Top stuff. I'm eyeing up these parks next year (in hindsight I should have joined you and @Sandman!), so getting me properly motivated to do it.

Looking forward to hearing the rest.


Active Member
‘You like this don’t you? Eh? You like my trees and my magic forests, you like my themed cashpoint and my talking litterbins that say thank you, you like this, right? Oh yes, you like my ride music too, don’t you? Yeah, let me cradle those plums for you some more…’

PSA: Efteling's music is on Spotify and I also think it's all amazing (Flying Dutchman ftw).


Well-Known Member
Great report dude, sweet that you prefer Efteling. You're wrong but still sweet dude.
I'd like to go back in a couple of years without having PL the day before as I'm certain that tainted my Efteling experience.


Active Member
You're about right there, Howie. I have photos of practically every movement we made in each park! Still, nice to see some differing ones appear already on the forum ;) I'll have my report up in about 2 months when I've actually narrowed down the photos to about 100, and got the time to write down some stuff :p Looking forward to the rest of the report!

Coaster Hipster

Active Member
Nice alternative trip actually! I agree that Efteling has a more subtle charm and sweet atmosphere to it - even though Phantasialand is much more fun imo ^^

Jealous of that empty queueline for Joris :p


Great report Howie, I completely agree with everything you've said about the park, it's so charming and subtley draws you in.


Active Member
In between Efteling on day 1 and Phantasialand on day 3, me and Sandman had a spare day. For the sake of argument, let's call it day 2.
As it happens, about halfway between Efteling and Phantasialand there's a little place called Toverland - you may have heard of it. Apparently they've got quite a decent woodie. So that's where we went.
Once again, we arrived to an empty car park. And when I say empty, I'm talking, like, 6 cars in total, with no sign of any more coming in.

Was the place even open??

It was open, yay!
As we ventured into the big warehouse type building, I couldn't help notice the similarities between here and Plopsaland, are they related?
From what I've heard, Toverland only started out in 2001 as a purely indoor adventure park, with everything in two, giant square buildings which form the core of what is now the theme park. I can imagine this would have been pretty decent even then, the sort of place where the locals buy a season pass and take their kids there every weekend. Slides, climbing frames, carousels, that sort of thing. All very nice.
Of course, we weren't there for slides, climbing frames and carousels, we were there for creds. Oh well, may as well do the kiddy cred first, seeing as it's right there in your face as soon as you enter the first building. it's one of those Vekoma rollerskater type things.
Within 5 minutes, we'd had 2 goes on the back row. We didn't even have to leave our seat, nobody else was on the train or in the queue.
+1 then. Twice.

Mooching deeper into the venue, we come across the indoor section of a pretty decent log flume:

It has an outdoor section too:

We rode it later in the day, quite a good flume ride, this. It's got a backwards bit, a turntable that's actually on a lift hill, a giant frog, everything a family flume needs. Nice.

Back inside the building, there's quite a groovy funhouse which we had a rip on. Not sure whether the webs and spiders are part of the Halloween décor, or just part of the attraction full time, but it was quite a good giggle:

Next up came what was, for me, one of the most mind-blowing surprises of the whole trip. I knew very little about this park before going, apart from the creds I had no idea what else to expect. So there we were, casually walking round this giant building taking things in, when suddenly and without warning young Josh shot off like a startled whippet, shouting 'Ahhh man, we have to go on this!', and disappeared inside what I thought was some sort of gift or sweetie shop. 'Go on what?', I said, but it was too late, he'd gone. I followed anyway. It wasn't a gift shop or a sweetie shop, it was a queueline.
It was Blitz Bahn!
By the time I'd got to the ride, Josh was in his sled and gone.
'Ooh goody, an alpine coaster', I thought.
Ride op says to me 'You know how thish worksh, yah?' 'No', I say.
'Jusht sit there and push forwardsh on that lever'.
'That's it?'
'Yah, that'sh it'.
I pushed forwardsh on the lever.
That moment right there! Possibly rivals Taron ERT for highlight of the trip.
What sorcery was this? Where was the power coming from? Why the f*** isn't there a seat belt??
The speed, the exposure, the chickens - oh my god, the chickens - when you go through the chicken coup and all the chickens start clucking! I loved the chickens!
It's unexpected moments like this that make this hobby such a joy. Ask Josh, I was laughing my ghoulies off when I got back to the station.
Powered alpine coasters. Never knew such a thing existed, but to just be dumped on one like that was surreal, hilarious and amazing. Mind. Blown!

Thumbs up for Blitz Bahn. More rides on this were duly had later on.

We minced outside and stumbled across the booster bike coaster, no queue whatsoever. Front row ride, then. Seems fairly similar to the 'Mingoland one to me so if you like that, you'll probably like this. Decent enough coaster for a park of this size. On returning to the station, there was still nobody else in the queue. 'Would you like another go?' said the ride op. 'Why thank you, kind Dutchman, yes we would'. We had another go, returning once again to an empty station. 'Can we try the back, please?' we said. 'Of courshe' said the kind Dutchman. 2 more goes on the back row, then. This was awesome!

Good action shot!

D'wervelwind next then, and it was pretty much the same story there. 2 goes on the front row, 2 goes on the back row and still not another park guest in sight. It was like having an ERT session of the whole park. Brilliant!
I know it's customary to photograph rollercoasters with the train in shot, but with nobody else around to ride the thing, the train wasn't actually running unless me n Josh were on it. So here is a picture of some of D'wervelwind's track:

Really good coaster, surprisingly forceful and punchy for something with such a small footprint. Not one you could marathon very easily - it really is quite spinny - but one you could definitely ride on every visit and not get bored of. We had about 6 goes during the day and it gave a different ride experience every time. It has on-board audio too - I DO love a bit of on-board audio.

By this point we'd had multiple laps on 3 out of 4 creds and it was still only 10.45am! Troy didn't open til noon, so it was now a case of chilling, wandering, re-riding, taking pictures and finding other stuff to go on. To be honest, that didn't amount to very much - this is still a very young park remember, and the overall ride line up reflects that - but what there is is very good and the park certainly seems to be doing everything right so far.
Did you know they were building a B&M wing coaster for next year?

Here is a closer picture of some mud, which will one day be home to said B&M wing coaster. This area is behind D'wervelwind.
Out behind the rapids area is another very large expanse of mud. Between them, when it's all developed, I reckon it will almost double the size of the theme park - this is some serious expansion Toverland have got going on here. With only 6 people in the park today, you have to wonder how they're paying for it all??

Halloween preparations well under way:

Some lovely landscaping around the rapids area. Look closely and you'll see a goon in his natural habitat:

Here he is again... wait, no, that's something else:

The rapids ride is decent. Modest, but decent. Didn't get wet at all, but that's fine. I spent most of the time admiring the landscaping. The kind Dutchman operating it let us have 2 laps. Love the Dutch!

How's this for a toilet building? Impressive huh?

Finally, 12 o'clock came - time to hit Troy. We joined the massive swarm of people rushing over to the parks big woodie.

Exclusive, never-seen-before viewpoint of Troy:

No idea what Josh is doing here. Praying, maybe?:

Unbeknownst to most visitors, Troy's loading station has a trap door in the floor, as this small child found out to her peril.
Also, look how empty the station is! :)

We had lots of laps on Troy, we liked it lots. GCI woodies are like buses - in 20+ years of being a goon, I've only ever ridden 3 of the things and now here I was riding 2 new ones in 2 days. Or 3, if you count Joris en de Draak as 2 coasters (which I fully intend to do). To be fair, Troy is probably the best of the ones I've ridden so far. Well... best 'coaster' anyway - as in it gives the biggest, wildest, most exciting ride - but the best package overall, the best 'attraction', has to be Joris. Firstly because it has 2 different coasters to choose from, but also because of the theme music, the cheering/booing knights in the station, the flags and of course that big-ass dragon.
Still, I'm not complaining, Troy is a fab coaster for a park of this size. Great layout, really aggressive, good airtime, very twisty and turny - top stuff!

Honestly, I think that's about it. We'd smashed this park, and it was still only lunchtime. If Troy had been open from the start, we could have been finished within the hour. Now ordinarily, you'd expect to summarise a trip report like this with something like 'Nice little park, but could do with a big new coaster and a couple more flats to make it a full day'. Except of course, that's exactly what's happening. Did I mention the massive expansion and the new B&M wing coaster coming next year? And seeing as we're nearly at the end of the season, by the time any of you get round to visiting Toverland again, it will already be a bigger park, with a big new coaster and more stuff to do, so any trip advice I give here is already kinda redundant!
But it IS a very nice park, I wish them every success for the future and I'm quite certain I'll be returning in the next couple of seasons.

Phantasialand and Movie Park days will covered in the proper CF Live thread, but meet me back here in a few days for the Post-GhosterForce Warm-Down at HalloWalibi, yeah? And I'll tell you all about my scary Clinic experience...

See you then. :)

Mysterious Sue

Well-Known Member
Of course, we weren't there for slides, climbing frames and carousels
Are you even a CFer? ;p

Fab that you enjoyed Toverland. I'm getting chills just looking at that notice board. So excited to see what they come up with. Toverland is that rare chance in (western) Europe to see a park grow and develop and I have a huge soft spot for it. They also seem to be making good decision after good decision. Go Toverland :D


Active Member
Powered alpine coasters.
Good to see some enthusiasm for the legendary Bobkarts.
Now you're a fan, you can track them down on coast2coaster by looking for the white 'K's.
Glad you had an empty park for it as that particular one disappointed me by being much too busy and the ride took the reigns to stop me catching up to people.
Spent the 45 minute queue mentally preparing to smash some kids' times up on the score board, ended up a full 30 seconds slower.


Miss CoasterForce 2016
Staff member
Social Media Team
Loving these trip reports Howie! Hilarious and I agree with pretty much everything!

I had exactly the same reaction to the powered bobsled at Toverland. It's brilliant.

Oh and the Fun House at Toverland looked that way because they turn it into a Halloween attraction with scare actors inside. There's some great videos of it online.