European Theme Park Visit: Disneyland Paris or Efteling?

Derrrit

Earning My Ears
Joined
Aug 5, 2017
I'll be visiting Europe for 2 weeks at the beginning of June and have decided to visit a Themepark there. I'm a HUGE Disney park fan and know how lovely and beautifully crafted Disneyland Paris is, and it's pretty familiar to me even though I've never visited.

However I've also heard some fantastic descriptions about Efteling in the Netherlands, to me it seems a lot more authentic than Disneyland Paris and a lot less known about. I'm a huge fan of Musical Fountains so I'd love to see Aquanura, heard they have some great dark rides and the overall park seems like a fantastic mixture of a garden with some great detail to architecture similar to Disney thrown in. Also confused, It seems to be located on some sort of nature area/national park?

What is the Atmosphere compared to in either park? I'm afraid I'd get some Culture shock with Efteling but it might be worth it and seems like an extremely cozy place off the beaten path.
 

Karin1984

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
I'll be visiting Europe for 2 weeks at the beginning of June and have decided to visit a Themepark there. I'm a HUGE Disney park fan and know how lovely and beautifully crafted Disneyland Paris is, and it's pretty familiar to me even though I've never visited.

However I've also heard some fantastic descriptions about Efteling in the Netherlands, to me it seems a lot more authentic than Disneyland Paris and a lot less known about. I'm a huge fan of Musical Fountains so I'd love to see Aquanura, heard they have some great dark rides and the overall park seems like a fantastic mixture of a garden with some great detail to architecture similar to Disney thrown in. Also confused, It seems to be located on some sort of nature area/national park?

What is the Atmosphere compared to in either park? I'm afraid I'd get some Culture shock with Efteling but it might be worth it and seems like an extremely cozy place off the beaten path.
Late response, but Dutch girl here! Efteling is very beautiful and it's known Walt Disney visited Efteling before building his parks. Yes, there is a nature park nearby where you could stay overnight, a bit like the camping grounds at WDW. But it's not part of the park as in you have rides or shows there.

The atmosphere is very laid back, as the park is very widespread, it's designed to take your time and stroll instead of running to each ride. I haven't been for a few years, but plan to go to soon. Their latest ride Symbolica and the Baron are said to be amazing! And Dreamflight is a classic here. I would recommend everyone who loves themeparks to come over and see the beauty.

Let me know if you have more questions.
 

CosmicGirl

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Efteling is nice but if you're a HUGE Disney park fan then DLP is a must. Is there any way you can fit in both? There are high-speed trains from the Netherlands direct to DLP if that helps, but Brussels would give you many more options.
 
  • bearette

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2006
    Having been to both and loving Disney (AP in DL ), I would pick Efteling for something different, but since both are awesome I just go with the one easier to get to. This might be a little late though, which did you go to?
     

    Derrrit

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2017
    Having been to both and loving Disney (AP in DL ), I would pick Efteling for something different, but since both are awesome I just go with the one easier to get to. This might be a little late though, which did you go to?
    I visited Efteling, LOVED IT! It has such a cool vibe/atmosphere and feels like more of a garden with storytelling than a theme park. I think i liked it even better than WDW. Felt a lot more authentic and down to earth than a Disney park.

    Only thing I didn't like was the month we went (Early june) the park closed at 6 pm. We stayed at Bosrijk which was nice, but there wasn't much to do after 6 pm (The park is open later during various months/busier season). I loved the watershow too but would've been nice to see it at night to see the lights with the show. They usually have a musical/stage show that you can pay to see in the park's theatre after closing but it wasn't playing during our visit.
     
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    bearette

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 4, 2006
    I went in June, as well, my only complaint was it closed early. We missed the show, because it was light we skipped it for rides. Though they turn off some of the enhancements, you can walk though the fairy tale forest and take pictures for a bit after closing, while the other restaurants in the hub are open.
     

    Karin1984

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2012
    I visited Efteling, LOVED IT! It has such a cool vibe/atmosphere and feels like more of a garden with storytelling than a theme park. I think i liked it even better than WDW. Felt a lot more authentic and down to earth than a Disney park.

    Only thing I didn't like was the month we went (Early june) the park closed at 6 pm. We stayed at Bosrijk which was nice, but there wasn't much to do after 6 pm (The park is open later during various months/busier season). I loved the watershow too but would've been nice to see it at night to see the lights with the show. They usually have a musical/stage show that you can pay to see in the park's theatre after closing but it wasn't playing during our visit.
    Great to hear you had a good time :) Yes, I always wonder about the 6PM closing, even in the slower months, I think they could push it till 7 but they probably know best!
    And indeed the vibe/atmosphere is one of the best things about Efteling.
     
  • galaxygirl76

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2014
    Great to hear you had a good time :) Yes, I always wonder about the 6PM closing, even in the slower months, I think they could push it till 7 but they probably know best!
    And indeed the vibe/atmosphere is one of the best things about Efteling.
    I believe schools are in session until July, so that may have something to do with it.

    I love the park, it has a very whimsical feel to it. Lots of greenery too.
     

    Sandeep1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 20, 2018
    I've been to DLP twice. Listen, it's a Disney park so you're going to have fun. That being said, I've been to all the Disney parks in the world and DLP is hands down my least favorite. Again, that doesn't mean I hate it. If given another opportunity to go, I'd go. Just keep your expectations in check.
     

    tink2424

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 28, 2019
    I'm going to Efteling in early October 2020 staying at Bosrijk as well. I will be fine with the early closing as I am an early to bed person (but will definitely use the pool - especially the hot tub at night - everyday). Any big tips for my trip or things I absolutely have to do? I'm hoping it will be a little dark for the fountain show since it will be the beginning of October already....
     

    Karin1984

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 5, 2012
    I'm going to Efteling in early October 2020 staying at Bosrijk as well. I will be fine with the early closing as I am an early to bed person (but will definitely use the pool - especially the hot tub at night - everyday). Any big tips for my trip or things I absolutely have to do? I'm hoping it will be a little dark for the fountain show since it will be the beginning of October already....
    If the park closes at 6, probably not. It gets dark around 7, so dusk will start around 6.30

    I think Symbolica, George and the Dragon, Villa Volta, Dream Flight are the best, plus the show Raveleijn. And The Flying Dutchnan and Baron 1898.
     
  • tink2424

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 28, 2019
    If the park closes at 6, probably not. It gets dark around 7, so dusk will start around 6.30

    I think Symbolica, George and the Dragon, Villa Volta, Dream Flight are the best, plus the show Raveleijn. And The Flying Dutchnan and Baron 1898.
    Thanks!!!
     

    Derrrit

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2017
    I'm going to Efteling in early October 2020 staying at Bosrijk as well. I will be fine with the early closing as I am an early to bed person (but will definitely use the pool - especially the hot tub at night - everyday). Any big tips for my trip or things I absolutely have to do? I'm hoping it will be a little dark for the fountain show since it will be the beginning of October already....
    I didn't use the pool at Bosrijk but a few of the members in my party did. *Note we are American* they said that the pool etiquette was way different than American ones an made them uncomfortable.

    I don't know what specifically is different about American and European pools but take that as you will.

    Efteling and Bosrijk are both beautiful and comparable to a Disney park/hotel in scale of detail and what i would say "Magic." would even say they have better dark rides than Disney too.
     
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