Last Updated on June 25, 2023 by Suzy McCullough

We stayed at Efteling for three nights and with our stay, we had tickets included for four days. With flights and work commitments, we managed to visit for three full days. On two of the three days, we managed to do just about everything bar one ride which we could have easily done on one of those two days.

Our third day was our son’s 6th birthday and we let him choose everything we would do again. All of his favourite rides I will mark with a * below. If you do visit and stay over I recommend you visit for at least three days as I’m sure you will love it as much as we did and you will welcome the third day exploring all your favourite rides again. This is our ultimate two-day family-friendly itinerary for Efteling for families with children of at least 1.2 metres in height.

Efteling Ultimate Two Day Family Friendly Itinerary

The thing that really struck us about Efteling is just how good it looks. The park is exceptionally clean and the setting is stunning amongst woods and lakes. The theming is the best I’ve ever seen of any theme park and at just about every turn you will be impressed with your view. There are so many fun and mystical characters around the park, especially the bins that talk which are a huge success with children. I hope my photos below convey just how wonderful and magical Efteling is.

One thing we have noticed is that Efteling is a lot busier on a Saturday than any other day of the week.

*disclaimer. We received a discounted press stay. All opinions and photos are my own and must not be duplicated without prior permission.

Efteling is in the Netherlands and it is approx. 1 hr 10 drive from Amsterdam airport and approx. 40 minutes drive from Eindhoven airport. You can take a ferry to Amsterdam or even France where it’s about a 3-4 hour drive to Efteling.

The rides open 30 minutes earlier for hotel guests are:


  • Carnaval Festival
  • Kleuterhof
  • Vogel Rok
  • Sirocco
  • Archipel


  • Max & Moritz
  • Fata Morgana


  • Droomvlucht
  • Villa Volta


  • Baron 1898

Early Entry to Efteling Information

As a guest at Efteling, you have early entry to the theme park. The park opens at 10 am and you have access to a select choice of rides from 9:30 am. The itinerary below is possible without early entry as the park stays open until 8 p.m. or 10 p.m. most nights. Out-of-season Efteling closes at 6 p.m.

As a hotel guest, you enter via a side gate but do head around to the front entrance to take some photos. It’s a very impressive main entrance. We stayed at the Efteling Hotel on our second visit and access from this hotel is on the opposite side of the park near Vogel Rok. We found our plan of action was slightly different when we stayed there.

Main entrance to Efteling
The main entrance to Efteling

We arrived at Efteling early every day and it was never clear where hotel guests were supposed to go. On the second day, we went up to the left side of the park without realising this wouldn’t gain us early entry.

As Efteling guests of Bosrijk and Loonsche Land, you need to head to the far right and walk up to the Fata Morgana ride. About halfway you should be asked to prove you are staying at Efteling by either showing your park tickets. On our third day, there was no one there checking and everyone was piling into the early entry rides which was strange and a bit of a shame for us. We stayed at the Loonsche Land Village. You can read our review here.

As mentioned above you enter the park near Vogel Rok if you are staying at the Efteling Hotel. As most people arrive at the main entrance I’m keeping the information for those arriving at the main entrance.

It is currently €12.50 to park at Efteling for the day. As guests, we could leave our car in the hotel car park for free and get the courtesy bus to and from the theme park. You can walk from the Efteling Hotel and it is a really short walk.

Maps and Efteling App

When you enter Efteling there are plenty of paper maps available in different languages. We hardly referred to ours though as the app is excellent and very up-to-date. Efteling has free WI-FI so you don’t need to worry about using up your data. It does drain your battery though so make sure you are fully charged or have a power bank.

The App has an interactive map and a locator icon so you can see where you are on the map. This makes it really easy to work out which direction you want to head in. We found the App incredibly useful on both our holidays to Efteling.

Efteling Ultimate Two Day Family Friendly Itinerary
A handy map of Efteling – they had a few of these around the park

The Efteling app also has live ride time wait data so if there is a ride with a long queue you can perhaps find something else to do while waiting for the queue to get shorter. You can also easily find toilets, places to eat, other attractions, showtimes and much more. I wouldn’t visit Efteling without using their app. It helped us make the most of our time there. The app is only available on smartphones. It is free to download and use.

Efteling Ultimate Two Day Family Friendly Itinerary
An example of the Efteling App

Is there a language barrier?

One thing I’ve been asked a lot is about the language barrier. We didn’t find there to be one. Everyone we came across spoke English and some were incredibly fluent. The shows and quite a few other things are in Dutch but the odd bit of English is and was included.

We lived in France for 14 years so maybe we didn’t notice things being in Dutch as much as others might but it wasn’t a problem for us. In fact, the staff, in general, were wonderful. Most were incredibly friendly and helpful and seemed genuinely interested in talking to us.

Day 1 at Efteling Theme Park, the Netherlands

Because we had early entry to the park as we were staying at Efteling we caught the first bus of the day every day. This got us to the park just before the main gates opened.

The park is split into 5 areas. Ruigrik where the thrill rides are plus the pirate-themed rides and one of the steam train stations. Anderrijk where you will find the tamer thrill rides such as Max and Moritz, Piranha plus other attractions.

Fantasierijk which is mainly for Symbolica. Reizenrijk with mostly indoor or covered rides and Marerijk covers a huge section of the park with the Fairytale Forest, fairground rides, the main show Raveleijn and more.


We decided we would go on the main thrill rides on day 1. Our son wasn’t quite tall enough for Baron 1898 (1.32 metre) but this does open first if you want to ride on it.

Baron 1898
Baron 1898

We decided to keep walking and wait by Python (1.2m) for when it opened at 10 a.m. This meant that we walked straight on the ride – in fact, we were the first on the ride. Python is a double-loop and double-half-loop roller coaster. To find out more about each ride please see my post.

We found this ride to often have shorter queue times, especially first thing in the morning and last thing at night. We rode on it four times in a row on the Sunday night.

Efteling Ultimate Two Day Family Friendly Itinerary
Python roller coaster

We wanted to experience the other thrill rides in this area with minimal queue time so next, we went on the Water Coaster (1.2m, De Vliegede Hollander). This is a ride where you have no clue what’s about to happen. Some of it is in the dark, some of it on a coaster track and some on the water in a lake which you are plunged into. You will get a little wet on this ride.

Efteling Ultimate Two Day Family Friendly Itinerary
Water coaster
Efteling Rides

The final thrill ride in this area is the Wooden Roller coaster (1.2 metres), Joris en de Draak. This is a ride where two roller coaster trains race each other around the track. This was a bit too fast for us. Although we did love it more on our last visit, especially once we’d worked out how to stop the seat restraint from locking down too hard on ourselves. You want to be secured in but not so much it hurts!

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Wooden Roller coaster

There is also a pirate ship ride in this area which goes rather high. Plus when it is open make sure you fit in a ride on De-Oude-Tufferbaan, a classic car ride. This is a ride in electric but old-fashioned cars around a track. This is a perfect family-friendly ride.

Efteling Rides

In this area of rides, there is also one of two stations for the Stoomtrein. These are the steam trains that run all day long around the park. The sounds, sights and smell of the steam and the train moving and blowing its whistle are just wonderful and we managed a ride every day on the train.


Believe it or not even after a ride all the way around on the steam train and then on to the second stop again we still weren’t near lunchtime.


As mentioned above this part of Efteling is vast. It’s the biggest area and we certainly didn’t manage everything on day one. This is where the other train station is so we decided to stop here for some lunch. We chose to eat at the ‘A La Carte’ restaurant by the main Raveleijn show arena. It said opening time was 12 pm but when we got there we were told it wasn’t due to open until 1 pm. So we spent the next hour going on a few of the rides in the Marerijk area of Efteling.

We started by going on Droomvlucht which only had a 15-minute wait. This ride can get very busy so if the queue is this short go for it. Droomvlucht is a slow indoor ride through a world of fairies and elves. It feels like you are flying with and amongst them.

Entrance to Droomvlucht
Entrance to Droomvlucht

We then headed to Villa Volta where you sit in long aisles opposite the other side and you move while the scenery also moves. It’s a very strange sensation and very clever. This ride is also indoors.

The outside of VIlla Volta
The outside of Villa Volta

Afterwards, we had a wander around the elf village underneath the Monorail ride. There’s also a nice playground in this area.

Efteling Ultimate Two Day Family Friendly Itinerary
One of the many fun things to find under the Monorail

We had a quick wander into Anton Pieck Plein where there are 5 traditional fairground rides. We had a ride on one of the carousels and promised to return after lunch.

Lunch at Het Wapen van Raveleijn. This is a restaurant with table service. We were first in the queue so we got a good table right by the Raveleijn show. We only saw the show from the back of the arena but we still saw most of the action and it was fun getting glimpses of how everything works and how the show is set up before the crowds arrive.

The meal started well although we were surprised by the limited choice. We had meat, cheese, bread and fruit platter for just 8.95 euros. The service went a bit downhill though which meant we missed out on ice-creams.

Raveleijn Park Show – This is a live-action show with talking in Dutch. Headsets in English are available but weren’t offered at the restaurant. The show is a stunt show with birds, horses, effects such as flames, explosions and a giant 5-headed serpent that comes out of the ground.

Ravelijn park show
Ravelijn park show

In the afternoon we managed to fit in more rides. We even left the park quite early at 4:30 pm so if you are facing bigger queues than us you will still be able to fit everything in. We stayed in Marerijk and headed back to Anton Pieck Plein to ride on the Monorail, two more carousels, a swing ride and a wooden round-a-bout type ride.

Efteling Itinerary
Efteling Itinerary

The Monorail was really lovely and we enjoyed looking down at the elves in their village below. We also enjoyed the classic fairground rides. The Stoomcarousel is set in the most wonderfully decorated building and walking inside is like stepping into the past.

Traditional fairground rides
Traditional fairground rides
Efteling Ultimate Two Day Family Friendly Itinerary
There are all sorts of other fun things to see across Efteling
Riding the Stoomcarousel
Riding the Stoomcarousel

In the same building as the Stoomcarousel you will find a Diorama miniature world. This is a must to go see it’s really lovely with trains moving around the track, windmills and a lovely enchanting miniature world.

Efteling Ultimate Two Day Family Friendly Itinerary

On our way out of the park, we noticed that Symbolica* had a relatively short queue. So we headed here next. It is one of Efteling’s newest and most popular rides. It is an indoor dark ride but it is not scary. If you are lucky to sit in the front you have interactive elements. It’s a ride through an enchanting palace and you will even get to dance around the dancefloor with the palace guests.


Our feet literally could not walk us any further so we headed down to the park entrance and booked ourselves into the popular Pinokkio’s pizza and pasta restaurant for 4:30 pm the next day. We went for this time as we were also going to get tickets for the 6:30 pm show Caro which is in the same building as Pinokkio’s.

This show is not on every night and I think it changes every few months but don’t quote me. We were glad we didn’t book online at 25 euros each as it turned out that if you book through where you are staying you can see Caro for just 7,50 euros each, which was a great saving.

It was a relief that we left the park when we did as the heavens opened and it poured torrential rain for a good few hours. Later we decided to eat at the Loonsche hotel which was very good and we had mussels, a tasty burger and ice-creams.

Efteling Ultimate Two Day Family Friendly Itinerary
Ultimate burger at Loonsche Hotel

Day 2 at Efteling Theme Park, the Netherlands

We started the day as we did Day 1 by getting the early bus into the park and eating breakfast there.

Efteling Ultimate Two Day Family Friendly Itinerary
Breakfast at Efteling

For Day 2 and if you are a hotel guest I would recommend riding on Fata Morgana or Max and Moritz first. It’s a dark ride which says it has some frightening effects but I wouldn’t say there was anything frightening. It’s a slow boat ride – think Ali Baba/Arabian Nights. Or Vogel Rok and the rides around there if you are staying at the Efteling Hotel.

On the Fata Morgana boat ride
On the Fata Morgana boat ride

I’d then recommend riding on Piraña or Max & Moritz. First, we headed to Max & Moritz the new family coaster. “On the Max & Moritz double roller coaster, you and the whole family experience an exciting and crazy ride full of tricks. Escape from the cuckoo clock workshop with Max and Moritz in one of their soapboxes. But be careful, you may encounter a little mischief from the boys along the way! Which track will you choose, Max or Moritz?” There is a minimum height of 1m for this ride.

We got absolutely soaked on Pirana so it was good to be able to walk around and stand in the sun afterwards drying out. Piraña is a raft ride and you can sit 6 in a raft. It’s a white water ride with lots of waves that will lap over your boat and sprayers that will get you really wet. I recommend taking a plastic bag for your bag to go in and keep your feet off the floor.

Getting wet on Piranha
Getting wet on Piraña

We needed to dry out and a good ride to queue for to do that is Symbolica. We went on this the day before but were keen to do it again. If you didn’t have early entry you may want to skip this from today’s itinerary.


After Symbolica we headed up to the top of the largest lake. First, we went for a ride on Pagode. This is a Thai temple with wonderful views around the park. It goes high to a height of around 40 metres but the ride itself up and down isn’t scary.

The view from Pagode, soaring Thai temple
The view from Pagode, soaring Thai temple

After Pagode the queue for the Gondoletta boat ride was still reasonably short so we bought some cake from the nearby kiosk and fed the ducks, geese and other birds while we enjoyed a leisurely 20-minute boat ride around the beautiful lake. There are lots of boats that ride around the lake so you should be able to have one to yourselves. You don’t have to do anything, the boats drive themselves.

Gondoletta boat ride and the soaring Thai temple
Gondoletta boat ride and the soaring Thai temple
Efteling Rides

We then headed to the top left of the Reizenrijk area which is part of the park we hadn’t yet gone to. This has three rides, 2 indoors and 1 covered. First, we went on Sirocco. This is Efteling’s well-themed version of a spinning teacup ride.

Efteling Rides

Afterwards, we went on Vogel Rok (1.20 metres), Efteling’s indoor roller coaster. The roller coaster itself is quite smooth and doesn’t have any large unexpected drops. It is mostly in complete darkness but you will also go through tunnels with lights. The ride gives you a sense of flying.

Efteling Ultimate Two Day Family Friendly Itinerary
Vogel Rok

Just before lunch, we managed to fit in a ride on Carnaval Festival. This is an indoor family ride where you sit in cars which seat a family of up to four and you journey around the world with colourful characters and another catchy theme tune.

Carnaval Festival
Carnaval Festival

There is a sit-down restaurant here where you can also grab a self-service meal. We had an early snacky lunch here as we had an early dinner reservation.

There’s a lovely playground, Kleuterhof, next to here with all sorts of fun things to play on including a very interactive piano.


You must keep your eye out for their interactive bins around the park. Not only do they talk and encourage you to put your rubbish in the bin (in Dutch). But they also help suck in the rubbish and then thank you for it.

Fun and interactive rubbish bins
Fun and interactive rubbish bins

Just a short walk from the playground you will find Kinderspoor pedal trains. You can sit two in a train and most children should be able to reach the pedals to help you pedal your mini train around the track.

Kinderspoor pedal trains
Kinderspoor Pedal trains

We crossed down the centre of the park to the Fairytale Forest. This took us around 1 hour 30 to walk around and I have written a whole post about it as it was so wonderful. There are many fairy tales to find around the paths and they were excellent and done so well.

This is not something to be rushed so make sure you have plenty of time for it. To find out more about visiting the Fairytale Forest please see – Efteling Review of the Fairytale Forest | Largest Living Picture Book.

Efteling's Fairytale Forest
Efteling’s Fairytale Forest
Efteling's Fairytale Forest
Efteling Fairy tale Forest

We just about managed to squeeze in the 4D film Fabula near Max and Moritz. The 4D effects were excellent and it was one of the best 4D films I’ve ever seen. Kids were reaching out for everything trying to touch them.

It was now time to head for our 4:30 p.m. booking at Pinnokio’s. We loved our restaurant experience here. The staff were lovely and friendly and we all really enjoyed our food. It’s an old-fashioned theatre-themed room that you sit in and it really adds to the atmosphere.

One thing we really noticed at Efteling was just how friendly the vast majority of the staff are. They really make an effort to engage with you and often asked us questions about our day. You can’t beat service with a smile.

Efteling Ultimate Two Day Family Friendly Itinerary
Dinner at Pinnokio’s

Although the rides shut most days at 8-9 pm they were still open for their evening water and light show. Aquanura takes place at different times each night and usually more than once. I’d recommend you go see it when it is dark if possible as then you will be able to see the lights better.

It was very clever and we were amazed at how high they could shoot the water. It was all done very well and perfectly in time. It’s a shame it was a dull day as my photo does not do it justice.


We went to bed tired but happy. We got so much out of our second day at the park. If your kids can go the distance you really can fit a lot in. On our final third day, it was our son’s 6th birthday. We let him pick everything he wanted to do again and then worked out the best route through the park to do this. For some reason, it was a lot busier than the previous two days so we only just managed to do everything before our evening flight home.

I really hope you visit. Currently, Efteling has 90% Dutch visitors, which seems a shame because it really is a place worth visiting. I couldn’t recommend it enough and hopefully, all my review posts will show how unique it is. It’s most certainly not your bog-standard theme park. It’s mythical, it’s well-themed, it’s full of fantasy and fairytales and there are rides that will rival any in the UK.

To find out about each ride in more detail please see – Efteling All the Rides for Children of at least 1.2 metres.

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