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Winter Efteling returns with a new fairytale Winter Garden

by Susan and Simon Veness

Efteling theme park in the Netherlands offers a charming family experience all year long, but this winter it will be particularly enchanting.

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Fire Prince Kendrik and Snow Princess Jelka welcome guests to the fairy-tale-themed Efteling theme park as it takes on a winter wonderland atmosphere with its 22nd annual Winter Efteling, which transforms the park with thousands of twinkling lights, blazing wood-burning stoves, and festive garland from mid-November through January.

In a year that demands physical distancing and other health related restrictions, some of the seasonal event’s past features will be replaced by new opportunities that cater to the pandemic’s restraints while offering the same wondrous ambiance visitors have come to love.

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Although the cross-country ski track, ice rink, and Winter Efteling Illusions projection mapping show will not be running, the skating rink will be replaced this year by a new Warme Winter Weide winter garden, an open-air space where visitors can relax and enjoy food and beverage kiosks and live entertainment in the Fantasy Forest area of the park, with socially distanced seating and the glow of warming bonfires.

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Adding to the magical ambiance, Fantasy Forest inhabitants will sing winter-inspired songs on weekdays while weekends will include performances by the De Lichtpuntjes Gospel Singers. And, of course, Mr. and Mrs. Time from the park’s spectacular stage show CARO (now shuttered) will be on hand during the Christmas holidays, delighting visitors with their musical performances in the Carousel Theater.

De Vliegende Hollander (The Flying Dutchman) watercoaster will also be running, weather permitting, through Jan. 3, 2021.

Koen Sanders, Efteling’s commerce, creation & development director, says, “We are very happy that Winter Efteling can take place again this year, including the beautiful addition of our Warme Winter Weide winter garden. As in previous years, the Fairytale Forest is beautifully illuminated at night, there is winter entertainment again, and every evening ends with the spectacular Aquanuara water show. In these unusual times, we have had to make some adjustments, but we expect visitors to be enchanted with the winter atmosphere in the park as always.”

efteling

New Year’s Eve at Efteling will also be running in a modified form, with a light show replacing the usual fireworks spectacular. The light show will be visible throughout the park, allowing guests to keep the required 1.5 meter (5 feet) distance while enjoying the spectacle. A separate ticket is required for this special event.

Park admission tickets and a time slot for entry must be booked in advance online, and health checks are mandatory at the entrance gate. In addition, a health check questionnaire must be completed when booking tickets or reserving a time slot.

This year’s Winter Efteling runs from Nov. 16 – Jan. 31. Park reservations open up on Oct. 19 and can be booked on Efteling.com.

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