Efteling or PortAventura for Christmas break?

Looking at booking a theme park trip for my family and I (2 adults 2 kids) in the week between Christmas and new year. Narrowed it down to two that seem to be fairly reasonably and similarly priced for hotel(wanting to stay on site) and flights. PortAventura 3 nights, or Efteling 2 nights. Have been to PA before but not Efteling.

My question is, which is better at Christmas? Or in general? Are the parks usually really busy during christmas period? (I don’t mind, just want to know what to expect). I have a strong suspicion that despite being colder, Efteling would be really charming at Christmas, and although I’d like to visit both parks I am leaning more towards Efteling, would 2 nights, with maybe 1.75 days in the park with a late flight home be enough? My other half is leaning towards PA. Ideally we’d go to Europa park, but it’s just out of our budget for this trip and prices for DLP are atrocious these days.
 
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Thanks for replying, they will be 7 and 10. Efteling does look like it has a lot more that would be suitable for their heights, especially if the youngest still isn’t 1.2 by then. They enjoyed PA when we last went 4 years ago but they were younger, easier to entertain with smaller attractions and less aware of the big rides that they can’t go on.

We watched a few videos on Efteling last night and I think it convinced us to go there over PA this time. Does look lovely at Christmas, and the flight times seem to work out well for our dates too.
 

RicketyCricket

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Taron
Not done PA at Christmas but can't imagine it's anywhere near as good as what Efteling offer.

The Dutch (and Germans) love Christmas and know how to do it properly.
 

Shaggy_Dog_

TS Member
I haven’t been to either park myself but I have children that are a similar age to yours and I’d definitely pick Efteling. I think it’s maybe best to try and visit a park like that whilst your children are still young and will love the classic fantasy theming, it will all seem magical to them. Go for PA the year after when they’ll be both ready to ride the big coasters.
 

ThisGuy

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Forbidden Sweep
Can't go wrong with winter at Efteling, I would reccomend staying long enough to experience their new years eve event.

Though I can't really make a fair reccomendation as I don't know much about PortAventura outside of "Is buffet. Is closed."
 
Thanks everyone, we have booked 2 nights in The Efteling Hotel. We will be coming home on New Year’s Eve, so will probably miss the full NYE celebration, but might get to see some of it. If flights go to plan we should get close to 2 full days in the park, one full day in the middle and a few hours on park on our arrival and leaving day. Probably won’t get to do absolutely everything and I’m guessing the water rides will be closed, but that will give us another reason to come back at another time of year if we like it (which I’m sure we will), I’m really excited.
 
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RicketyCricket

TS Member
Favourite Ride
Taron
Thanks everyone, we have booked 2 nights in The Efteling Hotel. We will be coming home on New Year’s Eve, so will probably miss the full NYE celebration, but might get to see some of it. If flights go to plan we should get close to 2 full days in the park, one full day in the middle and a few hours on park on our arrival and leaving day. Probably won’t get to do absolutely everything and I’m guessing the water rides will be closed, but that will give us another reason to come back at another time of year if we like it (which I’m sure we will), I’m really excited.
Water rides will be closed but everything else should be open.

We spent an hour riding Joris in the dark without having to leave the station a few years back.
 
Water rides will be closed but everything else should be open.

We spent an hour riding Joris in the dark without having to leave the station a few years back.
That sounds like so much fun. Looking forward to going on Joris, it’ll be the first time on a woodie for my youngest child unless they hit the magic 1.2 before then and can get on Wickerman. Python will be the first coaster with inversions for the eldest.
 

Adam H

TS Member
I know you've booked but just incase for the future or for anybody else we stayed onsite at PA over Xmas in 2019. Queues were not too bad as it was mostly the Spanish and not many tourists. 10-15mins for Shambhala on a 1 train service. Although boxing day was busier so it was a 2 train. In Spain the main dinner is Christmas eve and the park even threw in free drinks on that day at the Creak View buffet and everybody dressed up. T shirt weather was a bonus and we'd certainly do it again.

I'm sure Efteling will be great and is something I have my eye on for the future.
 
I know you've booked but just incase for the future or for anybody else we stayed onsite at PA over Xmas in 2019. Queues were not too bad as it was mostly the Spanish and not many tourists. 10-15mins for Shambhala on a 1 train service. Although boxing day was busier so it was a 2 train. In Spain the main dinner is Christmas eve and the park even threw in free drinks on that day at the Creak View buffet and everybody dressed up. T shirt weather was a bonus and we'd certainly do it again.

I'm sure Efteling will be great and is something I have my eye on for the future.
I’ll definitely bear this in mind for the future, maybe once the kids hit the height for the big rides!
 
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