Efteling, in the country of
Clogland Holland, is a theme park based around fairy tales you would see in those Ladybird books as a 5 year old, like Snow White or Hansel and Gretel, with some excellent theming that would have you convinced you'd been transported into said Ladybird books.
Once upon a time in 1952, a strange Dutch illustrator by the name of Anton Pieck was walking through the Dutch forest whilst coming home from a Belgian Chocolate Convention, seeing as back in those days only feet were transport in Holland. Somewhere amonst the whimsical, expressionistic trees and evidently-not-real-mushrooms, he found himself in a Fairy-Tale setting surrounded by fairies, elves, goblins and other strange things he would find in fairy tale books.
Amazed by the epic details that the creatures had done in the Forest (see the change in the caps lock?), Pieck made a deal to the whimsical creatures that if they helped develop his zany drawings and illustrations into pure theme park rides and rollercoasters, he would give them 50% of the profit.
Fair and square, Pieck up until his retirement in 1974 supplied the fairies and goblins his blueprints for rides through a underground tube system, soon letting his protege Van de Ven de Van de Ven carry on the magic with his unique rides ideas.
In short and simple terms, actual fairy tales physically built the theme park.
Rides and Roller Coasters
It is known for the various, creepy yet whimsical dark rides and roller coasters which don't come across so much as thrilling, because it's a fairy tale theme park. Since when did fairy tales have roller coasters involved? Did YOU ever see Red Riding Hood ride a generic B&M flying coaster? No. Did Cinderella's Prince Charming ever think to let planning permission for a Maurer Söhne spinning coaster just across the field from his castle? I don't think so. Was Ali-Baba ever interested in trying a Disk-O? Oh wait, that's not even a roller coaster!
- De Vliegende Hollande/The Flying Dutchman - A dark water coaster ride which is about a haunted pirate ship... but in a building?!
- Joris en de Draak - A duelling woodie which has recently replaced another woodie, Pegasus, differing only with an epic dragon animatronic and another 'duelling' track.
- Python - A Vekoma Double-Loop Corkscrew roller coaster, which isn't even themed like a flipping snake.
- Carnaval Festival - A dark ride with garish, psychedelic colours and whimsical-overload characters, aka Mind-F**k.
- Droomvluct/Dreamflight - A dark car ride filled with annoying fairies and a hypnotic soundtrack. Nobody has ever completed a full circuit on this ride without falling asleep.
- Fata Morgana - A dark boat ride for all the family to enjoy - with added torture scene.
- Spookslot - A Haunted Castle dark ride, haunted by the ghost of Kate Bush and her dancing in the "Wuthering Heights" music video.
- Half Moon - The largest swinging ship in the world, Half-Moon is themed around a well... trading ship.
- Monsieur Cannibale - A twist on the average Tea Cups ride, where you allow yourself to be cooked in a spinning cauldron for 3 and a half minutes.
- Pagode - A random observation tower which on the floor looks like a indoor spinning ride, but is in fact a trapping place for those with Vertigo.
Because the trees are so useful at hiding their rides and roller coasters, Efteling does not feel the need to cut any down and so are essentially foreign tree-huggers. But this is partially hypocritical for recently they tore down Pegasus, a wooden roller coaster for another duelling wooden coaster by the name of Joris en de Draak (George and the Dragon) featuring an epic dragon animatronic hiding somewhere. What they could have done is just added a second track to Pegasus and the epic dragon animatronic, so then wood didn't have to be pulled down for another piece of wood to be put there.
Currently people are debating if the wood for Pegasus should be recycled or be used as firewood for the local elves and goblins who live in the Fairy-Tale Forest, a walk-through with
blatantly obvious animatronics authentic fairy tale creatures.