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Maarten Prinsen - Issue #16

Amusement parks. Everyone I know just loves them. Of course we never had a Disney park in our backyar

Maarten Prinsen

September 5 · Issue #16 · View online
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Amusement parks. Everyone I know just loves them. Of course we never had a Disney park in our backyard over here in the Netherlands, but we do have another national treasure: the Efteling. This park is more than just a collection of rides, it’s emotion and etched into the minds of nearly every person in our small country.

Little boy in a fairy tale world
I vividly remember my first visit to the Efteling. When I was about 4/5 years old, my parents took me on the hour-long journey to get there. Carrying my own backpack, filled with juice boxes, bread rolls and candy (duh!) I felt really cool.
Since I wasn’t too much of a thrill-seeker, we mainly focused on the fairy tale forest.
In this magical environment, all of the famous, enchanting stories come to life through moving animatronics.
From Sleeping Beauty to Little Red Riding Hood and from Snow White to a lifesize Gnome Village, you can find them all in that wonderful forest.
I was blown away by everything I saw. Moving figures that were my size or even bigger; it was like a dream come true and I wanted to live there forever.
Of course, my parents insisted on taking me back home at the end of the day, but my love for the Efteling never faded away.
Not so little boy in a fairy tale world
A few days ago, it was time for my yearly visit to the Efteling again.
I rode the rollercoasters and all the spectacular other rides; it was a blast!
The highlight of the trip however was the visit to my old friends in the fairy tale forest.
Upon close inspection, I seemed to be the only one that had aged. Sleeping Beauty was as beautiful as she was all those years ago and the wolf was still wearing grandmother’s clothes while patiently waiting in bed to devour Little Red Riding Hood.
I felt old, but still got that warm feeling on the inside. The magic has never left in the Efteling and I will continue to visit this beautiful place for years to come…
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