Park News - (9/9/16) According to this rather disturbing news article, the Efteling theme park was being discussed as a potential terrorist target by ISIS and their sympathizers. The discovery was made after local authorities arrested a woman in June who was planning to leave for Syria and investigators found numerous messages regarding a potential attack on the park on her phone.
2017 - New Resort Hotel - Confirmed - (10/30/15) According to a post on Twitter, Efteling will add a new 1000 beds resort to their theme park complex, with construction set to begin in 2016 in North of Loonsche Land. According to what information I could find, the new resort will cost 30 million Euros and be tucked in next to the Efteling Golf Course, with plans to open in 2017.
2017 - Symbolica - (4/15/17) Our friends at BlooLoop have posted a new update about the incredible looking “Symbolica: Palace of Fantasy” trackless dark ride opening on July 1st. Some of the images include a look at the highly detailed Royal Chamber scene as well as a look at the beautiful exterior of the castle themed building structure itself that will house the dark ride.
As they mention, Symbolica will be the biggest and most expensive attraction in the history of Efteling, clocking in at a estimated cost of 35 million Euros.
(4/14/17) Efteling has announced that their new dark ride, Symbolica, will open only July 1st in their latest preview video of the attraction. Check it out below, as it shows off several of the gigantic and highly detailed practical scenes that the trackless vehicles (from ETF) will travel through as they explore the castle.
(9/21/16) A quick clarification... the ride system shown in the video was something being worked up for an old ride concept for Efteling (Hartenhof - see artwork here) and is not the ride system being built for the project currently under construction. The ride system on Symbolica is said to use trackless dark ride vehicles.
(9/20/16) I'm told that Vekoma held an open-house of sorts the other day and a prototype on display of what they were working on for Efteling that was once known as Hartenhof and has since evolved into what is being called Symbolica. I'm not sure if this was a retired concept or something they are still very much working on.
Speaking of Symbolica, the project is under construction and you can see photos of the structure going up at the park on Twitter as well as at Themepark.NL.
(1/12/16) Efteling has posted a piece of new artwork showing off Symbolica: Palace of Fantasy, the name of their new dark ride attraction coming in 2017 as part of the park's 65th Anniversary celebration. According to one source, this attraction has a 35 million Euro budget and is the evolution of the old Hartenhof dark ride concept.
In one description, it mentions that the 6-passenger trackless ride vehicles will be called Fantasievaarder, and guests will venture into hidden rooms within the Palace of Fantasy, and get to choose one of three different routes, each with different interactive elements to provide a unique adventure. The park's mascot character, Pardoes, will be your host for the ride.
(11/11/15) According to a post at Loopings, Efteling is ready to begin work in early 2016 on a major new attraction for the park that wont open until 2017 to be called Symbolica. 2017 would also mark the park's 65th Anniversary, and the rumors report that Symbolica could be the park's most expensive expansion ever built.
They mention that the new ride system is said to be a trackless dark ride system where the guests sit on a spinning and tilting motion base from ETF, that will take guests around the world of Efteling's mascot Pardoes. If this sounds familiar, it should, as the project apparently started off as the once proposed Hartenhof attraction that was intended to open in 2012, but was put on hold.
Now the old concept for the Hartenhof ride system that would have attempted to build something more like the robot-arm dark-ride cars of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, but bigger and with more capacity has been scrapped in favor of this new dark ride concept.
(5/7/13) It has been awhile since we’ve heard much of anything about the delayed Hartenhof attraction for Efteling. While I’m not really sure of the cause of the delay, I have been told a bit more about the ride system that the park intended to use back when they wanted it open by 2012.
The artwork previously uncovered as belonging to Vekoma does seem to be the real deal. Efteling wanted to create their own dark ride experience that would have offered a similar experience to that of Universal Orlando’s Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride. As seen, this was intended to be a much more beefy platform, able to hold and toss around 24 seats all at once instead of just four, which meant fewer cars on the track at once. It is possible this issue alone may have been the cause of the delay as they were wanting a ride system as swift and nimble as the Harry Potter KUKA arm system, but with six times the capacity per vehicle. I don’t know if they’ve been forced to go back to the drawing board on this system or if they have elected to simply go an entirely new route. Hopefully we’ll know a bit more later this year.
(1/10/13) This may be a bit old, but artwork from a pattent from Vekoma showing off what is said to be the prototype ride system for Hartenhof at Efteling was posted to Themepark.NL a few months ago. All said and done, it looks like a bigger and very high capacity version (24 riders) of the Kuka robotic arm ride system used on the Harry Potter ride at Universal Orlando.
If that wasn’t good enough, eagle-eyed spies watching an episode of Megastructures detailing Vekoma’s construction of a Giant Inverted Boomerang coaster spotted a prototype version (one chair) of this new Efteling ride car in the background behind a bunch of cobra themed coaster cars and posted it here.
Speaking of Hartenhof, I’m told that it will be at least 2015 at the earliest until we see this attraction open. However a preview reel for a new television series staring the park’s characters that we will see in the attraction when it opens can be seen below. The ride will use a number of the same locations, as well as the big domed observatory / library that you see at the start of the video.
(7/22/11) According to News Parcs, the Hartenhof attraction plans for 2013 have now been delayed until 2015 because they have become a little more ambitious. However the restaurant project for 2012 is still said to be on the way.
(1/15/11) A great collection of model shots of Efteling’s new Hartenhof attraction building can be found here.
(12/17/10) Construction for Hartenhof has begun it seems, as the site has now been walled off. From what I’m told the outer themed portion of the area around it will open first, but the ride may not be ready until 2013. You can find current construction pictures here.
(7/22/10) I’m told that the ride system for the new Efteling dark ride will actually be from Vekoma and should be something very unique that is inspired by the Pandora’s Box ride concept hardware Vekoma designed a few years ago, but never actually built anywhere. It’s not a true Pandora’s Box… just based on a similar concept.
Pandora’s Box was kind of an odd idea of having a ride car able to move along a track around the outside perimeter of a structure divided into different show scenes. However the riders could not only move sideways around the edge... but up and down as well, moving from floor to floor. For this new version... ignore the robot arm looking seats. I’m told to think of this more like a large moving cabin of seats. More on this when we find out.
(5/28/10) Efteling has announced a major new dark ride project that will open at the end of May 2012 and be themed to the park’s mascot, Pardoes, the Magician. The ride will be located near the front of the park at the end of Pardoes Promenade and be themed as Hartenhof, the castle home of the the father of Pardoes’ girlfriend Pardijn. The estimated cost of the ride is 42 million Euros. According to the story at Eftelist, the ride may feature a Mack ride system and possibly used Augmented Reality technology.