Efteling celebrates his 70th birthday this Tuesday. Many attractions have been added over the decades, but every now and then we’ve also seen a beloved part disappear. Below is a selection of the lost gems of the past.
The stadium (1951-1990)
You can’t imagine it anymore, but in the early years Efteling was basically a playground. A big one, with attractions like Merry-go-round and Merry-go-round. But as Efteling grew, so did the pitch’s popularity.
At the end of the 1980s, the stadium had to give way to a themed area with new residents: Folk van Laave. Also in Lavenlaar you will find a few vintage playground equipment reminiscent of the past.
The pool (1953-1988)
Another thing that the younger generations definitely cannot imagine is that you can swim in the garden for a long time. Since 1953, there has been a large outdoor bath in the spot where you can find De Vliegende Hollander today. When the cuts had to be made in 1988, it meant the end of the pool, which is no longer very popular anyway.
However, the pumped-up sump did not immediately disappear. Terraces were placed in it and a tent was placed over it. Until 2001, performances were given there, including performances by Samsom and Gert.
At the time Pegasus was opened, it was one of the first wooden roller coasters in Europe. Efteling had hoped to find great success with this, before opening EuroDisney in Paris a year later.
But the beauty of Pegasus in the water – especially in the dark – did not stay long. Not only did the path become less comfortable, the construction also suffered from wood rot. In 2009, the attraction was demolished, to be replaced a year later by the larger wooden roller coaster Joris en de Draak.
Where not many fans mourned the disappearance of Pegasus, it was different with Bob. Because a roller coaster where you glide freely through a winding path in a sleigh, where did you find that?
However, it was precisely this exclusivity that ultimately broke the attraction. Since there are only two similar examples in the world, maintenance has become more expensive. With a sad heart, Efteling decided to replace Bob in 2019 with Max & Moritz family surfer.
Polka Marina (1984-2020)
Who has not surrounded this large whale? The attraction opened at the same time as the neighboring Oude Tufferbaan, where you can ride in a classic car. Together they had to make the area with Python, which we now know as Ruigrijk, more kid-friendly.
With success, because until demolished in 2020, the attraction will be good with kids who ride with their parents or grandparents. But as with Bob, maintenance costs are very high here. Unlike the previous examples, there will be no attraction at the Polka Marina site.
Many other attractions have disappeared over the past 70 years. There are honorable mentions for:
- Boating lake (disappeared with the arrival of the Aquanura Fountain scene),
- PandaDream (the movie has been replaced by Fabula),
- Monsieur Cannibale (converted to Sirocco after protest from anti-discrimination activists),
- And – last but not least – the old Aquatic member, who fans are still begging to bring back.
The attraction that the 75th anniversary party won’t see is, of course, the Spookslot. And for that too, there is something that today’s audience should enjoy even more.
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