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New Hotel, Indoor Attraction Coming to Efteling for 2024

January 24, 2022, 7:27 PM · (Update: January 25 - Efteling will reopen tomorrow, January 26.)

Efteling will close its Haunted Castle (Spookslot) walk-through attraction this year as it prepares for the next stage of its expansion.

The Dutch theme park will build a new hotel near its entrance and replace the Haunted Castle with a new indoor attraction, all as part of its World of Efteling 2030 plan, park officials said. The new projects are scheduled to open in 2024.

With the park currently closed due to The Netherlands' pandemic restrictions (see update, above), park managers have decided to re-prioritize which projects to take on first from the expansion plan.

"Of course, we hope to reopen soon," Efteling CEO Fons Jurgens said. "Despite the temporary closure, we do not want to stand still but use this period to prepare ourselves for the future.

"Last year, the 'World of Efteling' development plan was adopted, which has given us a framework for the future and a possible expansion outside the current boundaries of the Efteling theme park. However, the focus for the time being lies on developments within the park itself, which involve less financial risks than a much more challenging expansion beyond the current park boundaries. These investments for the next two years fit our vision 2030 and focus on continuity and maintaining our independence and quality."

A section of Efteling's parking lot will be used a construction site for the new hotel, which will be located east of the park's entrance. A "renewed thematic area" will go in just beyond that, south of Pardoes Promenade and on the current site of Spookslot.

Efteling plans
Image courtesy Efteling

The new attraction will anchor that area. Efteling did not provide any theme or details for that new indoor attraction, except to say that it is expected to have a capacity of 1,250 guests per hour.

Construction on both projects will begin this year. When the park reopens, it will kick off its 70th anniversary celebration with the opening of its transformed World of Sindbad land. For more information about Efteling, as well as a link to discounted tickets when the park reopens, please visit our Efteling theme park guide.

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Replies (1)

January 27, 2022 at 5:25 AM

I think it's the first time, Efteling demolishes an attraction that is not a industrially made.

In 1978, het Spookslot (The Haunted Castle) was the first enormous walk-through attraction the park build outside the boundaries of the Fairy Tale Forest.

The Haunted Castle marked the transition from a small regional park to the internationally acclaimed (some say best worldwide) themepark it is today.

Spookslot was also the transition from the original designer/illustrator Anton Pieck to Ton van de Ven who was to lead Efteling in creating the most beautiful dark rides like Fata Morgana and Droomvlucht.

The building itself is iconic for Efteling and anchors what the park differentiates from others: It's the mystical, the sometimes uneasy, slightly dillipidated atmosphere. The scenes depicted throughout the park look like they are there for themselves, you can be a spectator, sometimes interact, but you are a visitor in a strange, magical world of wonder.

Efteling has been restoring and improving its attractions for many years. To me and thousands of fellow Efteling fans it is beyond us why the park is not making attempts to update the show. Or to integrate a transportsystem in the already existing building. Or even to just let this incredibly beautiful castle remain as a facade, like a real ruin.

I wrote in a posting on Efteling's Facebook:

The Efteling is going to demolish the Haunted Castle!

In this time of uncertainties and constant changes due to the pandemic, Efteling would do well to show permanence, preserve traditions and develop those traditions further.

Many people need that now. Especially with a park that focuses so much on nostalgia, melancholy and experiences that bridge generations like the Efteling!

Extensions are important for any park. And also updates and Efteling's "polishing its pearls" are of great importance. But then you wouldn't demolish THE attraction that was the first to be built outside the fairytale forest, which formed the prelude to all the beauty that came after!

Leave the building, modernize the show, put in a ride system as far as I'm concerned, build the originally planned right half of the building as well and make it a fantastic attraction with many elements of the current castle.

A tribute to Ton van de Ven and Anton Pieck and the traditions of the park as guardian of fairy tales!

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