Our first Winter Theme Park holiday

Say the word “holiday” and most normal people will start reciting tales of times where they led on the beach in the sun for 2 weeks, getting sunburnt, waking up at 6am to reserve a sunbed, and how it was the best time of their life. Well, dear reader, I can’t think of anything worse. What if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way?!

2019 was without doubt one of the most adventurous and action-packed years we’ve ever had when it comes to theme park and funfair adventures – this largely thanks to a brilliant group of friends who share our outlook on thrills and fun. #blessed. So what better way to round the year off than by visiting some European rides at Christmas time?!

Winter Efteling

The itinerary

You do not need to spend obscene amounts of money on one of these trips – obviously you can if you want – but this trip was purposely planned to come in at just below £200pp.

  • Day 1: Fly London Stansted to Eindhoven, drive to hotel next to Efteling
  • Day 2: Day at Efteling followed by a drive to Cranger for their winter fair (Cranger Weihnachtszauber), stay at hotel nearby
  • Day 3: Other bits and bobs before flying home

Transport whilst there consisted of a hiring a car for the duration, which took the form of a Fiat 500 L. What can I say – it was an absolutely awful vehicle, which despite being very low milage already sounded like a bag of arse and continuously reminded us to “check oil level” whilst coughing and spluttering its way around the Netherlands. It did serve its purpose though, so thankyou Fiat. (Don’t buy one).

Winter Efteling

Efteling have really nailed their Christmas event, but would you expect any less from them? No.

The park is pretty much fully open with all the rides – a treat for us UK enthusiasts who are used to only seeing kids rides open over Christmas at our own parks. Efteling have gone to town on the winter theme, with many of their theming items having been completely swapped out for Christmas counterparts – their efforts run far deeper than just spraying a bit of poundland snow over everything.

Baron 1898

Cranger Weihnachtszauber

Translating directly to “Christmas Magic”, this is a young event which could be described as Germany’s answer to the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. When you consider that the Weihnactszauber is only in its second year, it really is an impressive little event.

Held on a smaller portion of the same ground as the summer Cranger Kirmes, the event was very nicely themed throughout, with little festive areas and quieter spaces which were a nice touch. The ride lineup is also worth noting as it included the brand new “Santa Mix” (KMG X Drive), as well as Commander, the Mondial Shake.

Other bits

The original plan was that we would go back to the Cranger Kirmes on the final day, but as tends to be the case, we spent breakfast googling things that were nearby and ended up at a couple of other places – firstly tobogganing down a hill in Valkenburg, before then calling in at a Christmas market in Maastricht.

An absolutely brilliant little holiday and a great way to round off 2019. Little did we know that this could be the last holiday we have in a while – thanks China.