Efteling Breaks Attendance Records in 2023

Efteling Theme Park Sets New Visitor Record and Eyes Future Growth

By Theme Park Magazine

In a magical corner of Kaatsheuvel, Holland, Efteling Theme Park has once again enchanted its way into the record books. Last year, this fairy-tale kingdom welcomed a staggering 5.56 million guests, surpassing its previous record set in 2022. With its blend of whimsy, adventure, and cultural heritage, Efteling has proven to be a favorite not just among the Dutch but increasingly among international visitors, particularly from Germany, England, and Belgium.

The park has seen a significant influx of guests from Germany, contributing to 33% of the growth, while English visitors were responsible for 12%, and Belgian guests led the charge with 48%. This international attention has not only put Efteling on the map but also highlighted its appeal as a global destination. Moreover, the number of annual pass holders within the Netherlands has seen a remarkable increase, indicating a growing local love for the park.

2023 was a year of both reflection and innovation for Efteling. The park dedicated efforts to celebrate its cultural heritage, with notable projects including revitalizing the Anton Pieck square, a nostalgic nod to the park’s history dating back to the 1950s.

Efteling’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage while embracing innovation was evident last year. The Anton Pieck square, a nostalgic nod to the park’s history dating back to the 1950s, was revitalized, enhancing the charm of its merry-go-rounds and celebrating its founder with a special exhibition at the Efteling Museum. The park’s dedication to sustainability was also showcased by installing nearly 12,000 additional solar panels, increasing the total to 25,000. The introduction of a new heat-cold storage (HCS) energy system in the autumn marked a significant step towards environmental sustainability, reducing gas consumption by 20% and providing energy-efficient solutions for attractions and facilities.

Looking ahead, Efteling is buzzing with excitement for the debut of the Danse Macabre attraction and the continued development of the Efteling Grand Hotel. These additions are part of a broader vision to attract more international guests and enhance the park’s status as a leading short-stay destination in Europe.

Danse Macabre, opening in 2024, is a one-room immersive dark ride in a medieval abbey with strong haunting themeing and storytelling. The ride will be in a haunted new forest land of Efteling.

CEO Fons Jurgens expressed gratitude towards the guests and optimism for the future, highlighting the park’s average guest satisfaction score of 8.64 as evidence of their successful trajectory.

“The fact that our growth in 2023 is mainly due to international visitors really feels like the icing on the cake,” said Jurgens.

Since its inception in 1952, Efteling has evolved into one of Europe’s largest theme parks, celebrated for its enchanting fairytale ambiance, diverse attractions, and natural beauty. Ranked among the top 25 theme parks globally, Efteling remains a year-round destination for families, offering a range of accommodations and experiences that cater to visitors seeking magical escapes.

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