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Attraction of the week: Efteling's Droomvlucht

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Published: October 23, 2012 at 10:45 AM

We started our Attraction of the Week feature last month with a look at Efteling's Fata Morgana. Today, we return to the Dutch theme park to shine the spotlight on another beloved dark ride: Droomvlucht.

Droomvlucht

Translated as "Dreamflight," Droomvlucht debuted in 1993, Efteling's 12.5-million-Euro response to the opening of Disneyland Paris the year before. Designed by the parks creative director, Ton van de Ven, and featuring music by Ruud Bos (who also composed the music for Fata Morgana), Droomvlucht takes riders through an elaborately decorated world of fairies, trolls, and fantasy landscapes.

You ride in suspended vehicles, a la Disney's Peter Pan ride, through five scenes: Castle Realm, Wondrous Forest, Fairy Garden, Heavenly Strongholds, and Squelch Forest. The ride also features one of my favorite dark-ride effects: a star field. I know, they're pretty simple and relatively inexpensive, but I know so many people who just love them. Let's just put this out there: Every theme park should be required to have at least one dark ride with a star field effect. Who's with me?

Let's take a ride on Droomvlucht [The ride starts at 1:50. The rest shows you the exterior and queue]:

No, there's no plot here - this isn't a narrative-driven dark ride. It's an impressionistic experience - a visit into a dream realm, where one scene leads into the next without explanation, things look a little crazy, then spin out of control at the end, and only your therapist has an explanation. Hey, at least this is a pleasant dream, though, and not some dark, dystopian nightmare. (Don't worry, fans of the darkness, I'll be offering you one of those types of rides next week!)

If you've visited Efteling and ridden Droomvlucht, please consider submitting a rating and review on our Droomvlucht page.

Readers' Opinions

From Anon Mouse on October 23, 2012 at 1:46 PM
Wow, the video is a bit like a sixties movie with fairies and trolls. The spinning out of control is about spinning around a troll scene. It is like a European version of Disney's Small World. It doesn't do much for me. It is worth only one visit. It was a good attempt, but I felt it needs some updating to make it more appealing.
From James Koehl on October 23, 2012 at 2:10 PM
This attraction looks to be visually beautiful, not exciting or thrilling, but a nice relaxing experience after a day of thrill rides. I don't know how much of a thrill park Efteling is, but this attraction would be a nice change of pace from a day of coasting. I liked the music- very restful, soothing, but it might put me to sleep before the end of the ride!
From Daniel Etcheberry on October 23, 2012 at 4:08 PM
I'm taken aback by the sign at the entrance that shows a wheelchair with a red diagonal line that basically means 'people in wheelchair NOT allowed' Can anyone imagine a theme park over here with that symbol! The theme park would get a lawsuit immediately. Here is 'you can ride any attraction you want as long as you can transfer by yourself or with the help of a member of your party' Even impossible attractions like the people mover and the Swiss Treehouse have signs that show that one must be ambulatory; not like in Holland's theme park that looks like they prohibit the entrance for people in wheelchairs! What will be next? A sign with a Jew and the red diagonal line?
From Robert Niles on October 23, 2012 at 4:52 PM
A little travel abroad helps one appreciate the ADA. Not to mention post-1993 ride technology.
From Danny McNeil on October 23, 2012 at 6:15 PM
Reminds menof a Midsummer Nights Dream. Such a beautiful and relaxing ride!
From Tim Chatlos on October 23, 2012 at 7:48 PM
This attraction is rather wonderful. I love the spiral down at the end. It's a kind of "camera shot" you don't often see in a dark ride experience. In addition to the must-have-starfield rule I would add that all dark rides must have at least one practical water effect. There is something about the smell/feel of real water in an attraction that takes things to a different level.
From Mark Kausch on October 23, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Actually, Daniel, that's a symbol for handicapped people, not just ones in wheelchairs. But, yeah, I feel ya. I noticed that right off.
From Tony Perkins on October 24, 2012 at 5:13 AM
Just beautiful, rides like this is why I go to theme parks.
From Leon Tunissen on October 24, 2012 at 10:50 AM
We often go to the Efteling (2-3 times a year) and this is the start of the day. Theres so much to see, that one ride is not enough. But when the park is at a peak of est. 30.000 then the waiting line is up to 90 minutes. And no fast-pass in the Efteling.

About the people who want to ride but who are in a wheelchair, they have to get out of the chair, to climb in to the ride. An they can past the lines at the exit.

From 64.53.200.146 on October 24, 2012 at 1:09 PM
I would love to see the ride of the week go to "Monster Mansion" at Six Flags Over Georgia. Not only is it a good Six Flags dark ride, its an overall great dark ride made by Sally Corp. This ride reminds me of Monster Mansion because its quite really a hidden easter egg of a ride that not many know about in general.
From Tim Chatlos on October 24, 2012 at 6:13 PM
Monster Mansion is a great ride and kind of a little miracle considering most of the attractions at the Six Flags parks. Also, I believe the original ride and the renovation were done by Gary Goddard Entertainment, not Sally Corp. Both companies do great dark ride work.

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