The 2014 Theme Park Insider Tournament: Fata Morgana vs. Droomvlucht
Written by Robert Niles
No tribute to great attractions around the world would be complete without devoting a good bit of time to Efteling. The Dutch theme park opened in 1952, with a fairy tale garden designed by Dutch artist Anton Pieck. Pieck's work continues to provide the guiding design principles for Efteling, which has won raves from theme park designers throughout the industry, including from Disney Legend Tony Baxter. (Scroll down on that page for the paragraph in our interview where Baxter praises Efteling.)Tweet
Pieck died in 1987, but much like the Disney theme parks outlived Walt Disney, Efteling continued to prosper in tribute to the park's original guiding artistic force. Today, we will feature two of the park's dark rides that have won high ratings from Theme Park Insider readers.
Fata Morgana opened in 1986, one year before Pieck's death. Set in a Moroccan-style palace across a reflecting pool from the park's entrance, Fata Morgana is an indoor boat ride that recreates scenes from 1,001 Arabian Nights. You're the protagonist in the narrative on this ride, caught in a Forbidden City, then blasted out of prison. But instead of hightailing to safety with your second chance, you stick around and help yourself to the kings' harem and treasures before, well, let's just say everything goes dark in the end.
Time for some on-ride video. The ride action starts at 4:45:
Droomvlucht opened in 1993, Efteling's 12.5-million-Euro response to the opening of Disneyland Paris the year before. Translated as "Dreamflight," Droomvlucht takes riders through an elaborately decorated world of fairies, trolls, and fantasy landscapes. You ride in suspended vehicles through five scenes: Castle Realm, Wondrous Forest, Fairy Garden, Heavenly Strongholds, and Squelch Forest.
Let's take a ride on Droomvlucht. Ride starts at 1:50:
So what do you like: Fairy tales whimsy, or dark action epics? Suspended tracks, or boat rides? You can't choose both in our vote, so just pick the one you'd run to first if you ever get the chance to visit Efteling.
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