Tournament Semifinal 2018: Efteling versus Tokyo DisneySea

March 29, 2018, 10:07 AM · Last July, Efteling dethroned six-time champion Tokyo DisneySea to win our Theme Park Insider Award as the world's best theme park. These parks set the standard for excellence in the global theme park industry, offering attractions based on compelling stories and immersive environments. If you've never visited these parks, they deserve a place on your theme park travel bucket list.

And one of them will advance to the finals of our 2018 Theme Park Insider Tournament.

If you'd like a little more background on each park, please check out my trip reports from each park, as well as their Theme Park Insider review pages.

Join us tomorrow for our next semifinal, featuring Cedar Point versus Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, which beat Islands of Adventure in a nail-biter yesterday. The tournament final is Monday.

Replies (16)

March 29, 2018 at 10:27 AM ·

If this winner doesn't crush the US winner, I will SMH. But given how this tournament has played out for some of my favorites, I figure the park that wins this one is doomed in the final.

March 29, 2018 at 10:33 AM ·

I can’t believe they’ve been drawn together in the semi. It’s a nail biter right enough.

March 29, 2018 at 11:21 AM ·

Having read some very nice, detailed reviews about both parks on this site recently, I'd choose EITHER of them over MK... in a heartbeat!

March 29, 2018 at 12:30 PM ·

Tokyo Disney Sea is a more immersive theme park in general. Its entrance is more impressive (though Efteling's is nothing to balk at). The shows are much more impressive (Efteling's fountain night show and 3D conservation are lackluster compared to almost any Disney night or 3D show). The ride queues are much better done at Tokyo Disney Sea (Though Baron 1898 has a good one). The food at both parks is good, though I've eaten more at Tokyo Disney Sea so I view it as better. Both parks are very explorable. I prefer the rides at Tokyo Disney Sea by a long shot. Despite visiting Efteling while Symbolica was still under construction, it's not a comparison that can be overcome by one ride. It's Tokyo Disney Sea for the win in my book.

March 29, 2018 at 1:10 PM ·

I can't choose. These are two of my favorite parks in the world.

March 29, 2018 at 1:11 PM ·

Can't choose! These are two of my fave parks in the world!

March 29, 2018 at 2:05 PM ·

It's not really a fair comparisment. Efteling doesn't have the budgets that Disney has. It is doing a great job but how can we compare with a multi billion dollar park? Symbolica Costs 35 million dollar, i'd like to see Disney build a ride of that scale and quality for that money. The fact that Efteling is even considered tells me they do a great job at being unique and relevant, but Disney Sea is prettier.

March 29, 2018 at 2:53 PM ·

I chose the one I could pronounce.

March 29, 2018 at 3:13 PM ·

Another Sophie's Choice. Sorry Efteling, but you'll be fine.

March 29, 2018 at 4:19 PM ·

DisneySea sets the gold standard in details and theming, that is certain. On the flip side, DisneySea can be completed in a single day but not Efteling. With the inclusion of the Fairtale Forest ( which essentially acts as sort of a mini second gate ), Efteling belongs to the same category of theme parks as California's Disneyland whereby it is not possible to cover everything in a single day of visit. Efteling deserves credit on this diversity aspect.

March 29, 2018 at 4:26 PM ·

@ James.......LOL!!!

March 29, 2018 at 10:55 PM ·

Efteling is a cute park but not even in the same league as Disney Sea.

March 30, 2018 at 2:32 AM ·

been to both, gotta choose tokyo disney sea, and that's coming from a dutchman

March 30, 2018 at 6:07 AM ·

Efteling costs about $44 a day, Disney Sea about $69.
Disney Sea looks impressive and is due to the wealthy owner an amazing park, even better than every single Disney Corporation park in the world.
Efteling is a local park, their budget isn't anywhere near close to what Disney Sea is spending so on that comparison it's not fair. That said Efteling doesn't piggyback on ip's but on the original European fairy-tales and unique stories. With the limited budget they are able to create amazing rides but will always be a step behind the Disney Sea. Does that make Sea a better park? Not for me, most of their experiences I can get somewhere else so I prefer Efteling.

I'm impressed James can pronounce ???????????

March 30, 2018 at 9:17 AM ·

Robert, are people allowed to vote multiple times in a poll, even from the same IP address?

More so in the Orlando showdown, but I wonder how much ballot stuffing goes on by die-hard followers of one camp or the other.

March 31, 2018 at 6:54 AM ·

HA! If I speak slowly and sound things out.... I can do lots of neat stuff!!!

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