Kaatsheuvel Travel Guide

Browse 20 travel reviews, 6 travel blogs and 767 travel photos from real travelers to Kaatsheuvel.

Kaatsheuvel Locals

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Kaatsheuvel Overview

Kaatsheuvel is a village in the Dutch province of North Brabant. It is situated along the highways N261 and N628, and with a population of roughly 16,600, it is the largest village in the municipality Loon op Zand, which also consists of De Moer and Loon op Zand. Kaatsheuvel is also the capital of the municipality because the town hall is located here.

Kaatsheuvel's main attraction is "De Efteling" a theme park which is based on fairy tales. One of the founders was Anton Pieck. The Efteling is the largest theme park in The Netherlands, and as it opened in 1952, it is one of the oldest theme parks in the world. The Efteling is located in the town of Kaatsheuvel, in the municipality of Loon op Zand, and has received over 100 million visitors. In 1992 Efteling received the IAAPA Applause Award for Best Amusement Park in the World.

Originally the park catered towards children with a fairy tale theme. In over fifty years the park has evolved from a nature park with playground and a Fairy Tale Forest, into a full-size theme park along the lines of Disneyland. It is twice as large as the original Disneyland park and predates it by three years. Nowadays, the Efteling appeals to both young and old with its cultural, romantic and nostalgic themes and its variety of amusement rides.

Efteling 'officially' opened on May 31, 1952, when the Fairy Tale Forest (het Sprookjesbos), designed by the famous Dutch illustrator Anton Pieck, was declared open. Initially, the Fairy Tale Forest was home to some ten different fairy tales, all of them brought to life using original drawings by Anton Pieck alongside ingenious movements and lighting and sound effects designed by the Dutch film maker Peter Reijnders. The life-size fairy tales, displayed together in an atmospheric forest, proved to be an enormous success. In 1952 alone Efteling welcomed 240,000 visitors.

There is some debate about whether May 31, 1952, was the actual start of Efteling: some argue that 1950 should be considered the official year of the park's establishment, since in that year Stichting Natuurpark de Efteling, or Efteling Nature Park Foundation, was founded. Others prefer 1953, when Efteling was declared 'open' by a government official, coinciding with the opening of the park's second large restaurant facility that still exists as De Ballonvaarder.

If you want to enjoy the magic for more than 1 day, you can spend one or more nights in the Efteling hotel or bungalowpark.

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