Occasionally one comes across a ride that’s difficult to classify because it takes elements of several different categories. An indoor roller coaster, perhaps, or maybe a water/dark ride. Even watercoasters are a thing nowadays. Rarely does a ride come along that combines elements of all these things into one unforgettable and truly awesome ride experience.
De Vliegende Hollander is one of those rides, and if I had to give it a category, I guess it’d be something along the lines of a dark watercoaster.
As with most Efteling attractions, Hollander is beautifully themed from the moment you walk through the doorway. You wind your way through a town in the 17th Century before reaching the dual-loading docks. Once seated in your boat, your adventure begins as you head through the dark ride / indoor section. Here you’re confronted with rooms full of mist, phantom ships, torrential rain and a whole plethora of really awesome special effects that it would spoil the ride to reveal. Then the finale is the roller coaster section which takes place outside and culminates in a final splashdown before a relaxing float back to the station to get your breath back.
What makes Hollander such a great ride is that every scene and every effect is flawlessly executed and you can tell it belongs as part of the ride. Even travelling through very thick mist is effective – you literally feel like you’re lost at sea at night, and that then leads into all the scary happenings with the ghost ship. To say too much about the other effects would be a detriment to enjoying the ride, but rest assured that they are impressive and exciting. And the roller coaster finale is just long enough to not overstay its welcome or delay disembarking unnecessarily, but exciting enough to match the rest of the ride and continue the thrills.
Not only is Hollander an impressive and exciting ride, it’s also efficient and ergonomic. The dual loading station and the Dutch philosophy of ‘pick your own row and sit in it’ speeds up your queuing time. And the alternating rows of 3 and 4 help to make sure everyone gets a great view of the action. Even in the queue line there’s a bilingual video explaining the story of the ride and this makes for some intriguing viewing, particularly as some of the effects resurface in the ride itself, which is awesome and amazing.
Whatever your particular ride preference, Hollander is sure to become one of your favourite rides once ridden. It’s got thrills, effects, suspense, water, a great soundtrack, and a whole list of other subtleties that are a joy to experience. This is definitely one ride you want to do, even if you don’t know it yet.
See you around =] x x