Before Efteling was the theme park we know today, it started life in the 1950s as a fairytale forest, bringing European fairytales to life with a signature whimsy that is seldom recreated. While the fairytale forest still exists and has been expanded over the years, there are also now rides that pay homage to this legacy while still adding something new and unique to a traditional theme park experience.
Droomvlucht, or ‘Dreamflight’ in English, is one of those rides.
Walking through the iconic entrance tunnel with its suspended balls of light is only the beginning of what is quite simply a magical experience. Your suspended vehicle travels through a number of dreams that feature fairies, trolls, floating castles, star fields and much more. The vehicles rotate to face the action to make sure you never miss anything, and the music and scents in each scene help to create a sense of wonder that adds to the magic and mystical nature of the ride as a whole. It’s really very pretty, and everything comes together to help create this.
While not a thrill ride as such, Droomvlucht is also unique for its finale: a moderately-fast downward spiral around a swamp that seems to go on for quite some time and is a somewhat unexpected surprise after the peaceful cruise through the rest of the ride. It’s not a roller coaster drop as the car doesn’t pick up any more speed due to gravity (it’s all controlled) but it’s still pretty exhilarating and actually works really well as a finale even though the rest of the ride isn’t thrilling at all.
I don’t really have anything bad to say about Droomvlucht the ride itself, my only criticisms come of the staging of it: the queue line and station. If you were expecting an elaborately-themed queue line akin to things like the ET Adventure at Universal Studios in Florida, then you’ll be disappointed when after the impactful entrance you end up in an area of pretty dull switchback queuing. Then there’s the station, which has little to no themeing and is actually located inside of a shop / restaurant. This really doesn’t do the ride justice at all, and is actually quite a disappointing example of consumerism that Efteling quite frankly is better than. It’s almost as if they ran out of space for their shop so they just built it around the Droomvlucht station. Don’t get me wrong, you forget about all this once the ride starts, but it’s still a bit of a shame that they couldn’t at least put up some walls or curtains so the station feels as magical and dreamy as the rest of the ride.
Minus these pretty minor quibbles, the ride part of Droomvlucht is a unique, memorable, magical and most importantly fun experience. It appeals to the young and young-at-heart with its fairytale themeing and the beauty of it, while teens and thrillseekers will still be somewhat surprised and impressed with its finale. Droomvlucht is one of the prettiest rides I’ve ever been on, and is definitely worth a look. Sweet dreams!
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the rest of your stay here at Along for the Ride.