Last May the grounds of the Land van Ooit theme park (‘Land of Someday’) in Heusden, Brabant, that has been for sale since 2008, were turned into a temporary regular park by the municipality.
Before opening the grounds to the public again, drones had already taken the opportunity to shoot a couple of videos.
Video: YouTube / Ralph Denessen.
Video: YouTube / WOUW! Luchtopnames.
The theme park’s attractions were auctioned off in 2008, a year after the park went bankrupt. In 2015, after opening the park to the public again, the municipality of Heusden destroyed all the buildings in the park except the 13th century Castle d’Oultremont. It seems the pond with Napoleon’s drowning army also still exists. The municipality is still hoping to sell the grounds.
In 1989 former Efteling CEO Marc Taminiau founded Land van Ooit. He was trying to escape the fierce competition between ride-based amusement parks by creating a theme park based on theatre. The central deceit of the park was that it was its own fairytale country with its own anthem, salute and border crossings. Visitors were called Anderlanders, Otherlanders. Its motto was children are in charge. In its heyday Land van Ooit managed to attract up to 375,000 visitors a year.
(Photo: crop of the Ralph Denessen video)
Tags: amusement parks, bankruptcy, drones, efteling, Land van Ooit, theme parks
Science fiction blog IO9 noticed the new Raveleijn attraction at Efteling in Noord-Brabant, and the steam-punkiness of it all.
The show tells the story of the evil count Graveheart who has his subjects building mechanical creatures that destroy the land. It is up to the ancient Order of Ravens, a order of magical knights, to stop the threat and return, er, order. Six shows are performed each day in the new, 35 million euro Raveleijn compound, and there is also a spin-off TV series.
Both the back-story and the TV series were written by hit children’s horror story writer Paul van Loon, who lives just around the corner from Efteling in Drunen. He is a serial winner of the Nederlandse Kinderjury award, a literary prize awarded by children. Van Loon usually swipes the awards for the younger age group, with Francine Oomen ‘owning’ the 10 to 12-year-olds. Remarkably, when the children were asked in 2002 what the best children’s books of all time were, it was J.K. Rowling who took off with most of the prizes instead of Oomen and Van Loon.
(Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Arch who released it into the public domain)
Tags: amusement parks, children's books, efteling, Francine Oomen, knights, magic, Middle Ages, Noord-Brabant, Paul van Loon, ravens, story telling
The rocket (raket), the Dutch lolly invented in 1962 that never crash landed, is apparently way too pricy for the Dutch at amusement park Kabouter Plop in Coevorden, Drenthe, a Belgian ‘invention’.
For a Dutch treat that is often handed out for free around the country, the Dutch have complained that they just couldn’t get themselves to pay EUR 2,50 for it. The same themed amusement park also exists in Belgium where the price of the rocket is not an issue.
There have been so many complaints from the Dutch that not only it is news, but the solution has been to pull the product from the Dutch amusement park. Dutch kids will have to wait until they get home to have a rocket and stick to whatever other overpriced junk food the amusement park has to offer.
Tags: amusement parks, Drenthe, rocket
Amusement park Efteling is still the most visited attraction in the Netherlands according to RTL (Dutch). The zoos at the number two and three spots of 2006 changed places last year; Blijdorp came in second, and Burgers third. Burgers feels the swap can be explained by the extra attention Blijdorp got after gorilla Bokito escaped there.
Efteling suffered a blow in another ranking though: that of strongest brand of the Netherlands. Where it led two years ago, now it has to let foreign companies Ikea (1st) and Google (2nd) ahead. The amusement park based in Noord-Brabant comes in fourth, according to the ad agency Consult Brand Strategy (Dutch, PDF), after Cliniclowns (care clowns).
In 1952 Efteling opened its doors to the public. The park was designed by Anton Pieck, whose pictures of small winding streets with crooked, cosy houses found a welcome echo in the park’s architecture and landscaping. Originally little more than a tea house in green surroundings, the park soon added its fairy tale forest with life size depictions of well known fairy tales (trick question: name three of the seven dwarfs from Snow White), and from the 1970s onwards it acquired all the usual amusement park traits such as dark rides, fast rides, a hotel and a golf course.
Tags: amusement parks, Bokito, disney, efteling, ikea, monkeys, Noord-Brabant