Back in April, Family Traveller went in search of a child to be crowned ‘Head of Wonder’ at the enchanting Efteling Theme Park in Holland.
We asked your children to tell us what ‘wonder’ means to them, whether it’s an idea for a new ride, something based on the most wondrous holiday, or a concept from deep in their imagination.
We received a wondrous 368 entries via video, drawings, words and photos, and are pleased to announce that our winner and new Head of Wonder at Efteling is seven-year-old Hannah Vanstone, who created a Princess Pea House Ride. Her very creative design includes a cable car ride with peapods to transport you to a three-storey peapod house. On the top floor, riders will discover a dining room with apple-flavoured candy-floss machines, a mint chocolate table and a pea shooter. Below, on the sleeping level, there are beds and table tennis with peas instead of balls! And the lower floor is the activity room with a pea pit and dancing room.
Hannah wins a trip to Efteling with her family, travelling by Eurotunnel Le Shuttle. In her prestigious role as Head of Wonder, she will meet an Efteling character and a rollercoaster operator, and most important of all, present and discuss her award-winning creation with members of the Efteling design team in Holland.
Hannah wrote: “Wonder is looking around and thinking how magical everything looks. It’s when you can’t believe what you’re looking at is real or that you are actually there.
P.S. I hope you like my Princess Pea House. I think it would be very wonderful if you made it at Efteling.”
As standards were so high, we chose Trinity Beesley, aged six, as our runner-up, for her interpretation of Wonder as everything from dressing up to discovering new worlds. Trinity receives a bundle of goodies from Efteling.
This year alone, Efteling has welcomed 5.18 million visitors through its enchanting doors. Over the years, it has grown to become one of Europe’s biggest theme parks, with an unrivalled fairytale atmosphere and a wide range of thrilling attractions, all set in natural surroundings.
On September 16, Efteling launches a new show called CARO, directed by famous Dutch actor and director Stanley Burleston. Staged at Efteling’s on-site theatre, the show is inspired by the theme park’s 100-year-old steam carousel, ‘Stoomcarrousel’ (pictured), and will feature stunning visuals, dancers, music and acrobats, as well as interactive roles for children.
Efteling is open year-round and is an ideal family short-break destination, with the Efteling Hotel and the holiday villages Efteling Bosrijk and Efteling Loonsche Land just a stone’s throw away.
For those with pre-school-age children looking for a break once the schools have returned, or a half-term or Christmas holiday with school-age kids, check out Efteling’s three-for-two nights offer on all bookings made between September 10 and October 7 2018. Stays must be taken before February 21 2019.
In low season, a five-person room in the Efteling Loonsche Land Hotel for two adults and two children starts from around €450 with three-for-two promotion, saving €225. The price includes breakfast and unlimited park access.