In the Netherlands, the excellent Efteling park has now officially opened its fourth major dark ride, “Symbolica – Palace of Fantasy”. The Dutch park is renowned for the excellent quality of its dark rides. The new “Symbolica – Palace of Fantasy” ride features a trackless ride system allowing guest to visit the Palace of Fantasy and its secret chambers with many professional Audio-Animatronics and illusions. Efteling invested 35 million Euro in the project, as the park is celebrating its 65th anniversary in 2017.


Symbolica: Palace of Fantasy

Come and visit the new indoor family attraction Symbolica. An enchanting palace in which nothing is what it seems. Enjoy an audience with the King together. Magic Jester Pardoes will ensure that every visit is surprising and enchanting. Let yourself be led along the secret corridors through into magical rooms and be amazed time after time.

The Palace of Fantasy is located in the centre of the park, at the end of the Pardoes Promenade, on the Efteling Brink.

Visitors are invited to rediscover their imagination on an adventure through the magical, hidden rooms of the Palace. Visitors of all nationalities and generations use their imagination. A maximum of six people will step into a carriage and then choose one of three different routes. Each route will offer a different adventure with interactive elements through the Palace of Fantasy.


As you’ll see on the video, the ride is extremely well done, and there is in fact three different paths at a certain moment of the ride, meaning that guests in each of the three trackless vehicles won’t see the same scenes. Efteling had the kindness to film three videos, showing the three different rides, though the opening and end scenes remain the same.

But there is more to say about “Symbolica – Palace of Fantasy” and those of you who did at Hong Kong Disneyland the great Mystic Manor ride will see instantly how “Symbolica” is full of tributes to the HKDL ride. Obviously Efteling “Imagineers” loved Mystic Manor as much as we did and kept some of the good ideas of the Disney ride, with of course a different story or theming. Still, the vehicle move in hallways and chambers of a “Palace of Fantasy” just like it does inside Mystic Manor, and some decors or scenes are more than reminiscences from the HKDL ride, like the greenhouse scene ( with a great idea that i don’t reveal ) or a scene with fighting armors. The opening scene, the load/unload room and the trackless vehicle itself also remind a lot Mystic Manor, but it’s mostly because the blueprint is identical as here too the theming is of course different. Even with these reminiscences we can’t say that Symbolica is a copycat of Mystic Manor and Efteling creatives have found new ideas which make it overall not only a great “E-Ticket” ride but also one of the best quality rides to open in Europe this year! It’s also amazing that Efteling succeeded to do this ride for 35 million euros “only”, a performance which would make jealous any WDI Imagineer!

And now, here are the three videos, watch definitely all of them to discover the different scenes of each tours. There is also a short pre-show, which is the first video below.

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We’re not done yet as Efteling has also posted a series of seven great making-of videos and it’s interesting to note that it’s Garner Holt company – the one who do now for Disney most of the Audio-Animatronics – who did the Audio-Animatronics of the Symbolica ride, as you’ll see in the last video below.

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Videos: copyright Efteling, Loopings

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