The Efteling: A World Of Wonders
You can find us in the Efteling weekly with our 3 year old daughter. It is so nice to be in the magical world of The Efteling.
Officially the Efteling is a nature park. This is clearly by the amount of flowers, plants and trees in the park. Because of this, you can see squirrels climbing trees, ducks swimming in the pond and hear birds sing everywhere you walk. We really come at ease in this nice environment.
De Pandadroom (The Panda Dream)
We think one of the most beautiful attractions in the Efteling is Panda dream. This attraction is a collaboration between the Efteling and World Nature Fund.
In this attraction you will see (in 3D) monkey's play in the rain forest until 'humans' cut down the trees where they play in. How a turtle is having a nice little swim through the coral and a few seconds later the humans destroy everything using a fishing net and how a polar bear mommy looses her house because of the melting of the ice cap.
After the head show you will find yourself in the animal kingdom. Children can climb here on the climbing frame in the jungle, take a ride from the slide or creep through corridors in the 'savanne'. There is also a restaurant here called 'the Octopus'. From here you can keep a good eye on your playing children.
The 'ice' slide
Do The Animals Also Live Happily Ever After Here?
You would expect that, after seeing the movie about the perishing of nature that there is a large choice of animal and nature friendly meals available in the restaurant.
Unfortunately the smell of baked sausage rolls, salmon and chicken comes to meet you. When I ask for vegan options I get the answer: “we have a vegan salad en smoothies. Wow, cool! Are you serious?
The production of meat and dairy draws a heavy bill on the environment and the climate. And because of the fish that we all consume, oceans and sees are looted. We just saw it!! Come on Efteling. You can do better than this!
I took this picture on the climbing frame during Carnaval in The Netherlands. Jane wanted to dress up like Harry Potter that day ;)
Time for a nice cup of coffee
Thank heavens I like to drink my coffee black because in the Efteling you have no other options when you are Vegan. No plant based milk options here. Only machines where cow milk comes out.
Bring your own oat milk or soy milk. In most restaurants are microwaves (for baby food). But use it! If anyone says something about it you just say that you are lactose intolerant (aren't we all?)
How about a nice snack to go with my black coffee then?
A great choice of sweet pastries, sausage rolls, Dutch meat buns, cheese pastries, donuts. It is all available. Unfortunately the vegan options in the fairy tale forest are not more then a water ice popsicle and some pigeon feed (I am not joking).
Tip: If you really crave for something to go with your coffee then you can buy Tony Chocolonely in the shop at the entrance of the park. Winner!
So what can I eat in the Park?
I asked twice on the Efteling chat what the vegan options are in the park.
Here is their answer to me:
“Frying fat in the Efteling is 100% vegetable.
When you are looking for vegan products in the park we can recommend you the following restaurants: het Witte Paard, Panorama en de Verse Oogst (in Station de Oost). In these restaurants we offer different vegan dishes. From fresh fruit juices to meal salads, soups and fruit salads. Of course when in doubt our staff members can always check if there are any animal products are processed in the dishes. You can not reserve a table in these restaurants, but you can visit them if opened.
Yes, you read it correctly, salads, fruit juices and soups.
The frying fat is vegan but there is no vegan frying snack available. The only option in the snackbar is chips with ketchup. Unfortunately the 'no meat burger' in the Efteling is vegetarian.
I walked into multiple restaurants. Unfortunately, in most restaurants, the only vegan option is a salad (see picture at 'Het Witte Paard'. The buns you can have as a side, they told me, are on water base with a small possible chance of milk in it.
Vegan proof soups I could not find anywhere because even the tomato soup consists of milk cream and / or beef stock and the pea soup is far from being vegan!
A Hidden Treasure
What I did find out (and they did not tell me on the Efteling chat) is the toko next to the Pagode (Toko Pagode). Here is a vegan street food option available. That is the Yellow Thai Tofu Curry.
I bought it (see picture). The tofu was like I was chewing on rubber but the sauce was quite tasty my husband and I found. Spicy and creamy. Unfortunately for our daughter here no vegan options (except a dry tray of rice). Note: this Toko is not always open!
In the restaurant Panorama (à la carte) in which the Efteling said there would be a vegan option, there is a pasta available with soy cream base. Unfortunately the pasta is made from egg so not vegan! In the Panorama self service part you may find the same vegan salad again as I showed you before.
Behind the restaurant Panorama you will find a very nice playground for the little ones!
My tips for a day out in the Efteling Vegan Style
Bring your own suitcase loaded with food (just kidding, or am I not?)
Bring your own plant based coffee milk
Maak thuis deze lekkere vegan saucijzenbroodjes om mee te nemen
For the kids: we often take the little packs from Alpro with us.
If possible and if you want mayonnaise to go with your chips, bring your own vegan mayo!
Neem een zak belegde broodjes mee met bijvoorbeeld:
vegan chocolate sprinkles
vegan cheese, lettuce and tomato
This Alpro is not indistinguishable from real yogurt drink. Available in most supermarkets in The Netherlands!
Eating a homemade sandwich with vegan cheese at Pinokkio
Here some simple ideas for you:
plant based milk options for in the coffee
vegan pancakes at Polles Keuken (restaurant next to Symbolica)
vegan snacks in the 'wall of snacks' (yes especially vegans like a nice greasy snack!)
vegan hotdog or vegan sausage
vegan hamburger (yes please!)
Mention the 'Ve' sign on the menu so there is clarity for everyone
vegan options at the yogurt truck
vegan sauces to go with the chips (not only ketchup)
100 % plant based bread with for example hummus and lots of veggies
People are more and more consciously busy with their food and with the earth. It plays a major roll nowadays. Vegans are a fast growing group of people. Wouldn't it be great if the Efteling would contribute in this in the future? The youth is the future of the earth after all.
Dear readers, I love to hear whether you (and maybe the Efteling as well) have some more ideas!
Please veganize this! @ Sleeping Beauty