Today I feel sadness in my heart, but not for any reason you would expect. The Dutch NOS informed us (at https://nos.nl/l/2414328) that the Haunted castle will go. The Haunted Castle is one of the oldest attractions in the Dutch Efteling. I remember seeing it in its first year in 1978, it was my third visit. I would visit the Efteling about 6 times more but every time I wanted to see the haunted castle, it felt magical and there was so much to see. So when I see that future generations will be denied this, I merely feel sadness. I get it, it is almost 45 years old, but it kept millions of people staring at the floating violin, the running couple, the hanging man and so many other parts engaged, its departure is saddening.
In part I hope that the access route to the haunted castle will remain as the entrance for what comes next, but that is merely my look on the matter.
I decided not to include photo’s of the attraction, not that I am against it, but because the image would never show what it offers, even a YouTube film will mis parts of the show, it was that amazing. Yet the Efteling had so much more. In 1955 the Belgium Queen Fabiola wrote stories one of the was the Indian Waterlilies. It rook some time, but in 1966 the Efteling pulled it off and gave light to the Indian Waterlilies. I saw it in its second year, I must have been 5. I remember the overwhelming atmosphere it held and over time I would see it again, now as an engineer I would see through the show, but weirdly enough it would not lessen the show, because it was not a trick , it was a show and that made all the difference. The Efteling would bring more over time, the Pagoda, the Python, The Halve Maen (the half moon, a galleon on a swing), the enchanted forest, Villa Volta. So many amazing feats, and always there was the Haunted Castle. This summer will be its last time, so see it if you can. We can go on an awards and so on, but the truth is that the Efteling is a journey in itself. You should take the time to treat yourself at t’ Poffertje (The Little Dutch Pancake). It gives the vibes of the old Pancake house that I visited in the 60’s and 70’s. I still have an Anton Pieck Replica of that, the image takes me back to those years and the smells surround me. Only the Efteling got me there before and over time too much of this will vanish. There is the awful realisation that M2 must exceed €x for the event to survive. We have become a much larger accountant than history would be pleased with and too many parts will vanish over time. Not merely in The Efteling, but any themed Parc will go through these motions. I reckon that the same will be seen in Disney and Universal. I never saw the Jaws exhibition with my own eyes and perhaps I will have time to see the Harry Potter places, yet I am not holding my breath on that. For now I feel the sadness of the Haunted Castle leaving us and I cannot say goodbye, I last saw it in 2004, 17 years ago. The things we are denied because M2 did not exceed €x is just sad, it really is, as economy decides on what is worthy the numbers deny another path, that of the people it inspires on art and new ideas? A question most of us (including me) cannot answer, only historians have that ability, and even then it is limited and redacted to a hypothesis.
Sadness over what once was and soon will be no more. Consider what you will miss out on and if you have that ability, do something about it whilst you can. Just an idea to consider.