Efteling has confirmed the launch date and revealed the first look inside its elaborate new dark ride opening this summer.

Symbolica: Palace of Fantasy will welcome its first guests on July 1st. In the latest ‘making of’ video released by Efteling, viewers can see the attraction’s great King’s Hall – as pictured above. This royal chamber will be the final scene and highlight of the indoor attraction at the famous Dutch park.

Efteling Symbolica dark ride

Work continues on the themed palace that will house the ride, which Efteling is building for its Jubilee (65th) season. Symbolica will be the biggest and most expensive attraction in the history of the park in Kaatsheuvel near Tilburg. The total investment is €35 million ($37m).

In Symbolica: Palace of Fantasy, nothing is quite what it seems. Efteling’s in-house jester Pardoes will ensure that each visit is surprising and enchanting. Guests will be led through secret corridors and royal rooms as they await an audience with King Pardulfus. Three different routes through the ride will be offered. The complete experience is expected to last around seven minutes.

Trackless Ride Vehicles

The ride vehicles, or Fantasy Carriages, will “dance” across the floor of the royal chamber. Each of the 34 vehicles, by ETF Ride Systems, will seat up to six passengers. The trackless carriages can move forwards, backwards, rotate, accelerate and overtake other vehicles, offering an element of surprise in some scenes.

Symbolica and Dark Ride Tradition

Symbolica continues the tradition set by much-loved Efteling dark rides as Droomvlucht, Fata Morgana and Carnaval Festival. The new attraction is located in the centre of the park, at the end of Pardoes Promenade.

The Palace of Fantasy, which comprises eight towers of up to 20m in height, has a footprint of 61 x 60 m. The building’s highest point is almost 30m. A rooftop garden will feature approximately 800 solar panels for the generation of sustainable energy. The roof will be covered with 800 square metres of vegetation.

As well as ETF, other contractors include Heijmans, Hoppenbrouwers, Gubbels and Allround Dakexpert. The design effort, of course, is being led by Efteling’s own team.