Efteling reveals more details of Danse Macabre design

Danse Macabre visual area
Visual of Huyverwoud, the new area surrounding Danse Macabre (© Efteling)

At this time, Efteling is working hard on the construction of their new ride, set to open in 2024: Danse Macabre. The largest theme park in The Netherlands is to open a brand new show ride with a spooky theme, replacing their haunted castle Spookslot. Along with the ride, the park will construct a new immersive area, called Huyverwoud (‘shivering forest’). This week, the park revealed more detailed plans on the area surrounding the ride, as well as the queue line.

“Around the ruins of a medieval abbey, there will be a lot to explore,” as Efteling-designer Jeroen Verheij tells in a blog post. A large image which was revealed on the same blog, also available in high resolution, shows the lay-out of the Huyverwoud area and the sequence of the queue line. Storywise, the area revolves around the Charlatan family. Their great-great-grandfather Jozef Charlatan, a conductor, once disappeared mysteriously along with his orchestra in these woods. The Charlatans travelled here, trying to resolve the mystery of their ancestor, and settled around the ruins of the abbey.

The Charlatans have started some businesses in the dilapidated buildings surrounding the abbey. The former tavern, which looks as if it was partly burnt down, is now again a food & beverage location called In den Swarte Kat. The former carriage house (Koetshuis) is used by the Charlatans as a stand to sell sweets, and near the abbey the Charlatans set up their own merchandise shop.

Danse Macabre area map
Map of the Huyverwoud themed area, including the queue (© Efteling)

Most of the attention from within the square is drawn by a large gate however, which functions as the entrance to Danse Macabre‘s queue line. From here, guests enter the Kruysgang, a former cloister which become disused long ago and has since overgrown. From here, they enter the Kruydentuyn, the vegetable garden. The garden is now used by the Charlatans to grow healing plants. The Kruydentuyn leads guests to a large gate, behind which they find a mysterious graveyard (kerkhof in Dutch). All of the graves seem to belong to former musicians, and some sombre music even seems to emanate around the place. From here, the queue winds through a dark forest, before guests eventually enter the mysterious abbey.

Danse Macabre will feature two queue lines: a normal line and a single riders line, both of which follow the sequence until the graveyard. The queue line will be completely wheelchair-accessible, to enable all riders to go through the entire experience. Guests who are unable to walk for short distances unfortunately cannot join the simulator ride, but there will be a separate room for them to ‘experience the ride in their own way’.

Last October, the park already presented more detailed information on the ride system, which will be a unique installation by Intamin. The ride consists of six rotating choir stalls on a large platform, which are able to rotate and heave. During the ride, “riders will dance and shiver on the music tones of the famous Danse Macabre,” Efteling claims. The total investment in the new area, including the ride, is estimated to be € 25 million.

The news on Danse Macabre is not the only recent dark ride news from Efteling. Last weekend, the park re-opened their beloved Droomvlucht after a renovation of 4 months costing € 6 million. Last month, the park also announced the addition of a new scene to their semi-dark ride De Vliegende Hollander.