The sign at the entrance of the attraction
Location Kaatsheuvel, North Brabant, Netherlands
Park section Marerijk
Status Operating since 31 May 1952
Soundtrack Yes, by various composers
Theme Fairy tales
Manufacturer Efteling
Product Walk-through, Animatronic-show
Builder Various builders
Designer / calculations Various designers
Animatronics 98

Sprookjesbos is a self-built walk-through currently located at Efteling in Kaatsheuvel, North Brabant, Netherlands.


Sprookjesbos was the real beginning of Efteling, where the park opened as a sport and nature park with a small playground, the opening of Sprookjesbos turned Efteling into one of The Netherlands biggest recreation spot.

Sprookjesbos was an idea of Philips inventor Peter Reijnders. Peter was inspired by Sprookjestuin in Eindhoven, a temporary event for Philips workers. Here, fairy tales where recreated on a small scale. His original idea was to move Sprookjestuin to Efteling, but that wasn't allowed, prompting him to make an entirely new one. Reijnders immediately called dutch artist Anton Pieck, asking him to design the attraction. Pieck originally declined, but ended up accepting the job after his wife convinced him.

While Pieck designed the overall aesthetics of the scene's, Reijnders, being an inventor, made all kinds of mechanisms for animatronics, effects etc.

The attraction originally opened with 10 fairy tales, being the castle of Sleeping Beauty, The Gnome Village, Six Servants, The Naughty Princess, The Chinese Nightingale, Mother Holle, Wee Walter messenger, The Frog king and the Magic Clock.

The attraction would continue to receive changes and new additions in laters years, with the latest addition opening in 2019.[1]


The attraction is located in the "Marerijk" area of the park, roughly translating to "Story Realm".


Sprookjesbos translates to fairy tale forest.

Fairy tales

The fairy tales are in order of appearance when taking the main path in the Fairy tale forest.

Sleeping Beauty


Sleeping Beauty opened with the attraction on the 31st of May, 1952.


Sleeping Beauty's castle is designed by Anton Pieck, with later additions by Ton van de Ven.

The Story


Sleeping Beauty is a classic fairy tale originating from 1697 by Charles Perrault in France. The Efteling uses the version made by the German Grimm brothers. The Grimm brothers added a beginning to the story, where a frog would tell the queen about her upcoming daughter. And removed the original ending, where the prince his mother was a giant that wanted to kill Sleeping Beauty's two kids, but ultimately ended up getting killed herself.


A King and Queen where very happy together, and only had one big wish: They wanted a child. On a certain day, while bathing in the big pond in front of the castle, a frog tells the queen that she will soon get a baby. When the little princess is born, the king and queen give a big party, inviting all the important people of the kingdom. But they stumbled upon an issue, the kingdom has thirteen fairies, and fairies only eat from golden plates. However, the castle only has twelve golden plates. They solve this by simply not inviting one fairy.

The fairies grant the little princess each one wish, but the thirteenth fairy enters the castle just before the final fairy can make her wish, and she casts a curse on the little princess; when she turns sixteen, she will prick herself on a spinning wheel and die. The twelfth fairy, that didn't cast her wish yet, can't cancel out this curse, but she can alter it. She makes it so that, instead of killing the princess, it will make her, and the entire castle, fall asleep for 100 years.

16 years later, the princess explores the huge castle, and she discovers a tower. Inside this tower is a old lady spinning on a spinning wheel. The princess asks her if she could try, to which the old lady (which is the thirteenth fairy in disguise) agrees. The princess proceeds to prick herself on the wheel as predicted, and everything in the castle starts to fall asleep. The thorn roses start to grow during this slumber, forming a impenetrable wall around the castle.

100 years later, a prince finds his way to the castle, and proceeds to cut himself a way through the thorns, eventually finding the princess, kissing her. This kiss wakes up the entire castle, lifting the curse. The prince and princess later marry and live happily ever after.


Sleeping Beauty was one of the 10 original fairy tales. The castle was simply an exterior on opening day, with the interior getting added a year later. The castle was the original market tool of the forest, appearing on all kind of merchandise and marketing tools. The castle was built using wooden beams, the wood came straight out of the actual forest, with stone mesh and cement on top.


Sleeping Beauty's castle on a hill, the first scene in the attraction.

The castle sits on a mountain, with a staircase leading up to it. Guests first walk underneath a small gate that leads to the staircase. A book with a short summary of the story can be found behind this gate. Guests will then encounter a guard sleeping against a tree, snoring loudly. After this, the castle itself can be reached, and the other scenes can be watched through the windows. The first scene is of Sleeping Beauty herself, laying on a bed, vast asleep. Some details in this room include a mural of the prince and princess leaving walking away from the castle, and some candles that are all hunched over, seemingly asleep. The second room is the tower, where an animatronic of the thirteenth witch in disguise can be seen using the spinning wheel. guests take a sharp turn under a gate to reach the third and final scene. On top of this gate are three crows, which are fast asleep. The third and final room is the kitchen, where guests can see the cock and his little helper fast asleep in the middle of all the ingredients and kitchen supplies. Guests exit the castle with another staircase, leading straight into the Gnome Village.

This Fairy tale has a total of 5 animatronics and doesn't have a soundtrack. It does feature nature sound effects of crickets, owls, frogs etc.

Later changes

1953: The interiors got added to the castle, this included Sleeping beauty and the cooks, the thirteenth fairy wasn't present yet. The guard also got added this year.

1980: The entire original castle got removed, this was due to the fact that the old structure was not made to last. The wood used as supports had completely deteriorated.

1981: The castle got rebuild with new materials, making able to last much longer. Ton van de Ven used this opportunity to add the animatronic of the thirteenth fairy. The gate at the start of the staircase also got overhauled, originally being a small arch of rocks. It turned into a small building, in the same style as the castle itself.

1997: The guard got a new design, the new one being way more detailed.

1999: The book with the story got added to the feet of the staircase.

2013: The book with the story gets an new updated look.

2016: The tree behind the guard gets replaced with a new young tree.[2]


The Gnome Village


The original Gnome Village, then known as 'Paddenstoelenparcours' (Mushroom course) opened with the attraction on the 31st of May, 1952. The expansions opened in 1972, 1974 and 1980.


The Gnome Village is designed by Anton Pieck, with later additions by Ton van de Ven and Henny Knoet.

The story


The Gnome Village isn't based on an existing story, but rather on the concept of gnomes. These creatures are famous fairy-tale creatures, mostly in European folklore. Efteling did try to tie the village together with an story of their own, the first one is called "De Gouden Stemvork" (The Golden Tuning Fork) and is written by Dutch writer Martine Bijl. This story got replaced in 2015. The new story was simply called "Het Kabouterdorp" (The Gnome Village) and its author isn't known. The story of The Golden Tuning Fork is based on the musical mushrooms all around the fairy tale forest, which music is produced by a little gnome in a hollow tree playing a harpsichord.

The Golden Tuning Fork

In a small country far away from here lived a king, this king had 3 daughters. Two of his daughters where very musical, but the youngest one, Estrella, wasn't. She couldn't sing a single note in tune and when she danced, she would trip over her own feet at least ten times. The king decided to send his Minister of Cheer-full business to find someone capable of teaching her. The minister however, didn't feel like doing such a task, and forwarded it to the bell-ringer, which also didn't feel like doing the task, forwarding it to the gatekeeper. The gatekeeper thought to himself "how am i supposed to find someone who doesn't exist?" but at that moment the basketmaker passed by. The gatekeeper pressed a silver ducat into his hand, and he was thus instructed to find a music teacher for the king's daughter.

The basketmaker couldn't find anyone who would be up to the task, until he heard the most beautiful melody he ever heard. He followed the sound, and found a small little village made out of mushrooms. The music came from a hollow tree with a gnome inside of it, playing the tune on his harpsichord. One of the gnomes told the basket maker that they where music-gnomes, and knew about his task. The gnomes gifted him a golden tuning fork, a present for being the only one willing to do the task. The fork had a magical property, being able to enchant people to give them musical capabilities.

The basket maker returned to the castle, to find a big party inside castle walls. He quickly hit the fork on an object next to the princess, and she could dance all of a sudden. He hit the fork again, and the princess started singing the most beautiful tones. The basket maker quickly told the story of his adventure to the king, who elected him as the new Minister of Cheer-full business. The princess ended up marrying the new Minister of Cheer-full business, and the gnomes? They received a crate of wine every week from the king.

The Gnome Village

Once upon a time, there was a small village of gnomes deep in the forest. This village existed out of small brick houses, big mushroom houses and one hollow tree stump. Inside the stump lived Riedeltje, the music gnome. He plays the most beautiful tunes on his piano all day, those tunes get transported through magical mushrooms, and could be heard though the entire forest. But this time was different, he made a special tune for the spring festival.

Riedeltje had a terrible headache the next day, prompting him to leave his house for some fresh air. But his front door closed behind him, locking him out! "oh no" he said "The key is still inside". He proceeded to push against the door with all his power, but it was no use. He wandered into the village, hoping to find another gnome able to help him.

He peeked through the window of the first house, but he only saw a few gnomes fast asleep. This prompted him to go to the next house, where a female gnome, named Tobbelientje, was washing some clothes. But she already told him that she was busy before he could even speak a word! She told him to ask her husband, Druppel. Riedeltje knocked on the door, and Druppel opened the door, still sleepy from a nap he just woke up from. He looked around, but was too sleepy to notice Riedeltje, and closed the door again while he muttered; "I must have mistaken..".

He tried house after house, but nobody was willing to help him, everyone was just too busy with themselves. Riedeltje became very upset, and decided to make a stoll around the forest to calm down. He eventually reached a lake, where he sat down for a bit and fell asleep. It was now awfully quiet in the village, and the other gnomes started to notice it. Where was the music that always came from the mushrooms? And where is Riedeltje? They all went to the hollow tree, but couldn't find him. This made all the gnomes worried; "We have to get that door open!" said one of them. And they all came together and slammed against the door, opening it. But Riedeltje wasn't inside, where was he? At that moment, Riedeltje returned to the tree, who thanked all of them for opening his door. He immediately took place behind his Piano, and started to play his music again.


The Gnome Village was one of the 10 original fairy tales. It originally opened as three small mushroom houses that kids could enter. There where no gnomes to be seen, only a few gnome clothes drying on a washing line. The village saw its first expansion in 1972 and was designed by the original designer of the Efteling and Sprookjesbos; Anton Pieck. This expansion consisted of one big house, with animatronic gnomes living in and outside the house. The second expansion came in 1974. This expansion brought Riedeltje and his hollow tree home to the village, playing his harpsichord, fueling the musical mushrooms. This expansion was again designed by Pieck. The third and last expansion came in 1980, and brought two new houses to the village. One having 3 gnomes living in and around it, and the other having two. This expansion was designed by Anton Pieck's successor; Ton van de Ven.[3]

Close up of the balcony of the last house on the right


The Gnome Village consists of 7 houses, with two of them being accessible to guests. A total of 13 animatronic gnomes reside in the village.

When exiting Sleeping Beauty's Castle, Guests will see the old Padenstoelenparcours and Riedeltje's hollow tree home on their right, and the house of the writing gnome on their left.

If the guests go to the left, and enter the house, they would walk up the staircase and enter a small scene, in which a gnome is seen writing a book. He sometimes looks up and at the guests. The guests leave the house on the other side, with another staircase.

If the guests go to the right, they could look at the old Paddenstoelenparcours, which has been closed off for guests and standing SBNO since 2017. They could also take a look at Riedeltjes home, a hollow tree. When peering through the windows, guests can see Riedeltje playing his harpsichord, with another gnome entering through the door once in a while.

If the guests would continue forward, they would encounter two more homes on their left and right. The House on the left features two gnomes, one of them being the only female in the village, Tobbelientje, while she washes her clothes. The other gnome is inside the home, and can be called out by guests when trying to open the gate to the front garden. The House on the right is accessible to guests, and features multiple gnomes inside, in various states of sleep.

The house of the writing gnome, and the house of the sleeping gnomes feature various music box arrangements as music. And Riedeltje's tree features the same music as the musical mushrooms; Minuet in G Major by Christian Petzold.

Later changes

1972: The village sees its first expansion; a house with multiple gnomes gets added to the village. Its the first time gnomes can actually be seen in the village.

1974: The village sees its second expansion; a hollow tree with Riedeltje inside.

1980: The village sees its third expansion; two houses, holding 5 gnomes together.

2000: The book with the story got added next to the hollow treestump. It contained the story of the Golden Tuning Fork.

2015: The wooden staircase of the house of the writing gnome gets replaced. The book with the story also got replaced with a new one, this one containing the story of the Gnome Village

2017: the original part of the village; the Paddenstoelenparcour. Closes, it is still standing, but guests are not allowed to enter.

2018: the village gets a major refurbishment, everything is either replaced or renewed. The Paddenstoelenparcours remains closed and did not get a renovation.[4]


The Six Servants


The Six Servants opened with the attraction on the 31st of May, 1952.


The Six Servants is designed by Anton Pieck. With later changes by Ton van de Ven.

The story


The Six Servants is an old folkstale originating from Paderborn, a town in the west of Germany. The Efteling uses the version made by the German Grimm brothers. There are two Grimm versions, Efteling uses the first version, with the other being called Sechse kommen durch die ganze Welt (Around the world with six). This second version tells the tale of a soldier who wants to take his revenge on the king, and uses the Six Servants to serve this goal.


There once was a beautiful princess living with her stepmother, the queen, in a land far away. She was so pretty that lots of princess from far and wide made the travel in order to ask her hand. But her stepmother didn't want her daughter to marry, she just wanted to get richer! That is why she gave every prince impossible challenges to complete before allowing them to marry her daughter. If they failed, their heads would be chopped of, and all of their land and riches would go to the queen.

The queen got very rich this way, until one day. On this faithfull day, yet another prince asked for her daughters hand. But this prince knew about the queen's antics, and picked up six servants along the way. These weren't your regular old servants, they had amazing powers, making them able to perform almost any task.

The queen faked a smile when the prince asked to marry her daughter. "Of course you can! But only if you can get her back into the castle in a quarter of an hour from now!". That didn't seem that hard, but once Longneck stretched out his neck, and saw that the princess was all the way on the other side of the kingdom, crying. One of his servants, with incredibly long legs, took the prince and ran to the other side with relative ease. He could jump over entire mountains with no issue, but a sea proofed to be difficult. Another servant, with a belly as big as the highest mountain, preceded to drink the entire sea, allowing them to progress. They where halted to another stop when a mountain proofed to be too big, even for this servant! This is where Bulleteye came in, he removed the blindfold from his eyes and looked at the mountain. The mountain immediatly exploded in front of their eyes, while Bulleteye put his blindfold back on. After a bit of progress, a giant forestfire stopped them dead in their tracks. This is where the final servant came in, he blew with his cold breath, which immediately got rid of all the fire. They finally found the princess after a small bit of running, they took her with them and got back to the castle as fast as they could.

The Queen was furious when she saw the prince return on time with her daughter, but she still allowed them to marry. The prince put the princess on his horse, and they traveled of to his land, where they would live happily ever after.


The Six Servants was one of the 10 original fairy tales. It only contained Longneck upon opening. His design was altered slightly as time went on, made with newer materials each time.

Bulleteye was added in 1954, but didn't last long, already being removed a few years later. This was due to them suggesting that he lost his powers, with a wasp resting on his nose, unable to get rid of it.

A Take-away food kiosk was opened on the opposite side of Longneck in 1967. This Kiosk was themed as a portrait gallery of The Six Servants, with portraits of the six hanging on the walls. It was named after one of the servants; Bulleteye, with a bust of him on top of the roof. This kiosk closed in 2002 due to low sales, but reopened in 2019.[5]

Longneck sitting on his rock


Even though the story contains Six Servants, only one of them is actually represented in the scene, this being Longneck. He sits on a rock, continuesly stretching out his neck while 'his' tale is being told in the background. Guests can stand in front of Longneck to look at him, or sit on a bench under the roof of the 'Kogeloog' (Bulleteye) Take-away kiosk in the back.

The scene contains 1 animatronic and uses In the Moonlight by Albert Ketèlbey as its soundtrack.

Later changes

1954: Bulleteye gets added.

1964: Bulleteye gets removed.

1967: Take-away kiosk "Kogeloog" opens on the opposite side of Longneck.

196?: Longneck his clothes are no longer made of cloth, but from Polyester.

1972: Longneck recieves a new head, designed by Ton van de Ven.

1979: Longneck recieves a new body and neck, designed by Ton van de Ven. His rock also doubles in size.

2000: The book with the story got added to the right side of Longneck.

2002: Take-away kiosk "Kogeloog" closes.

2013: The book with the story gets an new updated look.

2019: Take-away kiosk "Kogeloog" reopens.[5]

Little Red Riding Hood


The red Shoes

The Troll King

The Naughty Princess


The little Mermaid

The Dragon

The Wolf and the seven Kids

Hansel and Gretel

Mother Holle

Wee Walter Messenger

Table be laid, Donkey lift your Tail

Snow White

Guinevere's Bridal Gown

The Six Swans


The Frog King

The magic Clock

The Indian Water Lilies

Tom Thumb


The little Match Girl

The Emperor's new Clothes

Fairytale Tree

The Gardener and the Fakir

The Chinese Nightingale

Removed Scene's

This is in order of appearance when taking the main path in the Fairy tale forest.

  • Little Red Riding Hood: Little Red Riding Hood got originally added in 1953 as two statues next to the road, one of little red and one of the wolf. Both where designed by Anton Pieck. Peter Reijnders wasn't satisfied with this scenes, and prompted for a bigger scene. He got his way in 1960, where Grandma's house got build with the scene inside. The old statue of Little red was reused on a sign pointing to the fairy tale. This has later been replaced by a replica.
  • Captain Gijs: This was one of the famous Holle Bolle Gijs trashcans that the park has. The difference with this one was that trash wouldn't be thrown in the statue his mouth, but in his cannon instead. This figure got removed in 2016 to make way for Pinocchio. The figure got moved to Ruigrijk, where he now resides next to Python.
  • Dancing Dolphin: This was a small scene, it contained a fish-like creature swimming around in a wavelike motion. This scene got replaced with the little mermaid in 1970.
  • The Chinese Nightingale: The original version of the Chinese Nightingale opened with the forest itself, and was a simple Nightingale animatronic in front of a wall. With Flowers opening once it sang. This scene proved to be a technical nightmare however, prompting the park to replace it with the Dragon in 1979. The wall got reused for this, with the dragon sitting on top.

Other encounters

Guests can also encounter a variety of different details not related to the main scenes in the forest, such as:

  • Big mushrooms with music coming out of them, the music used is Menuet in G majeur by Jan van Oort.
  • Two versions of Holle Bolle Gijs can be found in the forest. Holle Bolle Gijs is a staple of the Efteling, and consist of a large man begging for paper, and thanking guests if they throw paper in his mouth. He is based on the verse of the same name. The first version of Gijs can be found at the Six Servants, on the opposite side of Long neck. The second version can be found on the opposite side of the Frog King.
  • A Witches broom with a bindle stuck in a tree, suggesting that a witch crash landed there. This detail can be found in one of the trees near the Dragon.
  • Kniesende Kniesoor. This is a talking animatronic tree, but, unlike the fairytale tree, this is an actual tree that simply has an animatronic mask attached to it. It interacts with guests using the Efteling app.[6]


  1. "History of Sprookjesbos on Eftepedia".
  2. "Efteling's Sleeping Beauty on Eftepedia".
  3. "Gnome Village on Eftepedia".
  4. "Refurbishment for Gnome Village - Efteling Blog".
  5. 5.0 5.1 "The Six Servants on Eftepedia".
  6. "Sprookjesbos on Eftepedia".
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