Carnival Festival (or "Carnaval Festival" in Dutch) is a dark ride in amusement park Efteling in the Netherlands. It was designed by Joop Geesink and opened its doors in 1984.
The ride, 240 m length, is original, but clearly influenced by Disney’s "it's a small world", and signified a breach with the fairy-tale style of the Efteling. The ride takes 2 adults or 3 children, in 1 of the 118 cars, through a humorous simplification of the world populated by animatronics in just over 6 minutes, accompanied by a catchy music written by Ruud Bos and stand-up comedian Toon Hermans. The ride’s host is ‘Jokie de Prrretneus’, a carnival doll and the park’s mascot from 1984 until 1989 when the new mascot ‘Pardoes’ was introduced. In 2005 the ride was redecorated with the famous Dutch doll "Loekie de Leeuw", which also was created by Joop Geesink. Joop Geesink’s objective was to make it a hilarious ride, which is done by taking cultural aspects that have been generalized, and portraying them with funny dolls.
The ride passes through 9 different regions, each represented by typical scenes and variations on the music.Netherlands
The first land the ride passes through is the Netherlands. Scenes of singing frogs, birds, fishermen, tulips, wooden shoes and farmers represent the Dutch cultural icons.
Belgium, Monaco and France
After a short scene of Belgium the rides jumps from the Mediterranean to Paris, portrayed by can-can dancers in front of the Moulin Rouge
Next in line is the British capital, London. Scenes here show the Underground, Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard. The Scottish Highlands are also present.
Germany and the Alps
This region is represented by an Oktoberfest, where everybody is happily drinking beer, including a group of Monks. Some mountain scenes from the Alps conclude this part.
Here we see Venice, Pisa and a reference to Rome’s imperial history.
Japan and China
This scene opens with a tunnel decorated with Japanese Noh stage masks. After that we see some Geisha women, sumo wrestling and a Chinese Shadow play. China is portrayed by a large scene with a dragon.
This is a scene with an icy world filled with igloos and Eskimos and a lot of penguin-sized, snowman-like creatures. After this scene the ride goes through a tunnel where lots of these creatures stare down on the visitor through holes in the ceiling.
Here we see large trees as well as a giant monkey and hear jungle-screams
Mexico and Hawaii
Little donkeys transport Mexicans, of course with sombreros and maracas; guitars and trumpets. Hawaiian Hula girls bid us a farewell.
For the first time the Efteling ordered for a special music to be made. Ruud Bos was contracted, and the base theme was developed by Toon Hermans. The main tune varies per scene: a mandolin, bagpipe, gong- it seems simplistic but the actual presentation is very catchy. The multiple-track sound system was ‘borrowed’ from, again, "it's a small world" but is nowadays, of course, digitalized.
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