Launch - First Look - August 2018


Efteling Gives New Life to Its First Coaster

Across the globe, you’ll find many legendary roller coasters that over several decades have become so endeared to generations of guests, park owners choose a major refurbishment over retirement.

“Python” at Efteling in Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands, is one such example.

Opening in 1981 as Efteling’s very first roller coaster, the park says, the Vekoma-built ride brought an additional 400,000 guests through the gates in the first year. Consisting of only a Fairytale Forest and playground at the time, Efteling was looking to attract older children and teenagers, and “Python” helped accomplish that goal. 


After a 12-week, 4.5 million-euro refurbishment, “Python” reopened this season with new track sections and supports. (Credit: Efteling)

“‘Python’ is an icon that really belongs to Efteling. Many guests have great memories from their childhood of the ride, and we want them to be able to relive them every time they are here,” says Coen Bertens, chief operating officer of Efteling.

Now in its 38th year of operation, the double-looping corkscrew coaster underwent a 12-week, 4.5 million-euro refurbishment. Crews almost entirely dismantled and reconstructed the aging ride. 

Belgian company CSM fabricated sections of new track and performed welding on the lift hill. The refurbishment retained the ride’s overall layout, but Bertens says its supports have changed. Columns that were originally straight are now angled, while some have diagonal joints between them. 

“With these changes, the course has been optimized according to modern standards and models so the ride is smoother as well as faster, [with] less angular corners and rounder shapes in the corkscrew,” Bertens notes. 

This is not the first reinvestment in “Python.” In 2011, Vekoma produced new 28-passenger trains for Efteling. The new trains were retained and now glide across the 2,460 feet of new track.

“‘Python’ is a special, fast ride for our younger guests, often the first roller coaster with loops to conquer!” Bertens says. “‘Python’ will give our visitors beautiful memories for decades to come.”