A Drink on the Terrace With Truus From Delft: Place Attachment at De Efteling Theme Park

Author First name, Last name, Institution

William McCarthy, Zayed University

Document Type


Source of Publication

Tourism Culture & Communication

Publication Date



Theme parks have been described by scholars as asocial and placeless, but recent research by McCarthy (2019) demonstrated that Southern Californians exhibit a strong sense of placement attachment and sociality at Disneyland. With the third highest attendance among theme parks in Europe, De Efteling in the Netherlands provides a congruent comparison to Disneyland since both parks were based in large measure on fairy tales, opened in the 1950s near two large metropolises, and mainly designed under the creative vision of one person. This study uses mixed methods of in-depth interviews, an online survey, and participant observation to determine the sense of place attachment (Manzo & Perkins, 2006) within cognitive, affective, and behavioral dimensions for De Efteling by local fans and then compares the results with Disneyland. The findings indicate De Efteling fans exhibit place attachment across the three dimensions largely in alignment with McCarthy’s (2019) study on Disneyland, but also reveal key differences due to the nature and characteristics of the ownerships, theming, fans, and scales of operation of the two parks. This study not only further rebuts the long-held contention of theme parks as placeless and lacking sociality, but also calls for exploration and comparison with other global theme parks.




Cognizant, LLC


Tourism and Travel


De Efteling, Netherlands, fandom, place attachment, theme parks

Indexed in Scopus


Open Access