A Day at Tivoli Gardens – The Inspiration for Disneyland

As serious Disney lovers we were looking forward to seeing one of the parks that contributed greatly to Walt Disney’s vision for Disneyland, Tivoli Garden’s on Trip Advisor. Tivoli is located in the lovely city of Copenhagen, Denmark.

Whereas Disneyland opened in 1955, Tivoli opened back in 1843 and is the second oldest amusement park in the world! The oldest, Dyrehavsbakken, is located just over 6 miles North of the city.

Tivoli Gardens is the second most popular seasonal theme park in the world and the most visited theme park in Scandinavia. It’s not hard to see why. Tivoli is a retreat that resides right in the center of Copenhagen. Its charm is apparent the moment you walk up to the front gate. It is as if the gateway is a keyhole, and walking beyond it you find yourself stepping through a door that leads you back in time.

Lake at Tivoli
Lake at Tivoli

Upon entering you find yourself amongst mature gardens, a picturesque lake, and lawns dotted with people relaxing in the sun. The grounds are kept impeccably clean and the plants are all well cared for. An image reflected at Disneyland.

Tivoli Gardens Water Features
Water Features

The park boasts 25 rides and is best known for its wooden roller coaster, Rutschebanen, or, Bjergbanen (the Mountain Coaster). It was the first ride we did and we thoroughly enjoyed it. It was built in 1914 and after the fast paced modern coasters we’ve ridden in modern parks its age shows! After all, it is one of world’s oldest wooden roller coasters that is still operating today. An operator controls the ride by braking down the hills so it won’t gain too much speed. He sits on a seat that is arranged in such a way that they actually have to duck when you arrive at tunnels!

Another, newer, roller coaster at Tivoli is The Demon. My husband was the only one who wanted to ride it as it has an Immelmann loop, a loop, and a zero-G roll all during the ride time of just one minute and forty six seconds! Tivoli also has the second tallest carousel, The Star Flyer. It is 262 feet high!

The Star Flyer
The Star Flyer
Tivoli Gardens Carousel
Tivoli Classic Carousel

There is also a giant swing and spinner ride called Aquila with centrifugal powers up to 4 G and a looping plane ride in which the rider is in control of the plane, called Vertigo. We elected to skip these. My husband and I are too old and at ten years old, our son wasn’t ready!

Jed and Milo on the Caravan
Jed and Milo on the Caravan

One ride that we all did together was The Flying Trunk, the story book ride inspired by the tales by Hans Christian Anderson that quite probably gave Disney some fodder for his It’s A Small World ride. We also rode the Mine, described by the parks website as a chance to go prospecting for diamonds in the Mine. “A fantastic journey through the land of the Grotes, guarded by the dragon, Mistress Mother-of-Pearl.” This is just a small sampling of the rides available for you and your family at Tivoli.

Mine Ride Tivoli Gardens
Mine Ride

Another item worth mentioning here is the candy floss (cotton candy). We noticed a lot of folks walking around with the giant pink sweet spun around a white stick, it’s shape and height to rival that of Marge Simpson’s hair! I imagined our ten year old’s reaction to eating it…we decided on ice cream.

Candy Floss Tivoli
Candy Floss Tivoli
Tivoli Gardens Treats
Tivoli Treats
Ice Cream for Milo
Ice Cream for Milo

I must mention that our visit took place during the day, and a gorgeous June day it was. However, I have heard many say that Tivoli is absolutely magical at night. It is lit up with colorful sparkling lights and they do a laser show over the lake which is reported to be very good. My own experiences, at the Disney parks for example, would lead me to believe this to be true. Night time and lights can bring out a whole new sense of wonder at an amusement park and I hope to return one day, or night I should say, to Tivoli.

Walt Disney once said, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” It is believed that he was echoing a sentiment spoken long ago, in 1844, by Tivoli’s founder Georg Carstensen. Carstensen was reported to have said, “Tivoli will never, so to speak, be finished.” And so it is. Tivoli has managed to evolve with the times, without abandoning its original charm or traditions. If you love amusement parks, gardens or are simply looking for some family fun activities to do while in the Copenhagen area, we highly recommend a trip to sweet Tivoli. Happy Travels!

For more information you can view Tivoli Garden’s visitor information page or read what others have to say about Tivoli Garden’s on Trip Advisor, a MilesGeek affiliate.

Hollin Stafford
Hollin Stafford

Hollin is originally from California. After obtaining a degree in Sociology she worked as a flight attendant for United Airlines so that she could combine her work with something she’s always loved, travel. Later she found herself in Seattle, WA where she met her husband and went to work in the real estate field.

She moved with her family from Port Townsend, WA to Sintra, Portugal in 2016. They said they’d try it out for a year and never left! Leveraging her U.S. real estate background and the insights she’s gained over the years into Portuguese life, she works with the Brightman Group, guiding international buyers and connecting sellers. She loves her work and finds delight in helping people find their ‘spot’ in the world.

Hollin's passions also include spending quality time with family and friends, seeking out excellent food and writing. She writes in a variety of genres, from YA, to literary short stories, non-fiction and engaging travel pieces. Her current focus is on writing a memoir about what brought her family to Portugal. The first excerpt will be published soon at The Portugal News. Hollin has garnered acclaim for her remarkable storytelling skills, praised by critics for her ability to authentically capture the essence of the human experience with warmth and depth.

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