Many years ago a man visited a smallish yet popular Danish amusement park. That place was Tivoli Gardens. He was inspired by the charm and character of the place which lead him on to creating his own park. That man was Walt Disney.
Tivoli Gardens has been somewhere I have always wanted to visit, whether that be it’s significant history, interesting pallet of attractions, or to say I have visited the fourth most visited European park? These were just some of the reasons, not to mention ‘’technically’’ following Walt’s footsteps.
Opening in 1843, Tivoli is the second oldest amusement park in the world (after Bakken). The park is literally in the City centre of Copenhagen (Denmark) putting it firmly into the category of city parks. Like Liseberg, Grona Lund and Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
The park features no fewer than three entrances, including the iconic main entrance. We decided to take this one.
Upon entering, you are greeted upon some pretty picturesque gardens and open spaces, which make for an ideal first impression and one contrasting the busy street outside.
One of the first attractions we visited was the iconic Ruschterbahn (Roller Coaster). This attraction dates back to 1914, making it one of the oldest attractions in the park and maybe the world.
Despite being nestled into one of the park’s corners, it was definitely one of the most popular attractions. And for a great reason! The ride is so simple yet perfect, a brake-person rides on the train with you and controls the speed as you go through numerous drops and turns.
I can safely say the Ruscteebahn is my favourite attraction in the park. It’s effectiveness of completing simple tasks so perfectly is satisfying. It is easily my favourite of the three Scenic Railway attractions I have done too.
Tivoli’s second headline coaster is The Demon (Daemonen),a B&M floorless which opened in 2004. This must be one of the smallest B&M’s in the world, with it’s compact layout. There seemed to be some rows dedicated to VR in the station, however we didn’t see anyone use it whilst we were there. Another VR failure?
It definitely isn’t my favourite B&M out there, however it’s impressive what the park have managed to fit into what is a very small footprint (for B&M standards). Better than Dragon Khan though.
The park did have a Mack powered coaster, however this was in the process of being replaced whilst we were out there. “Adds another to the list of spited creds”.
Our final coaster was Kamelen (Camel), an adorable Zierer . This replaced their older junior coaster. The attraction features an Arabian style theme (like other rides in the area). Six laps too? Woo!
There are two dark rides inside Tivoli, one of these is The Flying Trunk. This Mack ominmover attraction depicts numerous scenes based on the books from renowned Danish author Hans Christian Anderson.
The attraction was sweet and relaxing. It is certainly impressive how much they have managed to fit into what is a relatively small building. The ride is built partially below ground level.
The Mine is the park’s second dark ride and is just totally bizarre. You go around in small boats shooting targets, although the scoring system is not particularly clear. The guns are either similar to Wands, or things one will say is less appropriate!
The ride is essentially a tiny flume dark ride with lasers. The scenes are charming despite the potential lack of context. Tomb surprisingly disliked most of the attraction.
Tivoli packs a large selection of flat rides, some of which have to be the craziest out there, Vertigo is no exception. This crazy contraption flings you 360 whilst turning at rapid speeds to the point of almost making the former Slammer look tame. I enjoyed it, but literally experienced my limit for thrill rides!
Some of their other flat rides include a pretty Steampunk themed Air Race, an S&S drop tower (least this one launches down) and a Crazy inverted Magic Carpet. I found this one the most nauseating, it probably didn’t help that girl opposite me looked like she was going to vomit any moment tbh.
Amongst this, they also had a highly impressive Fun House, which was free flowing and located underneath the Ruschterbahn.
They also had an adorable Vintage Cars attraction which is amazing, because fountains and a vintage Ferris Wheel. We ran out of time for the Dodgems, Carousels, Land-Train and Sea Storm (style) attractions.
Annoyingly some attractions were unavailable on our day of visit, including the Fata Morgana which was an iron condor style ride, a crazy mutated breakdance attraction (which replaced their old breakdance) and the sky flier. Tomb was particularly disappointed by the later, especially when it was actually operating the next day too.
Just like Efteling!
The park also plays hosts to their Illuminations show every evening/night. Essentially a smaller scale Aquanura , the performance features fountains, lights, fire and other effects. Whilst Aquanura is more impressive and contextual, Illuminations still makes for a cherishing and worthwhile watching.
The rides shut at 21:45 on the day we were visiting, due to their Friday Rock event, where their centre stage hosts notable Music artists performing. We watched some of the music even though it wasn’t really our cup of tea. We left just before the end, grabbing a McDonald’s on the way.
Final Thoughts and Reflections:
Tivoli Gardens is undoubtably a charming and lovely park to visit and something of a national treasure to Denmark.
Despite it’s relatively small size it hosts a very reasonable diversity of attractions which suit the park. The grounds, landscaping and architecture are lavishing.
Whilst not themed as such, the park are definitely trying to allocate different stylings to each area of the park. whether that be Space/Steampunk, Asian or Middle Eastern sections, which are reasonably distinguishable. The park was generally charming and the majority of staff friendly and helpful. It is probably also one of the better parks for food quantity and quality.
Smorrebrod, a cultural delight.
My only major criticism I can really give was the lack of audio in most of the park. Whilst the dark rides and toilets featured audio, there were very few other areas of the park (especially main areas) where there was nothing. Whilst I don’t expect audio blaring out left right and centre, it would be pleasant if a few more areas featured audio to enhance further atmosphere to the place. Just something ambient and reflective here and there would do the job.
I would recommend a visit here to anyone, whether your after a park with charm, class, thrilling attractions or all three! Tivoli Gardens is worth seeing at least once in everyone’s lifetime theme park lover for not!
Join me soon in part two as I cover some of the other things to see in Copenhagen outside of Tivoli Gardens, where I witness this City of modern fairytales by Land, air and sea to see what treasures and cultural gems are discovered.
Thanks For Reading!