Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Gardens

Copenhagen, Denmark

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

“One of the world’s oldest theme parks”

Amusement park in city centres… you can find them all over the world. Scandinavia, however, seems to be the place where you encounter them the most. Those urban amusement parks can be found in Stockholm, Göteborg, Aarhus and quite a few other places. The most famous one is unarguably Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. This is much more than a theme park; it’s an icon. Every tourist travelling to the Danish capital should spend at least a few hours at Tivoli, regardless of their interest in roller coasters. The park has a convenient location, right next to city’s central railway station.


ROLLER COASTERS

Tivoli Gardens’ most thrilling roller coaster is Dæmonen. It’s definitely not a mammoth, though. This is one of the smallest, most compact B&M projects ever. Dæmonen is about half a kilometer long, it’s 30 metres tall and it contains three inversions. That doesn’t sound impressive, but this coaster still guarantees a good dose of adrenaline. The tight layout generates nice g-forces and the inversions are pretty intense. And although some coaster enthusiasts criticize Dæmonen’s smoothness, I actually experienced it as a smooth ride. Limited size, great fun.

Anyone who considers himself/herself as a roller coaster fan probably agrees: it’s an honour to ride Tivoli’s Rutschebanen. It opened in 1914 and it’s one of the oldest operational roller coasters on Earth. Besides, thanks to its classic trains and its picturesque Alpine setting, Rutschebanen is a true beauty. Rutschebanen’s most unique feature is the brake-man, who controls the speeds of each vehicle individually. By the way… don’t underestimate Rutschebanen because of its respectable age. It contains more airtime than many modern-day roller coasters!

Tivoli Garden’s coaster lineup is completed by a Zierer kiddie coaster and a surprisingly good Mack powered coaster. It was still called Odinexpressen during my last visit, but it has been exchanged for a newer, similar ride since. Let’s hope that Mælkevejen (Danish for Milky Way) performs at the same high level.

ANYTHING ELSE?

Tivoli Gardens is home to two different dark rides. The first one is hidden underneath Rutschebanen and it’s called Minen. This is a boat tour through a mine with loads of cute teddy bears. The boats are fitted with laser guns and that wasn’t necessary in my opinion, but it’s a fine family attraction nevertheless. A second dark ride is called Den Flyvende Kuffert and it’s themed to H.C. Andersen’s fairy tales. That’s a perfect fit for a Danish family theme park, but don’t expect any world-class theming. This attraction offers simple scenes with cheap animatronics and they didn’t do any effort to hide the transportation system. It’s rather cute and charming, though.

Like many other Scandinavian parks, Tivoli Gardens has a large number of flat rides. The collection includes a space shot, a flying carpet, a modern version of a Huss condor, a star flyer and many more. The most unusual flat ride is Vertigo. This is a high-speed machine with two miniature airplanes performing some incredible acrobatics. If you watch a video of this attraction, you might suspect that the footage has been accelerated… but it isn’t. The engines running at full throttle make about the same sound as a German Breakdance at top speed, so this machine contains quite some power. This crazy ride is only suitable for visitors with a strong stomach.

Apart from its ride department, the true Tivoli experience also relies on other things. The park functions as a meeting spot, as an entertainment venue and as a dinner hot spot. Tivoli Gardens offers an enormous amount of restaurants and bars for every taste and budget. Due to the park’s distinguished atmosphere, it would be a shame to have those typical hamburgers and fries for dinner. Lots of interesting options can be found and I recommend making online reservations as soon as possible.

WORTH A VISIT?

We visited Tivoli Gardens in late December and despite Scandinavia’s harsh winter temperatures, this was a heartwarming experience. The Christmas decoration made the park even cosier and an extremely early sunset allowed quite a few night rides. However, you should visit this legendary theme park with the right expectactions. Tivoli offers some good attractions, but you might be disappointed if you’re purely looking for thrills. Nice restaurants and entertainment are also indispensable in the total experience. Once you’ve discovered the right way to enjoy Tivoli, you’ll quickly start to notice that this is one of Europe’s most extraordinary theme parks.

Is this the world’s most legendary theme park? Have you had the chance to visit Tivoli yet? What would be the ideal addition to this park? Share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

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