This amusement park, in the centre of Copenhagen, has been justly described as being extraordinary, catering as it does for such a wide range of tastes, types and ages. For example, what other amusement park has its own symphony orchestra? When the season at the amusement park comes to an end in late September, the Tivoli Gardens Symphony Orchestra transforms itself into the Copenhagen Philharmonic!
This is the second oldest amusement park which has survived virtually intact until the present day. It was created by Gorg Cartensen in 1843 and originally named Tivoli and Vauxhall [after a village in Italy with many fountains and after the amusement park in London]. Cartensen persuaded the Danish king to let him go ahead with opening the amusement park by saying that "when people are amusing themselves, they do not think of politics" It was agreed that ¾ of the 15 acre area would always be open space and for this reason, the gardens of the amusement park are a major attraction.
As well as gardens, the amusement park has theatres, bandstands and around 40 restaurants and food outlets. Since its beginning, there have always been firework displays, now held on Wednesdays and Fridays at 11.45pm. Like other amusement parks, Tivoli Gardens has its great rides, providing the usual thrilling moments. One of them is an historic wooden roller coaster, built in 1914 and still going strong. The most recent addition to the amusement park’s collection of rides is the Star Flyer, an 80 metres high roundabout. It looks like the Mother of all the old fashioned chair o’ planes an is a truly
hair raising ride [literally!].
Such was the place held by the amusement park in the hearts of the Danes that, in an effort to dispirit them in 1943, Nazi sympathizers deliberately burnt down some of the buildings. The Danes built temporary replacements and carried on enjoying their park.
Walt Disney so admired the "happy and unbuttoned air of relaxed fun" that he sensed at the amusement park that he decided that he would copy it at Disneyland.
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