Tour The Legendary Danish Amusement Park That Inspired Disneyland

tivoli gardens

Photo: trishhartmann via Flickr

Walt Disney had a dream of creating a “great, great playground for the children and families of America.”He traveled to Tivoli Gardens, one of the world’s oldest amusement parks located in the middle of Copenhagen, for inspiration.

Unlike other “seedy” amusement parts of the day, Tivoli was a “a clean and orderly park in Copenhagen … with ‘lush flowers, tame rides’ and a festive family atmosphere,” Andy Boynton and Bill Fischer wrote in their book The Idea Hunter: How To Find The Best Ideas And Make Them Happen.

According to radio and TV personality Art Linkletter, who recalled his 1951 trip to Tivoli with Disney in the book, Disney walked through the amusement park scribbling down notes about the seats, gardens, rides, food, and every other detail he noticed.

Disneyland opened in California four years after the trip.

Welcome to Tivoli Gardens, in the heart of Copenhagen.

About four million tourists visit Tivoli every year.

The park is completely gated in, and has three entrances. There's a small admission fee to enter the park, and the rides are pay-as-you-go.

A season pass is just $48 for anyone older than eight. That's a lot cheaper than Disneyland!

Source: Tivoli

The park is open from mid-April to mid-September. It then re-opens to celebrate Halloween for two weeks in October and then opens again for Christmas in mid-November and stays open through December.

The park features 26 rides during the summer and 29 rides during the Halloween and Christmas seasons.

Source: Frommer's

Here's an aerial view of the park from a balloon around 1928.

More than 120,000 incandescent light bulbs illuminate Tivoli at night.

The Pantomime theatre hosts most of the shows inside Tivoli Gardens.

Sixteen different performances play at different times inside the amusement park.

The Nimb is one of Tivoli Gardens' iconic buildings. Built in 1909, the facade resembles the Taj Mahal.

The Nimb also serves as a hotel. It has just 14 rooms, which gives it a very exclusive feel.

The ship in Tivoli Lake is a family-friendly restaurant called Pirateriet. The menu is Caribbean-inspired.

Source: Tivoli Gardens

The Ferris wheel offers great views of the city below.

After performing in the park, Michael Jackson actually tried to buy it. But he was turned down, according to Frommer's.

Source: Frommer's

The Demon is the biggest roller coaster in Denmark, and reaches 50 miles per hour.

Source: Frommer's

On certain days of the year, couples are allowed to get married inside the park.

Now check out a strange Disney neighbourhood.

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