Thursday, January 14, 2016

Copenhagen - Tivoli Garden

Date of visit: 14th October 2015

We entered Tivoli using the side entrance gate from the Central Station but came out from the main entrance of Tivoli, which looks amazingly stunning at night. I snapped the whole main entrance gate from across the street in below photo. The second photo was snapped from the City Hall in the next morning. Please note that the admission ticket is DKK 110, It is open on Friday till Sunday, from 11am till 11pm. Ticket can only be purchase through Tivoli entrance or self-service kiosks. That was the admission ticket for visiting Tivoli in 2015 for guests aged 8 years of age and over. Children under 8 years of age enter Tivoli for free. Tivoli has been decorated with pumpkins and Halloween stuff in anticipation of Halloween day that falls on 30th October 2015, 2 weeks away from the day we arrived.

Tivoli Gardens amusement park in Copenhagen is a must for all visitors to the city, young and old. Tivoli is located just a few minutes walk from City Hall, and with the Copenhagen Central Station as its nearest neighbour it is very easy to get to. The park was opened on 15th August 1843. It is said to being the second-oldest amusement park in the world, after Dyrehavsbakken, which is also situated in Denmark, nearby Klampenborg, about 10km away from Copenhagen, opened in 1583.

With 4.033 million visitors recorded in 2012, Tivoli is the second-most popular seasonal theme park in the world. Ranked as the first or the most-visited theme park is in Scandinavia and the fourth most-visited in Europe, only behind Disneyland Paris, Europa-Park Rust (in south western Germany) and the Efteling (in Kaatsheuvel, Netherlands).

This amusement park was first called "Tivoli & Vauxhall" where Tivoli is referring to the Jardin de Tivoli in Paris (which in its turn had been named from Tivoli near Rome, Italy). Whilst, "Vauxhall" is referring to the Vauxhall Gardens in London. It is also mentioned in various books, most popular one is in “Number the Stars”, a children book by Lois Lowry.

Tivoli's founder, Georg Carstensen (1812 – 1857), obtained a five-year charter to create Tivoli by telling King Christian VIII at that time that "when the people are amusing themselves, they do not think about politics". The monarch then granted Carstensen use of roughly 15 acres of the fortified glacis outside Vesterport (the West Gate) area on an annual rent. Therefore, until the 1850s, Tivoli was outside the city, accessible through Vesterport.

At the onset, Tivoli had a variety of attractions, such as buildings in the exotic style of an imaginary Orient, a theatre, band stands, restaurants and cafés, flower gardens, and mechanical amusement rides such as a merry-go-round and a primitive scenic railway. After dark, colored lamps illuminated the gardens. On certain evenings, specially designed fireworks could be seen reflected in Tivoli's lake. That is the reason why tourist is encouraged to come during evening time, like we did to see how beautiful the gardens are when it was illuminated.

Tivoli's pirate ship established in this garden since circa 1900. We were onboard for a short while but there's no show at that moment but it's interesting to see this pirate ship was added with Halloween stuff on it.

During world war II, in 1943, Nazi sympathisers burnt many of Tivoli's buildings, including the concert hall, to the ground. Temporary buildings were constructed in their place and the park was back in operation.

Tivoli is always evolving without abandoning its original charm or traditions. As Georg Carstensen said in 1844, "Tivoli will never, so to speak, be finished," a sentiment echoed just over a century later when Walt Disney said of his own Tivoli-inspired theme park, "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world." Walt Disney during a trip overseas with his wife Lilly visited Tivoli Gardens. Walt was so impressed with the Danish amusement park, he immediately decided Disneyland should try to emulate its "happy and unbuttoned air of relaxed fun.

The park is best known for its wooden roller coaster or as some people call it, the Mountain Coaster, built in 1914. 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. It is an ACE Coaster Classic. Sadly that we could not find it. Anyway, the whole park was full of young and old people, even though 14th October was a working day.

Another roller coaster, Dæmonen (The Demon), features an Immelmann loop, a loop, and a zero-G roll all during the ride time of just one minute and forty six seconds. An old roller coaster, Slangen, was removed to have enough space for The Demon. Dæmonen is situated next to the concert hall.

The world's second tallest carousel, The Star Flyer, opened in Tivoli in 2006. Eighty meters high and built by the Austrian company Funtime, it offers panoramic views of the city. On 1 May 2009, Tivoli opened the new ride Vertigo, a looping plane ride where the rider pilots the ride, able to control the plane. The newest ride, Aquila, opened on 11 April 2013. It is a giant swing and spinner with centrifugal powers up to 4 G, named after the constellation of the Eagle.

We walked and walked inside this garden until our feet felt sore. In the end, we bought fried nuts covered with sugar, forgot what they call it in locals but it was so hard to crunch. I could not finish them. It was at that point we decided to call the day off. The next day would be catching up with so many listed itineraries that we intent to visit which requires lots of walking.

Remarks: Source of reference = Wikipedia
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