Visiting Tivoli Gardens was the result of a more than 25-year curiosity. I first read about Tivoli in Lois Lowry’s book Number the Stars. The characters don’t actually visit the park in the book (it being during World War II), but they talk about it and the fun they had there. Later I realized the park was an actual place.
I read the book in elementary school and have read it several times with my students or on my own. The book was a main reason for my wanting to visit Copenhagen. When we booked our trip to Scandinavia I knew that a visit to Tivoli must be part of our Copenhagen itinerary.
Tivoli is the second oldest operating amusement park in the world. Some of the rides definitely have an old feel to them, but others are very modern. The park is designed with a world theme. Different sections are meant to represent different areas of the world. Like other amusement parks, there are restaurants, games, shops and shows in addition to rides.
Fortunately admission into the park was included with our Copenhagen Cards. The card information cautions that it includes admission into the park only, no rides. It’s absolutely possible to enjoy the park without riding rides.
Rides were the main draw for the girls, so we opted for a ride bracelet for the girls and my husband. (It’s also possible o pay with credit cards right at each ride, but that would get expensive quickly.) The bracelets were about $40 each. Riding about 6-7 rides more than pays for the cost of it.
At first I thought I’d save some money and not ride. My husband took Bean on a ride and I walked Sport to a ride. I watched her ride one ride without me and realized I was being silly. I’d wanted to visit Tivoli for years and was passing up the chance to fully experience the park. I found a kiosk and purchased a ride bracelet. I’m so glad I did. After that, my biggest worry was riding enough rides to make it worth it. That was easy!
Many of the rides found at Tivoli have similar counterparts in the United States-swings, lift and drop style, merry-go-round, etc. I found, however, that the rides themselves went on much longer than US rides.
Lines overall were very manageable. The longest line was for the Star Tower. This swing ride towered over the park. It’s visible outside of the park as well. My husband and Bean went on it and had a great time. They convinced me that we should all ride together. They said it had a great view of Copenhagen as the lights came on. They said it was fun…
After a 20-30 minute wait, we were secured in our seats. I was ready for a relaxing ride with a wonderful view. But the wind had picked up, and I was seriously dizzy. I kept my eyes shut against the cold wind and tried not to vomit. I was successful, but in no hurry to ride again.
Over the course of the night we rode (though not all together) Astronomer, Star Flyer, Monsoon, Star Tower, Odin Express, Bumper Cars, Demon, Galley Ships, The Roller Coaster and the Flying Trunk. My two favorites were the Galley Ships and the Flying Trunk. The Flying Trunk was similar to Disney dark rides and took riders through the stories of Hans Christian Andersen. The Galley Ships is one of Tivoli’s oldest rides. Although it seemed like nothing special at first, the up and down motion paired with the music made the ride one of our few do-overs. It’s hard to describe why the ride was so delightful and I’m sad I didn’t get any pictures or video. Next time!
Around 10 o’clock we stopped for a warm drink. The girls ordered hot chocolate and the adults enjoyed coffee with some sort of alcohol in it. We then strolled around the park an enjoyed the lights and sights. The overall ambiance of the park was mellow and friendly. Really a lot of fun without being too commercial. We stayed in the park until about 5 minutes before closing and left relaxed and happy. It was a wonderful way to cap off our time in Copenhagen.