Anyone who's ever been to Disneyland knows the sense of wonder it instills, even far past the innocent reaches of childhood and well into our adult years. And as a Disney fan, you're enamored with all things magical. You've got a love for whimsy, and you're unashamed to call attention to it. To stop and stare and look up. To appreciate the little pleasures in life.
Hey, same here. And let's just say that just say that Copenhagen's iconic Tivoli Gardens has got all that whimsy you and I are craving, and then some. There's a reason, after all, that Walt Disney himself was inspired by the world's second-oldest amusement park (the first of which is also located in Denmark).
So, when I got the chance to experience it for myself while visiting Denmark for the first time in mid-October, I was understandably excited. And I will readily admit to you that there are many things in life that just aren't worth the hype. Tivoli Gardens, especially a Tivoli Gardens decorated in gloriously spooky Halloween fashion, is not one of them.
Having opened in 1843, Tivoli is the most-visited theme park in Scandinavia, and with good reason. Along with its variety of attractions, restaurants, and rides, the park features one of the world's oldest roller coasters that is still functioning today and a Ferris wheel that was built in WWII. In case that doesn't pique your interest, there's also an aquarium, concert hall, open air stage, and more.
These host a number of concerts and shows, and Tivoli even holds a festival all summer long, featuring more than 50 different events. Clearly, the amusement park plays a significant role in Copenhagen's thriving cultural scene.
And the decor is just as mystical: Everywhere you go, lamps illuminating the gardens like colorful stars bob overhead. It looks and feels, with an infectious current of childish excitement running through the air, every bit the part of enchanting escape from reality that the concept of American amusement parks was built on –– minus the ultra-kitschy factors.
Also, only at a Northern European amusement park can you find organic marshmallows to munch on, rather than cotton candy, for example. Just saying.
So, if you find yourself planning a Scandinavian trip anytime soon, do yourself a favor and add the marvelous Tivoli Gardens to your list of must-see places while there. Trust me when I say you won't be disappointed.