The Copenhagen amusement parks
that inspired Disney
When you think of Copenhagen amusement parks it primarily comes down to two: Bakken and Tivoli Gardens. The latter being the most famous - the first being the oldest original amusement park in the world.
Tivoli Gardens is without a doubt the most famous of the two and for sure one of the most magical and fun places in "København". Of the two Copenhagen amusement parks it's the one with a special atmosphere.. the dreams are literally floating in the air.
© Photo Tivoli
Opening its gates on August 15th 1843 this - the most known of the Copenhagen amusement parks, has given precious moments to millions of people from all over the world for more than 160 years. One of its famous guests was Walt Disney, who paid visits to the Tivoli Gardens several times.
For kids and grown-ups alike this old garden of fun and magic continues to fascinate and spellbound its visitors as it has done since 1843. Its history and rich tradition creates a feeling of being in another world. A world of adventure and goodness.. from a time where "all was well with the world".
In Tivoli Gardens admission is paid separately. You don't have to buy a tour pass in order to experience the Tivoli Gardens. You can just pay entrance fee and hang out, enjoy the beauty and eat an ice cream.. (they have excellent ice cream places by the way)
Check out wonderful Tivoli Gardens in more detail here.
Bakken - "The Hill"
The second of the Copenhagen amusement parks is Bakken, which means "The Hill" and refers to "The Deer Park Hill" in Klampenborg north of Copenhagen town centre where Bakken is situated.
Unlike Tivoli Gardens which resides in a small concentrated area in the very centre of the city - Bakken rests peacefully in the midst of the Deer Park forest and is one of my favourite day trip tips..
.. Bakken in the midst of the forest .. but not far from the action.
Originating from 1583, Bakken is the world's oldest intact still-surviving amusement park. Since then Bakken has always stood for fun and having a good time with an opportunity to be in nature.. and once you arrive at Bakken .. well, then the action begins. There are actually some pretty crazy but great rides.
For example you can try the "ancient" wooden roller coaster from 1932 - created by the same guy who built the roller coaster in Tivoli Gardens in 1914.
You will literally find Bakken in the middle of the beautiful forest Dyrehaven "The Deer Park Forest" north of town centre in Klampenborg - very close to Bellevue Beach and the gorgeous village of Tårbæk. (pronounced "Torbek")
Being the oldest of the Copenhagen amusement parks, visiting Bakken is not like going to Disneyland. Most Copenhageners will start a fun evening at Bakken already in the late afternoon strolling through The Deer Park "Dyrehaven" enjoying a cold drink along the way under the tall trees.
.. many cosy small restaurants .. in the middle of the forest
There's a certain feeling of picnic and nature when you walk amongst the tall trees in the The Deer Park and many of the entertainments are literally in the midst of the forest.. like Pjerrot's House.
The kids love Pjerrot's House ..
Bakken is a very popular day trip destination. You have the Bellevue beach, the Deer Park Forest and the biggest of the Copenhagen amusement parks all within a km/mile range.
Bakken is an open place which means there are no fixed entrances and therefore no fees to pay either. Bakken's situation is still in the middle of the beautiful Deer Park forest like it has always been. It is a large area and has a wonderful spacious feeling to it.
We used to go there all the time when I was a kid. It was exciting because Bakken is considerably bigger than Tivoli and has much higher roller coasters (at least back then - in the meantime Tivoli is catching up) .. and stuff like that, which of course is about the only really important thing when you are a boy at 12 ...
Copenhagen amusement parks are the oldest in the world
According to NAPHA.org The (US) National Amusement Park Association - Bakken and Tivoli Gardens are close to being the two oldest amusement parks in the world.
NAPHA's list features the top 50 oldest amusement parks in the world - and Copenhagen Denmark is significantly represented putting "Bakken" as the oldest worldwide and Tivoli Gardens on rank 4.
If you go on the following website you can see the list of all the
oldest amusement parks in the world.
History of Bakken
Being by far the oldest of the Copenhagen amusement parks "Dyrehavsbakken" - as its real name is, started in all modesty when Kirsten Piil discovered a natural spring in this area in 1583. Local people began to tour to the place to get fresh water which was in rather short supply in Copenhagen - but also to receive the healing powers of the water.
Along with the increasing amounts of people followed all kinds of "enterprisers", taking advantage of the many visitors. Later Bakken was made the first Copenhagen amusement park by King Christian IV of Denmark with rides, restaurants and entertainments.
.. already around 1800 it was lively out here
Nowadays people still gather for picnics under the majestic trees ..
Have fun in your endeavours around the Copenhagen amusement parks. There's so much to discover.
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