The Man, The Myth, The Legend… Mr. Walt Disney and Wife Lilian actually vacationed like many of us. In their travels, they visited Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark. Today I’m providing some Tivoli History, as well as bringing along how it helped with Walt Disney’s Disneyland Inspiration.
Let’s begin with some Tivoli history. Tivoli opened August 15th, 1843 and is the second oldest amusement park in the world. It’s also the second most popular seasonal amusement park in the world and 4th most popular overall amusement park in Europe. It’s original lease was for 5 years. The founder, Georg Carstensen, convinced King Christian VIII to lease him the land by telling him “that when people are amusing themselves, they do not think about politics”. Tivoli was first located outside the city. Moving inside of the city of Copenhagen in 1850.
Tivoli Gardens is 21 Acres of beautiful landscaped park. Let’s see if we can see some of the Disneyland Inspiration in these stats: 111,000 Custom-Designed lights, over 400,000 flowers, including 65,000 tulips. Stately and magnificent buildings with different themes. Of course, roller coasters and other rides, including a train themed ride, and a 99 year old wooden roller coaster. The oldest continuously running wooden roller coaster in the world, which turns 100 years old next year. Yes, my son and niece rode it too. Pretty amazing to see it still in operation, as well as see what was considered a fast roller coaster almost 100 years ago.
Three paragraphs in and you’re probably wondering if I’ll ever mention Walt Disney and how in the world he has anything to do with Tivoli Gardens. Right? It’s okay, here we go… Walt and Lilian Disney traveled to Tivoli and if you take a moment to glance through the two pictorials I did recently of Tivoli, you can see immediately some of the influence. Such as the old fashioned popcorn trucks, the trolley through the park, the beautiful well designed buildings and flower arrangements. Here’s the one thing I truly believe Walt Disney took back with him, Tivoli’s founder said of his park in 1844 “Tivoli will never, so to speak, be finished.” Shortly over a century later, Walt Disney said “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” Seems pretty similar right? Walt Disney was so impressed with the Copenhagen Amusement Park, he decided that Disneyland should try to copy it’s “happy and unbuttoned air of relaxed fun.”
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