Denmark + Sweden 08/15 – Tivoli Gardens
For the next park day we took another train over the bridge to Copenhagen, this time alighting right in the centre. Immediately across the road from the central station entrance is the second-oldest operating amusement park in the world. Noticing a trend here.
The location is both surreal and satisfying, I can’t really imagine what it would be like to live in a city and have such easy access to a theme park of this nature, other than perhaps ‘life-consuming’.
First impressions are, after picking up some wristbands from a self service machine, that it’s a stunner.
There’s a beautiful atmosphere and the way the park manages to seal itself off from the world outside, while still giving you teasing glimpses of the more impressive surroundings is quite remarkable.
The first order of the day was the attractive B&M floorless coaster.
To make the best use of space, most of the ride is positioned above the surrounding pathways, leading to a slightly unorthodox layout.
The major selling point for this ride type is that your feet are free to dangle above the track. In the station, a satisfying dispatch sequence has the floor mechanically removed from beneath the train. Front row is a particular highlight with absolutely nothing in front of you and the visuals most closely resembling a POV video.
The ride itself is forceful and quirky. Without much of a first drop to speak of, momentum is steadily built into the ground hugging vertical loop. The other two inversion squeezed in are skillfully negotiated and there’s a surprisingly strong punch of airtime into the final brake run, rounding off the package nicely. Given the obvious limitations of the location, it’s a very impressive coaster.
Around the corner is a multi-level tracked dark ride that visualises the various tales of Hans Christian Andersen. While enjoyable, the standout memory here is the machine outside that actually pays guests to recycle drink bottles.
Better still is the boat based dark ride Minen. It has strange wand-like guns for shooting targets, but it’s not necessary to use them. The most appealing aspects are the indoor atmosphere and the sheer scale of one particular animatronic.
Continuing clockwise we reach the other star attraction of the park. At over 100 years of age, it’s the oldest consistently operating coaster in the world, it beats out the one at Bakken in every conceivable aspect and I simply loved it.
The brakemen are still present on ride and each one is a real character, adding entertainment and charisma to the proceedings. They ensure everyone has a good time by exercising their control over the ride, allowing it to surge through the layout at impressive speeds.
The layout itself alternates between unnervingly powerful airtime (enhanced by having no real restraint to speak of other than a bar to stop you climbing out) and hilariously strong laterals through enclosed sections, some with impressive theming and others in disorientating darkness.
Upon reaching the station, the bars fly up and everyone jumps out of the train while it is still moving – it’s very satisfying. Tivoli are clearly proud of what they have here and they damn well should be.
With what I’d consider to be the most major attractions complete, it was time to explore a little deeper.
Karavenen is another Tivoli Small coaster for the count, decorated by camels.
The nearby Monsunen was a surprise hit for me, the floorless equivalent of a Fabbri Magic Carpet, one of the most understated flat rides around. The intensity is entirely unavoidable and the fountains below added some extra peril.
I wasn’t a fan of the Mack Powered coaster for some reason, it negotiated the track with a particular type of roughness that is likely to stir up a headache more than anything else.
That’s likely the only negative of the day though, as darkness began to fall and the park began to light up, the magic of the place really began to shine through. The S&S shot/drop tower Det Gyldne Tårn was a powerful example of it’s type with equally entertaining views of the surrounding city.
Before a night of rerides on the major coasters, we rounded off the evening with a fascinating stage show at the Pantomime Theatre.
I couldn’t get enough of this park, it was a completely captivating place to spend the day and we stayed for as long as we were physically allowed before taking the midnight train back to Malmö. Bonus shout out to the food here, they’ve got a huge selection of reasonably priced and amazing street snacks, something I’m not usually that fussed about so if I bother to mention it at all – praise indeed. Tivoli Gardens really has everything.