Saturday, August 15, 2009

August 15: Influencing Walt

On this day in 1843, Tivoli Gardens one of the world's oldest and Europe's most famous amusement park and garden first opened in Copenhagen, Denmark.
From the very beginning, Tivoli included buildings in the exotic style of an imaginary Orient, a theater, band stands, restaurants, shops, flower gardens, mechanical amusement rides, fireworks, and a primitive scenic railway. Sound familiar?
Walt Disney visited Tivoli at least two times (first in 1951 and then in 1964) and was obviously greatly influenced and inspired by what it had to offer guests. Although Tivoli is much smaller than Disneyland (it's more of an urban park as it sits in the middle of Copenhagen) it has all the elements that later made Walt's parks successful.
Tivoli's popular rides range from the historic - a traditional wooden roller coaster that requires an operator to sit in the last car to break when the ride goes too fast, to modern extreme thrills - The Star Flyer, the world's tallest carousel.
Tivoli really shines at night when the park's 100,000 custom-made soft glow light bulbs and a million standard ones get turned on. (No neon lights at this old-world icon.)
Rumor has it that Michale Jackson loved the park so much that he once offered to buy it!
Charming, cozy, and thrilling at the same time, Tivoli is a unique and historical amusement park whose legacy inspired a Disney empire.

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