Tivoli Gardens: Land of a Thousand Restaurants

Discussion in 'Your Trip Reports and Plans' started by Rojo, 1st Sep 2020.

  1. Rojo

    Rojo TowersStreet Member

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    Having missed out on Walibi Holland and Liseberg we were fully resigned to missing out on a trip to Copenhagen as well. Thankfully in the past 2 weeks I had become significantly better and on Friday after seeing multiple friends on social media return from holidays abroad, we decided that we would take our flights to Denmark. Saturday came around and we took our 90 minute mask bound flight with our hands routinely covered in more alcohol than an EP strength cocktail.

    We landed, took the metro to Copenhagen central and upon leaving the station we were immediately greeted by the Star Flyer and the Milky Way Express of Tivoli Gardens. It's great to see that Tivoli is as central as it gets when it comes to theme parks.

    Onwards to the hotel and which is a 15 minute walk or 5 minutes on Lime scooters. As the Hop on/ Hop off tours were cancelled and we wanted to avoid the metro Lime scooters became our primary mode of transport for getting around the city quickly.

    We spent Sunday on the hop on/hop off boat which was allowed for some reason and then hit the rest of the highlights on the Lime scooter before retiring to the hotel roof bar for a dusk view across Tivoli. My favourite spot was Nyhavn and Emma's was the Little Mermaid statue.

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    Oh wait thats the genetically modified little mermaid that nobody seems to be bothered about. Here's your most photographed lady in the world

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    We hit the hay after a wonderful £10 pint of Carlsberg :mad: ready for Tivoli the next day.
     
    MattyH, djtruefitt, AstroDan and 4 others like this.
    Posted 1st Sep 2020
    #1
  2. Rojo

    Rojo TowersStreet Member

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    Tivoli Gardens

    Tivoli Gardens opens 11:00-22:00 Sun-Thurs and 11:00-23:00 Fri-Sat. We went on the Monday so were on the reduced hours :rolleyes: ;) but to be honest the park can probably be done in 3 hours on a good day and probably 6 if you want to amble around, take things in and do the rides. The park is mostly known for its inspiration to Disney and The Rollercoaster that still has a brakeman onboard. The design of the park generally seems to have a Steampunk/Verne vibe but it also has a very nice Chinese area and a sort of vague arabian area? (It wasn't exactly clear to be honest :D). It's a small park in the middle of the hustle and bustle but it does have a certain charm and really does make you forget you're in a city center at times. Even when though you can see shoots of the city dotted around on the edges of the park.

    You can pay just to enter to walk around Tivioli, get the unlimited ride wristband or tokens, or you can opt unlimited plus. We opted for unlimited plus as you get your entry, rides, a spin on the chocolate wheel, entrance the aquarium and unlimited photos. This worked out about £49 each. In hindsight this was simply overpriced, especially as it became clear the benefits weren't all that they seemed. The aquarium is just 2 fish tanks and half the photo points were turned off or you had to huddle around a small screen with others to try and can QR codes, the photos are downloaded to the app but I am not able to download any from the app to my device due to "unexpected errors" in the app. A single spin on chocolate wheel is an OK bonus but this is just the same as free bet to draw people in to spend more money. I'd certainly opt for the standard entrance and unlimited wristband next time around.

    The park as the title suggests has a huge and I mean a huge range of eateries on site. The Danish take their posh grub seriously as they have many Michelin star restaurants including Noma, which has previously been voted best restaurant in the world and was no.2 in 2019. I bucked all trends by smuggling in a 7-Eleven hotdog, 2 suggestively named chocolate bars and can of coke to enjoy on the main lawn in front of the Tivoli stage. The food offering was greatly increased as they were hosting a food festival for this week, with cute little cabins on the main path for the entrance selling food and drinks from around the world. It was a nice looking event and clearly drew a crowd of people who just paid to get into the gardens and not purchase a ride voucher. Lots of non-riding grandparents and parents could be found at the eateries whilst the rest of the family went for the rides. It's a cool family park that clearly knows its market and has certainly played to its strengths. This is even before we mention the Tivoli Food court and eateries that can be accessed from inside the park and also from outside the park along the street borders. I mean scroll though this and I'm sure you'll surely see something to catch your fancy. https://www.tivoligardens.com/en/mad+og+drikke/spisesteder

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    The COVID rules are pretty all over the place with some rides having virtual queues, social distancing, enforced masks and some errr....not. I think applying the virtual queue on all rides really would have helped or just not applying at all. The slapdash manner in which was enforced which just led to confusion and poor operations. Even when virtual queues when in use were fairly useless because they were applied haphazardly. So we went on monsoon there was no virtual queue but then 2 hours later there was. The sporadic applying of the rules and very intermittent enforcement of the rules dependent on host were simply chaotic. Especially as the Gardens got busier throughout the day. This also led to social distancing disappearing throughout the day as people were clearly losing patience and just doing what they wanted.

    The ride hosts were usually relaxed and polite except for Wietska on the Galley Ships. She enforced the virtual queue despite having no one in the queue and her general demeanor was quite off brand including shouting at one guest rather than explaining the process regarding the virtual queue. She was still grumpy when we were getting off the ride and definitely scared me from attempting a second ride :D

    The Tivoli app is great an can be used as a map, download your ride photos, book your virtual ride, find/book the trillion restaurants or see the daily programme. Each pretty cool and useful but unfortunately the design of the app is a bit random and takes a bit of intuition or just basic trial and error to find what you need. We randomly scanned out wristbands QR code to get our photo pass and this just worked, nowhere explained this process so if you weren't tech savvy you would probably be flagging someone down to help. This is of course once you find the photo section hidden at the bottom of the homepage, if you are minded enough to scroll the page in the first place. It's a quirk that could easily be solved by putting adding the photo section as menu item. There's also some great information to be found on the rides in the app, however rather than having a rides/attraction section, you have to go to "Book a ride", this now lists the attractions and you can see which have virtual queues but you can also click them and get a little bio of each ride. We even tried the Danish version and it seemed the same. It shouldn't be a gripe but when you force all the processes through the app it can be frustrating as hell just trying to scan a QR code. In the end I just started using a QR scanner app on my phone rather than the app. This opened the URL in the app and hey presto, no thumbing around the app the photo sections anymore.

    Ride operations were mostly OK on the whole. Everything ran on a single trains and even the flats were on reduced capacity but not even in a COVID safe way, they were just randomly down. This didn't really impact our day as the park wasn't that busy until 5. After that the queues started getting bigger and the operations didn't really improve. As stated above the social distancing and general politeness of guests just eroded away throughout the day so it just made queuing a bit of a misery. Especially as most of the queues at Tivoli don't seem built for more than 30+ minutes. Most rides seem overly generous in terms of ride cycle which is certainly a good thing but on some rides it did make queuing that extra bit of a chore.

    The gardens are easy to navigate and some really nice areas can be found with some wildlife running throughout. Dotted along each section of the gardens are little fact boards detailing the history of the area you are in and the details of where to find the next board. These are also numbered so you can do a little scavenger hunt of park history. It's a neat idea and really made going from one area to the next fun. It's nice to see that the park have embraced their history but also moved on when they have had to. Given that Tivoli cannot really expand anymore, its good to see that they have been progressive without being too brutal. Our hotel was opposite the Tivoli hotel and conference center, which was near the meat packing district on the other side of Copenhagen central. A lot of this area is clearly undergoing rennovation, it would be nice to see if they could acquire some land here for a second park.

    Rides
    Rutschebanen (The Rollercoaster):
    Built in 1914 this wooden coaster is Tivoli's flagship ride and runs with a brakeman in the middle of a coaster. The coaster runs through a giant mountain whilst doubling back on itself several times and will throw you out of your seat more times than you'd expect. It's a fantastic coaster and the quirkiness of having a brakeman standing throughout the ride is fun. We nearly made the mistake of not pulling our lap bar down and only sort of pulled it down half way when we thought the row in front had left theirs up. This lead to us being flung about and pulling the bar a bit closer after the first drop, half fun half cacked myself. It was only post ride we saw the lap bar of the train ahead flip and realise the metal bar we saw was holding a plastic COVID preventive screen. I am not sure if this made the coaster much better than it should have been but we really enjoyed it :D

    Minen (The mine): A cutesy boat ride shooter through a mine with some really odd shape blasters. Each baton shaped blaster can activate some cheapo plastic looking receivers that light up in the colour of the designated blaster. I am not sure if the ride has aged really badly or if we had a dud but we could only hit the targets if we leaned out and fired within a foot of the target. We also though hitting the targets might activate say a water wheel, again this didn't seem to happen as I was close enough to bash the target, let alone shoot it. There was no scoring system knocking about but we carried on thinking they might be on the photo, there wasn't. So the shooting seemed a bit fruitless. There was no queue so we zipped back around and just enjoyed the boat ride with the moles and dragon.

    Tik Tak:
    Wow! This Mondial-built Shake R5 is a flat that I would personally take to Alton Towers in a heartbeat (although I'd take anything from the Mondial and Zamperla catalogue at AT these days :eek:). This is a breakdance on steroids and good fun to boot. I have never ridden a shake before but I know the travelling versions have been around for a while and opinions can be divided on how vomtastic these devices can be. Personally I really enjoyed it and found it no worse than a Zamperla Air Race. At least you can control the spin to some degree if you don't rock the gondola. Themed as a time travel device the ride has some nice theming for a flat that includes some nice steampunk gears and levers. There appears to be a spin counter in on the dashboard of the gondola, in the guise of what year you were in but ours wasn't on so I couldn't say for certain.

    The Galley Ships:
    Run in with Wietska the ride host aside, this was a simple undulating circular ride themed as Galley Ships, in the middle were some ropey looking pirates but I think this ride has existed since the 30's so is certainly in keeping with the history. It's not really in keeping with the theme of the area but not to the point where it stands out like a sore thumb. It's simple fun family ride but nothing to write home about. It could probably do with a refresh to fit more in theme with the area and maybe and update to something like kolumbusjolle to up the thrill.

    Aquila:
    One of Tivoli's more recent attractions I believe. It's a Zamperla Air Race built on the upper section of some food outlets and a small arcade. It's nicely themed Air Race that fits in with astronomy/steampunk vibe of the area, a lot nicer than the standard cartoon planes anyway. The gondola's are based on Aquila the eagle that carries Zeus's lightning bolts across the skies, so each "plane" is a Golden Eagle with green supports that rotate around a steampunk globe. Like most flats once you've ridden one you've done them all but once again this ride offers a pretty generous rid cycle. I personally wouldn't recommend coming from Tik Tak to this as my brain was mush after that combo.

    The Star Flyer (Himmelskibet):
    Again in the astronomy/steampunk mashup this a nice star flyer that arguably is the best way to see Tivoli and Copenhagen. No roof top bar in the city centre came close to this and despite being on the top floor of our hotel we didn't get views this good. What else to say about the Star Flyer? Errm... the name Himmelskibet is probably a nod to the 1916 Danish film of the same name AKA A trip to Mars. (See sometimes you get [possible] facts and not whinging in my reviews :p)

    The Milky way Express (maelkevejen):
    Replacing the Steam train the Odin Express in 2019 is the new futuristic Milky Way Express. Yes its still a Mack powered family coaster but apparently its higher, slower and less noisier than its predecessor. In keeping with that spacepunk Brahe theme in the area it's a nice refresh and the Bioshock-esque pictures dotted around the station are really nice touches. It's a powered a family coaster that's elevated on top of some more food outlets and stalls. The coaster itself is pretty uneventful and could really do with some of the theming love but the 3 laps around screaming whatever the sci-fi equivalent of Choo-Choo is are fun if a little bland. On reflection I didn't actually realise how new this coaster was, and a lot of the bare roof that this coaster was on looked like it was still growing a lot of roof grass. So I am sure sometime in the near future this might get some additional love or VR. In fact it seems like a perfect candidate for it.

    The Astronomer:
    This is a aerial carousel ride much like Dumbo but themed as little rocket ships. Like the gyrating soaring loxodonta you can control the ride height with a lever as you spin around. Along the outside of the ride are some poles with 3 light up boxes that have a star design. These light up randomly on the way around, encouraging you to match the ride height to the light up poles in order to catch the stars. Unfortunately the lever is not very responsive so actually catching all the stars is impossible...grrr!!! Man-child gripe aside, its a great incentive for those who may not want to go really high at first. It's a novel idea and one I am sure that is great for the nippers.

    It was now time to leave the Tycho Brahe themed astronomy area and head into the China themed area but before we do, there's a ride stuck in a no mans land and it's a doozy!

    Den Flyvende Kuffert (The Flying Trunk): This Hans Christian Anderson inspired ride is a wonderful Mack dark ride in a trunk/chest as per the ride name. Although the ride is named after a particular fairytale it does encompass many stories written by the Odense born author and includes an appearance from his model himself. As stated you are placed in a trunk by your ride host and even offered the option of having the ride in Danish or English, this is toggled using a switch on the roof of the trunk. You are then taking across multiple levels and transported to the most famous scenes of H C Andersons fairytales. It's a delightful ride and seems older than it's 27 years give it's ageless charm. Given our British attitudes of prudishness I am sure that there were many titters at the little mermaid scene.

    After attempting 4 attempts retrieve our on-ride photos and ever growing presence around the tiny screen as others were attempting the same thing, we abandoned it and continued onward to China.

    The Dragon Boats: The dragon boats are the first ride in the Chinese themed area. Set in the foothills of Dæmonen, a pagoda and once again many eateries. It's a nice cozy ride in a pon....lake!

    Dæmonen: This B&M is arguably Tivoli's most photogentic across the boating pon...Lake!, with the pagoda in the background. Operations were slow on the 24 train floor less single train but we never waited more than minutes to ride. It's a fairly build a B&M by numbers ride with some familiar elements (Zero-G Roll, Immelman and a loop). There's nothing stand out about the ride but it is a B&M so you know what type of ride you are getting into. There was supposed to be VR on the ride but being in a post covid world I suspect it has been scrapped. Given the shortish ride time at less than 2 minutes, I am not sure why anyone would care if it didn't come back.

    So with nothing other than a drop tower that you ascend by pulling a rope to the top it was time to make the short step into Arabic area.

    The Golden Tower: An S&S Turbo drop that offers decent views of the city and the Hotel Danmark rooftop bar that became our second home. Personally I would go on the star flyer for the views across the city. Anyone who has read one of my previous reviews would know by now that these rides are far from my favourite and despite conquering Zumanjaro:Drop of Doooooooom, last year I still hate them. Confirmed by this bouncy descent to the ground.

    Fatamorgana (Animals):
    The worlds first and (only?) Condor 2GH was essentially neutered and turned into a Condor with half the capacity because the spinning section of the ride was off. This is billed as a 3 in one ride was turned into single ride when the bumper cars at ground level were also borked when we got there. So we were forced into the only part working of this now 1-in-1 ride, the animals. The animals section of the condor allows 2 riders to sit in tandem inside either a lion or a gazelle and are taken up to revolve at height. Once again it's a very generous ridetime but looking at the city isn't easy given the spinning, so about halfway through I found myself getting quite bored and stealing the occasional glance at Vertigo which I really wanted to be on. I was also occasionally glancing at the broken spinning section of the ride feeling a bit gutted it wasn't on.

    The Camel Trail (Kamelen):
    A kiddies Zierer(?). Hey, a creds a cred right?! We squeezed ourselves into this coaster expecting two laps of the dromedary led coaster but we were treated to 5 laps of this thrill-a-minute. To be honest I genuinely thought the coaster was bust and we would still be traversing today.

    Monsoon: A suspended flying carpet ride with some nice theming. The swing backwards and forwards until it does a full revolution clockwise and keeps going and then slows down to do the same thing in anti-clockwise. The suspended variation offers a little more thrill over a traditional "Hollywood Yankee" but not the degree the scream queen across the way from me would suggest.

    Vertigo:
    This is the ride I really wanted to get on having seen the previous attraction in Italy, I can't actually tell if that ride is going making Vertigo the only one in the world but still its a rare ride. The attraction is to long arms that spin with an aeroplane styled gondola at the end of each arm. The plane can also rotate independently to up the thrill factor. I believe there is an option to spin the plane yourself using a joystick but it appears this was disabled as everyone had the same style of ride. It's an impressive ride and really does pack a real punch but with the only 8 people per ride its pretty poor operationally. In fact this made worse by the fact that only one arm was working and the hosts were not filling up every ride. When we got to the front of the queue I could see the ride was using cycle number 4 its longest cycle, (Cycle 1,2 and 3 had crosses on the buttons so this suggests that cycle 4 is the only one used) This did lead to a pretty horrendous 50pph by my calculations. All the whilst social distancing had gone, the kids were in and sneezing an rubbing their hands on the queue pen, it was pretty grim to be honest and only that we had hit the sunk cost fallacy of the queue time made us stay in. The ride is awesome, you do 3 maybe 4 spins and rotates 180 degrees the plane as the arm starts to warm up, this disorientates you right from the off as the arm keeps rotating around. The plane then locks into a forward facing position and starts to rotate you faster, as explained cycle 4 offers some pretty generous ride time before the arm slows down the plane does another few barrel rolls and spins back around to return to the station. Delightfully pleasing but the extremely low throughput was enough to discourage us from a second attempt.

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    With all the rides completed we decided to chill out at the main lawn with some crazy strong cocktails and enjoy the band on the main stage. On the way we stumbled into some outside art collection, very high brow for a theme park! After chilling out we left through the food court and got our re-entry stamps fully intending of some night rides. However we found a bar boat called the Typsy Mermaid and just enjoyed our drunken evening on the water instead. Nothing on the park quite grabbed us in a way of wow we must do that again.

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    Overall Tivoli is a great park and we did some interesting flats but overall there isn't really anything that's a big enough draw that would make me return just for Tivoli. Maybe I over hypped it with the Disney connection but everything seemed decent but not quite next level. Would I return and do Copenhagen + Tivoli? Absolutely! (Once my wallet has recovered)

    We did go back to Tivoli food court the next day and considered getting a garden pass to wonder around to pass the time before heading to the airport. However we opted for some amazing smørrebrød and some hair of the dog.

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    In hindsight we'd definitely recommend a few extra nights and getting the train to Gothenburg to link up with Liseberg. We totally wished we were in a position to have done this. We'll get on Helix one day! :(
     
    Last edited: 7th Sep 2020
    djtruefitt, jon81uk, rob666 and 2 others like this.
    Posted 7th Sep 2020
    #2

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