Georg Carstensen was inspired by the parks and the gardens, he had visited abroad when he was first granted permission by the King to open Tivoli Gardens. On August 15, 1843 the garden gates were opened for the first time and the guests were awestruck by the elegant and exotic gardens. Among them was the one and only Hans Christian Andersen, who was inspired to write the fairy tale the Nightingale .
Carstensen was constantly on the lookout for new ideas to maintain the public interest. In 1844 he introduced the Tivoli honory guard, the Tivoli Boys Guard. From their humble beginnings the guard grew into a popular and beloved cultural icon as well as a comprehensive musical education for children. Today the guard welcomes both boys and girls into it's ranks..
Ever since opening the Gardens has operated with an opening charge; originally the ticket cost one Mark. In order to create guest loyalty, in 1845 it became possible to buy a season pass. There were cards available for a single gentleman, a gentleman and a lady and a gentleman accompanied by two ladies. Respectively the cards cost 8, 12 and 16 Rigsdaler - with six Mark on a Rigsdaler ...
Carstensen was only the director of Tivoli for five years. In 1848 he enlisted for the war against Prussia, and Tivoli's advisory board subsequently fired him for breach of contract. Carstensen left Denmark, but when he returned he once again founded a pleasure garden, Alhambra in Frederiksberg, in competition with Tivoli, The gardens opened in the summer of 1857 however Carstensen never experienced the opening; he died of pneumonia in January, at the age of 44.
From the very beginning pantomimes were an integral part of Tivoli's programme. The current theatre was erected in 1874 and is therefore the oldest, original building in the gardens and preserved by law. The motto "Shared joy with the people" engraved in Chinese letters above the stage, is perfectly suited for Tivoli.
The popular music director Hans Lumbye was in charge of the music in Tivoli from the very start in 1843. A violinist and a composer, he wrote about 800 pieces of music. Many of the compositions were written exclusively for Tivoli, for example the world famous piece, the Champagne Galop. During winter time Lumbye toured with his orchestra in Denmark and abroad. In Germany he was known as Strauss of the North.
Tivoli's original entrance was just a wooden gate with a ticket house on each side. In 1890, the current main entrance with the familiar facade structure was inaugurated. The buildings were originally more extensive than now, with the Apollo Theatre facing east and Restaurant WIVEL - later Wivex - on the corner of Vesterbrogade and down Bernstorffsgade. The restaurant became known as a water hole for a group of infamous war profiteers during the First World War. In later years the National Radio broadcast dinner concerts from Wivex, which closed in the early 1960's.
The Nimb family were originally tenants at the Tivoli restaurant Divan 2 and were subsequently offered the chance to run the main restaurant in the new bazar building that was constructed after the city moved Bernstorffsgade to the west. Today the oriental palace is called Nimb, named after the restaurateur who established the reputation of the place. After a major renovation the facility was reopened in 2008, comprising a luxury hotel and several restaurants.
Copenhagen central station opened in it's current position in 1911. The following year Tivoli opened the entrance that faces the train station giving the commuters easy access to the gardens. The first portal was oriental themed in accordance with the original facade design of Nimb, facing the street. Both were toned down in the 1920's at the behest of the city.
Tivoli already possessed a roller coaster in 1843; a seven-second thrill that caused both enthusiasm and indignation. In 1914 the original roller coaster opened - now called the Roller Coaster. The course is one of the world's oldest, wooden roller coasters, still in operation, and one of just seven attractions in the world, operated by a brake man on each train..
During Nazi occupation of Denmark in World War Two, large parts of Tivoli were burned down, due to sabotage. After closing on June 24, a group of Nazi sympathizers snuck into the gardens at night time and placed fire bombs in the Concert Hall, the Glass Hall Theatre and the Arena Theatre in addition to several other facilities. The damage was extensive, and meant that Tivoli had to close operations down for two weeks before re-opening for the public.
The Arena Theatre was destroyed during the second world war. The original site became home for the new dance hall, Dansetten in 1948, which was a popular venue until 1967. Originally big band music was featured, with championships in swing dance also being held. In later years beat and rock'n'roll music was part of the programme.
In 1955 the original Disneyland opened in California. Walt Disney paid several visits to Tivoli, where he was fascinated by the mood and atmosphere. Disney was keen to copy the Tivoli ambience, so that he could incorporate it into his own amusement park.
Tivoli covers approximately 83000 square meters, so it is imperative to utilize this space as sufficiently as possible. The Alley opened in 1952 and is styled like a fantasy Danish market town: It is full of details and the cramped space is well suited to the mood of the small street, with the shops on one side cut into the side of the roller coaster mountain..
During war time sabotage in 1944, the original Concert Hall of 1902 was completely destroyed. The music was moved temporarily to the Glass Hall Theatre, until 1956 when the new concert hall was inaugurated. It is now the Nordic region's largest concert hall facility with nearly 2000 seats. Renovated in 2005, a new rotunda building and a large rehearsal room, Lumbye Hall, were added.
The building standing in Tivoli's north east corner originally housed the first Danish Museum of Decorative Art, which was inaugurated in 1893. Tivoli acquired the property in 1978 and turned it into the quarters of the Tivoli Boys Guard. The premises has also featured several museums, a tourist information and private homes. Today - in addition to the guard quarters you can find offices for Tivoli's administration and banquet facilities..
In many amusement parks it is customary to pay for the entrance and rides at the same time. However many of our guests prefer not to enjoy the amusements; they come to dine, listen to a concert or take a walk in the gardens, and therefore only pay for the admission. Any guest wishing to try out the rides, should instead buy a Multi-ride ticket which gives access to all the attractions on offer with as many rides you could possibly hope to enjoy.
Tivoli was built on the grounds of a military base just outside the city ramparts. When the army moved the city's defense lines, the grounds were incorporated into the city of Copenhagen. Tivoli therefore leased the property from the city right up to 1992, when Tivoli A/S acquired the site from the municipality. A clause in the contract states that the property is solely to be utilized for entertainment activities in keeping with Tivoli's traditions, but taking into account the development of the entertainment industry.
A/S Kjøbehavns Sommer Tivoli was the official name of the public limited company, we today call Tivoli A/S. Tivoli was a pure summer pleasure until 1994, when Christmas in Tivoli opened for the first time. In the early years Christmas in Tivoli was only featured in a small part of the gardens, but since 1997 the entire gardens has been in use during the Christmas season.
In the mid 1990's Tivoli had little that appealed to people under 40 making our younger audience disappear. That changed with the introduction of the concept Friday Rock, which since has been a huge draw and a good reason to obtain a Season Pass. The very first Friday Rock featured the rappers Den Gale Pose and Hvid Sjokolade .
After owning a majority stake in Tivoli for almost 100 years, in 2000 Carlsberg decided to sell its shares. Various rumors circulated about both Disney and Michael Jackson, and some talked of Tivoli ending up on public hands. In the end Scandinavian Tobacco Company and Chr. Augustinus Fabrikker became a majority share holder; and so Tivoli remained on Danish hands.
With the pantomime Love in the Dustbin at the Peacock Theatre, a foundation was laid for a fine tradition. The storyline of the ballet was comprised of three of HC Andersen's beloved fairy tales and told the story of how easy it is to get into trouble with love. Dinna Bjørn was the choreographer, James Price the composer and Queen Margrethe created the sets and costumes . The three have since collaborated on Thumbelina (2005), The Tinderbox (2007), The Unlucky Swineherd (2009) and The Steadfast Tin Soldier (2013).
Wether in the summer season or Christmas season Tivoli always strives to make our guests marvel at the sights of the gardens. So when Tivoli decided to introduce yet another season, this time during the autumn holidays, it was necessary to bring a concept to life with it's own unique, visual expression. A such Halloween in Tivoli, isn't just about black cats, skeletons and ghosts, but also about the autumn's abundance of pumpkins, corn, sheafs of grain and plants.
Parlour games have been part of the Tivoli experience since 1843, and you can find raffles and wheel of fortune booths at most market fairs. Some of Denmark's first slot machines were introduced in Tivoli in the 1920's. Tivoli obtained a national license for online gambling in 2012 and an international license followed in 2014.
Tivoli gained additional space when 600 square meters of office and warehouse facilities were incorporated into the Merry Corner. With combined design and inspiration from Tycho Brahe and the Renaissance the new theme area, features the ride Aquila.
The City of Frederiksberg named a square on Allégade after Georg Carstensen in honour of Tivoli's upcoming anniversary.
Tivoli’s extension of Nimb Hotel and Tivoli Food Hall opened in November presenting a new all-year Tivoli venue and a new, tivoli-esque façade in Bernstorffsgade.
A new February season premieres as the first marking of Tivoli’s 175th anniversary.