Walt Disney & Tivoli Gardens

Walt Disney & Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli Garden is the second oldest theme park in the world. It’s located right at the heart of Copenhagen, Denmark. Tivoli has strong links to Walt Disney. Walt visited Tivoli in 1951 while on a European tour promoting his latest feature film Alice in Wonderland. It was only a few years after he visited that construction on Disneyland was started.

During the Great Depression in the U.S. (1929-1939) a lot of the amusement parks were closed or fell into disrepair. By the 1950’s the ones which were left were dull, almost seedy places which targeted mostly adults. Tivoli, however, was completely different. Known for it’s lush gardens, fine restaurants, nightly fireworks and wholesome family atmosphere[1].

“Spotless, brightly coloured and priced within the reach of everyone. The gaiety of the music, the excellence of the food and drink, the warm courtesy of the employees — everything combined for a pleasurable experience.”
- Walt Disney [1]

There are many simularities between Tivoli and the modern day Disney park. I believe none of this is more apparent than at night when Tivoli is lit up by 1000’s of lights. The attention to detail in the lighting, the planting and open spaces is probably why Walt spent a large amount of time at Tivoli while designing his own theme park.

Nimbs Brasserie


The relationship between the Walt Disney Company and Tivoli is still active today. As part of Tivoli’s 175 year celebration Walt Disney World is contributing a float designed around it’s a small world to the Tivoli parade.

“Walt Disney loved Tivoli, and so do we. Out of long friendship and deep mutual respect, Tivoli and Disney Parks have maintained a very cordial dialogue over the years, ranging from employee exchange visits to discussions of best practices amongst our leadership. We at Walt Disney World Resort hold the Tivoli organization in the highest esteem, and we are pleased to express that through our participation in the Tivoli 175-year Jubilee Parade.”
— George A. Kalogridis, President, Walt Disney World Resort

The parade will begin in the summer of 2018 so we will have to wait until then to see the design of the parade float.

For more information on Tivoli Gardens, be sure to check out my review of our Christmas trip.


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