When I first wrote about Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, I focused on its vintage charms, manicured flower beds and fairytale vignettes. But Scandinavia’s most popular amusement park has a serious wild side as an antidote to all of that sweetness. While we enjoyed the gentler rides, there are four major roller coasters and other rides that are not for the faint of heart. If you’re looking to add some thrill to your direct holidays from April—September, you have a lot of choices!
In the picture above, there’s the Dragon Boat ride, which I went on with my toddler and husband. We had a nice time boating around the lake for what felt like five minutes (your tickets do not buy you a lot of time). But look up and you’ll see that the Chinese theme continues red, loopy track of The Demon. The Dragon Boats were first introduced in 1936, but The Demon didn’t show up until 2004. This modern floorless coaster reaches a speed of 48 mph on a 1851-ft-long track with three inversions (loop, immelmann, zero g-roll).
History buffs will appreciate Ruthschebanen, which just means roller coaster in Danish. This wooden coaster was originally built for the 1914 Baltic Fair. It actually requires a brakeman to operate it, which reminds me of those old-fashioned elevators in New York City that have an elevator man who works the lever. There are also a couple of other roller coasters for those who want an adrenalin-filled day at Tivoli.
Although it’s not a roller coaster, another scary ride is Vertigo — even the name is scary! This giant swing (riders sit in a plane) has a kitschy Middle Eastern look that somehow works with the ever-so-eclectic Tivoli. Vertigo opened in 2009 and the brave riders achieve 5G, acceleration at five times the weight of gravity. Um, wow. The only flying that I did was The Flying Suitcase, the Hans Christian Andersen kiddie ride that was renovated in 2010. That’s more my speed.
Do you like roller coasters? Or do you secretly prefer the kiddie rides?