The 160-plus-year-old park is not only an icon of history but also the place that inspired local -- and equally legendary -- writer Hans Christian Andersen to write "The Nightingale." It also inspired an even more significant revolutionary: It is said that Walt Disney got the idea to build Disneyland, his first amusement park, after visiting Tivoli Gardens.
Tivoli opened in 1843, the brainchild of Georg Carstensen who at that time was required by law to request permission from Denmark's King Christian VII to build his "romantic amusement park." His mission wasn't entirely for the greater good; according to lore, he told the king that when people were amused they were far less likely to engage in political revolt. From the beginning his concept was to create a place where local folks could enjoy music, alehouses, restaurants and amusements. That concept lives on today.
The park is located in what was originally Denmark's countryside, just outside the fortified walls of Copenhagen (which no longer exist) and along the city's moat (part of which was used to create a lake in Tivoli). But by the 1880's, Copenhagen had outgrown its own walls and Tivoli became part of the city.