When Walt Disney entered the beautiful grounds of Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen in 1951 to tour its magical and sophisticated outdoor spaces there is no doubt that he felt inspired. Four years later, when he opened his very own fairytale-inspired park in Anaheim, California, not many would have guessed that it would go on to become one of the most visited theme parks in the world.
Such pleasure gardens became popular in the 18th and 19th centuries in expanding cities in Europe. This concept then inspired American cities such as Chicago and New York to also develop public parks and gardens, which are still very popular today.
These gardens, commonly named “Tivoli” or “Vauxhall” often featured romantic outdoor pathways, promenades and pavilions, music and decorative lighting with a magical and festive ambiance. City dwellers flocked to these urban getaways as an escape from the crowded streets, noise and complaints of the day. In 1843, Copenhagen achieved its own pleasure garden when Georg Carstensen received Royal Assent to open his Tivoli Park immediately outside Copenhagen.
Today, Tivoli continues to be as popular as ever and has it all: rollercoasters, rock bands, beautiful gardens and most of all great people watching. Georg Cartensen’s concept endures 172 years later, and like him, Walt Disney was also a visionary and a pioneer. He drew inspiration from the many amusement parks, museums, and World’s Fairs he frequented as a child and with his own children. He dreamt of a theme park where adults could share the joys of childhood with their own children, and boy did it work as well!
We all love to touch on that carefree, happy-go-lucky outlook on life every now and then, and that is why anything Disney usually does the trick. From The Little Mermaid to Frozen, these are the type of tales that evoke that happiness we crave when the strain of our daily lives seems a bit too much.
Of course, we have Walt Disney’s vision to thank for the wonderful escape from reality into a world where wishing upon a star is the most sensible solution. Perhaps Mr. Disney himself looked up into the night sky during that trip to Copenhagen’s Tivoli Garden in 1951.
With spring now upon us, and summer not too far ahead, places like Tivoli continue to inspire us and remind us that sometimes we are not that much different from those who walked our same streets, even decades ago. If you can’t make the trip to Anaheim, Orlando or Copenhagen, even private gardens and yards, like the garden at The Danish Home, serve as our own personal cherished sanctuaries when we feel the need to ‘getaway’. All of us dream of peace, tranquility and a little magic every now and again, and, as a wise cricket did once proclaim: anything your heart desires will come to you.
Visit our Pinterest garden page for more garden inspiration!