August 9-16, 2018: The Northern European Cruise is MAGIC! (Completed!)

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Trip Reports' started by Geomom, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Geomom

    Geomom DIS Veteran

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    August 9-16, 2018: The Northern European Cruise is MAGIC!

    :earsboy: Welcome to our trip report! :earsboy:

    On this journey were myself (Geomom), DH, DD18, and DD14. Our first cruise was the Disney Wonder to Alaska in August 2016 (trip report is in my signature). We booked a placeholder while on that cruise and were awaiting the opening dates for Summer 2018…of course they opened up while we were actually at Disney World! So, we booked Stateroom 2108 (cat 9C, oceanview room on deck 2, port, aft) on 2/24/17 through our Dreams Unlimited Travel Agent. Yes…almost 18 months of WAITING and driving DH crazy with all my planning! This would be the first time to Europe for all but DD18 (who did a school trip to Germany 4/17.) Months passed before I could book anything else…finally on 9/25/17 I booked airfare. We went with Delta—Boston to JFK (in New York) to Copenhagen. Main cabin was $617/person roundtrip—included 1 checked bag/person, meals, and seat selection! We were going to fly in 3 days before the cruise. With my dates now set in stone, I could book the hotel for our pre-cruise stay in Copenhagen. Well…anyone who has looked for rooms for 4 in Copenhagen knows that it is an expensive city and hard to find rooms for 4 at $200/nt. We finally decided upon Wakeup Copenhagen Carsten Niebuhrs Gade (right next door to the Tivoli Hotel that Disney uses.) I’d call it a ‘micro-hotel’, with very small rooms…but the ‘family’ room is 2 standard rooms with a connecting door…so we’d get 2 very small rooms. I added on the breakfast plan so that we could eat and then go explore each morning. I did the pre-pay option and our total came to $591 USD for the 3 nts. Yes, I got it for under $200/nt with breakfast. Score! The hotel also had air conditioning—which was fantastic with the hot summer they’ve been having in Europe this year! I then bought trip insurance while my oldest was still 17…kids under 18 are free—so we saved some money that way! We went with Travel Insured International, Worldwide Trip Protector. I set the coverage to $3500/person which would cover the excursion costs as well. We paid $320 for the 4 of us…since the kids were free. Next came the fun planning! I bought the Copenhagen Card on 2/5/18 and paid to have it shipped to us so we wouldn’t have to deal with that upon arrival. The Copenhagen card includes admission to 79 attractions and train/bus/metro transportation. We bought the 72 hr. card for $378 for the 4 of us. Then I bought the 24 hr Stockholm Pass for our port day there…and also paid to have it shipped to us. The Stockholm Pass includes HOHO buses/boats as well as 60+ other attractions. It cost $246 for the 4 of us. For both the Copenhagen Card and the Stockholm Pass, DD14 got the ‘child’ rate, so we paid for 3 adults and 1 child. Somewhere along the way our Delta flight home got moved from 3PM to 1:30PM, so we decided to book Disney ground transportation from the port to airport to make sure we got to the airport in a timely fashion. Disney transportation was $40/person each way in Copenhagen. We made our final cruise payment, requested a dining rotation (the kids wanted to be in Rapunzels 3x) and then booked Disney Port Adventures for the first 3 ports. We arranged for the neighbors to watch our pet rabbit, and for our friends to drive us to the airport. We got our Dreams Unlimited gift basket in the mail...the cruise is getting closer! And FINALLY the day arrived!
    :tinker:Trip Report Links:
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
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  2. Geomom

    Geomom DIS Veteran

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    Sunday 8/5/18 and Monday 8/6/18: BOS to JFK to CPH, and Copenhagen Day 1: “To Infinity and Beyond!” (Part 1)

    Travel Day/Night was, thankfully, uneventful, and very smooth! Changing terminals at JFK was…interesting…Delta has the ‘Jitney Shuttle’…buses that drive you ON the tarmac between terminals…meaning you don’t have to go through security again! Yay! Since we connected much quicker than I expected, we still had close to 2 hrs at JFK before our flight. We had a light dinner, then DH took the kids to the candy shop…came back with 3 bags of candy mixes. Our flight to Copenhagen left at 9:30PM, landing at 11:45AM on 8/6/18. We were all really impressed with our first transatlantic flight. Delta gave everyone a pillow, blanket, earbuds, sleep mask/earplugs, a water bottle, hot towelette, drinks, dinner (3 choices of entrée, salad, cheese/crackers, bread, dessert), then a small breakfast/drinks in the morning. They had the seat back screens with movies/tv shows/music/games. While the service was great…none of us slept much on the overnight flight…no big surprise. Passport Control at CPH was pretty easy, then we got our bags (yay they all made it!), DH went to an ATM to get some DKK, then we went down to Level 1 to take the train to Copenhagen Central Station…using our Copenhagen cards for the first time. (It was the oddest thing…the train stations are pretty much honor system…they have a place you can scan a transit card…but it doesn’t work with the Copenhagen card—you would just show your card to someone if they asked…but they never did.) We got off at the second stop, made our way up to street level where I paused to figure out which way to get out. Then wearing a backpack each and pulling luggage, we walked the ½ mile (10-15 minutes) to our hotel dodging bicycles as construction had combined the pedestrian and bike lanes in places. DD18 was NOT happy with this walk (apparently, I had not forewarned her enough that this was my plan on how to get from the airport to the hotel). It was also warm in our long pants—high was 77F in Copenhagen that day.

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    We made it to Wakeup Copenhagen, checked in at 1PM and was overjoyed to hear, “Your room is ready.” Yes! Our room was on the 3rd floor, overlooking the garden area, away from the train tracks and construction! DH and I took the corner room with 2 windows, kids next door to us. I read reviews on Trip Advisor prior to booking—so it was exactly what I expected—but better as I wasn’t expecting to be able to checkin until 3PM, or get a corner room with a ‘good’ view! We showered and rested for a few hours, gave everyone a snack to prevent Hangry kids, then out to explore!

    Our rooms (the connecting door is between the bathroom pod and the bed.):
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    Views out our windows on the 3rd floor:

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  4. Geomom

    Geomom DIS Veteran

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    Sunday 8/5/18 and Monday 8/6/18: BOS to JFK to CPH, and Copenhagen Day 1: “To Infinity and Beyond!” (Part 2)

    (Copenhagen Note: Every attraction we went to in Copenhagen AND all the bus/train transportation was covered by the Copenhagen Card—we only paid for food, souvenirs, and ride tix at Tivoli.)

    DH had me look up bus routes ahead of time, so it made things easy…it just took a couple minutes to find the ‘right’ bus stop at that corner. (DD18 is the worrywart…I tried to explain at multiple points during those 3 days that seeing it in ‘real life’ is much different than on paper…we’re in the right area, we just need to find the exact spot we need to be.)

    We took the bus 2 stops, then walked to Tycho Brahe planetarium. DD14 keeps saying she wants to be an Astronomer—so this was for her. The attraction includes an IMAX movie, so we got free tix for the 7PM show that was in English.
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    We explored the museum for about an hour, and realized we still had plenty of time before the show; so we left to find dinner. We walked to Vesterbrogade and saw a sign saying ‘pizza’ across the street (on the corner of Viktoriagade). Perfect for jetlagged kids. We ate at Uludag Kebab—kids split a cheese pizza, I got shawarma in a pita and fries, DH got the Doner to go (shawarma and fries in a bucket.) It was a perfect first meal in Copenhagen.

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    We took some pics as we walked back to the planetarium.

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    This was the home of Nicolaus Steno…I looked it up when I got home…but I shouldn’t have needed to. I was a Geology major in college…Nicolaus Steno is considered the ‘Father of Stratigraphy.’ (And here I thought this was a non-geology trip!)

    We took some pics of the wildlife in the pond behind the planetarium.
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    In the planetarium shop, we bought some licorice candies and licorice cough drops, then we went to the IMAX show “Voyage of Time”…where I promptly drifted in and out of sleep…when we got to the end we discovered it was narrated by Brad Pitt…apparently he has a very soothing voice…and it was a very boring movie…but it was ‘free’ so I can’t complain. We eventually found the correct bus stop and made our way back to our hotel.

    It was a successful first day in Copenhagen!
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
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  5. SaraSpringsIsHome

    SaraSpringsIsHome Too excited to sleep!

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    Love you TR so far! I’d loved to go to Copenhagen, and your experiences thus far make we want to go even more.
     
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  6. Geomom

    Geomom DIS Veteran

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    Tuesday 8/7/18: Copenhagen Day 2—"A Day of Royalty!” Part 1

    We had our “European” style continental breakfast at the hotel: meats/cheeses/cucumbers/cornichons/peppers, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, muesli, corn flakes, breads/rolls, butter/jam/Nutella, fruit, coffee/tea/juice.
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    Then off we went. We walked to the train station (Copenhagen Central) and took the train to Norreport. Came out to street level and had no idea which way to walk (worrying DD18 yet again…as I said, reality is much different than paper.)
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    We eventually got ourselves walking the right direction, to Rosenborg Slot. We got tix for the 11AM time slot. (At that point, I wisely abandoned any thought of making it to Amalienborg Palace for the changing of the guard at Noon.) We had to put our backpack into a locker. (Using a 20DKK coin, which you get back later.) DH and I walked around taking pics of the outside until our timeslot.
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    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  7. Geomom

    Geomom DIS Veteran

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    Tuesday 8/7/18: Copenhagen Day 2—"A Day of Royalty!” Part 2

    Inside Rosenborg Slot:

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  8. Geomom

    Geomom DIS Veteran

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    Tuesday 8/7/18: Copenhagen Day 2—"A Day of Royalty!” Part 3

    We then went outside to go to the guarded treasury in the basement.
    There were various rooms with old wine, weapons,
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    amber and other 'treasures'

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    (“Castle” episode reference: DH and I saw this and said ‘It’s the Fist of Capitalism!”)
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    and eventually the crown jewels.

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  9. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    I can't wait to read about the rest of your trip. I love Copenhagen and enjoyed Rosenborg very much when we were there.
     
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  10. Geomom

    Geomom DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! We loved Copenhagen...I wish we had more days there--it was so easy to get around and everyone was very friendly!
     
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  11. Geomom

    Geomom DIS Veteran

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    Tuesday 8/7/18: Copenhagen Day 2—"A Day of Royalty!” Part 4
    From Rosenborg Slot, we walked to Nyhavn…to have ice cream for lunch! We stopped at the first one we saw, Gelato Rajissimo. I got hazelnut and caramel, DH got Coconut and Nougat, DD18 got pistachio and hazelnut, and DD14 got Churros with Vanilla gelato! It was a welcome break as today’s high temp was 83F.

    (Lol, I 'tried' to get a good pic...the 1 pic that is NOT blurry has DD14 pouting...oh well!)
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    After our Gelato lunch, we walked over to the Blue Netto Boats for a 1 hr canal tour. We were just amazed—the tour guide gives the tour in 3 languages—Danish, English, and German. DD18 took 5 yrs of German and said, “if I missed what she said in English, I understood it in German.” It was a really fun boat ride! If you’re going to Copenhagen—I’d say a canal tour is a ‘must’ do!

    Amalienborg Palace and the Marble Church
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    Little Mermaid—we didn’t realize people were allowed so close to the statue! There were so many people there!
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    Christianshavn’s Canal
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    Our Savior’s Church
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    Nikolaj Kunsthal Tower
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    Christiansborg Palace
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    Tunnel entry decoration
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  12. Geomom

    Geomom DIS Veteran

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    Tuesday 8/7/18: Copenhagen Day 2—"A Day of Royalty!” Part 5

    Next, we took a bus to Christiansborg Palace.
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    The Stock Exchange building--with intertwined dragons on the spire!
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    We headed to the Royal Stables first…sadly the horses were on ‘holiday’, due back the following week, but we did look at the stables and the historic carriages.
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    Then, we went through the Royal Reception Rooms (after putting on booties to protect the floors.) (Somehow, we did all the castles/palaces in the right order…they just kept getting bigger throughout our trip. This way we were able to be amazed by each palace vs. comparing it to the previous one and finding it lacking.)
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    This library made us think of Beauty and the Beast...Belle would love it here!
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  13. Geomom

    Geomom DIS Veteran

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    Tuesday 8/7/18: Copenhagen Day 2—"A Day of Royalty!” Part 6

    More pics of the Royal Reception Rooms...we were just amazed by all the details...walls, doors, ceilings, floors!:
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    "Frozen": I feel like Elsa has been here...if she had 'wood' powers!
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  14. Geomom

    Geomom DIS Veteran

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    Tuesday 8/7/18: Copenhagen Day 2—"A Day of Royalty!” Part 7

    We took a bus back to the hotel to rest before going out for dinner. After our 1 ½ hr rest, we walked to the Fisketorvet Mall.
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    We walked all through the mall and ended up eating at Bryggen 89.
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    I had the Thai Beef Salad and a Mojito to drink,
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    DH had the salmon and elderflower juice,
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    DD18 had the wok with chicken,
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    DD 14 had Bruschetta and a chicken sandwich and lemonade…lemonade with mint…it looked like my mojito, but w/out the alcohol.
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    We had a great view of the harbor from the restaurant…and could see people swimming in the harbor ‘pool’.
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    When we finished the shops were all closed…but the supermarket was open. We bought cookies, more licorice and some chocolates, then walked back to the hotel…and ate the cookies!
     
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  15. Geomom

    Geomom DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! We're not 'city' people, but we loved visiting Copenhagen due to the lack of skyscrapers, and the preservation of the 'old'. Copenhagen was very walkable and public transit was great!
     
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  16. bcwife76

    bcwife76 DisneyMomma

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    Following along, loving every detail!! My DH wants us to go on this cruise in 2020 (we shall see lol).
     
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  17. Geomom

    Geomom DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for following along! It was a fantastic trip, and a great way to "sample" 5 countries!
     
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  18. disneyfaninaz

    disneyfaninaz It takes faith, trust & pixie dust!

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    Wow, you got some great pictures of the palaces. They bring back some great memories of our trip there.
     
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  19. Geomom

    Geomom DIS Veteran

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    Wednesday 8/8/18: Copenhagen Day 3—"How scary could that ride be?” Part 1

    We had our European style breakfast again, then off we went. We took a bus to Radhuspladsen.
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    Then waited and waited and waited to do the Copenhagen Train Tour.
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    Eventually our tour left…not much of a tour…our ‘guide’ was just a driver, and only spoke about the area at the 2 stops (without a microphone)…and unfortunately there was a woman talking on her phone behind me the whole time, so I didn’t hear anything. The ‘train’ tour was rather terrifying… we drove the wrong way up a one way street, drove on part of the Stroget (the pedestrian walkway), etc. It actually was the ‘route’ for the train tour—crazy! The driver was great…glad he concentrated on driving vs. talking to us. It was definitely a more exciting ride than we expected!

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    Once we made it back to City Hall Square, we walked over to the H.C. Andersen Fairy Tale House (A Ripley Museum.) It's part of the Scandic Palace Hotel building.
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    For the H.C. Andersen Fairy Tale House, you walk past a bunch of fairy tale scenes, push a button to hear parts of the story in various languages, and parts of the scenes are animatronic. It was something DD18 wanted to see…if it wasn’t included in the pass, we wouldn’t have paid to go to it…

    DD18 took this pic of a hilarious sign in the bathroom in the H.C. Andersen House.
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    Last edited: Sep 21, 2018
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  20. Geomom

    Geomom DIS Veteran

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    Wednesday 8/8/18: Copenhagen Day 3—"How scary could that ride be?” Part 2

    Next, we walked to the Glyptotek art museum. Outside the museum we ate trail mix and granola bars to stave off the hangriness!
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    They had free lockers here to store our backpack, then we walked through the sculpture areas and the French Paintings. I had been looking forward to seeing the Rodin sculptures, especially the Thinker and The Kiss. The sculpture areas did not disappoint—I wish that all museums had sculptures this accessible…I also loved the blue paint color on the walls…the white plaster/marble sculptures look great in our pics.

    Sculptures:
    Rodin “The Kiss”
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    Rodin "The Thinker”
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    Rodin “The Shade”
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    Louis Ernest Barrias: “Mozart as a child”
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    In the Winter Garden: Kai Nielsen—“The Water Mother”
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    Henri Matisse sculpture
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    Edgar Degas “The Little 14 yr old Dancer”
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    French paintings:
    Claude Monet: “Rocks at Belle-ile”
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    Paul Gauguin: “Arearea No Varua Ino”
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    Today was a high of 85F and a bit humid. The air conditioning couldn’t keep up, so it was rather warm in the museum…I think we lasted about 1 ½ hrs before we got too hot…long enough to see what I came for!
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2018
  21. Geomom

    Geomom DIS Veteran

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    Wednesday 8/8/18: Copenhagen Day 3—"How scary could that ride be?” Part 3

    When we left the museum, we walked to the front entrance for Tivoli Gardens Amusement Park, entering at 2PM.
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    We bought the unlimited ride tickets at $36/person—if you go on at least 4 of the 2 ticket rides, it’s worth it. Tivoli Gardens was Walt Disney’s inspiration for Disneyland—so it was fun to walk through it with that in mind. DH was really impressed that this was located right in the heart of the city. Lots of garden areas between the rides....and free roaming peacocks/peahens/babies!
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    We went on the Ferris wheel, the mine, DH and DD14 went on the Galley ships, then we all had a pastry snack at Vafflebageriet—so yummy! We were really surprised that they gave us the pastries on china plates…in a theme park! We’re so used to the US with paper/plastic everything!
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    After our pastry break, we went on the carousel, and the Flying Trunk. It was while getting onto the Flying Trunk ride that DH and I noticed that ride safety standards are a bit 'different' than in the US...not necessarily a bad thing...just something we noticed. There is a lot more 'personal responsibility' at Tivoli vs. constantly being reminded to 'watch your step' at US amusement parks.
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    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018

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