Dyrehaven, Denmark

Pilgrimage to Bakken

Forrest Mallard

After learning that Denmark was the home of the world’s oldest theme park, I had to go.





A few days ago, while taking the Copenhagen Free Walking tour, the guide spoke about the magical and famous Tivoli theme park located right in the middle of the city. Tivoli is the second oldest theme park in the world and was Walt Disney’s inspiration for building the Disney theme parks. BUT, the guide continued, Denmark is also the home of the OLDEST theme park in the world, and it is located just outside of Copenhagen, in the middle of the woods.

I knew nothing about this.. and suddenly I had a new item that was given high priority on my itinerary. I did some research online and found out that Bakken is indeed the oldest theme park in the world, by a LARGE margin. This park originally began as an annual festival held out on the woods, but it later developed into a year-round escape from Copenhagen, and then in 1583 Bakken (or Dyrehavsbakken as it is officially named) became regular entertainment for everyone in the area.

It was easy to get to, I took the Metro train C Line all the way to the last stop, and then after a 20-minute walk through an absolutely stunning forest, I arrived at the gates of the park, and it is FREE to enter.

I got there fairly early, and I had the chance to meet the biggest star of the park ‘PJERROT‘ without a swarm of kids surrounding him. Pjerrot is more than just the singular park mascot, he is also a park resident. He lives in the little house in the middle of the park and his show, which is performed 3 or 4 times per day, takes place right on his front porch.

To say that this park is ‘old school’ is kind of an understatement. There are plenty of places to get a full-on amazing meal, and many beer stalls all throughout the park.

I honestly think I was the only tourist there yesterday. As a matter of fact, I have spoken to many tourists over the last few days and none of them have even heard of this place, so this is VERY much a nice local secret.

From my earliest years, after my first visit to Walt Disney World.. theme parks have been one of my life’s few enduring passions. Now that I also work in a theme park, in of all places, Dubai, I felt I needed to see this ‘world’s oldest theme park.’

It was ABSOLUTELY worth the trip!

Now that I have downloaded my photos, I realize that I took many more videos that I had realized.. so some of the best parts of this trip, including full ride POV film clips, will have to wait for the ‘Destination Feature.’

Denmark is the home of the oldest theme park in the world, and it is located just outside of Copenhagen in the middle of the woods.



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