Welcome to Dismaland, Banksy's magically disturbing version of Disneyland
Mysterious and well-known graffiti artist Banksy has created an entirely new version of Disneyland. But Disney-lovers, take heed: Before you pack your bags, know that this is not a happy, sparkly dreamland. Nope, it’s pretty darn disturbing, and it’s for those who are fascinated by all things horror. Involving dead princesses and crashed pumpkin carriages, this is the place where nightmares are made.
Dubbed “Dismaland,” Banksky’s show has rolled into Weston-super-Mare, England to take over the Tropicana site for six weeks. “I loved the Tropicana as a kid, so getting to throw these doors open again is a real honour,” Banksy said, according to UK’s The Weston Mercury.
And “happiest place on Earth,” Dismaland certainly is not — but super awesome in a creepy, terrifying way? That we can see. The show, which has been dubbed the world’s first “bemusement park” and is considered a “family theme park not suitable for children,” according to the mysterious Banksy, features many eerie works and attractions that require audience participation.
The park may be based on Disneyland, but it’s not a knock at the brand, claims the artist. “I banned any imagery of Mickey Mouse from the site,” he said, according to The Guardian. “It’s a showcase for the best artists I could imagine, apart from the two who turned me down.”
Featuring work by 58 handpicked artists — including Damien Hirst and Jenny Holzer — Dismaland spans across 2.5 acres. It may be creepy, but it’s also hilarious, with many works giving a satirical spin on the modern commercial marketing. In fact, the park has an anarchist feel to it, with one attraction selling tools to break into the poster cases at bus stops and replace them with their own signs. “This place is brilliant,” artist Darren Cullen, who has never met Banksy but is part of the exhibit, told The Guardian. “I only knew the minimum amount before I got here, but it is so cool. It is just amazing having this much sarcasm in one place.”
Other highlights at the “bemusement park” include the a portrait artist who will paint a likeness of the back of your head, as well as the Cinderella crash, where the pumpkin carriage lays destroyed, including a dead Cinderella surrounded by the remains of her horses.
“A dead princess is only complete when surrounded by gawping crowds with their cameras out or the opportunity to photograph yourself pulling an amazed expression when a killer whale leaps from a toilet,” Banksy told The Weston Mercury. “I guess you’d say it’s a theme park whose big theme is – theme parks should have bigger themes.”
The entire thing was kept totally under wraps, with tourists and locals being told that the creepy buildings and attractions were being built for a Hollywood crime thriller entitled Grey Fox. “This event contains adult themes, distressing imagery, extended use of strobe lighting, smoke effects and swearing,” reads the event’s brochure. “The following items are strictly prohibited: knives, spraycans, illegal drugs, and lawyers from the Walt Disney corporation.”
Does this nightmarish place sound like a dream come true to you? Dismaland will run for another month, ending the 27th of September, so head on over to England before then to see the creepiness unfold. You can buy a ticket (they’re affordable, at less than $5!) on the official website.
“I hope everyone from Weston will take the opportunity to once more stand in a puddle of murky water eating cold chips to the sound of crying children,” Banksy joked to Mercury.
(Images via Twitter)