Mark Linnhoefer – Banksy has secretly put together a Disneyland-inspired family theme park in Weston-super-Mare that is “unsuitable for children.” Getting tickets, however, is a dismal experience
A thousand tickets for the five-day long exhibit have been given away to locals, and regular sales have begun – but the website keeps crashing and depicts an upside down shopping cart, forcing fans to queue at the doors.
Under the guise of wanting to make a movie, Banksy assembled the theme park of which footage can now be found all over the internet. The park in itself is a much darker, run-down version of Disneyland – the employees look depressed, the entrance gate is a fence with a “No Entry” sign on it, there are crashed cars, police vans, oil spills, and boats filled with statues representing migrants.
The whole place has a desolate feeling to it, but does nonetheless make some interesting sociopolitical statements with some artsy touches like a small white screen depicting multiple cartoon characters’ faces that constantly morph from one face into the next. A few other interesting exhibits are a crashed carriage with Cinderella’s mangled dead body sticking out of it while an armada of cops take pictures, a trailer that rotates around its own axis to create a feeling of weightlessness, and a broken police van that is being sprayed with water.
Dismaland is sure to attract huge crowds, if they manage to get their tickets that is – some fans are starting to think that the hiccups with the ticket purchases is in essence already part of the experience, and perhaps even wanted by Banksy. People like Anthony Hamer-Hodges agree with the fans, saying that he “[guesses] the misery of queuing and a crashing website is part of the satire.”
We don’t know if this misery and crashing really is Banksy’s doing, but the theme park in itself is sparking a lively discussing in the YouTube commentaries, where people are actually calling to have the park closed by authorities because it is “morbid and horrible” whereas others say that they definitely need to check it out.
Dismaland is definitely a one-of-a-kind theme park that takes all the child-friendliness out of Disney and puts it into a much darker, satirical and political realm.
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