WATCH ABOVE: A derelict, sea-front beach town in the UK has been given a facelift by British street artist Banksy. Welcome to “Dismaland.”
Banksy is a prolific and elusive street artist whose works can fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars — from those who can get their hands on them — but his latest installation offers a bleak take on a place loved by millions.
Dismaland is “a festival of art, amusements and entry level anarchism” and certainly not for youngsters hoping for a chance to see the Little Mermaid or Sleeping Beauty‘s fairytale castle.
In fact, Dismaland is meant to serve as a reminder that “life isn’t always a fairytale.”
Sitting on what was once the Tropicana lido in the British holiday town of Weston-super-Mare, just 50 minutes southwest of the artist’s hometown of Bristol, Banksy’s so-called “bemusement park” turns Disneyland on its head.
“I guess you’d say it’s a theme park whose big theme is — theme parks should have bigger themes,” BBC reported the artist saying. “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.”
But it’s not just a deceased Cinderella hanging out over her overturned pumpkin carriage or a distorted Ariel welcoming visitors the dystopian theme park.
Famed Disney attractions like Splash Mountain, for example, becomes Water Cannon Creek: ” An armour plated riot control vehicle built to serve on the streets of Northern Ireland. Equipped with sniper posts, grenade launchers and now – a children’s slide,” as it’s described on the Dismaland website.
Gone is the traditional windmill on the mini golf course, replaced by the oil caliphate themed “Mini Gulf” crazy golf course and the only boats sailing in the boat pond are full of desperate migrants.
Dismaland isn’t a showcase by Banksy alone: although he contributed 10 original works, 50 other artists contributed to the grim gallery — including artists from the U.S., U.K. Israel, Palestine Syria, Iran and Canada’s Joanna Pollonais and Maskull Laserre.
The installation, with its 18 attractions, will remain at the site for five weeks, opening to the public on Saturday and closing Sept. 27.
If you can’t make it to Dismaland before then, here’s a look at a few more scenes from where dark dreams really do come true.