Banksy Blasts Hollywood, Disney In Latest Prank Installation, “Dismaland”

Published August 28, 2015
Updated September 14, 2015

This isn’t Mickey’s park.

Dismaland, street artist Banksy’s most recent and most elaborate endeavor, contains everything you’d expect to find at an ordinary theme park—a ferris wheel, fair games, rides, and colorful attractions—and yet manages to circumvent any and all semblances of happiness.

Banksy’s theme park opened Saturday, August 22 at a seaside swimming resort in Weston-super-Mare, England. Guests start their Dismaland experience by walking through a security room designed by artist Bill Barminski. Featuring stark white walls and furniture outlined in thick black lines, the space simultaneously conjures images of hospitals and cartoon sets. Once inside the park, apocalyptic attractions—such as a dilapidated castle—and dark art abound.

Bill Barminskyi

Designed by Bill Barminski, the park’s entrance evokes a cartoonish vibe. Source: Huffington Post

Banksy is best known for his street art, and his work at Dismaland explores the same themes he’s been working through in urban settings: war, revolution, political corruption, and economic inequality. In Dismaland, though, Banksy collaborated with other artists. The park’s three galleries feature work from 58 artists, representing 17 different cultures. Banksy himself unveiled 10 new pieces.

In spite—or perhaps because—of the park’s macabre appearance, Dismaland has been making waves worldwide. People can’t seem to get enough of Dismaland’s provocative art, anarchist bookstore and Mickey Mouse-eared attendants who are told to respond to all questions with a sullen response. Indeed, the park’s online ticketing system crashed within the first few days of operation, and a week’s worth of tickets—sold at $5 a pop—were sold within a single hour.

Banksy Dismaland Carriage

Evoking the death of Princess Diana (or the sickness of celebrity obsession in general), the sculpture of Cinderella’s crash is truly haunting. Source: Movie Pilot

According to Banksy, the theme park is a “festival of art, amusements and entry-level anarchism.” Get a glimpse of what all the hype is about in these images from the apocalyptic amusement park:

Banksy Theme Park Entrance
Source: Forbes

Banksy Dismaland Ad
Source: Newsweek

Banksy Dismaland Balloons
Stern theme park employees parade around Dismaland wearing frowns and ironic mouse ears. Source: What the Hellz

Banksy Creepy Theme Park
Officially the creepiest theme part carnival. Source: Boing Boing

Banksy Dismaland Carriage
Evoking the death of Princess Diana (or the sickness of celebrity obsession in general), the sculpture of Cinderella's crash is truly haunting. Source: Movie Pilot

Banksy Beamusement
Source: The Times

Banksy Dismaland Faces
Caricatures, Banksy style. Source: Viral Thread

Banksy Art Installation
Good luck eating at this warped picnic table. Source: Bizarre Beyond Belief

Banksy Dismaland Games
Dismaland offers its own spin on traditional fair games, as seen in this not-so-inviting stand. Source: Express

Banksy Disneyland Alternative
Would you pay to play this fair game? Source: Journal du Geek

Banksy Dismaland Castle
Dismaland's decaying castle looks a whole lot like Disneyland's glittering castle...minus all the glam. Source: Arrested Motion

Creepy Banksy Theme Park
Source: Vogue

Banksy Dismaland Pond Boat
In this piece by Banksy, migrants crowd together on boats, while bodies float in the water around them. Source: Express

Banksy Bizarre Installation
Source: NBC News

Banksy Haunting Theme Park
Unlike the crystal clear waters of most theme parks, Dismaland ends up looking like an abandoned swamp. Source: Dazed Digital

Banksy Toilet Orca

Banksy Dismaland Playground
Dismaland's take on the sand pit. Source: BBC

Banksy Police Art
Source: BBC

Banksy Dismaland Punch Judy
Another unfriendly fair game, Punch Judy. Source: NY Daily News

Banksy Dismaland Legend
Dismaland legend. Source: This Is Colossal

In this case, pictures are worth a thousand rather depressing words, but nothing can quite capture Dismaland's essence like this advertisement for the "family theme park unsuitable for children":

Kiri Picone
Bay Area transplant Kiri Picone is a writer and marketer who loves bizarre news and the color purple.