In something that is still political and topical, I thought I would blog about my recent visit to Banksy’s Dismaland. There has been a lot of media surrounding this ‘bemusement park’ and you have to wonder if it is media hype, or is the site worth visiting?
Is Dismaland worth a visit? The simple answer is yes it is. For an entry fee of £3 per person, a three-hour drive from Porthleven to Weston-super-Mare, and only six-week period of being open, you have to visit.
I visited when it was raining. It added to the desolate feeling of the place. As you step in the many puddles you feel that they were placed there as part of the park, rather than just formed from the rainfall.
As you enter the site and ‘clear’ security you are visually hit not only by the sights, but the music playing and the odd bit of commentary over the load-speakers.
Like Disneyland the centre piece of the theme park is the castle. Far from its former glory and in a sorry, if not captivating state. You can enter the castle too. The exhibition inside the castle was my favourite piece of the whole site. I will not spoilt it for those who will visit, but it is clever and tragic at the same time.
Along side the castle is a big wheel (which you can ride on) and in front of that in the castle moat is a police riot van spraying water like it is some sort of water fountain.
You can then wander around in any manner you like. Like in other theme parks or fairgrounds, there are many stalls to play on. Each with the same message. You will not win, it is fixed. Yet the irony is people still hand over money to play. Just like you would in real life.
The staff are brilliant, always in character being miserable and surly. They really help make this park an experience.
There is some close to the knuckle bits of art work, but done in the right way to highlight the message. Very topical and covers subjects like the banking crisis; war; terrorism or if you see it from the other-side, freedom fighters; pay-day lenders and consumerism.
There is just so much to see your brain works overtime in trying to keep up with what you are seeing and what you have seen 10 minutes ago.
Many parts of the theme park are a parody of the seaside playing Mini Gulf or the old fashion Victorian games, that instead of two fat ladies, are ISIS or pirates. Just about everything is interactive.
There was also a strong anti-war message and how people should never forget that for many the fighting does not stop when the bullets and war stop. It clearly highlighted by these two Action Man figures
I took so many pictures this blog would be massive. I also do not want to spoil the visual experiences if you go yourself. As I said, if there is one thing you do in the next six-weeks, and no matter if it is raining or sunny, take the time and go visit this Bemusement Park. You will not regret it.