Disneyland’s Makeover


Photo Courtesy of the Evening Standard

Michael Lyons, Photojournalist

In early to mid August of 2015, it was announced that street artist Banksy was putting together an art exhibit that was essentially a more compressed Disneyland that was much more darker in both tone and scenery. And it even appropriately titled “Dismaland”.


For a while, not many knew what Dismaland would be, despite having a clear description of what the exhibit would be like. What would it look like? Would there be characters like in the parks? Was it going to be very dull? There were a LOT of unanswered questions at the time.


And then the official pictures came.


Oh, it was dark, alright. It was exactly as it had been described. It was essentially Disneyland–just smaller and more grotesque. An “adult” Disneyland, if you will. But the weird thing is, it made just made us more excited. It was something we hadn’t seen in a while. It was a bit of a change. And in this era of change, we seemed to like it.


Fast forward a couple weeks, Dismaland was open to the public in England! People could finally see what the hype surrounding this project was all about. At first, it was wonderful–or as wonderful it could get.


And then the reviews came in.


While the general public and a couple of critics seemed to enjoy it, there weren’t exactly pleasant things that were said either. Most of the criticism came from the fact that the exhibit was more of a comment on society today (or something like that) rather than being, you know, an actual art exhibit.
After all that and a couple of celebrities visiting the exhibit, Dismaland closed its doors for good on September 27, 2015. What’s to become of it, you might ask? Well, it’s been reported that the exhibit will be dismantled and rebuilt in France as a shelter for migrants. So, it’s nice to know that a little bit of good came out of this.