Brow Beat

Banksy Designed a Dystopian Theme Park Called “Dismaland.” It’s Terrifying.

Dismaland
A mouse-eared steward leans on a fence at “Dismaland,” August 20, 2015.

Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Leave it to graffiti artist Banksy to take America’s sunniest, most saccharine amusement park and turn it into a bleak “bemusement park.” England’s newest, gloomiest tourist attraction is in Weston-super-Mare, near Bristol, on the site of an abandoned beachside attraction. No matter how many theme parks you’ve attended, this one promises to be a standout.  

Once you get past Dismaland’s eerily institutional security checkpoint, the castle looks like it’s one breeze away from collapsing. But wait, there’s more: A dead princess backdrop for prime photo ops, a whale jumping out of a toilet and through a hula hoop, and a sculpture of a woman getting viciously attacked by sea gulls. But at least the food at this park is affordable—free hot dogs, to whoever can guess what meat is in them. Welcome to Dismaland: Everything is awful.

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A view from the barrier wall into “Dismaland” which opens tomorrow at a derelict seafront park on August 20, 2015 in Weston-Super-Mare, England.

Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Dismaland
The secure entrance to “Dismaland.”

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

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Dismaland
Detail of the “Dismaland” castle.

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

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Banksy's Dismaland
A steward stands at the Topple the Anvil booth at “Dismaland.”

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

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Banksy's Dismaland
A visitor poses with a photo op backdrop at  “Dismaland.”

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

Banksy's Dismaland
A Free Hot Dog sign at “Dismaland.”

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

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Banksy's Dismaland
The smiling face of David Cameron graces a poster in  “Dismaland.”

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

Banksy's Dismaland
An aquatic installation.

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

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Banksy's Dismaland
A visitor checks his phone beside a sculpture.

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

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Banksy's Dismaland
The Pocket Money Loans attraction at   “Dismaland.”

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

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Banksy's Dismaland
A lagoon installation.

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

Banksy's Dismaland
A staffer holds a bunch of black balloons printed with the phrase “I Am An Imbecile.”

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

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Banksy's Dismaland
A steward sits in front of signs at  “Dismaland.”

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

Banksy's Dismaland
General view of  “Dismaland,” Banksy’s first installation in the UK since the Banksy v Bristol Museum show in 2009, open for 5 weeks starting August 21.

Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters

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