Farewell Dismaland. Can we Have Our Lido Back Now Please? - Practically Perfect Mums
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Farewell Dismaland. Can we Have Our Lido Back Now Please?

Dismaland Video - Banksy Graffiti Theme Park in Weston-super mare, North Somerset

DISMALAND CLOSURE:

A REVIEW, A VIDEO AND A LOOK TOWARDS THE FUTURE

Almost 2 weeks ago Dismaland Closed its doors for the last time, so I thought it was time to reflect on what the attraction had to offer and question the future of the Tropicana building.

Whether you’re sad because you couldn’t get tickets and missed out, sad because the show’s left town or perhaps you’re just a bit sad, here’s a little tour of  Banksy’s former Bemusement park, Dismaland, guaranteed* to make you feel better.

*A lie, clearly.

TWO MINUTE DISMALAND VIDEO TOUR

So after around 200,000 visitors and an estimated £20 million boost to Weston-super-Mare’s economy, the phenomenom which was known as Dismaland is no more. Did it live down to the hype around it? Yes I think it did. Quite spectacularly.

With one failed attempt at booking tickets via the overloaded online system under my belt, I was successful in securing five precious tickets for our family quite easily a week later. Just £5 each including booking fee seemed a small price to pay for a slice of “the fun that never ends” – well not until 27th September 2015 when the doors closed for the last time.

 #Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare

We visited on a chilly September evening and after queuing like cattle for about thirty minutes, we suddenly felt the stir of movement and sure enough, the crowd began to shift. As we approached the entrance, I managed to avoid having my bags searched by holding one if my son’s hands and talking adoringly to another, as the security guard tried to catch our eyes. Not that I had anything to hide, but we were itching to get in and you have to play the game, right?

As we entered, we were greeted by staff who’d clearly been specially trained in looking grumpy and a wonderful display of the British service industry at it’s worst was to follow.

 #Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare
“No Photos!”

Inside we were surprised to be politely offered a brochure, until the steward holding them snatched them away and held them tantalisingly high, out of reach, while the children jumped up and down, desperately trying to grab one. Finally he seemed ready to relent.

“Here you go!”
he said, before screwing one up and dramatically tossing it to the floor.
 Dismaland-13
Later as we were walking around an equally Dismal young lady leaned into us and hissed
“GO HOME!!”
Were the boys upset? No of course not. They found it hilarious.
When I asked them afterwards about their favourite part, they all said they enjoyed
  • trying to work out the meaning of each piece of art
  • the way the staff acted towards them

AMUSEMENTS

We didn’t bring much cash with us as we weren’t expecting there to be actual rides and stuff. Just look at all the fun they missed out on!

Dismaland
 #Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare

TRUCK MOUNTED OUTDOOR CINEMA

At least the cinema was free – and the expletives were pretty free flowing too. Time to move on boys. NOW!!

#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare

BIG RIG JIG – JUGGERNAULT BALLET 

#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare

#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare

FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY!

Just look at their happy little faces 🙂 🙂 🙂

#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare

CIRCUS TENT GOTHIC SCULPTURE

Plates which can lick themselves clean? Could be handy

#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare
#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare
#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare
#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare

CINDERELLA’S CASTLE

Where the fairytale’s gone horribly wrong.

#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare

KIDS ENCLOSURE

Interesting combination of a soft play area and a loan shop – maybe the boys can go on those fun rides after all.
#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare
 #Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare
How pretty. From a distance, at night, after a visit to the bar, it almost looks like a real theme park. On the right you can just make out Ben Long’s rather impressive stallion, constructed entirely from used scaffolding.
#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare

THE GALLERIES

Claims to offer “The finest collection of contemporary art ever assembled in a North Somerset seaside town”

A few highlights so you can make your own mind up.

 

#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare

A rare smiley face at Dismaland ‘where the magic never ends’. So glad we bagged a visit before it closes on Sunday #dismaland #tropicana #travelblogger #banksy #westonsupermare #practicallyperfectmums #art #graffiti

Posted by Practically Perfect Mums on Friday, 25 September 2015

#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare
#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare

I can’t believe I’ve never thought of cross-stitching my bonnet.

 

#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare
#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare

Jimmy Cauty’s Miniature World – The Aftermath Dislocation Principle

 

Dismaland #Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare
#Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare
 #Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare

BANKSY ART

An unexpectedly helpful Dismaland Gallery steward told me the following pieces are by the man himself. This may not have been true, of course.
Banksy artwork at Dismaland #Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare
Banksy artwork at Dismaland #Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare
Banksy artwork at Dismaland #Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare

THE VERDICT?

We had a marvellous time at Dismaland. The weather turned unpleasantly cold and windy while we were there, the rudeness of the staff exceeded expectations and there was quite a lot of swearing. It seems that our children are cynical enough to get the humour. You know that thing when you’re on holiday somewhere on this lovely island of ours and you psych yourself up to plunge into the icy atlantic ocean, because you’re English and you just have to, while other sensible people from warmer climes look on in bemusement? Dismaland was a bit like that. You might get pneumonia afterwards but you’re glad you did it.

THE FUTURE?

I know it’s highly unlikely that it’ll ever happen, but I’d love it, if one day, I could take my sons swimming at Weston-super-Mare’s lido, a place where we enjoyed special multigenerational family outings when I was their age. It makes me so sad that its doors have been closed for so long.  In a breezy seaside town, where the tide is notorious for being a long way out, I strongly believe that a swimming pool would be the best use of the space. We have a superb outdoor pool in Portishead, a town which is a fraction of the size of Weston,  so why not?

For now, at least the boys have been in the building, even if it was at night-time and the pool’s former splendour was barely recognisable. I’m grateful that after all these years some life has been breathed back into the Tropicana, albeit briefly. I look forward to seeing what will happen next.

 #Dismaland #Banksy #Graffiti #Tropicana #Art #Weston-super-Mare
10 comments… add one
  • Mudpie Fridays 01/11/2015, 19:09

    I really wanted to visit this, but unfortunately never made it as its a bit far from us. Plus I am not sure its really suitable for a 3.5 year old! You caught some great photos of the art work :). Fingers crossed you get your lido and get to relive your childhood. #MondayEscapes xx

  • Ting at My Travel Monkey 28/10/2015, 16:45

    I haven’t read one bad review of Dismaland and I must admit, am super jealous. I’m not sure how I would have handled all the crowds but it looks like they don’t dampen the joy. It is a shame there isn’t a lido there anymore…maybe one day it will reopen. Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

  • Mama Herself 21/10/2015, 20:54

    I seem to have a knack for missing big (or bigish) art events. I remember following avidly the seemingly daily reports of the woman ‘sleeping’ in a glass box in some gallery or another back in the day, without ever actually going to see it.

    I’ve enjoyed living vicariously through other people’s Banksy visits! It has certainly captured a lot of people’s imagination.

    • Jane Batt 22/10/2015, 10:09

      I know how you feel, but his time I thought I’d be really cross with myself if I hadn’t even tried to get a ticket when it was just a few miles up the road from us!!

  • Baby Isabella 19/10/2015, 18:37

    My folks were lucky enough to go twice to Dismaland and loved it. We wrote a review too and it’s always nice reading other people’s perspectives. They went in the daytime and it seems fabulous at night as well. A shame it’s gone really, but glad they’ve tried to reused the materials in France. #MondayEscapes

    • Jane Batt 20/10/2015, 10:17

      I think the atmosphere would be quite different during the day. It almost looked quite attractive in the dark!

  • Christine 19/10/2015, 16:13

    We loved Dismaland too, such a fantastic idea and something only Banksy could pull off on such a scale! We visit Weston every year for a day trip and I rather like how the town is at the moment but I can see why residents would welcome more investment – an updated lido would be great! #mondayescapes

    • Jane Batt 20/10/2015, 10:19

      That’s lovely to hear Christine – reminds me of our family when we were children. Yes, definitely yes to an updated lido! Thanks for visiting

  • Mrs ATWWAH 19/10/2015, 13:32

    I read so much about Dismaland when it was open, it looked ‘fun’. Hopefully someone will use the space to good effect as it seems to have proved there is an appetite for some sort of attraction there.
    #mondayescapes

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