We were lucky enough to get to go into Dismaland yesterday - and had a truly fantastic time.
I recommend it to everyone. There seems to be a bit of mystery around the event and everyone seems to have a question, so I thought I would put together a question and answer style post which will hopefully be handy to those who are planning on going themselves.
What is Dismaland?
Dismaland is an interactive art exhibition, situated at Western Super Mare, UK
With art on display from over 50 artists from all over the world, including Banksy, situated in an old Lido - the Tropicano which once housed an open air swimming pool. Banksy said 'This event is so much more than just an art show, well, two things more. It's got a bar and a cinema. Think of this as a fairground that embraces brutality and low level criminality - so a fairground then. Here you are encouraged to consider not just consume, to look, not just spectate and most importantly of all beware of uneven floor surfaces.' - See a full list of artists and other information on the website www.dismaland.co.uk
Is it suitable for young children?
We took my 4 children, aged 13, 12, 8 and 8 months.
The art is of an dark nature, so it may be worth having a look to see if you are comfortable with that before taking along your children.
Some swearing is present on certain posters, and there are scenes depicting death and other subjects which you may want to talk over.
But for the very young these simply go over their heads, for the older children it is a great way to introduce them to some fantastic art works, the staff are amazing and were nothing but great with my children, taking the time to entertain them in their dismal uninterested yet very attentive way.
Upon entering you get lead through a security section, the staff there were particularly great with the children, making them stand on one leg, hop, place hands over their faces then smile at the camera -that sort of thing, they also spoke to my 8 month old son, scanning him and asking him to ensure all adults are supervised at all times- a great start to the whole experience.
Once inside it is very much a fairground - and you can interact with the stalls, have a go on hook a duck from the muck, and topple the anvil, again the staff at these attractions ere wonderfully entertaining with the children, making the experiences so much more rewarding than an average fairground stall, there is also a childrens corner too with sandy play area... and childrens pay pocket money loans. Brilliant from all ages.
How long do you need to visit?
The doors open at 11am then again at 6pm for the evening till 11pm.
We had over 4 hours there but could have stayed longer - there is no time limit to the day and once passed the security entrance you are free to go about your day the way you wish too, there is a one way system around the castle and certain art exhibits but everything else is free to wander around as you see fit, you can stay as long as you want, and there truly is so much to see and do.
Can you take your own food?
I think officially they would rather you didn't - there is places inside to purchase food, although we simply didn't have the time to do that, before purchasing your ticket your bags are checked, and there was mention that you have to disguard food which I read online in other sources of information, however I took in my picnic bits (drinks and sandwiches) and nothing was said about that.
What is disabled access like?
The floor in the que area is muddy, slippy and generally rather unpleasant to push a wheel chair or pushchair, but is not totally in accessible. Inside there is uneven surfaces, wood chips in some of the exhibit tents and general steps up and down certain areas, however there is certainly plenty you can easily access with a wheelchair/pushchair so even with the bits which may be off limits there is still a lot of reasons to see the rest.
How much additional money will you need?
Days out can often quickly become expensive when you add up all the little extras can't they?
The price to enter is a very affordable and very worth while £3, then once you're inside you don't need to purchase or spend anything else at all to enjoy the visit, but there are a few things available, the big 'I am an imbe-cile' balloons which gloomy staff wonder around holding ARE for sale and can be purchased for £5 if you can catch up with the staff.
The attractions are all working and should you wish too you can play the mini golf, ride the Ferris wheel, and try to win on the hook a duck, shoot out and topple the anvil, these cost between £1 and £2 a go.
On the way out there is a gift shop- inside there are prints to purchase and T.shirts which cost £10 for a children size and £20 for an adult.
Paper guides are handed to you as you enter, official more indepth guides can be brought for £5
Over all it is a very affordable day out and great value for money.
Great, so where can you get tickets?
That's the big question isn't it? - We simply turned up and were lucky to not have to wait too long, you can read how we got tickets here : How we got tickets to Dismaland
However there is no guarantee of Que time or tickets being available on the door.
Online tickets are being made available in blocks - keep an eye on the official website, and do not buy from anywhere else as ID may be needed to prove purchase from official site. www.dismaland.co.uk
You can also get up to date information on twitter from the official Dismaland stream @dismalandwsm
And if after all that you have time, you can brave the winds and western weather and sit on the beach... but beware of the sinking mud! (check tide times and look for warning signs on the beach)
and if you want to see whats inside here is our video :