Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Banksy Dismaland - How did we get tickets?

Several weeks ago I was looking to arrange a seaside day trip as I do love the sea and haven't been able to take a trip for a couple of years, living in the midlands and not being able to drive myself it can be difficult. So when I saw a local coach company offering trips to Western Super Mare I thought 'oh that is a good way to get out for the day in the school holidays', booked up my tickets and didn't think much more of it.

Then the news broke that Banksy had installed a new attraction on the seafront, surrounded by excitement and mystery. I couldn't believe it when it said this was at Western Super Mare an otherwise fairly quiet seaside town and so I eagerly read what was there.

The news articles sounded fantastic the photos popping up online looked incredible, I tried helplessly to get tickets so we could be sure to go in ourselves, along with seemingly millions of other people!

The tickets website crashed (or was simply never going to deliver tickets on that opening day) and I was left like all others scratching my head and wondering what was happening.

The next few days I scoured the internet looking for real information, what was it like inside? could children go? and most importantly how likely were you to be able to get inside if you turned up at the door?

News broke that tickets would go on sale online from Tuesday lunch - great we were heading there on Tuesday... but  I wouldn't have a laptop handy, and needed a ticket for the daytime not evening. No way of securing tickets before this point.

I figured this could be a blessing, as people waited at home to book their tickets could we perhaps get lucky by being at the door?

So with a glimmer of hope we set off on the coach, it took us 4 hours to arrive, and I had become unsure of our chances of getting inside dismaland, arriving after dinner not ideal when ques could be hours long,  I told my three older children not to expect guaranteed entry and to remember we had booked this day trip without even knowing about dismaland in the hope to avert from serious disappointment.

As it happened we drove past the entrance of Dismaland  and parked up a few meters away, the ticket booth looked open but not busy, the ques certainly looked manageable in a short time frame.

We went straight off the coach, at around 1pm, towards the ticket booth, £3 entry each - a real bargain, the trickest part was navigating through the mud and twisted barriers, with only a handful of people ahead of us we quickly had stamped wrists and were ready to enter the second section of metal railings and join the main que.

This moved slowly with only a handful being allowed in at a time, there was possibly 100 people ahead of us, not a massive que by any means. It  took us around 40 minutes to get to the front.

As we entered the park there was probably 200 or so people waiting behind us, and the lady told me the que was moving slowly as the park was nearing capacity.

Once inside it was amazing - the staff so in character from the first people at the cardboard security who spent time talking to each guest (which is why only 5 or 6 allowed through at a time) to the dismal greetings of the stewards crossing you over the road - there was so so so much to look at, the instant sights such as the castle, the police boat in the moat, the sweeping bendy bench are stunning to look at, but the detail in every aspect of this bemusment park could take you hours upon hours to absorb and you still would not have seen everything it has to offer.

The day was amazing - we all thoughtly enjoyed every minute of it - the dismal weather of windy Western Super Mare was not even noticed, we spent 4 and a half hours there and left reluctantly to catch our coach back home.

If you are lucky enough to have a ticket be sure to go and experience this yourself.

look out for more posts soon :)


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