Photographer Marco Bell takes a photographic journey into the Shijingshan Amusement Park, located in the Shijingshan District of Beijing, China.
This notorious park was established in 1986 under the motto: “Disneyland is too far to go, please come to Shijingshan!”
Today, the park is a strange and dusty place.
It's filled with knock-off characters and rides that reference not only Disney’s intellectual property, but imagery based on Batman, Shrek, Bugs Bunny, Hello Kitty, and Popeye.
It even contains its own rendition of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Disneyland’s Toon Town, Magic Kingdom’s Splash Mountain, and a Spaceship Earth structure at Epcot Center.
During the park’s golden days, bizarre clones of Goofy, Donald Duck, and Mickey Mouse would walk the park and greet masses of children on holiday.
Although, after these imitations were exposed by international media in 2007, the Disney Corporation threatened to take legal action against the Shijingshan Amusement Park.
In response, the park management claimed that these features were actually based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales, which would fall into public domain.
“We have nothing to do with Disney,” declared the park’s president to a Japanese broadcaster, describing their rendition of Mickey Mouse as “a cat with big ears.”
Since then, park officials have continued to silently remove the most obvious references to Disney’s imagery.
Marco Bell is an artist and photographer based in New York, NY. To view more of his work, check out his website at www.marcobell.com.
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