I went to see the Sand Sculptures in Ostend, Belgium. They have already been Disney-themed for multiple years now and although they claim that this one’s in honour of 25 years of Disneyland Paris, there wasn’t really something extra special about it.
Either way, it’s still fun to see these pieces of art. Any kind of creative exploit inspired by a Disney movie, is interesting to me. But just like with any other kind of art: some things you like, others are just meh.
Many pieces look like the evil twin or the cheaper version of the intended character… But I should learn to take my mother’s advice: Can you make these yourself? No? Then you shouldn’t complain about it.
And if you just use your imagination a little bit, it’s not so bad… Anyway, it’s extra cool to see the characters that are spot on!
Marlin and Dory really stood out.
And if the main character isn’t exactly what you expected, there’s often an interesting background that makes up for it.
Disneysand Magic is created by 40 artist and the sculptures are said to be strong enough to face Belgian weather. When I visited the exposition, it had already been there for almost two months, so it’s really impressive that most of the artwork was still intact. This perfect Ariel and Flounder must have been even more magical when the Little Mermaid still had her entire forehead:
There was also a mediocre display of Captain Jack Sparrow and his most recent enemy, Captain Salazar. If you’ve seen the movie, you’ll know that it’s perfectly normal that Salazar’s face is already kind of crumbling, so it wouldn’t be so terrible if his face got hit by a Belgian summer storm.
I was pleasantly surprised by their choice of movies. The displays weren’t groundbreaking, but I found it unexpected to see art based on Zootropolis, Big Hero 6 and definitely The Hunchback of Notre Dame. They could’ve easily jumped on the Star Wars and Cars bandwagon and have us overflowed with the same, but very popular, characters everywhere.
They only did so with Frozen. The characters are so popular among the present children, it doesn’t even matter that Olaf looks creepy as hell.
Since they can fall back on a large history of Disney sand sculptures, their 2017 flyer is entirely based on earlier work. So don’t be alarmed if you have a look at it and notice you don’t recognize anything when you’re walking on Ostend beach.
I didn’t photograph any of it, but Marvel fans also get their fair share of sand magic. And if you want to feel like you’re in Disneyland Paris, the smaller sand version of Sleeping Beauty’s castle is a big help. There was also a Cinderella corner, with her carriage, castle and two portraits: one of the classic movie and one of the recent live-action.
It’s without a doubt a fun trip for the entire family: Disney fans, sand lovers and nitpickers alike. You can still visit, until the end of October.