Brightly-coloured but trading on past glories, Disney World's hotels are a portal into an alternative reality, finds the young Spaniard
Born in Barcelona in 1984, Arnau Rovira Vidal first learnt photography from his father, a keen amateur with a darkroom set up at home. Initially studying film-making at university, Vidal devoted himself to still images two years ago when he moved to Madrid, taking courses at EFTI Centro Internacional de Fotografía y Cine and LENS. He now specialises in shooting fantastical buildings and architecture, and is already making a name for himself, showing his abstracted series RE-FORM at Spanish festivals such as Pa-ta-ta and Mirades, and publishing his series on the new wave of building in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in titles such as Wired and GUP.
His new project, Fantasia Resorts, was shot in Orlando and shows the cartoonish holiday resorts of Disney World, a theme park which covers 65 square km and includes 33 different resorts. The – literally – larger-than-life Walkmans, floppy disks, and magical brooms that adorn the hotel blocks show the slightly outdated approach of an entertainment complex that first opened in 1971, of Disney’s tendency to perhaps “be living off the popularity it generated in the old days,” he says. “In all, these are some of the most affordable resorts,” he adds, “where you can enjoy some of that childhood nostalgia for the fair price of $100/night.”