No fairy tale: Disenchanted movie village of Enniskerry falls out of love with Disney


The filming of Disney movie Disenchanted may have attracted thousands of visitors to the quiet Wicklow village of Enniskerry — but it didn’t quite put everybody under its spell.

Wicklow County Council received several complaints about the filming in the Enniskerry area with some lamenting the appalling traffic. Others worried about how their business would be affected, with one resident complaining their green area had been used as a urinal by a visitor.

The movie, which stars Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey and Maya Rudolph, was filmed at locations in Wicklow and Dublin during the summer and is expected to be released next year.

Filming took place in the village of Enniskerry over the summer months. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire

In one email from April, a local business owner said preparations were causing issues before filming had even begun in Enniskerry.

‘This work is already causing disruption to trade, generating noise etc, and a lack of parking spaces in the village,’ they said.

They also highlighted the case of one business that had ‘struggled mightily’ to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

File picture of Enniskerry as it underwent a transformation for the movie Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The email said: ‘Nobody from Wicklow County Council has given [the shop] any information in writing to date as to the level of disruption [they] will have to endure just when retail may be allowed to open for the summer season which is the busiest in [the] village apart from Christmas.’

In response, the council said the traders should get directly in touch with the production company responsible for making the movie.

However, one business owner argued it was a matter for the local authority: ‘All the supposed fame and the attraction of visitors to the village as a result of the movie might make the cafes busier but are of no benefit to other traders and merely clog up the village.’

As filming got under way, local residents also wrote to the council asking for a review of the traffic plan in place for the movie.

A Taxi app operator said its requests for rides to Enniskerry have skyrocketed by 142% in the last month as Disney moved in to film a new movie. Pic: Niall Carson/PA Wire

One resident noted that traffic management was well-organised during filming, but that at other times it could get chaotic.

Another said the level of visitors to Enniskerry had become unmanageable, with a massive increase in litter and cigarette butts ‘strewn’ around the picturesque village.

Correspondence also raised concerns about illegal parking and the towing of cars in the area.

Disenchanted is a follow up to the 2008 movie, Enchanted starring Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey. Photo by Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

In response, the local authority said extra bins had been provided and that gardaí had warned on social media about illegal parking.

But within the local authority, frustration also began to bubble as officials tried to deal with the complaints.

One email between colleagues said: ‘It’s been a week of it, I’ve had a business, a TD and at least three residents phoning as well as the attached letter.’

Another resident of Enniskerry said while the filming was ‘great’, the village was struggling to cope with the sheer volume of visitors.

‘I have witnessed numerous close calls with drivers overtaking cars and cyclists,’ the resident said. ‘It is only a matter of time before there is a serious accident.’

Another email to the council said emergency services were now having difficulties accessing the area.

Local Fine Gael councillor Melanie Corrigan also wrote to say she had also received numerous calls and messages about the issue. Picture: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Local Fine Gael councillor Melanie Corrigan also wrote to say she had also received numerous calls and messages about the issue.

Cllr Corrigan said: ‘I had several elderly people on worried about the lack of social distancing.’

In a statement, Wicklow County Council said: ‘The village will be reaping rewards for years to come. The economic net benefit of Disenchanted is in the region of €63m to the national economy; locally the benefit is of the order of €20m.’


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