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Disney’s dance club Videopolis was possibly the most ’80s thing ever

Screenshot: YouTube

As synth-fueled dance music swept the earth in the 1980s, savvy marketers concentrated efforts toward young, neon-garbed club kids. Among those: new Disney executive Michael Eisner, who, according to the website Dangerous Minds, was eager to try to prove to those kids that he was cool:

In an attempt to attract edgier teens of the MTV generation Eisner developed Videopolis: an epic 5,000 square foot all-ages discotheque located just west [of] It’s a Small World in Fantasyland… This state-of-the-art, $3 million outdoor venue complete with hundreds of neon lights & lasers, 70 video monitors displaying music videos, spotlights shooting into the sky, a snack bar called “Yumz,” and a dance floor large enough hold 3,000 guests opened on June 22, 1985.


Videopolis was known for its grandiose dance moves, like shooting off fireworks every night to the tune of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s “Two Tribes.” Cool kids were offered a summer-long after-park-hours pass for a mere $40. Videopolis then unsurprisingly made it to TV in 1986 with the two-hour Disneyland’s Summer Vacation Party, which saw the ultimate ’80s lineup of Miami Sound Machine, Boy George, The Bangles, and Oingo Boingo performing live on the Videopolis stage. Videopolis even nabbed a short-lived series on the Disney Channel in 1987. But the club itself soon became plagued with problems, with several gang-related fights; one such incident ended with the death of a 15-year-old in the Disneyland parking lot. Videopolis subsequently closed in 1989, although the name still still belongs to an auditorium in Disneyland Paris. Fortunately, videos like these will live forever:

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