Monday, February 14, 2011

Disneyland - Going to the Top - Videopolis!

It was the next big thing.
An all new venue north of Storybook and west of Small World.
It was mid-80s on steroids.  A huge stage, videos shining from TVs all over the place, and swirling, flashing lights that blinked to the beat of whatever was playing.
Videopolis opened in 1985.  I remember, for some reason, a particular Danny Elfman video when I think of this location during its heyday.  The song was Gratitude and here's the video.

The music was loud, the lights bright---think "Tween Nightclub."  I remember thinking it a bit odd to hear such Oingo-Boing-esque sounds at Disneyland---not to mention seeing images of Satan (popping up during a friendly game of poker) splayed on a large screen and 70 smaller ones.  And all of this within a stone's throw of the entrance to It's A Small World.
Nonetheless, Videopolis did capture the vibe of the 1980s.  I'll give it that.
Was it really something that Disneyland needed?  I'll leave that one to Michael Eisner.
It ceased its run as Videopolis in 1995 and has since become the Fantasyland Stage - where various shows have been presented.  I hear you can catch a glimpse of a Disney princess or two over there these days.
During a Fantasyland shift, when assigned Small World, I would be sure to sweep over by Videopolis on summer evenings and watch the lights, the videos, the dancing. 
The pink and funky green color scheme was lifted from Miami Vice, and the whole place shamelessly pandered to the youth market.  Disney Dollars anyone?
In so many ways, it was a classic Eisnerization of the Park.
Now... THAT gratitude?

Happy Monday, my friends!


1 comment:

JG said...

Since no one else commented on this post, I guess I'll chime in.

I agree mostly with your assessment. I remember when younger, I used to avoid the shows and theaters, etc. (except America the Beautiful). It was only later as a parent in this theater pavilion that I began to realize that there was room in Disneyland for the conventional entertainment. My kids loved the Videopolis show and I got to sit down.

I hated the show, but a seat in the shade was fine.

Now that they're old, I won't have to stay and sit through whatever's playing, I can just go ride Casey Jr. or whatever by myself and tell them to text me.

But there is a place in Disneyland for the stage set performances, even if i don't like them. If nothing else, all the people sitting watching them are not in line for Casey Jr.