I didn't wear a Raspberry Beret or Walk on Sunshine, but I DID Have the Time of My Life Dancing in the Dark at 80s Nite!


DIS Veteran
Aug 28, 2009
And you might say it was Just Like Heaven. ;)

OK, I'm done.

I need a little escape to happier times right now, so I am going to reminisce out loud, so to speak, about my last days at Disneyland. I'm straying from tradition. I have a Trip Report Superthread that holds all 8 trip reports I have done, but this one will be a stand alone. It's not super organized over there, and it would bug me if I added this one out of order. Five more trips should be documented before this one, but who knows if I will ever get around to those.

Back to 80s Nite.

I had just returned from a week long trip to California celebrating my 25th Anniversary. We celebrated family style, with my husband, DS16, DS13, and DD3 all flying into Long Beach. My husband dropped me and our daughter off at Candy Cane Inn with 5 Day Park Hoppers in hand. He and our sons drove to Hollywood. They had tickets to Universal - buy one day, get another day free - and tickets to 3 NBA games at Staples Center. We did all meet up for 1 day at Disneyland, then they returned to Hollywood. We all spent the last 2 days of our trip together at the beach and DTD, so we weren't completely apart during that time... but Happy Anniversary to us! :rotfl:

So we returned from our trip Nov 25th. I think it was the very next day that I had seen something about an after hours 80s Nite at Disneyland. What?!? Going back to the 80s at Disneyland?!? That would be 2 of my favorite things colliding. When I read that they were bringing back Videopolis for one night only, I literally gasped. My sister and I have often reminisced about Videopolis over the years. We never actually felt confident enough to go down and join the dance party, but we loved sitting up top and watching. Seeing the music videos on the big screens and watching people dance to music from the best era...so much fun. And now there was a possibility to relive those teen memories, except I would be down on the floor front and center this time.

So I texted my sister and our SIL to see if anyone wanted to join me. My sister was all over it, but SIL couldn't get away. The following week we bought our tickets. Then the planning began. What should we wear? Stay true to my actual 80s look of acid wash jeans - pegged, Keds without shoelaces and scrunchy socks, a Duran Duran t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up...or go with more of a Madonna style? Hmmm...do they still make Aqua Net hairspray? Because I would need it if I was going to re-create my 1988 hairstyle. I wonder if they still make Navy or Incognito or Exclamation (my 80s perfumes)? Lots of fun ahead as we figured everything out. Never did I ever think I would be heading back to Disneyland a mere 2 months after my last trip.

Fast forward to Wednesday January 29, 2020. It was go time. The original plan was for my sister to fly into SNA in the morning and head into Disneyland. She has an AP. I was going to fly into Long Beach in the afternoon. We were going to meet in DTD for a very late lunch at 3:00, then head over to our hotel room to get ready, and enter the park at 6:00. (The event was technically 9pm - 1am, but we could enter the park at 6pm with our event ticket.)

Well that was the plan. But...I changed the plan, unbeknownst to my sister. About a week before go-time I decided to catch the earliest flight (price hadn't gone up!) and surprise my sister in the park. There was that initial dilemma of "Do I really want to buy a 2 day ticket AND an 80s Nite ticket?" My first day ticket would only get 5 1/2 hours of use (before party ticket kicked in) and my second day ticket would only get 6 hours of use before I flew out. Yeah, that would be a very expensive 18-ish hours of park time. But I did it.

My sister had been texting me and SIL once she entered the park, sending us updates and pictures. Little did she know that I had already landed and was on my way. (The lone passenger in a big Karmel Shuttle van. I have always been a Super Shuttle user but I had to find another option for the first time since they stopped serving the area.) During the ride my driver was playing an 80s station. It really put me in the 80s dance party mood! I texted my sister and casually asked about her current plan. She was going to grab a bite at Jolly Holiday then ride Indiana Jones. I had a short window to catch her. I was dropped off at Best Western Park Place. My room wasn't ready, which is what I was hoping for. I just wanted to drop my luggage and run! I walked very briskly over to Disneyland. I didn't do my usual soak-it-all-in and just enjoy those first steps walking into that magical realm. But I did notice this:


I was happy to see that. I didn't want it to sell out.

I walked briskly down Main Street and was so happy (like, heart-pounding happy) when I spotted my sister sitting at a table with her back to me. Remember, she had no idea I was coming in about 4 1/2 hours earlier than what we had planned. I walked up behind her and said, "Hooty Hoot!" (A greeting we have used since high school. So 30+ years.) I took a video of the whole incident, but here are some screenshots:





Mission accomplished. 8-)

And we'll pause there. This really won't be very long. It was such a whirlwind trip and I took more videos than pictures, since I knew that's how I would mostly want to relive this trip.

Stay tuned to see how these girls just wanna have fun.

  • deejdigsdis

    DIS Veteran
    Aug 28, 2009
    So my sister, who shall be known as D going forward, was very surprised. She looked as if I arrived to meet her days earlier than planned, rather than a few hours earlier. :rotfl: She asked, "What are you doing here?!?" My reply was, "Being financially irresponsible." We had a good laugh, but wow. Seeing how life turned upside down a mere 6 weeks after that night, my only regret is not flying in a day or two earlier. I am so glad I was financially irresponsible that day.

    Our afternoon was totally relaxed. I think I had a little snack at Jolly Holiday before moving on. We rode the Disneyland Railroad, Sailing Ship Columbia and the Omnibus. Basically things I wouldn't have been riding had my teenage boys been with me. :rolleyes: But things that have become some of my favorites as I get older. I just love to sit and take in the atmosphere. Something that I'm sure I never did in the 80s. I was all about how many times I could ride Space Mountain back then.

    A few pictures from our afternoon:




    And I promise you I never once took pictures of flowers in the 80s - with my 80s bubblegum pink LeClic camera that I toted around.



    Another hazard of getting older, I have found. I love to notice the flowers these days.

    I am sure we rode Pirates and it's a small world as well. Can't remember what else.


    DIS Veteran
    Aug 28, 2009
    Around 2:30 we finally had that late lunch. But not in DTD. We decided to eat somewhere we had never eaten before.


    I have been wanting to try French Market for a long time. Today was the day. We decided on 2 meals that appealed to both of us and then split them.



    I can't remember what either meal was called, but when D went back to Disneyland in March and returned to French Market for this salad, it was no longer offered.

    I remember a lady coughing at a table nearby. The park wasn't busy at all that day, and there was plenty of available seating at the restaurant. I remember being annoyed that she chose to sit so close to us. Coronavirus was new to the area -- I think there were 2 or 3 known cases in Orange County at that time. Not enough to be concerned about traveling safely, but it was certainly in the back of our minds as the lady continued to cough.

    Our great lunchtime views. :cloud9:




    Eek! A glimpse of fun to come!


    I just remembered. While we were riding the Omnibus it was interesting to spot all of the Kobe Bryant jerseys in the crowd. There weren't as many as I expected to see but it was certainly noticeable. He had passed away just 3 days earlier.

    Time for a little dessert. We both got Mickey cake pops and parked ourselves on a Main Street curb. Ah, such a good memory. Eating chocolate, sitting on Main Street, people watching, sharing our top guesses for which 80s songs we'd hear later that night. Such a simple thing.



    I think it was around 4:30 when we finally pulled ourselves away from Main Street. People obviously dressed for the event were already beginning to arrive. This was going to be a fun people-watching night! We headed back to our hotel, thankful that we switched our reservation from Candy Cane Inn to Best Western Plus Park Place Inn. We grabbed our luggage from the office and made the kind-of-long-walk toward the back of the property to our room.

    Time to get our 80s on!


    DIS Veteran
    Aug 28, 2009
    So it's time to take it back to the 80s and dress for the party. I did one practice run with reviving my 80s hair at home and it turned out better than I thought it would. Unfortunately, I couldn't quite repeat the look the night of the party. Couldn't quite get it big enough. D and I were sometimes called "The Big Hair Girls" back in high school, but I don't think I would have been given that honor this time. I sprayed a portion of my hair pink, but I didn't quite get that right either, since I worried about the pink landing where it shouldn't in the room. I should have gone outside and away from everything to spray and get the coverage I was looking for.

    As far as the rest of our outfits go...D ordered an "I ❤ the 80s" outfit from Amazon, complete with tutu skirt, neon necklaces, bracelets, earrings, leg warmers and gloves. Maybe also a hair thing that she didn't wear? It was more costumey and not something she would have actually worn back in the day. Oh yeah, can't forget the fanny pack. I ended up wearing an MTV tank top I got in the 80s from a traveling MTV Museum of Unnatural History that popped up in different malls around the country. A tank top I actually wore to Disneyland in 1989. I hung my bubblegum pink shades over my tank top -- that have since faded, but I wore them to Disneyland in 1985. I also wore a longer (not mini) black lace skirt marketed as a "Madonna skirt" over black leggings, scrunchy socks, black canvas shoes with hot pink shoelaces, large hoop earrings, a necklace that I saw Erica wear on The Goldbergs, black lace gloves, and a fanny pack. I ordered 80s button pins for us to put on our denim jackets and fanny packs, with sayings like "Relax," "Rad," "Awesome," etc.

    My circa 80s MTV tank top and sunglasses. I knew they'd come in handy again some day. ;)


    I think we arrived at the turnstiles around 6:15, a little later than we had planned. It was so fun to see so many others sporting their 80s looks. Once we entered we were directed to a table to pick up our wristbands and 80s lanyards. (These pictures were taken after the fact. It was very cool, but I didn't wear it since I already had a lot going on.)



    I loved the cassette tape. I still have a lot of the old mix tapes I made back in the 80s, as well as the cassette player I used in high school -- which I have also seen on The Goldbergs.

    We were also given a map with all of the entertainment, merchandise, dance party, photo ops, food, etc info.





    DIS Veteran
    Aug 28, 2009





    I remember chatting with the maps and lanyards CM about our shared love of Duran Duran.

    I remember hanging out in the Town Square area for a bit, kind of making a plan. Our priorities were Videopolis, the Awesome after Dark -- Fireworks to the Max show, Videopolis, catching an 80z All-Stars set, and more Videopolis. We didn't plan on riding any rides during party time.

    Before moving on, we had a few awkward pictures taken by a PhotoPass Photographer but we didn't care for them. The photographer told us she didn't know what she was doing, she was just filling in for someone who had gone on break.

    We had a bit of time before the official party happenings began. What to do...what to do... That's up next.
    Last edited:
  • deejdigsdis

    DIS Veteran
    Aug 28, 2009
    So we decided to go ride Jungle Cruise. Because who doesn't love a good cruise through the jungle at night. We got in the short line. Eventually the dad from the family in front of us asked if there was something going on that night. Basically he first thought that we were just dressed how we normally do, and thought it interesting. But then he overheard us talking about 80s Nite and then asked us what was happening. They thought they had seen a sign about something...but didn't pay much attention, etc.

    After our cruise through the jungle we took a few pictures. Our hair was already starting to fall and we couldn't let that happen until we got some pictures! (Remember we didn't like the PP pictures.)


    After that I know we sat in the Bengal BBQ seating for a while. I don't remember why. But I do remember completely falling out of my chair onto the ground because my lace skirt was so slippery! That sent us into quite the fit of laughter. D happened to capture it on video and immediately sent it to my family back home. My teen boys were embarrassed and glad they weren't with me, but my now DD4 still requests to watch it to this day. "Can I watch you falling out of the chair?"

    Moving on...we headed over to Main Street. Mickey's Mix Magic was just about to start. We walked up to an open spot in the street between Coke Corner and Jolly Holiday and enjoyed the show.

    The park was about to close to guests without an event ticket. We decided it was a good time to get some dinner before things got hopping. I forgot to mention another priority. When we were growing up, we always ate at Tommorowland Terrace multiple times each trip. I hardly ever eat anything in that area anymore, so for nostalgia's sake we decided to eat there and sit at the tables right next to the walkway leading up to Space Mountain. Back in the day it seems like it was always hard to find an empty table in that entire area surrounding the food order/pick up. But nowadays I never see anyone sitting in those tables leading up to Space Mountain. We wanted to eat there. That area just screams 80s to me.


    We didn't have any 80s themed food at that time. If I was really going back in time I would have had a burger and fries, but I ordered a salad that I had enjoyed when I was there 2 months earlier.

    And speaking of the 80s-themed food, we were really disappointed. I thought for sure they would bring back an actual food item they served in the 80s -- the Frontier Freeze -- which was one of our family favorites. It was an orange...freeze. I guess you could say. :rotfl: But they didn't. Sooo disappointing.

    After we ate, and watched 80s-dressed people head up to ride Space Mountain -- which felt like such a blast from the past, minus the escalator, of course -- we wandered clear over to Videopolis. People were beginning to pour in. Lots of folks headed down to the dance floor, and lots of folks sat on a bench to just take in the scene. There was a good mixture of people dressed up/not dressed up. Either way, people looked like they were having a really good time. Even the Cast Member posted at the top of the theater and off to the side couldn't keep himself from swaying to the beats of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean." I remember that was the song playing when we walked up.

    We stayed up top for a bit, singing along with Madonna's "Borderline" and checking out the full scene.




    Then Prince's "Raspberry Beret" took us down to the floor for a closer look.




    Last edited:


    DIS Veteran
    Aug 28, 2009
    Eventually the "host" stepped out on the stage to officially kick things off. Screenshot overload from my videos.




    He asked who had danced at Videopolis. Lots of arms shot up accompanied by cheers.


    Then he introduced the Videopolis dancers and that old familiar song played.

    I'm going to the top, Videopolis,
    Gonna make it rock, Videopolis, Videopolis...


    The host invited everyone to live their best life that night, then they officially kicked it off with one of the best 80s music videos ever.


    Yep. a-ha's "Take On Me." I used to wish I was this girl.


    D and I danced away, right in the middle of the action. It was so much fun. I especially loved seeing so many people dancing and having fun that were clearly a lot older than us. It really did feel like we were back in the 80s, as long as we didn't pay too much attention to the waving cell phones and selfies happening all around us. ;) Which we were totally participating in.


    Mar 21, 2008
    Looks like a fun time! Great trip report and look forward to more. I graduated from high school in the 80's, so I can relate, lots of fun music!
  • deejdigsdis

    DIS Veteran
    Aug 28, 2009
    Seeing pictures of me wearing my old MTV tank top made me want to reminisce a bit. Yesterday I popped in my family's 1989 Disneyland vacation DVD. My older sister used to carry around a huge video camera on her shoulder, and eventually my dad transferred all the VHS vacation videos to DVD, so occasionally I pop those in my sons' Xbox. It was so fun to see Tomorrowland in its glory days, and watch footage of us riding the Skyway and People Mover. Sigh.

    Back to the Trip Report at hand.

    We danced and danced and danced, ending up front and center, dancing to Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know?" and Duran Duran's "The Reflex." Two of my favorite songs back in the day.




    D and I shared a bedroom growing up. Our ultimate goal was to cover our entire bedroom wall in pull-out posters of Duran Duran from Tiger Beat, Bop, Teen Beat, (any other teen magazines I am missing?), etc. We never quite made it.

    According to my videos we were still dancing to Duran Duran at 9:15. The Awesome After Dark - Fireworks to the Max show was supposed to start at 9:30, so I imagine we headed out after Duran Duran.

    Turns out our rush to get a fireworks spot was for naught. They were cancelled. Big bummer. They ended up running Mickey's Mix Magic again. :mad: Needless to say, we skipped it since we had just seen it an hour and a half earlier.

    We ended up heading over to Rivers of America and caught the 80z All-Stars show at 10:00. We walked right up to a front row spot on the railing.


    80s music played over the speakers while we waited for the show to start. I remember bopping to Debbie Gibson's "Only In My Dreams" while we waited.

    The show began:

    "Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today to get through this thing called life..."

    Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" was a great way to start. The 80z All-Starz sailed out on a raft. They did an awesome job and had lots of energy. The lone lady in the group had an old school Gwen Stefani vibe about her and was really fun to listen to as she sang Dexys Midnight Runners' "Come On Eileen."




    Standing there at the railing totally took us back to when we saw The Pointer Sisters perform on one of the rafts in the 80s.

    All that dancing made us hungry, so off to find a snack!


    DIS Veteran
    Aug 28, 2009
    We decided to try the Totally Chocolate Churro found at the Frontierland Churro Cart. We also got a little cold once we stopped dancing, so we sat by a heat lamp in the Rancho del Zocalo seating. The Churro was good, but they had run out of cream. I would like to have tried it with the cream. D wanted me to take a picture of the popcorn sign. She's a big popcorn fan and thought she might pick some up later, but didn't.


    After our snack, D wanted to check out the Star Wars scene. (It was hard to tear ourselves away from the heat lamps!) We wandered back to Galaxy's Edge where there was a meet n greet with R2-D2 and C-3PO.



    We weren't interested in standing in line. Good thing, since we were told it was close to an hour long. We just wanted to walk through.

    Time to fire up our dancing shoes once again! This time we went to The Hub to check out Dancing in the Streets with DJ Wendy. There were hardly any people over there. We could totally do a repeat of that experience with today's standards of social distancing!


    We danced to Prince's "Let's Go Crazy," David Bowie's "Modern Love," and Modern English's "I Melt With You." (I had been waiting for that one!) Oh, and we can't forget The B-52's. Dancing in The Hub to Rock Lobster was pretty memorable!


    This couple was pretty fun to watch. Lots of other people thought so as well, evidenced by the videos they took as they walked by.


    D saw them at the lockers when the night was over and let them know how much we enjoyed watching them dance. They were very pleased.




    Last edited:


    DIS Veteran
    Aug 28, 2009
    I snapped a couple pictures of the Castle, 80s style, before heading over to Tomorrowland:IMG_20200129_235208.jpg

    This one is the current wallpaper on my phone:


    We dragged these tired feet over to Tommorowland Terrace to check out the Totally Minnie happenings.



    We didn't join Minnie's dance party. D stayed up top and rested while I went down and got some video of the characters dancing. I saw Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Donald. A few screenshots:


    Goofy and Donald dancing to Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes' "The Time of My Life."




    Minnie leading a line to Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust."




    DIS Veteran
    Aug 28, 2009
    We stuck around for one more song. Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'."



    Goofy pausing to pull up his leg warmers. :laughing:


    We were getting hungry again so we decided to see what was being offered in the way of 80s eats at Galactic Grill. We ended up with the Sloppy Joe Potato Morsels. I forgot to take a picture, but they were tater tots with sloppy joe sauce and other toppings. Probably cheese. I can't really remember. I just remember not really liking them all that much.

    We took our food back over to Videopolis and sat and ate and watched people dance. It was after 12:30am by this time. The night just flew by and we were sad that it was drawing to a close.

    At one point, while we were sitting there eating, Hall and Oates' "Private Eyes" began to play. D and I just looked at each other. No words needed. We both stood up, got into position right there in the bleachers, and broke out into the dance we made up to that song for an elementary school talent show. Good times! Until it felt like those Sloppy Joe Potato Morsels were going to make an exit with our spinning and clapping.

    Even though our feet were tired and we had just eaten, we decided to head down to the dance floor for the last few songs of the night. We caught ourselves on the big screen during the last song, Naked Eyes' "Always Something There to Remind Me."



    The host came back on stage after the last song, said a few words, and then we were all dismissed from Videopolis to the sounds of Oingo Boingo's "Goodbye-Goodbye."


    We made our way back down Main Street. We really thought we would head over to Main Street at some point during the festivities to see what was going on. But we never did. We went to the lockers to pick up our heavier jackets, which we never needed, and my Disneyland 30th Anniversary sweatshirt I got in 1985, which I brought all this way to take advantage of a fun 80s photo op -- but it remained in the locker. I ended up taking this picture as we walked out.


    Somebody called out to me that they had the same sweatshirt. We were so glad we only had to walk across the street to get back to our room. I had to wash my hair 3 times to get all of the pink color and hairspray out of my hair. By the time I got to bed, I had been awake for about 30 minutes shy of 24 hours. We had plans to be back at Disneyland by 8am for a 9am opening. Hmm. Wonder how that worked out.


    DIS Veteran
    Aug 28, 2009
    The next morning, Thursday January 30th, we left the hotel around 7:45am. (!!) That means I was back at it with about 4 hours of sleep under my belt. We had one goal and one goal only. To secure a Boarding Group for Rise of the Resistance. A group low enough that would allow us time to ride before we left the park around 2:30pm to catch our flights home. We wanted to be in line by 8am for a 9am opening. Mission accomplished. Or so we thought. We just happened to be in the wrong line. I actually don't remember the details. It's not like this was our first time to stand in line at opening before! We were given bad info and accepted it as fact. In the end, our bad. So we got out of line and walked further into the Esplanade and stood in another line.


    We asked people around us and double-checked. It was kind of weird. Things just seemed off and chaotic and confusing. I stayed in line while D followed the line clear up to the turnstiles to see if we were indeed in a correct line. Nope! Wrong again! What is going on here?!? Will the 3rd line we stood in be the charm? Thankfully, we were good to go with our 3rd attempt. BUT, the line went from the Disneyland turnstiles to the DCA entrance and then back toward the Disneyland turnstiles. Argh! I could feel my hopes of getting a Boarding Group losing steam. That was a long line. And how in the world did that happen -- that we got in the wrong line twice! I wish I could remember more details. Anyway, the plan to successfully enter the park AND position myself up on the train station platform AND have my fingers poised over the button to join a Boarding Group was looking less and less likely to happen.

    D and I chatted with a guy in line next to us. He had arrived from Phoenix that morning. It was his birthday and he was solo. He had hopes of securing a Boarding Group as well.

    Finally the line began to move. And rather quickly. We were shocked when this was our view at 8:51am.


    We were in! We not only made it into the park before official opening, but we were able to secure a spot on the train station platform. Now, we wait. I had been "practicing from home," as they say, going into the app with my fingers at the ready to go as far as I could go without actually being in the park. Since we had a few minutes to spare, I showed D what to do so we could both try.

    Finally, it was go time. A hush fell over the crowd as time ticked with under a minute to go before Boarding Groups opened. Silence. Clock strikes 9:00. Fingers fly. I look at my phone.


    I had to do a double-take before shouting, "WooooooooHoooooo!" A lady next to me said, "Congratulations!" Such an exciting feeling. I certainly wasn't expecting BG 1. My hands literally started shaking as I felt that adrenaline rush. D got teary-eyed. It was all just more than we expected.

    How D felt about getting an early Boarding Group...


    But getting a Boarding Group was only half the battle. Was this going to be one of those days that a couple hours pass before they started calling Boarding Groups? And once we were called, would the ride actually work? Just a few thoughts mulling around as we made our first bathroom stop of the day in Adventureland.


    Disney News and Updates

    Subscribe and never miss out on Disney News, Deals and Updates.