On January 29, 2020 Disneyland celebrated the 80s with a special ticketed event. Disneyland After Dark: 80s Nite was a return to the 80s through the lens of the Happiest Place on Earth! The night included special photo ops, entertainment, characters, food, merchandise, and more! Unfortunately, due to the weather the planned fireworks for the night weren’t able to be presented as planned. However, the night was a lot of fun as people dressed their 80s best and returned to a Disneyland that lives on for some in their memories, and for others only in their imagination.
The event officially began at 9:00 PM after Disneyland closed at 8:00 PM on Wednesday. However, several event photo locations opened hours before the party officially began. The DAPS MAGIC team enjoyed the offerings in Tomorrowland. This included meeting some Ewoks with some photo locations in the Starcade, a Tron exhibit and some photo ops in Star Wars: Launch Bay (merchandise was also available there), and meeting Captain Rex in the extended queue for Star Tours!
As the park closed for daily guests it emptied out quite quickly. A quick stroll around the park gave a glimpse as to what would be offered for the night. While not everything was open or set up, there were still some photo ops to be seen and had. It was particularly fun to stroll through a very quiet Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. For the night Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance was not open but Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run was giving guests the chance to pilot the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy!
At 9:00 PM the night kicked off. Surprisingly enough, the park wasn’t packed. It was quite enjoyable to see so much open space and also have the opportunity to experience so many things without too many long lines. There were some places were people lined up (Mousercize Mickey and DuckTales being prime examples), however there were lots of opportunities to not wait forever in line as well. The characters were also located in positions that allowed people to just walk by and see them if they didn’t want to wait in line. This was a very good choice and seemed to be appreciated by many guests who opted out of waiting in line for a personal picture with the characters.
The night began for the DAPS MAGIC team on Main Street as the opening announcement was made. Within moments, Mickey Mouse in his Mousercize outfit made his way to his photo op near the firehouse. This was incredibly popular throughout the entire night and Mickey Mouse was incredibly energetic! It was really quite fun. The next stop was Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge where we bumped into C-3P0 and R2-D2! Both experiences were awesome!
Following the stroll through Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, it was time for fireworks. Unfortunately, due to the winds at high (and low) elevations the show wasn’t presented. Instead, Mickey’s Mix Magic was presented without fireworks.
Videopolis was the next stop. This was easily the most popular destination for Disneyland After Dark guests of the night! It recreated the popular hangout of the 80s. It was a lot of fun with a lot of good energy. People were having a blast and it really was a great nighttime hangout at Disneyland. One has to wonder if this will make any other nostalgic returns in the future. Just around the corner at the entrance to Mickey’s ToonTown Roger Rabbit could be found meeting guests. Projections with the logo of 80s Nite could also be seen in the area on the front of it’s a small world.
Over in Tomorrowland there was another dance party happening. This one was called Totally Minnie and included show moments throughout the night. It also had some really cool outfits for Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and Pluto. A photo location could also be found behind the stage. This show was called Totally Minnie – You’re On DTV Video Shoot.
Over in Frontierland, the 80z All-Stars could be found performing throughout the night on the Rivers of America.
On Main Street, USA DJ Wendy could be found in the Hub with another dance party. As mentioned before, Mickey Mouse, Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad, and the three nephews could also be found in Town Square. Between them, Main Street, USA had graphics for the night displayed on the walls as people heard music of the 80s throughout the park.
In Town Square at the Opera House photo locations featuring Disney movies of the 80s could be found. Many of these can be found on Disney+ now and the area was presented by Disney+. Each location had a Disney PhotoPass photographer. It turned out to be a fun little area for a photoshoot and it really wasn’t that busy.
Fantasyland also had a few things going on. Around the walls surrounding King Arthur’s Carousel there were factoid boards that showcased what was going on around the Disney company during the 80s. They shared what was going on in the 80s at Disneyland and beyond. Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket could be found near the Pinocchio attraction. Ariel and her friend Sebastian could also be found over in the Royal Theatre at Princess Fantasy Faire.
Critter County had a photo location celebrating Splash Mountain. There, guests could meet with Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Fox.
Disneyland After Dark: 80s Nite really was a fantastic evening at Disneyland. It wasn’t overly crowded. It was possible to do lots of things and really feel like one got a good value for the cost of admission. The people who were there were by and large dressed for the decade which added a fun spirit to the night. Disneyland continues to learn from these events and each one continues to get better. Despite the fireworks not being presented, this was a fantastic evening with a lot of fun and a lot of memories made. The night ended at 1:00 AM. A sign at the exit reminded guests of future Disneyland After Dark events that are coming up.
Are you going to a future Disneyland After Dark? If so, which one? Have you been to one already? If you have, what did you like best about it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Disneyland After Dark: 80s Nite Video Playlist
(more videos in process of being uploaded to this playlist)