From Videopolis to ‘Mickey and the Magical Map,’ A Fantasyland Theatre Timeline

Filed in: Disneyland News, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

The new, live theatrical presentation “Mickey and the Magical Map’ is the first full-scale stage show in the Fantasyland Theatre since “Snow White – An Enchanting New Musical,” which ran from 2004 to 2006. The new production brings technical enhancements to the theatre, which has entertained Disneyland Park guests in a variety of ways since its 1985 debut.

Today’s Fantasyland Theatre was known as Videopolis when it opened in 1985.  Videopolis was a rockin’ music club with DJs, a 5,000-square-foot dance floor and 70 TV monitors showing music videos and live cut-in shots of guests as they danced.

Even then, stage shows were presented in Videopolis by day, including the “The Magic of Christmas,” “Singin’, Dancin’, Heigh Ho”(a 50th Anniversary celebration of the release of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”), and a Mickey Mouse Club Reunion show. The venue also presented the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon from 1982 to 1993 and the annual Candlelight holiday celebration from 1999 to 2002.

Among the musical acts that appeared on the Videopolis stage over the years – in guest concerts, as telethon participants, at Grad Nites or in private concerts – were: No Doubt, New Kids on the Block, Wang Chung, Mr. Mister, Miami Sound Machine, Buster Poindexter, Lou Rawls, the Pointer Sisters, Oingo Boingo, The Wiggles, The Turtles, Frankie Avalon, Roy Orbison, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Chubby Checker, Herman’s Hermits and The Spinners.

Beginning in 1989, nightly dancing was discontinued and Videopolis became a full-time theatre. Productions presented on the Videopolis stage included:

    • 1989 –  “One Man’s Dream,” a celebration of Walt Disney
    • 1990 – “Dick Tracy in Diamond Double-Cross”
    • 1991 – “Plane Crazy,” featuring characters from “Tale Spin” and other “Disney Afternoon” animated television series.
    • 1991 – Mickey’s Nutcracker (televised on the Disney Channel for the holidays, and revived in 1992)
    • 1992-1994 – “Beauty and the Beast”
    • 1995-1997 – “The Spirit of Pocahontas”

In 1998, the location was renamed the Fantasyland Theatre and presented:

    • 1998-2001 – “Disney’s Animazement – The Musical,” a revue focusing on contemporary animated features such as “The Lion King,” “Hercules,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin” and “Pocahontas”
    • 2001 – “Minnie’s Christmas Party” (revived for the 2002 holiday season)
    • 2002-2003 – “Mickey’s Detective School,” in which detective Mickey recruited the audience for help in locating the missing Pluto
    • 2004-2006 – “Snow White – An Enchanting New Musical”

From 2006 to 2012, Disney Princesses greeted guests at “Princess Fantasy Faire” in the Fantasyland Theatre. In March 2013, Disney Princesses began gathering in a new Fantasy Faire located near the entrance to Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Fans of Disneyland history will know there was another Fantasyland Theater (different spelling) in Fantasyland on the site of what is now Pinocchio’s Daring Journey. From 1956 to 1981, the original Fantasyland Theater screened Disney cartoons and short films featuring the Mouseketeers of “The Mickey Mouse Club.”

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