Many observers feel a place in the semi-finals or final is the pass mark for Ange Postecoglou's squad, and Vidmar knows the hosts must deliver.
The 16-team event kicks off in Melbourne when Australia play Kuwait in Group A - which also includes Oman and South Korea - on January 9.
And Vidmar feels it is time the Socceroos converted their promising development under Postecoglou into success.
"Ange has done a fantastic job in turning the perception of what the national team is about right around. But this is just the beginning – we can't stop here," he told SEN radio.
"Failure at the Asian Cup would be a disaster."
Despite their poor showing in Brazil, defending champions Japan - drawn in Group D with Jordan, Iraq and Palestine - will go into the tournament as favourites, with Australia and the Koreans considered the next strongest teams.
"It's not easy to win the Asian Cup ... there are some very, very good teams there," Vidmar added.
"If you have a look at the team at the World Cup – South Korea are a very young group and will now have a new coach. Japan will also have a new coach and then there's a team like Iran, they've got a lot of good players and are exciting to watch.
"When you take those teams off the world stage and bring them into an Asian tournament there are a completely different kettle of fish.
"It's not going to be easy."
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