Gay Days 2013 - The GLBT Community Enlivens Orlando
Since 1991, the first Saturday in June has been designated as the Unofficial "Gay Day" at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Orlando. Over the years, the single event, not sponsored by the park, has grown into a weeklong festival with events all over Orlando, and more than 150,000 participants.
The event has seen its share of controversy and protest, and this year seems to be no exception as the group "One Million Moms" has denounced Disney for supporting Gay Days, but one million moms doesn't have even close to one million members, so it's more like 2,500 angry homophobic cows. In years past, there have been signs at the gates of the Magic Kingdom warning the public of large numbers of gay and lesbian visitors, but those have been replaced with smiling faces of Disney Cast Members, and a gentle reminder that We are here and We are Queer.
Below you will find an overview and more information about what to expect. Check out Hotspots next week for a full schedule of events.
The Doubletree allows Gay Days to host the whole 'family' under one roof! There will be 25 pool parties that are free to all registered hotel guests. The 15th Gay Days Expo will be conveniently located in the hotel lobby.
The Expo is an event on its own and continues to grow each year. This expo is different from many of the gay pride expos that you may be used to. Here you will find substantive information that is pertinent to the LGBT Community. From Convention and Visitors Bureaus to Airlines, casinos, and pet care vendors, if it concerns our community, you will find it here. Besides the pool parties and the expo, Gay Days will also feature Judy Tenuta, who will leave guests cracking up as she brings her irreverent brand of comedy to the stage. Look for many of the most famous DJs from around the globe to be spinning at these scorching hot bashes.
The Doubletree by Hilton Orlando At SeaWorld is set on 28 lush acres of native palm trees, tropical fountains and sparkling pools. Showcasing a multi-million dollar makeover, the hotel was transformed to a warm and tranquil Balinese-inspired oasis.
This year there will be events at Animal Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon, The Magic Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios, as well as Epcot Center. Disney has realized that the LGBT community has major economic might (Walt Disney World even has a Gay CEO now), and has really gotten behind Gay Days in recent years (pun intended). Make sure you bring lots of red; participants in Gay Days traditionally wear red t shirts to the parks to let everyone know you are "family".
One Magical Weekend presents Riptide at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon as well as two major events at Epcot Center. Since 2009, One Magical Weekend has rented out Typhoon Lagoon (there were events at Typhoon Lagoon before, but One Magical Weekend took over in 2009) and put on one of the most successful parties of the weekend. The event draws thousands of gays and lesbians, who come together for an evening of water rides and great music.
This year, the folks at OMW have teamed up with Masterbeat to present the Orlando debut of Spain's hottest export - the "We Party" - for the biggest Saturday night main event ever! The event will take place at Epcot Center and promises to be one of the highlights of the weekend.
In keeping with tradition, One Magical Weekend will also present the Sunday Retro T Dance which will also take place at Epcot and will encourage guests to "Drink around the World"
Parliament House Resort will serve as the hosts of much of the offsite entertainment throughout the week. They will feature Deborah Cox, Belinda Carlisle, Trina, as well as a laser light show. They will also feature a blast from Orlando's past when they host the P.I @PH event and relive the Pleasure Island days.
One Mighty Weekend, which took a hiatus of a few years, is back and better than ever this year, hosting some of the hottest events. The host hotel for One Mighty Weekend is the Buena Vista Palace, where they will feature a weekend of Reunion Pool Parties. The Pool Parties will feature many of the hottest DJ's on the gay circuit like DJ Mike Cruz, DJ Power Infinity, and many others who will drop the beats and whip the crowd into a frenzy. They will also host Magic Journeys at Arabian Nights and present Grammy Award nominated DJ/Producer Danny Tenaglia. One Might Weekend will also feature perennial gay favorites Joe Gauthreaux and Rosabel.
To get more info on Riptide at Typhoon Lagoon or the other One Magical Weekend Events, go to
Information about events happening at Parliament House Resort can be found at www.parliamenthouse.com.
One Mighty Weekend's event and ticket information is located at www.OneMightyWeekend.com.