Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Gay Days at Magic Kingdom

Walt Disney World has always been a gay and merry place, but this early June, the theme parks will receive a boost of a different kind of gay. The first week of June through Sunday, June 7, marks the annual Orlando event known as Gay Days, which unites members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and supportive community in enjoyment of a day at the Disney parks. Since 1991, GLBT visitors and supporters have worn red and gathered at Magic Kingdom. Today, the event is bigger than ever, bringing an estimated 75,000 visitors to Orlando and encompassing all four parks and several Orlando resorts with meet-ups and special events.

This year, the Gay Days calendar is packed with expos, concerts, comedy shows, and parties all over Orlando. At the parks, however, the event rotates to a different Disney park each day. On Thursday, Gay Days is at Animal Kingdom; on Friday, the event moves to Disney’s Hollywood Studios; on Saturday, the traditional (and biggest of all) Gay Days takes place at Magic Kingdom; and on Sunday, Gay Days winds down at Epcot.

What this means to those unfamiliar with Gay Days is that a large amount of GLBT visitors will be visiting the designated Disney park on that specific day, where they’ll ride the rides and have fun like everyone else. The daily parade usually serves as a gathering point, especially on Saturday when Gay Days guests will “meet at Cindy’s place” (Cinderella’s Castle) for the Celebrate a Dream Come True parade at 3 pm.

While for GLBT visitors to the park, Gay Days is a chance to don their rainbow-colored Mickey ears, the event has stirred up some controversy in the past. Some Gay Days guests have been known to engage in public displays of affection, which sometimes make other guests and families with children uncomfortable.

For those who feel like Gay Days might taint their Walt Disney World experience, we advise steering clear of the specific meet-up park on the day you want to visit. For example, you may want to visit any other Disney park besides Magic Kingdom on Saturday. Visiting the parks early is also a good idea, as the crowds will be particularly thick in the afternoon.

It’s important to note that Gay Days is not sanctioned by or affiliated with Walt Disney World. Still, as Gay Days participants and GLBT Disney lovers know, the parks do an excellent job of treating every guest the same. Mickey loves you no matter what your sexuality is.

Ultimately, for those participating in the event, Gay Days is a fun and festive opportunity for the GLBT community and its supporters to get together, show their pride, and have some good, old-fashioned Disney fun. And if the event doesn’t bother or affect you, feel free to go and enjoy the parks among its red-wearing visitors like you would on any other day.

As always, you can save on Walt Disney World tickets -- for Gay Days or a regular magic-filled visit to your favorite park – right here on


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