From its modest beginnings in 1991 as a informal, one-day celebration at Walt Disney World at which gay and lesbian participants donned red shirts and traveled around the park together, Gay Days at Disney World—also known as Orlando Gay Days—has evolved into one of the world's foremost LGBTQ celebrations. It's also helped spawn an unrelated though similarly popular event in California each October, Gay Days Anaheim at Disneyland. Although neither Walt Disney World nor any of the parks or tourism organizations in greater Orlando actually produce this event, they do sanction and support this week-long series of social gatherings at the area's various theme parks and hotels as well as both circuit-style parties and concerts along with more laid-back revelry at countless venues throughout the region. More than 180,000 participants have attended Disney Gay Days in past years. Next year's event, which in its 29th year, will take place August 13-19, 2019.
Gay Days 2019 Hotel
In past years the Doubletree by Hilton at Orlando at SeaWorld was the official host hotel of Disney Gay Days. However, in 2019 the Wyndham Orlando Resort (8001 International Drive) will take over, and you'd be wise to start booking rooms as soon as possible. You can obtain special Gay Days Orlando rates, which include admission to the hotel pool parties, here. The Wyndham Orlando Resort is next door to the I-Drive 360 entertainment complex and the 400-foot Coca-Cola Eye observation wheel. The complex is also home to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and the SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium as well as many restaurants and shops.
Gay Days 2019 Events
Gay Days at Disney is a remarkably well-organized and comprehensive event, and its appeal spans ages, tastes, and styles. There are also certain events geared to lesbians throughout the week. To learn more about Disney Gay Days and actually planning your visit, check the official Gay Days Calendar, which is further broken down according to different interests (including the Miss Gay Days Pageant, the Taste of Gay Days food festival, and the Mr. Gay Days Leather contest as well as information on DJs at the main pool parties, which are a big part of the week's festivities.
You can buy tickets to events at the Gay Days ticket office set up at the host hotel, the Wyndham Orlando Resort. Here you can grab a schedule of events, maps to the Orlando area and parks, and a local Orlando gay bars guide. There's also an official site to buy tickets online to all of the parks involved in Disney Gay Days, including Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom.
What are the key events that make up Gay Days at Disney? It's not easy to narrow this down, as there are countless exciting happenings. A few notables include the afternoon and evening pool parties on Wednesday; the hugely attended Gay Days Expo (with entertainment and more than 100 vendors), which takes place throughout the week (the events listed below are subject to change); the Gay Days pool parties on Friday and Saturday afternoons and evenings; and many more gatherings and fetes, including the Annual Gay Days Kick-Off Party on Tuesday; Taste of Gay Days on Thursday; the Gay Days Art Auction held over multiple days; the Miss Gay Days Pageant on Friday, the Mighty Mouse Pornstar Party on Friday; the Night of Laughter Comedy Night on Saturday; and more.
Tickets for Gay Days 2019
As the event gets closer, you will also be able to purchase passes and tickets to all Gay Days events at the official Gay Days Orlando 2019 Event & Party Ticket page, with costs ranging from $500 for the full Gay Days Platinum Pass to just $65 in advance for three-day pool party passes and as little as $10 to $15 for some of the individual pool parties. Tickets to the big evening parties are also available here, with prices varying.
Orlando Gay Resources
Because there are a crowd of LGBTQ visitors in town for Gay Days, you can also expect gay-friendly parties and establishments to celebrate around Orland. For tips on where to go out and socialize, visit the Orlando gay nightlife guide. You can also stay at other Orlando gay-friendly hotels and resorts if the Wyndham Orlando Resort gets fully booked. You may want to have a look at local websites and media, such as Watermark and HotSpots!, for details, and be sure to read GayDays.com's official Guide to Gay Days. Also check out the excellent local guide on gay and lesbian travel produced by the Orlando Convention & Visitors Bureau.