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 GLBT 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 135,000 participants have attended Disney Gay Days in recent years - the event takes place June 3 through June 9, 2014.
The 2014 Disney Gay Days official host hotel, the Doubletree by Hilton at Orlando at Seaworld, is taking reservations for this year's event - you can reserve rooms here.
Curious about the sister event, Gay Days Las Vegas in September 2-8, 2014? Here's more information.
Gay Days at Disney is a remarkably well-organized and comprehensive event, and its appeal spans ages, tastes, and styles - there's also quite a lot geared specifically to lesbians throughout the week. An important link for learning more about Disney Gay Days and actually planning your visit include the official Gay Days Calendar, which is further broken down according to different interests (including bear events and women's events), as well as information on DJs at the main pool parties.
You can buy tickets to events at the Gay Days ticket office set up at the host hotel, the DoubleTree Resort Orlando (10100 International Dr.). Here as well 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, but you can view a complete list here. 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 Gay Days Men's, Women's and Bear's pool parties on Friday and Saturday afternoons and evenings; and many more gatherings and parties.
Plenty of gay bars along with restaurants, hotels, and shops have special events and parties throughout Orlando Gay Days week. Check local gay papers, such as Watermark and HotSpots!, for details. Also check out the excellent site on gay and lesbian travel produced by the Orlando Convention & Visitors Bureau.