07:55 | 24th April 2019

Travel: Tried & Tested

Thu 17 Jun, 2010
By Sam Bristowe

Disney has several parades and the 3pm Share a Dream Come True parade down Main Street USA is not to be missed. The last float in the parade is always followed by red-shirted participants en-masse, a sight that has to be seen

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Gaydays week at Disney, a fun kind of Disney

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Gay Days at Disney has grown form strength to to strength as the Magical Kingdom gets that extra sprinkle of sparkle and pinch of glitter to make the Disneyland destination that bit more gayer. May party boys and girls descend on Florida to enjoy a week with their favourite furry animals (And i'm not talking about 'bears') A contributor for managed to attend the event and his time reads as follows.

What began as a simple meet up of a group of friends twenty years ago in 1991 has grown into a celebration of 150,000 red-shirted GLBT people from all over the USA and the World who descend on Orlando to enhance the magic of Disney.

Initially a one-day event at the jewel in the Disney crown – the enchanting Magic Kingdom, the event has grown into a week packed full of events all over Disney and Orlando.

A trip to Gaydays is not complete without staying at the 1,000 room official host hotel – Doubletree International Drive, which always sells out. This resort complex has 28 acres of lushly landscaped grounds and several pools with the main pool being party central for all day and night poolside parties. Other pools are set aside for bears, their chasers, and lesbians. All pool areas have full bars and DJ’s playing tunes late into the night. The resort also hosts two expos, one for adults only, a drag competition, free HIV testing, a film festival, a comedy festival and is also pet and children friendly.

The Disney events are spread over four days of the weeklong festival, starting on a Thursday visit to the Animal Kingdom. Friday is spent at Hollywood Studios followed by a highlight of the trip for your reviewers- a late night Party at Typhoon Lagoon. We spent hours bobbing about on inflatable tubes floating on the lazy river circling the complex listening to the music of international DJ’s pumping throughout the park, and the wave pool was a sea of shirtless men in swimwear.

Saturday, the main day of Gaydays is always spent at the Magic Kingdom, with participants standing out from (and outnumbering) the regular Disney crowd by wearing bright red T-Shirts- a Gaydays tradition.

Disney has several parades and the 3pm Share a Dream Come True parade down Main Street USA is not to be missed. The last float in the parade is always followed by red-shirted participants en-masse, a sight that has to be seen.

Sunday is more chilled out and spent at EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), a theme park dedicated to international culture and technological innovation. Whilst the tech innovation part is interesting, a day at EPCOT is best spent exploring the mini-countries and sampling their national foods and drinks, think of it as a global pup-crawl. We sampled Casa Beer in Morocco, a margaritas in Mexico, beer in Germany, wine in Italy, and sake in Japan; all in one day. All this drinking was followed by a five star three course meal in a Parisian bistrot with an entré of escargot and matching wines for each course. It’s all fake and over the top, but the campiness makes up for that.

Gaydays is loved by the local GLBT community because if brings so many diverse people to Orlando. Most gay-friendly businesses in the city get in on the act. Parliament House – an Orlando institution – hosts several parties, and local gay bar Revolutions also has many events. This year it featured drag shows by the winner of season one of Ru Pauls Drag Race Bebe Zahara Benet.

Next year Gaydays runs from May 31 until June 6, with a ‘Cowboys and Cowgirls’ theme. Arrive prepared – Orlando is hot and steamy, with temperatures in the mid-thirties. Make sure you have plenty of sunscreen and stay hydrated. The afternoon storms operate by clockwork and were relieving when they slightly lowered the temperature. Be sure to pack several swimsuits and good walking shoes. The nights are warm and perfect for poolside dancing in your swimwear.

Source: Same Same


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