It’s hard to believe that 25 years has gone by since the very first group of gay people converged on Walt Disney World in Orlando, wearing red T-shirts so they would be noticed and so other gay amusement park attendees would know where they were. Now the Gay Disney events take place across an entire week, and the amusement parks aren’t the only attractions that bring tens of thousands of gay people to Orlando. Here’s a calendar of events that are going on all across Orlando for Gay Disney Week. Use this article as well as our entertainment feature from last week’s issue to guide you around all things Gay Disney.
Tuesday, June 2
Whether you arrive on Tuesday or any day during the week, you can pick up your welcome bag in the lobby of the host hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld. There will be volunteers in the lobby present throughout the afternoon, and there will also be an information booth open staffed with people who can answer any questions you may have. The merchandise and ticket center is open today from noon to 4 p.m. in the lobby.
Tickets for any of the Gay Days® events at the DoubleTree can be bought in advance by going to gaydays.com or they can be bought at the ticket center, open during the mornings and afternoons through Sunday, June 7.
The 25th anniversary kick-off party for Gay Disney Week will be held tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Artegon Marketplace, located at 5250 International Drive. VIP tickets are $50 and include hors d’oeuvres and open bar. They can only be purchased in advance; visit gaydays.com to purchase your VIP passes to this event. General admission is $10 in advance and $15 at the door.
Big Freedia will be performing at Hip-Hop Thursdays tonight at Parliament House. Darcel Stevens will be hosting. Admission is $10 (VIP tickets, which include photo op, cost $25). You can purchase them now by visiting parliamenthouse.com.
Wednesday, June 3
The pool parties start today and go on through Sunday. There will be three different pool parties held at different times each day: the main pool party, which is presented at the main lagoon pool; the bear pool party, presented at the serenity pool; and the Latin pool party, presented at the Key West pool.
The main pool parties begin today with DJ C-Rail at noon; the other pool parties begin Thursday. For a full schedule and list of pool parties and DJs, read our entertainment spotlight that was featured in last week’s issue of Hotspots.
Thursday, June 4
Many people will be going to Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom amusement park today. Wear your Gay Disney shirts and go in a group if you can!
The Gay Days® Expo starts today at 11 a.m. in the rooms attached to the western end of the DoubleTree Orlando at SeaWorld lobby. Over 100 vendors and organizations will be taking part, including Hotspots Magazine. There is also an 18+ vendor annex. On the second floor of the hotel tower, there is a leather dungeon and demo center that’s operated by Submissive Pleasures. It opens at 11 a.m. as well.
Starting at 6 p.m. at the DoubleTree, A Taste of Gay Days®, a tasting event of beers, wines, spirits and some delicious appetizers, will be held in the Great Lakes Ballroom. Special guests are food TV star Emily Ellyn and DJ Nancy Starr. Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door.
Parliament House puts on its annual PI @ PH event, which recreates the acrobatics and lights people loved about Disney’s Pleasure Island. The talents of the Explosion Dancers will be featured tonight. There is no cover before 11 p.m.; it’s $10 after 11 p.m.
Friday, June 5
Today a lot of people will be visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Wear red and go in a group if possible! The Gay Days® Expo opens today at 10 a.m. and will stay open until 7 p.m. (the adults-only expo section stays open until 9 p.m.).
The Miss Gay Days® Pageant will take place tonight in the DoubleTree’s Great Lakes Ballroom, with doors opening at 6 p.m. Harmony Breeze, Miss Gay Days® 2014, will crown her successor at the end of this event. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. If you want platinum runway seating, tickets are $30. The decor will be provided by Beyond a Dream Event Planning. Later on, starting at 11 p.m., the Great Lakes Ballroom will host the Mighty Mouse P-rn Party, featuring adult film actors Rocco Steele, Trenton Ducati, Chi Chi LaRue and DJ C-Rail. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door.
One Magical Weekend begins their events today at their host hotel, the B Resort and Spa. Their daytime events are the Therapy pool parties (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.). DJs Shane Stiel and Alyson Calagna will both be spinning their sets this morning and afternoon. In the evening, starting at 7 p.m., One Magical Weekend will host their popular Riptide party at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park. The headlining DJs at this event are DJ Phil B and DJ Joe Gauthreaux. The party isn’t over just because you’re leaving the theme park; it continues in the form of the Cadabra after-party, which will be held tonight starting at 2 a.m. at the B Resort and Spa. DJ Alexander and DJ Alex Acosta will spin for your enjoyment.
Parliament House welcomes the ’90s trio Color Me Badd to the pool stage after the Footlight Players’ midnight show. They will be singing all of their greatest hits, including the platinum release “I Wanna Sex You Up.” Admission is $20 with the VIP option, which includes a photo op, priced at $50. You can purchase these tickets by visiting parliamenthouse.com.
Saturday, June 6
Today is the day of the signature event: Gay Saturday at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Visit localexpert.com/OrlandoGayDays to purchase discounted tickets to Walt Disney World. The Gay Days® Expo opens today at 10 a.m. and will stay open until 7 p.m. (the adults-only expo section stays open until 9 p.m.).
The Transpire Conference, geared toward transgender people and their loved ones, will be held all day today at the DoubleTree. It begins at 8 a.m. with the final event finishing at 6:30 p.m. It resumes tomorrow from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Visit transpireflorida.com for more information on this conference.
If you’re looking to laugh, tonight will provide you with two options. The first comedy event begins at 8 p.m. in the DoubleTree’s Great Lakes Ballroom, and features stand-up from comedians Scott Nevins and Adam Sank. Tickets are $20 in advance, $30 at the door, $40 for reserved seating and $50 VIP (advance purchase only, includes reserved seating, complimentary beverages and a meet-and-greet). The second event features the “Queen of Mean” Lisa Lampanelli, who will be at Hard Rock Live Orlando at Universal Studios tonight at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $50 and can be purchased by going to ticketmaster.com.
One Magical Weekend begins Saturday with their Therapy pool parties (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) at the B Resort and Spa. The opening set will be spun by DJ Tony Ruggiero and DJ Eddie Martinez will be spinning afterwards. Starting at 7 p.m., the fun moves to Epcot where DJ Paulo, direct from Portugal, will spin at the revamped Red party called “Red: Unmasked, Version One.” When that party ends, around 2 a.m. or so, go back to the B Resort and Spa and attend the Cadabra after-party, featuring music by DJ Dee Martello (Twisted Dee) and DJ (Nina) Flowers.
Parliament House plans on bringing the house down when the girl group Wilson Phillips takes the pool stage shortly after the Footlight Players show at midnight. You will hear some of the hits that inspired a generation, including “Hold On,” “Release Me,” and “You’re In Love.” Admission is $30, with the VIP option that includes photo op priced at $79. Purchase your tickets now by going to parliamenthouse.com.
Leigh Shannon will be hosting two special Illusions in Revue shows tonight at Hamburger Mary’s Orlando. Leigh and her friends (Page King, Tia Devine, Crystle Chambers, Betty Atchison, and more) will give you some of the finest celebrity impersonations you can see in the City Beautiful. Call ahead to reserve your table for one of these shows: (321) 319-0600.
Sunday, June 7
Sunday is traditionally the day a lot of people who come for Gay Disney Week use to visit Walt Disney World’s Epcot. Party with thousands from the LGBT community here today.
One Magical Weekend starts off the day with their Therapy pool parties (11 a.m. to 7 p.m.) at the B Resort and Spa. The opening set will be spun by DJ Chris Camuso and DJ Bryan Reyes will be in charge of the music afterwards. At 2 p.m., One Magical Weekend will be hosting their “drink around the world” E-Tea Dance at Epcot, with DJ Grind providing the music. The Cadabra after-party begins at 11 p.m. at the B Resort and Spa, featuring DJs Alain Jackinsky and Abel and an appearance by Power Infiniti.
Parliament House will be bringing R&B duo Salt-N-Pepa, along with DJ Spinderella, to Orlando to close out Gay Disney Week at the pool stage shortly after midnight. Surely we will hear their biggest hits, like “Push It,” “Let’s Talk About Sex,” “Shoop” and “Whatta Man.” Admission is $30, with the VIP option that includes photo op priced at $79. Purchase your tickets now by going to parliamenthouse.com.
Hotspots Media Group is proud to be a part of Gay Disney Week. Visit us at Gay Days® Expo from Thursday through to Sunday at the DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld. Visit the following websites as well: gaydays.com, onemagicalweekend.com, parliamenthouse.com.