Gay days are here again, and I don’t mean gay as in ‘happy’, although the tourism industry will be very happy to have over 100,000 gay and lesbian guests from around the world. This event started 20 years ago as a 1-day trip to Walt Disney World in 1991. Since then, it has evolved into a week-long party throughout Orlando. This year, it runs now thru June 6th.
Some of our gay-friendly destinations around town include Mr. Sisters, the Parliament House, Banana’s Modern American Diner, Revolution Nightclub and Hamburger Mary’s. And, of course, the unofficial destination that started the whole event, Walt Disney World. I have to say ‘unofficial’ because Disney does not officially sponsor the event, or have any special shows. It is just one of those things that are known: Saturday (June 4th) is THE day to visit the Magic Kingdom. The other parks have designated days also, according to gaydays.com: Animal Kingdom on Thursday the 2nd; Hollywood Studios on Friday the 3rd, and Epcot on Sunday, the 5th.
The Parliament House claims to be the world’s largest all gay resort complex, and features a hotel, pool, restaurant, theater events, and several themed bars on the property. They have events going on all week, which include a laser light show, live entertainment, a foam party, and much more.
Hamburger Mary’s is the first national chain that has marketed specifically to the gay community. Their motto is “Eat, drink, and be Mary”. They’re a beer and burger joint, located on Church Street near the Amway Center, and will have special events planned for this week.
Mr. Sisters restaurant and nightclub has a late-night menu and a 6,000 square-foot patio deck with a great view of Lake Barton. For gay days, they’re expanding into the parking lot with food vendors and a large stage for live entertainment.
Revolution Nightclub features a dance club with outside patio, multiple bars and lounge space. They will be having specials for this week including drag shows and a “Men at Play” party.
In the past, Gay Days has met some protests and resistance, however, most straight people are tolerant, or simply avoid the theme parks on scheduled Gay Days.