Saturday, June 1, 2013

Gay Day in Disney World

Main Street Parade at Magic Kingdom on June 7, 2008
My postcard US-1749242 shows Micky Mouse and Minnie Mouse on top of a float in the "Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade" at the Walter Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida on June 7, 2008. The card was made of one of my photos from my trip to Orlando for the 2008 Gay Day at Walter Disney World.

Gay Day at Walter Disney World started in 1991 as a weekend outing for the local LGBT members from a central Florida bulletin board system (BBS). The date was set to the first Saturday in June as it was the last weekend available to the Florida resident seasonal pass holders before the summer block out dates. (The summer block out dates for the 2013 seasonal pass run from June 8 to August 15.) It was also decided that the participants wearing red shirts so they could recognize each other. By 1995, the event had grown to 10,000 LGBT travelers from all over the world for the gay day at Disney. By 2010, it had been transformed into a week long celebration as Gay Days Orlando that includes pool parties, conventions, festivals, and a business expo at other venues in addition to Walter Disney World. Over the years, the tradition of wearing red shirts continues to make the presence more visible. The highlight is still the gathering in front the Cinderella Castle and along the Main Street to watch the parade on Saturday at Magic Kingdom.

It should note that the Gay Day is not a Disney event. It is just like any other summer day. Indeed, during my visit, there were all kinds of people there and we were all having fun. One of my favorite rides was the Walter Disney World Railroad at Magic Kingdom:

The other one was the Splash Mountain based on the theme from the 1946 Disney movie "Song of the South". The ride stars with a peaceful outdoor float-through, and continues into indoor dark ride segments, with a climactic finale of a 53 ft (16 m) drop.

In 2013, the Gay Day at Walter Disney World  is June 1st, while the Gay Days Orlando runs from May 28 to June 3. If you are in Orlando this weekend, please send me a post card or a photo or a video of your celebration.

Yet, Walt Disney World's unofficial "Gay Days" tradition is under fire again from a conservative and notoriously anti-gay group. We need to remind them the previous 8-year boycott by the Southern Baptist Convention boycotted ended in 2005 with a big failure. Get a life, will you?

Related Story: Rainbow souvenirs come out for Gay Day at Disney World

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