Should we avoid Disney right BEFORE Gay Days' scheduled Disney events?

Should we avoid Disney right BEFORE Gay Days' scheduled Disney events?

by Phyllis

Hi Dad! I am so glad I visited your site a few days ago, otherwise I wouldn't have been warned that our vacation in Orlando will unfortunately overlap Gay Days! Yikes! Your site is the only one I've found that is truly "upfront" about this--most other sites (and even guide books) seem to barely mention it at all, and you'd have to really hunt for it in the first place! Way to go, Dad! I love your site--the personal touch is great.

I have searched your site and read in your comments, regarding avoiding Gay Days, that by June 4th Disney should be back to its normal family-friendly atmosphere. However,what about the days right BEFORE the Gay Days events scheduled at Disney, May 31-June 3? The Gay Days website actually lists May 29th-June 4th as the "official" days in Orlando. Do many of the Gay Day participants seem to take advantage of the Memorial Day holiday and make a whole week of it? Will we be engulfed by lots of red shirts, or have to witness unusual and offensive behavior and "in-your-face" attitudes (more than usual, that is) if we go to Disney from Memorial day, May 28th, through Wed. June 30? What about Universal? Is there a noticeable, large gay contingent there before the Disney gay days?

We do still have some flexibility with our hotel accommodations; we were also planning on a side trip to the beach which we can juggle with time in Orlando. So now we are thinking about staying in Orlando from May 27th-30th, and going to the beach from the 31st-3rd, during the height of Gay Days, and returning to Orlando to visit Disney again on the 4th.

If you'd advise it, we can even reschedule air flights, if necessary, but couldn't go until the third week in June, which I fear would be much more crowded and hot. What is your advice/opinion, Dad?

Thanks so, so much!

May will be beautiful like this ...

Odyssey Restaurant at Epcot

Photo by Don Sullivan

Dad's no need to run away Answer


Howdy. Thanks for saying such nice things about little ole Dad. I try to help as much as I can.

You have almost answered your own question, but let me go ahead and ease your mind. Yes, some of the Gay Days events start earlier in the week but the main event are the park days at Walt Disney World. The good news is, unless you end up at the event hotel (the DoubleTree at Sea World) or at the park of the day (see the schedule on my Gay Days page), you will pretty much avoid the revelry. The attendees pretty much congregate at the official designated places.

Dads's Disney Gay Days page

Your plan of going before the events get started and then going to the beach is a great one. I think you'll avoid any of the problems you think you might encounter.

Now as to what does actually happen, the in-your-face behavior, I must be truthful. I have never been at Disney World during Gay Days. (We left the day it started years ago.) I can't speak first hand about any of the behaviors you ask about. I read (from one of the original organizers of the event, one who runs one of the biggest Disney sites in the world) about how some of the people attending have acted and don't have any desire to be in Orlando during that week.

Dad's Bottom Line

Phyllis, I wouldn't go so far as to reschedule your trip. No need to back it up to the dog days of summer. Your plan is great. You will have a wonderful time. Late May is a great time to visit Walt Disney World. Make sure to drop by and tell us how it went.

Comments for Should we avoid Disney right BEFORE Gay Days' scheduled Disney events?

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Jun 06, 2012
Update and tip for getting on Toy Story Mania
by: Phyllis

Hi Dad and everyone. I just got back from our trip to Disney (and the gulf near Clearwater)and I am happy to report that I did not notice anything (or anyone) that would even remotely hint that "gay days" were going to be taking place there later that week. Any one who is considering going right before gay days should rest assured that they will still find the parks "family friendly" with no signs of the impending "gay days" to worry about.

We were in Disney World on Memorial Day Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We then left for the beach on Thursday, which would be the official first "gay day" event scheduled at Disney. We would have liked to stay a day longer at Disney, but didn't want to chance any "issues" with the "gay days" crowds.) We tried going to a water park on Thursday, but evidently everyone else had the same idea, so when we saw how crowded the parking lot was, even though it was early, we just left. I don't know if the water parks are typically very crowded on Thursdays--perhaps families need a break from theme parks by then?, or if they were also trying to avoid "gay days", or whatever.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the level of the crowds the days we were there--much better--less crowded-- than when we went during "value days" a few years ago the third week of August (and much cooler, too!), even though this is considered the "standard" season. Perhaps it just seemed that way, though, because on this trip we were smart and followed the suggestion of avoiding the parks with the extra magic hours! (Unlike our last trip where we always went to the park with the extra magic hours in the evening--big mistake!)

We also followed the "best park" recommendations of "" and think that they were "spot on" as far as we could tell. Even the Magic Kingdom on Memorial Day wasn't as crowded as one would normally have expected--even before the afternoon rainstorm-- which especially seemed to help clear out the park and lines in general became very short or even non-existent!)

Here is a little tip to help you get onto what I understand is now the most popular ride at Disney: Toy Story Mania at Hollywood studios: Go there during the Fantasmic show! We thought we would not be able to get on the Toy Story ride at Hollywood studios because wait times were too long for us--70 minutes--and the fast passes were gone by noon- despite the park not seeming very crowded in general that Tuesday. However, by 9:15 pm. the park seemed almost deserted while most people were at the Fantasmic show (even though there was another show scheduled again at 10:30)- so we walked over to the Toy Story ride and were actually able to almost walk right on to it--We had maybe a two minute wait!

Hope this helps someone.

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