We are going to Walt Disney World on 24 May for 2 weeks not realizing it will be gay week. If they are at one park will it be ok to be at another???
Before Dad was able to get a moment to answer Laura, he got another email, this time from Jennifer in Houston, along the same lines:
We’re thinking of a WDW trip during that first week of June as so many kids are not yet out of school but my child is. However, I’m hesitant because of gay days. Are the gay festivities confined to the designated park? Or is it best just to stay away that Thurs-Sun? Please advise
Naturally, wanting to help both of these families out as quick as possible, Dad decided to answer both at once!
Dad’s double-up Answer
Laura and Jennifer, thanks for the emails – with only 4 months left until Gay Days descend on Walt Disney World, this is the perfect time to start thinking about strategies to help keep your trip family-friendly. Let me start by reassuring you that knowing about Gay Days is half the battle! A little planning goes a long way, so let’s get started!
Disney Gay Days is not an official Disney event – over 20 years ago an independent group started gathering in Orlando during the first week of June. One thing led to another and over the years the gathering has grown into a 100,000+ person event! Unfortunately, this event has become increasingly controversial over the years and all in all Dad recommends avoiding the parks at this time.
Fortunately, each park is given it’s own special day of celebration, so avoiding these crowds is fairly simple. The schedule for 2012 is: Animal Kingdom on May 31, Disney Hollywood Studios on June 1, Magic Kingdom on June 2, and Epcot on June 3. Pick another park on these days and you’ll be just fine – the overall crowd levels of the other parks won’t be too different than any other weekend in June.
One thing to be mindful of is that Disney Hollywood Studios hosts Star Wars Weekends at that time of year. This will increase crowds on weekends at that park, so avoid weekends altogether if you don’t care for Star Wars. If it’s your favorite film of all time (just like Dad) and you want to get in on the action, simply visit on May 25-27 to get your Lightsaber fix!
Overall, avoiding the crowds during this time of year isn’t too much different than any other time as long as you avoid the “special” park of the day. You can use Touringplans.com to keep track of crowd projections before you go and even use their plans to see more of the parks in less time!
If you’re still concerned, consider spending the four days of celebration outside of the parks, taking in everything else that Disney World has to offer – water parks, mini golf, Downtown Disney, golf, fishing, horseback riding, and so much more! Lounge about at your hotel pool or resort hop and check out the other Disney resort hotels. You could even use those days to venture out and see what else there is to see in Orlando (Shhh! Don’t tell Uncle Walt!).
Dad’s Bottom Line
Laura and Jennifer, don’t worry – just spend a little time planning how you’re going to handle the crowds for those 4 days, and the rest of the trip will take care of itself! And whatever you do, just don’t wear red.