Disney Gay Day Expected To Draw 170,000 Guests

The 23rd annual Disney Gay Day is expected to draw 170,000 guests to the Orlando, Florida, theme park. Walt Disney World has never publicly endorsed the event. However, they have prepared for this weekend’s festivities by stocking up on red and rainbow themed merchandise.

Orlando’s Gay Days started out as “Gay Day” in 1991. Around 3,000 guests representing the GLBT community, and their supporters, were encouraged to visit Disney World on the first Saturday of June. The guests were asked to “Wear Red and Be Seen.”

As explained at GayDays.com, the event has morphed into a week-long celebration in the city of Orlando. The main event remains Gay Day, which is still celebrated at Disney World on the first Saturday every June.

This year Disney Gay Day is expected to draw close to 170,000 guests. In the last 23 years the event has gained international attention and support. Disney expects to make quite a profit from the influx of guests over the weekend.

As reported by the Orlando Sentinel, Disney does not display the word “gay” on any of their merchandise. However, they have stocked up on everything in rainbow and red colors. Disney World spokeswoman Bernadette Davis explains that the colorful merchandise is an attempt to “offer a wide range of merchandise items that appeal to guests of diverse backgrounds.”

Marcus Blake was visiting the park with his partner this week. As they tour the park regularly, he and his partner were surprised to find the rainbow merchandise on display:

“We kind of think it’s funny that Disney doesn’t sponsor Gay Days, but they cater to us. We were here just a couple weeks ago — and they didn’t have that shirt. But they put it out for this weekend.”

The event has sparked criticism and controversy throughout the last 23 years. They have been admonished by Pat Robertson and numerous conservative religious groups. Despite the controversy, the event is now endorsed by Orlando’s Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners.

Walt Disney World may not endorse Disney Gay Day, but they certainly enjoy the additional profits generated by 170,000 guests.

via Disney Gay Day Expected To Draw 170,000 Guests.

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Gay Days Orlando: Rainbow Mickey merchandise part of Gay Days experience – OrlandoSentinel.com

Earlier this week, Disney began to sprinkle merchandise throughout its parks with designs including rainbows, symbol of the gay-pride movement. Red tank tops with rainbow-colored Mickey Mouse heads began arriving in shops along Main Street USA a few days ago. They were paired in store displays with other rainbow items usually found in the parks year-round, such as rainbow pins and antenna toppers.

A rainbow mug can be had for $12.95; a rainbow wallet for $14.95. Mickey Mouse Vinylmations in rainbow — $12.95 apiece — were also prominently displayed.

“We offer a wide range of merchandise items that appeal to guests of diverse backgrounds,” said Walt Disney World spokeswoman Bernadette Davis.

Disney has sold such products in years past. This year’s merchandise, which makes no mention of Gay Days, was being snapped up Thursday by people in town for the event.

Chuck Stickler, who visits Disney about every six months from San Antonio, picked up a rainbow Mickey T-shirt, which went with a rainbow Mickey pin he bought years ago.

“I look good in red. Everybody says it,” he quipped, adding later: “I’m happy to see some Gay Days merchandise — well, it’s not really Gay Days merchandise, but rainbow Mickey merchandise.”

Gay Days’ organizers say they expect 170,000 people to participate in some aspect of this year’s event, which started Tuesday evening and runs through Sunday. In addition to visiting Disney World, participants have a range of planned events from which to choose across the tourism district and the rest of the Orlando area, including a Taste of Gay Days restaurant exposition, a charity auction, pool parties and other social gatherings.

Gay Days, which is based in Orlando, expanded its reach to the Western half of the country last fall with the introduction of Gay Days Las Vegas. And that inaugural event created extra buzz for Gay Days Orlando, organizer Chris Alexander-Manley said.

“Actually, we have a lot of people here that were at Gay Days Las Vegas last year. And that was the first time they had attended one of our events,” he said.

Marcus Blake and David Mendelson, who said they regularly attend Gay Days, bought red rainbow T-shirts as they toured Disney’s Animal Kingdom as part of Gay Days’ Thursday agenda. It’s not often they see such rainbow merchandise in the giant resort’s stores, they said.

“We kind of think it’s funny that Disney doesn’t sponsor Gay Days, but they cater to us. We were here just a couple weeks ago — and they didn’t have that shirt. But they put it out for this weekend,” said Blake, who’s from Tampa.

Blake has watched Gay Days grow since his first visit in the late 1990s. One positive development, he said, is that the event has lost a lot of its shock value.

“The first couple of years that I came, those who were not participating in the Gay Days festivities were kind of shocked to see the large number of red shirts and what it represented,” he said. “[Now] we have friends who come here with their

via Gay Days Orlando: Rainbow Mickey merchandise part of Gay Days experience – OrlandoSentinel.com.

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Atlantis Events – 2014 Silhouette Caribbean Cruise

Atlantis 2014 Silhouette Caribbean CruiseOur most popular premium ship comes home to the Caribbean to host the all-new Atlantis February cruise in 2014. We invite you to sail the most modern ship ever designed to the best of the sunny Southern Caribbean as we reinvent our most popular cruise of the year. Our biggest party hits the decks of the stunning new Celebrity Silhouette to host our 2800 guests from around the world. Imagine all the entertainment, excitement, and fun you love in a seductive new setting.

via Atlantis Events – 2014 Silhouette Caribbean Cruise.

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RSVP Vacations – 2014 Divina Caribbean Cruise

RSVP 2014 Divina Caribbean CruiseAs we enter our 29th year of creating spectacular gay and lesbian vacations, RSVP invites you to sail on the biggest, boldest, and most beautiful cruise ship we’ve ever chartered. We’re the first group to charter the brand new MSC Divina, as we take 3500 guests on an unforgettable cruise to the best of the Caribbean. Sail from Miami to three stunning islands in seven magical nights, with amazing low fares from just $899! There’s never been a better value in gay vacations, or a more sensational RSVP Gay cruise.

 

via RSVP Vacations – 2014 Divina Caribbean Cruise.

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Disney Talks About Its Gay Days Celebration

The Mouse House’s efforts in establishing and maintaining corporate leadership and an employee base representative of the diverse communities it serves has not gone unnoticed. The Walt Disney Company is currently ranked one of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc, a media group dedicated to promoting the business value of diversity-management initiatives.

Closer to home, the Human Rights Campaign recently awarded Disney a perfect score of 100 in its most recent Corporate Equality Index. Disney received top marks for its employment benefits for workers and their spouses/partners, as well as offering transgender-inclusive health insurance. Also considered in HRC’s scoring system is a company’s public commitment to, and responsible citizenship towards, its LGBT employees.

Walt Disney World employees, or “cast members” in Disney-speak, are encouraged to participate in the company’s Diversity Resource Groups. The clubs focus on individual populations represented in Disney’s workforce. And while becoming involved can certainly provide an employee benefits, Disney considers these groups more of an employee resource, much like training opportunities and information shared on the company’s intranet, that can be useful both on the job and in life.

Disney’s Diversity Resource Groups include: CastABLE, focused on differently-abled cast members and their allies; HOLA, which promotes Hispanic/Latino heritage; PULSE, dedicated to the development of cast members of African descent; FAMILIES, for parents, caregivers, potential parents and those impacted by parental interests in the workplace; VINTAGE, for older cast members; and PRIDE (People Respecting Individual Diversities in Everyone), which provides resources, learning opportunities and a supportive network to gay, lesbian and ally cast members.

via Disney Talks About Its Gay Days Celebration.

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PHOTOS: Adam Lambert & Lady Bunny Celebrate Miami Beach Pride | GayCities Blog

Miami Beach Gay Pride 2013

PHOTOS: The 5th annual Miami Beach Pride festival took place over the weekend attracting thousands of revelers from across the US.   The two-day event featured performances by Adam Lambert and Lady Bunny. Based on the pics below, it appears Miami still knows how to bring the heat.

via PHOTOS: Adam Lambert & Lady Bunny Celebrate Miami Beach Pride | GayCities Blog.

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