LGBTQ Travel Guide to Orlando

Live Your Dreams in Orlando

Dreams come true in Orlando and for countless reasons — not the least of which is our commitment to creating enchanting, memorable adventures. We’re also a highly inclusive destination, welcoming scores of millions of visitors each year to experience everything we have to offer.

Naturally, world-famous theme parks like those at Walt Disney World® Resort, SeaWorld® Orlando and Universal Orlando® Resort are major factors in our popularity. There, state-of-the-art rides, beloved characters, live entertainment and seasonal events are ready to immerse you in fantasy and adventure.

We never rest on our laurels, either. In any given year, our attractions add new features and experiences. Our cultural offerings expand. Our restaurants and chefs garner more acclaim. In short, and as recent additions such as Disney’s Pandora — The World of Avatar attraction or Universal's Volcano Bay™ Water Theme Park attest, Orlando is perpetually evolving.

But some things remain the same. Our natural attractions — including springs, lakes, parks and trails — remain as lovely and pristine as ever. And our primary goal never wavers: To create unforgettable vacation memories for singles, couples and families that will last a lifetime.

Special Events

Orlando’s diverse events calendar is jam-packed throughout the year, including several events of special interest to the LGBTQ community.

May 31–Jun. 3
Gay Days Orlando
What started as a one-day get-together on the first Saturday in June has blossomed over the past three decades into one of the world’s largest LGBTQ pride celebrations. It’s complemented by a wide range of ancillary events.

May 31–Jun. 4
Girls in Wonderland
This counterpart to Gay Days caters to female members of the LGBTQ community. It features parties, special performances and celebrity appearances.

Jun. 1–3
One Magical Weekend
Tied to Gay Days, this is one of the largest annual LGBTQ pride and music festivals in the world. Taking place at Walt Disney World resorts, it boasts a roster of international DJ talent and around-the-clock events.

Sept. 17
Headdress Ball
Held at the Orlando World Center Marriott, this annual, steampunk-influenced fundraiser is dedicated to stopping the spread of HIV worldwide. Guests are encouraged to dress up while enjoying food, dancing, live entertainment, and silent and live auctions.

Oct. 13
Come Out With Pride Orlando
This nonprofit celebration fosters a sense of community, encourages LGBTQ citizens to live openly and with pride, and educates the general public. Everyone from Central Florida and beyond is invited to come together and make an impact on Orlando’s LGBTQ community.

Nightlife & Entertainment

Orlando is famous among LGBTQ travelers, and live entertainment at venues in and close to downtown has much to do with it. For instance, legendary shows and pool parties have made Parliament House a must-visit for four decades. And at SAVOY Orlando, the Men of SAVOY dancers perform every night of the week.

We’re also home to cabaret and saucy burlesque at nightspots such as The Venue in Ivanhoe Village and downtown’s Stardust Lounge. Finally, don’t forget to dance your heart out at Southern Nights in Orlando’s trendy Milk District, just 10 minutes from downtown.

Weddings

Orlando welcomed gay marriage with a mass wedding on the steps of City Hall in 2015 — and we would love to host yours next. Where to tie the knot is entirely up to you, and we have many one-of-a-kind venues!

Walt Disney World® Resort, Universal Orlando Resort® and SeaWorld® Orlando have unique wedding options, as do their on-site and nearby hotels. The larger tourism district also has numerous resorts and venues from which to choose. In the downtown area, the Orange County Regional History Museum and Harry P. Leu Gardens are both exceptional. And in Winter Park, located 10 minutes north of downtown, the Albin Polasek Museum & Sculpture Gardens has long been a local favorite.

No matter the location, you’ll be wedded in one of the world’s most magical destinations when you choose Orlando. Congratulations!

One Pulse Memorial

Located on the site of the Pulse nightclub, this contemplative structure serenely surrounds and pays homage to the original building as it still stands, and to the outpour of love from around the world that followed the tragedy that occurred there. The downtown Orlando site has become a gathering place for visitors who wish to pay respect to the victims and survivors of the largest hate crime against a targeted group in the United States, convey support for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies, and reflect on the unity that was shown on a global scale in response. The new, temporary structure is scheduled to open in April 2018, and will eventually be replaced with a permanent memorial. Admission is complimentary. Parking and visitor information is available at OnePulseFoundation.org.


Greetings From the Mayors of Orlando and Orange County

Welcome to Orlando and Orange County! During your visit you will quickly see why we are the No. 1 vacation destination in the nation and why the industry standard, GayCities.com, distinguished Orlando with its first “City of the Year” designation. We are confident you will find our region warm and welcoming. This official LGBTQ Travel Guide covers many of the things that make Central Florida a great place to visit.While you are undoubtedly aware of our exciting theme parks and attractions, there are a wide variety of other things to do and see throughout Central Florida, including popular events, the arts, concerts and film festivals. Our wonderful neighborhoods, vibrant downtown and close proximity to coastal beaches provide a wide-range of entertainment options. Additionally, our region is home to top-rated higher education institutions, including the University of Central Florida, the second largest university in the nation, and a world-class center for hospitality, the Orange County Convention Center, which is the second largest convention center in the nation. Central Florida also has a burgeoning community of biotech, life sciences and research facilities, which have been recognized around the world for their innovative missions and forward-thinking success. Our region is committed to inclusiveness and recognizes that diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Our LGBTQ community is a cherished part of that. As we remember the Pulse tragedy, which forever changed our community two years ago, we continue to stand in solidarity with our LGBTQ residents and guests. Orlando and Orange County will never forget the 49 brothers and sisters who lost their lives in this senseless act of hate. We remain united, proving that love will always prevail.We wish you a most memorable visit and hope that you are able to experience all that Central Florida has to offer. You can learn more about our area hotels, restaurants, attractions and special events by exploring VisitOrlando.com.


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