See why LGBTQ+ travelers won’t want to miss GayDayS Orlando on Aug. 13-19, 2019.
In 1991, the original GayDayS® cemented Orlando as a pioneer in LGBTQ+ tourism when an estimated 50,000 red-shirted attendees packed into Magic Kingdom® Park at Walt Disney World® Resort. Nearly 30 years later, and spurred in part by Orlando’s welcoming, inclusive nature, GayDayS has grown into a multiday affair that attracts more than 180,000 male and female members of the LGBTQ+ community — and 2019’s edition promises to be the biggest and boldest yet!
Discover: LGBTQ+ in Orlando
Running from Aug. 13-19, GayDayS Orlando 2019 will feature multiple theme park and attraction visits — aka #RedShirtDays — at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld® Orlando and ICON Park®. It will also have a full slate of events at this year’s official host hotel, Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive, and other locations.
Read on for details, including how to get discounted theme park and attractions tickets from Visit Orlando, and make plans now to attend one of the most famous LGBTQ+ celebrations in the world!
What to Expect at GayDayS Orlando 2019
Theme park visits will always be one of the most popular GayDayS activities, but the celebration has expanded to become an all-over-town, something-for-everyone vacation extravaganza. Some people attend GayDayS just to enjoy the company of more than 180,0000 gays and lesbians, but a majority fill their itineraries with exciting pool parties and special events.
Most official GayDayS events will take place at area theme parks or Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive, which has free parking and is conveniently located close to all major parks and attractions. Furthermore, the hotel will have several recurring features for GayDayS attendees:
- GayDayS Welcome & Information Booth (Aug. 13-18, Hours Vary): Stop by to pick up a free, official GayDayS 2019 Welcome Bag. The booth’s team of ambassadors can also help answer any questions you might have about GayDayS and the Orlando destination.
- GayDayS Ticket & Merchandise Center (Aug. 13-18, Hours Vary): Located inside Wyndham Orlando Resort’s Key & Citrus Ballroom, this is your one-stop location to pick up official GayDayS event tickets, pool party bands and exclusive merchandise.
- Pool Parties (Aug. 14-18): Lay out in the sun, grab an ice-cold beverage and enjoy a variety of world-class DJs at these pool parties, which have become one of GayDayS’ most popular events. The all-day pool party on Aug. 14 is free. On Aug. 15-18, tickets to daytime pool parties (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) are $25 in advance and $35 at the door, while tickets to evening pool parties (5 p.m. – 3 a.m.) are $35 in advance and $45 at the door.
- GayDayS Expo and GayDayS Adult 18+ Expo (Aug. 15-18, Hours Vary): At these concurrent events, shop more than 100 booths featuring LGBTQ+-owned and operated businesses from around the world. Both take place in Wyndham Orlando Resort’s Key & Citrus Ballroom.
- GayDayS Outdoor Vendor Expo (Aug. 16-18, Hours Vary): GayDayS’ vendor offerings expand to Wyndham Orlando Resort’s pools and gardens on these days.
GayDayS Orlando 2019 Schedule of Events
In addition to GayDayS’ official lineup of special events, keep in mind that numerous LGBTQ+ nightspots will be hosting unofficial ancillary festivities. Also note that paid admission is required to participate in #RedShirtDays at theme parks, and that attendees are encouraged to wear red shirts for solidarity.
Speaking of admission, you can get discounted tickets to most of this year’s featured theme parks and attractions from Visit Orlando, including Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and select attractions at ICON Park.
Starting on Aug. 13, GayDayS Orlando 2019’s schedule includes:
Tuesday, Aug. 13
Official GayDayS Kick-Off Party (6:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.): Hosted by the legendary Parliament House near downtown Orlando, this party will inaugurate the 29th annual GayDayS Orlando in style. General admission is $10 in advance and $20 at the door, while VIP tickets are $50 in advance and $75 at the door (if still available). The latter includes an open bar and light bites, and food and drinks will be available for purchase.
Thursday, Aug. 15
#RedShirtDays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park (9 a.m. – 9 p.m.): Go on a safari, learn about exotic animals, explore Pandora — The World of Avatar and ride high-speed thrills at Walt Disney World’s nature-focused theme park.
#RedShirtDays at SeaWorld Orlando (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.): Between up-close animal encounters and some of Orlando’s wildest attractions, plus the all-new Sesame Street Land™, SeaWorld has something for everyone.
Taste of GayDays! (6 p.m. – 10 p.m.): Held in Wyndham Orlando Resort’s Palms Ballroom, this delicious event will feature samplings from local restaurants, exciting beverages and live entertainment. Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the door.
Friday, Aug. 16
#RedShirtDays at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® (9 a.m. – 9 p.m.): Put yourself in your favorite stories at this Walt Disney World theme park, which features attractions based on blockbuster movies and will welcome Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge later this summer.
#RedShirtDays at Universal’s Islands of Adventure (9 a.m. – 9 p.m.): Experience half of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ at this Universal Orlando Resort theme park, where heroes, myths and legends come to life.
Two Spirit Family Fun Carnival (12-10 p.m.): This unique event will bring all the fun of the carnival to Wyndham Orlando Resort’s Palms Ballroom. Admission is free.
Drag Bingo With Chantel Reshae (5:30 p.m.) and XXX Bingo With ChiChi LaRue (7:30 p.m.): Held in Wyndham Orlando Resort’s Palms Ballroom, these events blend the classic game of bingo with a drag show. Tickets for Drag Bingo are $15 in advance and $25 at the door, while tickets for XXX Bingo are $20 in advance and $30 at the door.
Saturday, Aug. 17
#RedShirtDays at Magic Kingdom Park (9 a.m. – 9 p.m.): The Walt Disney World theme park that started the whole GayDayS phenomenon is the site of this visit, where you can enjoy classic rides, one-of-a-kind character encounters and a truly magical fireworks show.
#RedShirtDays at Universal Studios Florida (9 a.m. – 9 p.m.): Take in the other half of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ while experiencing attractions based on hit movies at this Universal Orlando Resort theme park.
Miss GayDayS Pageant! (6:30-10 p.m.): Hosted by ChiChi LaRue and CoCo Montrese, this drag competition will take place at Wyndham Orlando Resort’s Palms Ballroom. Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door, and VIP tables are available for $175.
Sunday, Aug. 18
#RedShirtDays at Epcot® (9 a.m. – 9 p.m.): Explore the world and its future at this Walt Disney World theme park.
#RedShirtDays at Discovery Cove (7:15 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.): Operated by SeaWorld, this unique day resort invites you to frolic with all manner of aquatic animals — you can even swim with dolphins! Unlimited food and beverages, including alcohol, are complimentary with admission.
#RedShirtDays at ICON Park (10 a.m. – 2 a.m.): Located next door to Wyndham Orlando Resort, ICON Park is home to some of Orlando’s best-known attractions, including The Wheel, Madame Tussauds Orlando and SEA LIFE Orlando Aquarium. Also hosting shopping and dining, ICON Park has free admission, but individual attractions require tickets.
Mr. GayDayS Leather Disco Puppy Mosh (12 p.m.): Humans dressed as puppies will romp, wrestle and play under disco lights at this unique event. Whether purchased in advance or at the door, tickets are $10.
Mr. GayDayS Leather Competition (2-4 p.m.): See who will take home the sash and patch cementing them as Mr. Gay DayS 2020. Tickets are $20 in advance and $30 at the door.
At press time, no official GayDayS Orlando 2019 events are scheduled for Monday, Aug. 19, which will be checkout day for most attendees staying at Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive.
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