LGBTQ+ Orlando Travel Guide
Welcome to Orlando: the place where dragons, coasters and Pride flags fly. A highly inclusive destination, we’ve been a pioneer in LGBTQ+ tourism dating back to the original Gay Days in 1991. Orlando was also named the first-ever “City of the Year” by GayCities.com, as well as a 2022 Gay Travel Awards winner for the Family Destination category. And for 10 consecutive years, we have earned a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index, measuring the LGBTQ+ inclusiveness of our laws, policies and services. We can’t wait for you to see why during your next visit to Orlando.
Discover: Diversity & Inclusion in Orlando
Naturally, Orlando’s world-famous theme parks and amazing attractions are major factors in our enduring popularity with LGBTQ+ visitors. You’ll be immersed in fantasy and adventure with state-of-the-art rides, beloved characters, live entertainment and seasonal events at Walt Disney World® Resort, SeaWorld® Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort and standalone attractions all over town.
Save on discount tickets: Orlando Theme Parks & Attractions
We never rest on our laurels, either. In any given year, we gain fresh features and experiences. Our cultural offerings expand, including gorgeous, LGBTQ+-focused murals in our authentic neighborhoods. Our delicious restaurants — featuring 46 MICHELIN Guide honorees — and top chefs garner more acclaim. And our vibrant nightlife becomes more electric. In short, and as seen with recent additions at our theme parks, plus new and upgraded attractions, Orlando is perpetually evolving.
Discover: Orlando Murals
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.
While you’re in town, you’re invited to pay your respects at the former site of the Pulse nightclub, which now serves as the Pulse Interim Memorial. In addition to honoring the 49 lives lost on June 12, 2016, it serves as a beacon of hope for a future where every human being can live their truth in an understanding world full of unity, acceptance and love.
The interim memorial will be replaced by an impressive permanent structure in the coming years. The Pulse Interim Memorial is part of Orlando’s SoDo district, just south of downtown, and admission is complimentary. It’s open from 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily, with extended hours during Pulse Remembrance Week and select holidays.
Orlando hosts special celebrations throughout the year, including holiday extravaganzas, gourmet food and beverage festivals, theme park events, and more — and everyone is invited to the party. What’s more, several of our events are of special interest to the LGBTQ+ community, including the following can’t-miss affairs.
GayDays Orlando (May 30 – June 3, 2024)
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. GayDays is complemented by a wide range of ancillary events.
Girls in Wonderland (May 30 – June 3, 2024)
A counterpart to GayDays, Girls in Wonderland caters to female members of the LGBTQ+ community. It features parties, special performances and celebrity appearances.
One Magical Weekend (May 30 – June 3, 2024)
Always the first weekend in June, One Magical Weekend is one of the largest LGBTQ+ pride and music festivals in the world. Taking place at Walt Disney World, it boasts a roster of international DJ talent and around-the-clock, world-class events.
RED Shirt Pride Day (June 1, 2024)
An annual tradition, RED Shirt Pride Day invites you to wear a red shirt to Orlando’s theme parks on the first Saturday in June. It’s inspired by the original 30 or 40 people with “kindred spirits” that bravely met at Magic Kingdom® Park back in 1991. Their courage that started as a social gathering has grown to become one of the longest running, most iconic events in LGBTQ+ history.
Annual Pulse Remembrance Ceremony (June 12, 2024)
This event is designed to spread messages of love, unity, acceptance, courage and strength throughout the community. The Pulse Remembrance Ceremony traditionally takes place at the Pulse Interim Memorial, which honors the 49 lives lost on June 12, 2016, and is open throughout the year.
Come Out With Pride Orlando (Oct. 21, 2023)
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 during Come Out With Pride.
There’s no need to wait for special events to have the time of your life in Orlando. Vibrant live entertainment and dance clubs in and around the downtown area, combined with our welcoming nature, have helped make Orlando famous among LGBTQ+ travelers.
Without a doubt, the best place to catch live theater (including Broadway productions), ballet, opera, comedy and more is downtown Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, which now includes the acoustically remarkable Steinmetz Hall. Nearby, SAK Comedy Lab is the area’s premier venue for improvisational comedy with shows that are heavy on audience participation.
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In Orlando’s trendy Milk District, which is 10 minutes from downtown, Southern Nights is an LGBTQ+ nightclub that’s perfect for dancing the night away. It’s also the largest LGBTQ+ venue in the Orlando area. The Milk District is also home to The Plaza Live, which is the only place to see performances by the Orlando Gay Chorus.
Discover: Things to Do in Orlando Neighborhoods
At SAVOY Orlando in the Ivanhoe Village Main Street district adjacent to downtown, the Men of SAVOY dancers perform nightly, making this one of the area’s preeminent gay bars. Burlesque can be experienced at downtown’s Stardust Lounge, right next to beautiful Lake Eola Park. And in downtown’s Church Street District, take in an authentic drag show and other forms of entertainment while enjoying gourmet burgers and a full bar at Hamburger Mary’s Bar & Grille. Several other gay and lesbian bars can be found throughout the area.
Speaking of dining, you’ll find world-class eateries throughout the destination, particularly at Disney Springs® and the Walt Disney World Resort area, plus Universal CityWalk and options in and close to Universal Orlando Resort. Other culinary hotspots include the International Drive area and nearby Restaurant Row, as well as downtown Orlando and Winter Park, which is about 20 minutes north of downtown, and surrounding areas. We recommend making our 46 MICHELIN Guide honorees a top priority.
Discover: Orlando’s MICHELIN Guide Restaurants
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.
Discover: How to Plan an Orlando Wedding
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 districts also have 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.
There Is Always More to Do in Orlando
While exploring our theme parks and attractions, nightlife, and dining, don’t lose sight of everything else there is to see and do in Orlando. Whether you want to get rejuvenated at apa, shop till you drop, play golf or tennis like a pro, experience Orlando like a local, or even live in the lap of luxury, you can do it all and so much more during your visit.
If you need help plotting your getaway, take advantage of our free planning resources, or reach out to our Vacation Planning Services team via Live Chat or by phone at +1 407-363-5872. You can also stock up on authorized discount tickets for theme parks, attractions and experiences at Visit Orlando powered by BestofOrlando.com and take advantage of other special offers. We’ll see you soon in Orlando.