LGBTQ+ Orlando Travel Guide
Dreams come true in Orlando, and for countless reasons — not the least of which is our commitment to creating enchanting, memorable adventures for all visitors. A highly inclusive destination, we’ve been a pioneer in LGBTQ+ tourism dating back to the original Gay Days in 1991 and were named the first-ever “City of the Year” by GayCities.com. Orlando has also earned a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign's Municipal Equality Index, which measures the LGBTQ+ inclusiveness of cities' laws, policies and services. We can’t wait for you to experience everything we have to offer, too!
Live Your Dreams in Orlando
Naturally, Orlando’s world-famous theme parks and 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.
Learn more: Discount Orlando Theme Park & Attractions Tickets
We never rest on our laurels, either. In any given year, we gain fresh features and experiences. Our cultural offerings expand. Our restaurants and chefs garner more acclaim. And our 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.
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 LGBTQ+ Events in Orlando
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:
June 6, 2020
RED Shirt Pride Day
This annual tradition invites you to wear a red shirt to Magic Kingdom on the first Saturday in June, inspired by the original 30 or 40 people with “kindred spirits” that bravely met at Magic Kingdom 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.
June 12, 2020
Annual Pulse Remembrance Ceremony
Taking place virtually in 2020, this event is designed to spread messages of love, unity, acceptance, courage and strength throughout the community. It normally takes place at the Pulse Interim Memorial, which honors the 49 lives lost on June 12, 2016, and is open throughout the year.
Oct. 1 – 5, 2020 (Rescheduled From June 2020)
Girls in Wonderland
This counterpart to Gay Days caters to female members of the LGBTQ+ community. It features parties, special performances and celebrity appearances.
Oct. 10, 2020
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.
Oct. 27 – Nov. 2, 2020 (Rescheduled From June 2020)
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.
June 3 – 7, 2021 (Rescheduled From June 2020)
Tidal Wave Party
A private party at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park and a “Bearaoke” contest are two of many unique experiences where you can make a splash during this weekend of water park events and activities.
June 3 – 7, 2021 (Rescheduled From June 2020)
One Magical Weekend
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.
To see what’s happening in Orlando during your visit, refer to our events calendar and blog.
Nightlife & Entertainment
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. Nearby, SAK Comedy Lab is the area’s premier venue for improvisational comedy with shows that are heavy on audience participation.
Less than 10 minutes from downtown, Parliament House has been popular with LGBTQ+ visitors and locals for four decades, thanks in no small part to its outrageous live shows and legendary pool parties. It also features the Footlight Theatre, which hosts locally produced musicals, plays and drag shows.
In Orlando’s trendy Milk District, which is also 10 minutes from downtown, Southern Nights is an LGBTQ+ nightclub that’s perfect for dancing the night away. The Milk District is also home to The Plaza Live, which is the only place to see performances by the Orlando Gay Chorus.
At SAVOY Orlando in the Ivanhoe Village district adjacent to downtown, the Men of SAVOY dancers perform nightly. You’ll also find The Venue in this area, where you can catch burlesque shows every Friday night.
More burlesque can be experienced at downtown’s Stardust Lounge, right next to beautiful Lake Eola Park. And in downtown’s Church Street District, you can 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.
Speaking of dining, you’ll find world-class eateries throughout the destination, particularly at Disney Springs®. 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.
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.
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 a permanent structure in the coming years. It’s located in 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.
Still More to Explore
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 a spa, 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. We’ll see you soon in Orlando!