Disney World GayDays Orlando: Everything You Need to Know

Disney World GayDays Orlando features a multi-day celebration in the Orlando area including events at Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. This event is considered the #1 premier LGBTQIA+ vacation experience taking place over five days and bringing more than 180,000 guests from around the world to the Orlando area.

Keep reading for everything you need to know about Disney World GayDays including the schedule, this year’s dates, discounts, and how to avoid the crowds.

GayDays Orlando 2023 DatesDisney World Gay Days

Disney World GayDays typically take place the first weekend in June in honor of Pride Month which is recognized at Walt Disney World with special themed food and merchandise. This year’s 2023 Disney World GayDays event takes place May 31st through June 4th. 

GayDays has been an event in Orlando since the 90s and has grown from a single-day event to a full weekend celebration. The Disney World GayDays has also inspired a similar event in Disneyland which takes place in September each year. In fact, Disneyland is also hosting its first official Disneyland After Dark Pride Nite event this year.

Disney World GayDays brings nearly 180,000 guests from around the world to the Orlando area for a celebration of LGBTQIA+ pride and community. The event typically focuses on Walt Disney World but has also expanded to coordinated days at Universal Orlando, SeaWorld, and Aquatica Orlando. The event also includes after-parties for families and adults only like brunch, bingo, pool parties, and more.

Disney is not an official host of the event as Disney does not host private events during the public hours of theme park operations. This year’s host hotels for GayDays 2023 are located near SeaWorld and attendees can receive group discounts on rates. In Disneyland, the resort hosts the expo and provides discount rates for the Disneyland Resort hotels. However, Disney World GayDays is on a much larger scale than Disneyland’s event making it harder for Disney to provide discounted rates.

Guests visiting during Disney World GayDays that want to stay on-site can look at the most current Walt Disney World resort hotel discounts to find the best rate.

There is no separate charge to attend the Disney World GayDays events coordinated in the theme park but you will still need regular admission to Walt Disney World and a park pass reservation. The same goes for the other events taking place at the Orlando theme parks. The only charges guests can expect to pay to participate in GayDays events are for any separate ticketed parties (usually in the evenings after the park closes) and for the GayDays red t-shirt. The GayDays merchandise expo (the largest LGBTQI+ expo in the world!) is also free to attend.

GayDays Orlando 2023 ScheduleGay Days Disney World

Disney World GayDays features a pretty extensive schedule including coordinated days at the Disney theme parks, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld plus separate ticketed evening events. You can read the full schedule on the official GayDays Orlando website.

Wednesday, May 31st

  • GayDays Welcome & Information Booth
    • Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld
  • GayDays Ticket & Merchandise Center
    • Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld

For the first official Disney World GayDays, there are no coordinated theme park events but many guests will likely visit the parks. The welcome booth and merchandise center at Hilton Orlando will be available throughout the event.

Thursday, June 1st

  • Animal Kingdom
  • SeaWorld

For the theme parks, the event is tagged #RedShirtDays, as attendees are encouraged to wear red shirts to show community and numbers.

Friday, June 2nd

  • Hollywood Studios
  • Islands of Adventure, Universal Orlando

Hollywood Studios is already known for being a park that can struggle with crowded days, be sure to read through our Walt Disney World 1-day Hollywood Studios itinerary to best plan your day.

Saturday, June 3rd

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Universal Studios Florida, Universal Orlando
  • Aquatica Orlando, evening party

Since the event is coordinated across multiple theme parks this may help take some of the stress off Magic Kingdom but this is also where the Disney World GayDays group photos (red shirts!) are most popular so following a good Magic Kingdom strategy is essential.

Sunday, June 4th

  • Discovery Cove

EPCOT’s long evening hours might help spread the crowds out throughout the day so utilizing a good EPCOT Morning Strategy will help ensure you get on the best ride at Disney- Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind!

Discount Walt Disney World TicketsDisneyland Pride Month

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Avoiding Disney World GayDays CrowdsGay Days Disney World

If you are not attending the Disney World GayDays events, you might be wondering how to avoid the crowds. Well, considering this event brings more than 180,000 attendees to the area it is a bit tricky but not impossible!

Planning ahead by reviewing the above theme park schedule and then booking Walt Disney World theme park reservations for opposite days the events are taking place would be the first step. This might also be a good time to utilize purchasing Genie+ for Walt Disney World so you can try to take advantage of shorter lines, especially in the mornings. Using good morning strategies for Walt Disney World is also helpful.

Since the theme park events are spread throughout the day plus many of the separate local events take place at night, it’s possible some of the crowds won’t show up right at the park opening. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort hotel then this is also a good reason to take advantage of Early Entry which allows all resort hotel guests early access to the parks each morning. If you are staying at a deluxe Walt Disney World resort, utilize the perk of Extended Evening Hours which essentially allows you to walk onto some of the most popular rides in those parks.

What Are Red Shirt Days?

Photo Credit: gaydays.com

One of the most well-known aspects of Disney World GayDays is the red shirt days. The event began in the 1990s with folks from the LGBTIA+ community meeting in Walt Disney World with the agreement they would all wear red shirts to celebrate their identity or just show support to the community.

Now the GayDays Orlando event has grown so much in size that you will see a sea of red shirts on the days the event is planned at the theme parks.

Who Attends Disney World GayDays?

GayDays are open to everyone in the LGBTQIA+ community along with allies. Guests that participate in the GayDays events always speak to how welcoming and inclusive the events are.

You will see a variety of demographics in the theme parks to celebrate Disney World GayDays like families with children, singles, retired guests, you name it!

Are Gay Days Family-Friendly?

Some of the after-hours events are adults-only which are labeled as 18+ on the GayDays Orlando website making it clear which events are for families and for adults. All ages are obviously welcome at all the coordinated events in the theme parks and many LGBTQIA+ families participate. The event organizers often compare the event to a large family reunion due to the bonds of the community they have formed.

Walt Disney World recognizes Pride Month each year at the resort with themed food and merchandise which you can read more about in our Pride Month guide.

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Disclosure: We have used all the products recommended on Mickey Visit. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products featured.

About Lindsay Brookshier

Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the content director of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and Disney Dose- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Visit Anaheim, Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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