One Magical Weekend is almost here, and it’s jam-packed with everything except… Sleep.
From May 31 to June 2, the 5th annual event, running concurrently with Gay Days and Orlando Black Pride, has raised the bar with the addition of an invigorating, new featured party - WE Party: Wash.
“After the demise of a similar event 6 years ago, OMW saw the need to keep the event going as so that we, as gays and lesbians, could celebrate our lives up at Disney,” said veteran OMW producer Terry DeCarlo. “Five years ago we started with just the one party, RipTide at Typhoon Lagoon, and two years later added the Retro-T at Epcot, once again we step it up this year by adding the WE Party on Saturday night.”
The headlining event WE Party: Wash kicks off at Epcot’s World Showplace at 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 1. The Spain-based, traveling party crew has crafted an event for sensory overload, transforming Epcot into a thumping, thriving mega-club with three LED walls and scintillating laser lights. WE Party comes stocked with top-rated dancers, production and popular resident DJ Manuel de Diego, who most recently headlined a Winter Party event at Mansion on Miami Beach.
The high-energy celebration runs until 2 a.m. for partygoers 21 and up. Tickets are $75 in advance or $95 at the door.
If you aren’t done partying at 2 a.m., head over to the Treasure Tavern for Orlando Black Pride’s ALL BOYZ PARTY. The event, dubbed the Meat Packing District, is a flurry of male exotic dancers and porn stars ready to party until 5 a.m. This year, the host is a fresh face among the Orlando LGBT scene. Attendees are invited to mix and mingle with Lonnell Williams, host of 3LWTV.com.
“This year I took the week off so I could have a whole two weeks in Orlando,” Williams said. “I’m ready to have a good day, meet people and see how they do it in Orlando. I’m looking forward to seeing the kids misbehave, or behave. Whatever they choose.”
Like many other attendees looking forward to One Magical Weekend and other LGBT events throughout the week, Williams has strong words for social organization One Million Moms that is actively protesting the events.
“I just think that people are really going to just protest us because at the end of the day I think they are jealous or intimidated by our fierceness. They will come out and protest but who cares?” Williams said. “All you’re doing is slowing down your own program. Get on board, honey, or get run over.”
Producer Terry DeCarlo believes the recent outcry is even more motivation to pack the Disney parks with LGBT pride.
“We are asking for, and need, as many LGBT individuals to come to Orlando this year, wearing their red shirts, to stand together so that we may show our unity and to let this group know that we will not stand for their intolerance anymore,” he said.
For returning attendees, original OMW event RipTide at Typhoon Lagoon is back for another year of late-night pool party fun. Grab your swimsuit and be ready to go all night with 7,000 of your newest LGBT friends. The opening One Magical Weekend event closes down Typhoon Lagoon from 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. and features dynamic beats by DJ Manny Lehman.
According to event organizers, RipTide is a signature evening not to be missed.
“RipTide always seems to be my favorite,” said DeCarlo. “Just to see the over 7,000 smiling people dancing on the sand and playing on the water rides in their bathing suits makes it all worth it.”
Save a few bucks by buying your tickets online in advance for $89. Door entry is $99, but this year’s $175 VIP tickets are already out of stock.
Just as the weekend winds down, the excitement winds up with the closing night gala, Retro-T – the only dance party in motion while Disney’s doors are open.
Make your way to Epcot at 2 p.m. for Drink Around the World, featuring a delectable selection of international cuisine and hosts and hostesses from Germany, England, Mexico and Italy.
Once you’re sufficiently buzzed, head to One Magical Weekend’s private party at Epcot’s Odyssey from 5:00 – 8:30 p.m., which is topped off with a private viewing area of Epcot’s signature fireworks show IllumiNation: Reflections of Earth. Your $79 ticket price includes a ticket to Epcot and the OMW private party. Already have a pass to Epcot? The Retro-T party ticket is only $30.
“ electric... Just knowing that you can walk through the Magic Kingdom and other parks, and/or attend other events like the dances on Disney property while holding your partners hand or giving them a hug without the stares or comments is an intense feeling,” says DeCarlo.
Tickets and more information are available at OneMagicalWeekend.com and OrlandoBlackPride.com.
IF YOU GO:
Friday, May 31
RipTide at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
1145 Buena Vista Dr
8:00 p.m. – 2 a.m.
$89 in advance, $99 at the door
Saturday, June 1
WE Party: Wash at Epcot’s World Showplace
1320 Avenue of the Stars
9:00 p.m. – 2 a.m.
$75 in advance, $95 at the door
ALL BOYZ PARTY, Meat Packing District
Treasure Tavern, 6400 Carrier Drive
11 p.m. – 5 a.m.
$40 in advance
Sunday, June 2
Epcot Drink Around the World & Retro-T
1320 Avenue of the Stars
2:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
$79 includes ticket to Epcot and Retro-T
$30 for ticket to Retro-T only