Looking for a getaway this weekend? It’s not too late to hop on the Florida Turnpike and head to Orlando for the annual Gay Days festivities at Walt Disney World.
Believe it or not, 20 years have passed since the first gaggle of red-shirted gays made their first pilgrimage to the Magic Kingdom on the first Saturday in June. The right wing religious protesters who picketed the park have long since moved on and the event has turned into a major party weekend with thousands flocking to Central Florida for a week of festivities. In fact, bring several red shirts because the gang is also heading to Disney’s Animal Kingdom on Thursday, Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Friday, and EPCOT on Sunday.
The Doubletree by Hilton at SeaWorld serves as the official Gay Days headquarters. In addition to daily pool parties featuring some of the most popular DJs on the circuit, revelers can find a business expo, Roundup meetings (12-step programs) and even a literary festival, but we’re betting there aren’t too many homos in Orlando looking to catch up on their favorite books!
By night, The Parliament House, Orlando’s infamous entertainment complex, offers plenty of guest performers, musicians and drag queens, if you didn’t get enough of Mickey, Minnie and the rest of the Disney gang by day. And, if there’s one party not to miss, head to Typhoon Lagoon on Friday night for Riptide. Thousands of Speedo-clad studs overrun the water park and you’re guaranteed to make a splash….and not just in the wave pool!
Even if you’re stuck in South Florida this week, there’s plenty to do. Here’s a look at some of the highlights:
Thursday, June 2
There’s only one destination for Miami Heat fans, SideLines Sports Bar, the area’s most popular destination for athletes and sports fans alike. Watch the championship game on one of the bar’s two dozen flat screen TVs and enjoy the hospitality of owners Marty and Laurie and their friendly staff.
Friday, June 3
On Fridays, the bear crowd can be found at Bill’s Filling Station, 2209 Wilton Drive. At midnight, Miss Kitty hosts the Sexy Bear contest with the winner taking home $100 in cash and prizes.
Saturday, June 4
When you’re feeling like an “early” evening out, Tropics on Wilton Drive is a great destination. There’s plenty of friendly folk about and live entertainment, too, but the best reason to stop by is the happy hour drink special. Tropics is the only place with 2-4-1 cocktails on Saturdays, so head on over.
Sunday, June 5
Sunday t-dances are popular in South Florida, but The Depot offers the only weekly poolside tea dance. Located at 2935 N. Federal Highway, The Depot is a great place to cool off in the summer sun. Be sure to bring your swimsuits or just relax by the cabana bar, hang around for karaoke and order dinner later.
Monday, June 6
In Miami Beach, the boys head over to MOVA for Movie Montage Mondays. Beginning at 9 p.m. a different movie is screened each week and drinks are half price all night long. The best part? The popcorn is free. Now, this is our idea of going to the movies. MOVA is located at 1625 Michigan Ave.
Tuesday, June 7
The fun can be found tonight at Twist, 1057 Washington Ave. in Miami Beach. It’s Fun House Tuesdays and DJ Daisy D. is in the booth in the main room and blue Long Islands are going for just $5 each. Look for special performances beginning at 1 a.m.