Take an LGBTQ Tour of Orlando
There is always something new at the parks in Orlando - from the new Star Wars attractions and the just debuted Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disney World to Hagrid's Magical Motor Bike Adventure at Universal Orlando Resort, there is much for travelers to experience.
Gay Days and One Magical Weekend in Orlando - for LGBT travelers, June is an ideal time to visit and experience. The destination offers a variety of fun-filled events and experiences all month-long in honor of the Pulse Anniversary on June 12.
Some of the festivities include:
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; Jun 4 – 7, 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. Jun. 4 – 7, 2020
Orlando’s 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. Jun. 4 – 8, 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. - June 12, 2020
Annual Pulse Remembrance Ceremony - Running from 7-8 p.m on June 12, this event is designed to spread messages of love, unity, acceptance, courage and strength throughout the community. It takes place at the Pulse Interim Memorial, which honors the 49 lives lost on June 12, 2016, and is open throughout the year.
Orlando may be the theme park capital of the world, but it also boasts an eclectic nightlife, centered in its downtown area.
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.
The Pulse Memorial
Visitors to Orlando can pay their 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.
From biking in Winter Garden to strolls through Leu Gardens and kayaking and plentiful hot air balloon rides, the year-round good weather makes Orlando a mecca for outdoor adventures. It's also home to some of the most innovative road runs, with 5ks, half and full marathons at Disney (where many get dressed up as their favorite characters).
For more information about traveling to Orlando, visit www.visitorlando.com.
Content and photos courtesy of Visit Orlando.