Going Gay Days at Disneyland!
It was a magical weekend for tens of thousands of lesbians and gay men from across the country at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim during the 12th Annual Gay Days Anaheim on October 2 – 4.
It was a magical weekend for tens of thousands of lesbians and gay men from across the country at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim during the 12th Annual Gay Days Anaheim on October 2 – 4. The unofficial celebration attracted more than 30,000 GLBT visitors according to Disney officials.
Gay Days Anaheim is a "mix-in" at the parks with other weekend guests, but gays and lesbians are encouraged to wear red shirts in order to identify each other and to show strong numbers. Park officials do not recognize the event but treat it as “any other private event, such as a wedding held at the park,” according to Betsy Sanchez, a Disney public relations spokesperson.
Both days featured informal gatherings, such as a lesbian ice cream social at the California Adventure ice cream shop and a Ladies Who Lunch lesbian gathering at the Rancho Del Zocalo restaurant at Disneyland.
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Other popular events included a scavenger hunt; and a couple’s brunch at the Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen located in Downtown Disney; and the Kingdom dance party at Downtown Disney’s House of Blues, which attracted about 1,000 Gay Days partiers.
An information center at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel saw more than 5,000 attendees from all over the US who stopped by to visit vendor booths, including a wedding cake and wedding photo exhibit touting legal gay marriages in Iowa sponsored by that state’s convention and visitors bureau and the Iowa Cultural Corridor Alliance; free skivvies from Undergear; a live cyclist on a stationary bike promoting the AIDS Lifecyle; and NBC casting directors seeking gay couples for a new series.
Hotel rooms sold out quickly, according to Willie Simpson, director of sales for sponsor hotel Howard Johnson Anaheim Plaza resort, which was the only non-Disney hotel sponsor of the early years of Gay Days.
According to event producer Eddie Shapiro more than 800 rooms were sold across all sponsor hotels.
“We’ve heard tons of positive feedback, said Shapiro. “The event went fantastically well.”
Park visitor Gabrielle Perez who celebrated his seventh Gay Days attendance this year said other park goers were much more receptive than in previous years.