Magical Journey: Gay Days engulfs Orlando as it celebrates 25 years wearing red

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

Orlando – Gay Days 2015 brought thousands of travelers and locals to Orlando’s most well-known LGBT gathering, and one of the highest attended gay events in the world, with dozens of parties to suit every ones needs.

The big winners this year were the promoters and venues for the parties. Gay Days, One Magical Weekend, Girls in Wonderland, Parliament House and Tidal Wave events were very well attended, some even showing record numbers.

While the sea of red shirts seemed thinner than most years at the Magic Kingdom, Disney attendance didn’t seem to be down as the parks were packed and the lines were long.

This could be cause red is so last season or it could be an indication that people just aren’t bothered by a theme park full of LGBT families and are attending the parks regardless of it being Gay Day or not.

The crowds at each park this year appeared more blended with all ages, races, genders and sexual orientations cohabitating at the happiest place on Earth.

Even the infamous plane, warning families that Magic Kingdom and the city of Orlando were run amuck with homosexuals for Gay Days was absent this year.

Gay Days

Gay Days kicked off the week long party at the Artegon Marketplace June 2.

The kickoff party launched the week full of events for what was the 25th anniversary of the original Gay Day.

The crowd was entertained by the event’s emcees, jeweler to the stars Nova Starr and Gay Days Creative Director of Entertainment Steve Erics.

There was food, drinks and some of the hardest bodies seen all week painted up in Gay Day celebration!

Proceeds from the kickoff party benefited the Hope & Help Center.

The Gay Days Orlando Expo, located in DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld, kicked off June 4 with samples of the goods and services specifically targeting our community.

With over 20,000 attendees, Gay Days’ Orlando Expo is one of the largest gay and lesbian expos in the world.

The Gay Days host hotel also had a spiced up 18 and over vendor room that let you stock up on after party supplies, as well as the epic pool parties. As in previous years, the parties were divided among three pools; the main pool, the bear pool and, for the first time, the Latin pool.

The parties kicked it into high gear until 3 a.m. every night, then shut down for just a few hours to let everyone get rest before the bass started shaking the walls at 10 a.m. This went from Wednesday, June 3 through Sunday, June 7. Sleep? At Gay Days? You can sleep at work on Monday.

A Taste of Gay Days kept the party goers at DoubleTree well fed with food from all over the Orlando area.

Along with the eats, the guests got adult treats with wine, beer and alcohol in heavy supply.

As if that wasn’t enough, the crowd also were witness to an amazing aerial show and music by DJ Nancy Starr.

Ms. Imani Valentino was crowned Miss Gay Days 2015 at the Miss Gay Days pageant at the Doubletree June 5.

The host hotel set the stage as these divas dueled it out for the crown.

The night’s festivities were hosted by the always entertaining Chi ChiLaRue and CoCoMontresse.

While Gay Days was built 25 years ago around the Magic Kingdom, and later the parties and expo at the host hotel, several others have expanded the day into a week of epic parties throughout Orlando and the Disney area.

One Magical Weekend

One Magical Weekend had some of the most explosive and well attended events this year.

Taking on the B Resort as their host hotel for the first time, One Magical Weekend competed for the attention and dollars of the Gay Day attendees with their own pool parties and expo. While the B Resort worked through some growing pains having larger than expected crowds, it was One Magical Weekend’s Friday night party, RipTide, which had everyone’s attention.

RipTide brought the party again this year at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon June 5.

The weekend’s longest running party was everything you thought it would be. Water slides, pools and the biggest dance party being DJ’d by Phil B and Joe Gauthreaux.

Thousands packed into all 52-acres with scantily clad, hard bodies and skimpy bathing suits leaving the Disney waterpark looking like gay heaven.

Whether they were fighting the rapids of the wave pool, drifting along in the lazy river or knocking a few back at one of the 42 bars they had set up, everyone was visibly having the time of their life.

One Magical Weekend brought the red shirts that inhabited the Magic Kingdom earlier in the day and the sexy bodies from the night before at Typhoon Lagoon to Epcot June 6 with Red Version 1: Unmasked.

The next level circuit party was kept moving by DJ Paulo and let the guys dance away until 2 a.m.

One Magical Weekend had one last circuit party at Epcot before closing out Gay Days 2015 June 7.

Drink Around the World had party goers roaming country to country in search of Epcot’s finest watering holes. At 5 P.M., the private tea dance began with DJ Grind spinning the tunes.

The night closed out with a spectacular fireworks display, IllumiNations, courtesy of Epcot.

Girls in Wonderland

The ladies were not left unrepresented as Girls in Wonderland celebrated their 15th year with Gay Days.

Phish Phest and Girls in Wonderland took over downtown Orlando June 4 with Traffic Jam.

The event allowed the ladies to match up based on availability via glow necklaces.

Red equals stop, yellow is caution and green means let’s go!

The crowd was entertained by Spikey Dikey.

Girls in Wonderland celebrated with one of the most anticipated Gay Days events, Climax at the Hard Rock Live June 5.

The girls danced the night away and spent the evening with Orlando superstars Baby Blue Star and Ivy Les Vixen.

Girls in Wonderland believe in partying with a purpose too so a portion of the events proceeds benefited the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

The Girls in Wonderland celebrated 15 years of parties and philanthropy with a huge gathering at the House of Blues June 6.

The largest and most popular women’s event of the weekend featured music by DJ Whiney Day and DJ Pat Pat and shows by Baby Blue, Ivy Les Vixen and Vikkerious Vixen.

Parliament House

Parliament House had their official kick off to the Gay Days 2015 celebration with PI@PH June 4.

More than 3,000 people packed the famous Orlando gay landmark, which is also celebrating its 40th year.

The party was everywhere with outdoor and indoor dance floors, a Latin Diva Revue and midnight countdown.

Parliament House did not slow down as they went into the weekend, throwing it back old school with concerts from some of the biggest musical acts of the 80s.

The concerts kicked off June 5 with Color Me Badd wanting to sex up the audienace. The crowds also got the footlight player, hot adult film stars and music by Dj Scott Robert and Dj Brianna.

Wilson Phillips was the Saturday concert and had the crowd going insane June 6.

Parliament House offered up entertainment from the Footlight Players with special guest TP Lords, as well as the Fringe Festivel hit show “Bubble Gum Party,” before the platnium selling girl group, Wilson Phillips took the stage.

“Love who you wanna love, and f–k who you wanna f–k,” Carnie Wilson said before the group performed not only their own hits but number one songs from the Mamas & the Papas and ABBA.

Wilson Phillips held on for one more song, singing the huge hit which had a revival a few years back after being featured in the movie Bridesmaids.

Parliament House closed out Gay Days 2015 on Sunday with more adult film stars, a foam party and super group Salt-N-Pepa.

Salt-N-Pepa got the crowd pushing it real good as they performed some of the biggest songs from the 80s and 90s.

Tidal Wave

The bears were out in force for Gay Days as the host hotel for Tidal Wave, the Holiday Inn Orlando LBV, had the woods set for feeding.

Singles mixers, cigar socials and pool parties had the Holiday Inn happier than the Country Bear Jamboree.

The Tidal Wave main event was at the Wet ‘N’ Wild waterpark where the bears scurried through the wave pool, lazy river and jammed out to the music of DJ Brayden Marc while enjoying some bear soup.

A big event for the weekend was the Tidal Wave Wedding at the Lake Buena Vista Holiday Inn June 6. It proved to be a tear jerker as six couples pledged their love in the midst of Gay Days.

Officiating the wedding was Rev. Bryan Allen Demeritte, with Watermark’s Founder Tom Dyer appearing to say a few special words to the happy couples.

Something for everyone

Many other venues and promoters had Gay Days events going on throughout the City Beautiful.

WE Party, for the first year without One Magical Weekend, brought Frat House to Venue 578, formerly the legendary Firestone nightclub.

The fraternity party was everything a college kid pledging would expect. DJ Brett Henrichsen and DJ Danny Verde had the music blasting as the “brothers” danced all night to a packed house, toned bodies wearing next to nothing getting everyone’s pulse racing.

All the local bars got in on the action; Southern Nights had the Days of Gays on Friday and Saturday, Pulse had a special Gay Days night of Platinum Friday and Club Mixx had the ladies going for a Night of Lust.

Gay Days also saw the soft opening of an Orlando gay-scene institution as the Full Moon Saloon at Woodstock opened there doors after being shuttered eight years ago.

Share this story: