The newly created KindRED Pride Foundation is bringing some of the weekend’s most anticipated events, but the kickoff weekend to Orlando’s big Pride Month is packed full of some returning favorites and big surprises.
Just as with the last several years, RED Shirt Pride Days has a designated Disney theme park for each day from May 30-June 2.
“There is a mission to get 1 million people to wear red around the world; however, we do not want to forget that the catalyst for this whole event started at Magic Kingdom in front of the castle,” says One Magical Weekend co-creator Tom Christ. “As one of the longest running, iconic LGBTQ events in the world, Walt Disney World will be center stage. So it’s Animal Kingdom on Thursday, May 30 and Hollywood Studios on Friday, May 31. Then we go, of course, to the Magic Kingdom on Saturday, June 1 and Epcot on Sunday, June 2.”
So now that you have the Disney theme parks mapped out during the day, what’s the plan to dance the night away into the early morning hours?
The world famous Parliament House gets its weekend started on Thursday with PI @ PH. Parliament House’s annual kickoff to Orlando’s Big Gay Weekend is a throwback to the days of Disney’s Pleasure Island parties.
You have One Magical Weekend’s RIPTIDE at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon on Friday and this year the weekend’s longest-running party is partnering up with some friends.
“Typhoon Lagoon is a 52-acre water park and has the ability to accommodate a lot of people,” says Christ. “The guys at Tidal Wave used to hold their big event at Wet ‘n’ Wild but since that park’s closing haven’t gone to another water park, so we asked them to join us at RIPTIDE.”
Tidal Wave will host Bear Lagoon at RIPTIDE which will feature its own lounge area, dance floor and DJs near the Crush ‘n’ Gusher water coaster. RIPTIDE will also premiere this year Bliss Beach, sponsored by Bliss Cares.
“Bliss Cares is a fantastic nonprofit organization in Central Florida and they are hosting Bliss Beach, which is an area that will be a meeting, mix and mingle spot for the transgender community,” Christ says.
Parliament House’s Footlight Theatre is bringing back the hit stage show “The Golden Gals Live!” starring Ginger Minj, MRMS Adrian, Divine Grace, Gidget Galore, Doug Ba’aser and Douglas White, recreating some of most iconic episodes of “The Golden Girls.” The show will feature two performances—one on Friday and one on Sunday.
Girls In Wonderland will begin Friday night with the Out For Laughs Comedy Show at the Grand Orlando Resort at Celebration.
“Out For Laughs is one of our most popular events with nearly 400 people attending,” Burgos says. “This year we have a great show with our big headliner being Erin Foley. She performed at this event five years ago and we are so excited to have her back.” The event is hosted by Anna Lepeley and the hilarious Kaycee Conlee will be the opening comedian.
The Girls In Wonderland continue the party later that night with the Climax dance party at Cuba Libra at Pointe Orlando.
Orlando Gay Black Pride will feature openly gay hip hop performer Milan Christopher, best known from the VH1 series “Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood,” at ClubLIT in Orlando. The event is hosted by Suzie Sopranos.
Parliament House brings its Big Gay Weekend poolside concert series back as well with talent busting at the seams. Friday night features drag singer-songwriter Adore Delano of “American Idol” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” fame. Saturday night brings you a concert from 90s dance queen Crystal Waters and a performance by “Drag Race” alum Manila Luzon. Sunday is the drag queen triple threat of Plastique Tiara, Miss Vanjie and Yvie Oddly, all of “Drag Race” fame.
Saturday has parties from one end of the city to the other. Tidal Wave Party gathers the bears at the DoubleTree Suites Orlando Disney Springs for the big Bearaoke Finals, Tidal Wave’s inaugural karaoke competition hosted by “The Voice” alum Nakia.
At Disney Springs’ House of Blues, One Magical Weekend launches the next party in its red series with RED Volume IV: Galaxy. “You know, Saturday is the day everyone wears red so it just makes sense to have our big red party that night,” Christ says. “The theme is galaxy, so we’re going to take you to the outer limits of space.”
Stonewall Orlando gets in on the RED hot weekend on Saturday with AMOR’s Pride of Love. It features performances by drag sensations Shantell D’Marco, Natalie Nayles, Nouba Soleil, Isabella, Brandy Saint Lorans, Dianca and Angelica Sanchez.
Orlando Gay Black Pride hosts Orlando Live Entertainment’s one-year anniversary with an All-White/All-Black Party at VIXEN. Don your best all white or all black outfit as host OJ Simmons keeps you partying until 4 a.m.
Girls In Wonderland is back at Pointe Orlando on Saturday with its Signature Event: Wonderland at BB Kings. The event will be headlined by Australian pop duo The Veronicas.
“BB Kings is such a fun place to bring the girls and just have a big, fun night,” Burgos says. “And to bring The Veronicas there makes it all the better. They have a huge LGBTQ following and have been a really positive voice for LGBTQ issues for many years.”
Girls In Wonderland eases back into the fun Sunday morning with Drag Brunch, hosted by Blue Star at the Grand Orlando Resort at Celebration.
The Broadway Brunch Bunch will also be serving up some brunch entertainment as they take the stage at Hamburger Mary’s on Church Street in downtown Orlando with their traditional Disney-themed brunch show.
Later that evening, the Girls are back with one final opportunity to find the next Miss Right with the Last Chance Party at the Grand Orlando Resort at Celebration.
One Magical Weekend gets the Aqua Net ready for the first-ever Wig Party at the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort. Hosted by Kai’ja Adonis and Peaches, the event features “RuPaul’s Drag Race” sensation Kameron Michaels, presented by Impulse Group Orlando, and a bevy of drag performers so good it will leave your wig snatched.
“This a new kind of party and it’s going to be a lot of fun,” Christ says. “It’s our first time really bringing in a lot of drag performers to One Magical Weekend and we can’t wait for everyone to see what we have planned.”
For more information on hotel expos, pool parties and ticket information, check out Watermark’s #RED 2019 guide at WatermarkOnline.com. For event information for One Magical Weekend, visit OneMagicalWeekend.com; for Girls In Wonderland, visit GirlsInWonderland.com; for Tidal Wave Party, visit TidalWaveParty.com; for Orlando Gay Black Pride, visit Eventbrite.com/e/Orlando-Gay-Black-Pride; for Parliament House, visit ParliamentHouse.com; for AMOR at Stonewall Orlando, visit Latin Saturdays on Facebook; for Broadway Brunch at Hamburger Mary’s, visit HamburgerMarys.com/Orlando.