Gay Days has become one of Orlando's largest attended events

By Don Gworek

What began with controversy 20 years ago is now one of Orlando’s top events each year, with attendance larger than many of the biggest convention groups. It started as just one day at the Magic Kingdom and has expanded to a multi-day event at multiple parks.

It’s estimated that 150,000 people attended Gay Days 2010. For comparison, the World of Concrete convention has 90,000 registered and the IAAPA amusement park industry convention has 27,000 registered. The largest official event at Disney now is the January Marathon weekend, with 50,000 registered.

Gay Days began in 1991 as a single designated day (the first Saturday in June) when the lesbian, gay and bisexual community and friends were encouraged to “Wear Red and Be Seen” while visiting the world’s most popular theme park. Now young, old, all races and beliefs, parents, friends and others attend each year.

The theme parks are the big draw for Gay Days guests, but hotels and smaller attractions also offer deals and travel packages. One of the large convention hotels on International Drive with three separate pool areas was completely booked to Gay Days guests. The Gay Days expo was also held there with booths hosted by vendors ranging from home improvement, to personal care, to entertainment and travel.

The below video shows one reason why Gay Days is so popular: Orlando has the biggest collection of fun anywhere! It’s just another way people come to Orlando for a good time.

A look at Orlando Gay Days 2010 at Disney's Magic Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon and Universal Studios

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