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Everything You Need to Know for Disneyland Gay Days

by Mommy Frog on September 18, 2021 39 Los Angeles

Gay Days is one of the most popular "unofficial" events at Disneyland. It draws crowds of over 30,000 people annually. And in 2021, it fell little earlier than usual, with Gay Days taking place Sept. 17 to 19, 2021. More people come again in March for "Mini Gay Day." (It's for those who need a little red shirt boost in the spring.) Mini Gay Days falls on March 5, 2022. Next fall, Gay Days is Sept. 16 to 18, 2022.

Disneyland Gay Days

There is a schedule of events for each day of Gay Days, with one park playing "host" each day during normal operating hours. Gay Days fell on Saturday, Sept. 18 at Disneyland and Sunday, Sept 19 at Disney California Adventure. But you'll see attendees park hopping as well. There are family-friendly events, in-park meetups, informal chats, celebratory cocktails, a concert and other events. You can find all of the fabulous details on the Gay Days Anaheim website. Whether you are planning to attend Disneyland Gay Days or just visit the parks this same weekend, here are some important details to get you ready!

https://blogadmin.undercovertourist.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/0921-disneyland-gay-days-rainbow-foods.jpg-A couple shareas a bite from a rainbow Mickey crispy treatThe Gay Day events are not presented by Disney. Disney does not endorse any group that meets during regular park hours, and as such, does not offer information about the festivities. However, the resort is supportive of the events and the many guests that Gay Days brings to its parks, hotels and restaurants. You'll see special merchandise for sale and even special photo-ops (we did not encounter the photo op signs in 2021). Because this is an unofficial event, the parks are still open to the public. You don’t need a special ticket to visit the parks for Gay Days. Even though Disneyland does not present Gay Days, the event's sponsors include Disney’s Aulani Hotel, Adventures by Disney, Disney Vacation Club and Disney Pride, which is the company’s LGBT diversity group.

Gay Days and Crowds

Everything You Need to Know for Disneyland Gay Days-Couple poses in front of sea of red shirts at Mark Twain Riverboat Disneyland Gay Days do bring in quite a few people, and the impact it has on crowds is growing — along with the general higher crowds the parks see on weekends. The crowd levels can vary each year. When Gay Days aligned with Columbus Day weekend in 2018, there were massive crowds — we saw 300-minute waits for Haunted Mansion Holiday! But other years, such as 2019 when it did not collide with a holiday weekend, it was not as busy. You'll want to book early to visit during Gay Days. With the park reservation system in place, these days sell out.

The advance theme park reservation system is still in place to control park capacity. Mid-September is normally a more quiet time than early October (when Arizona schools are on break). However, a new annual pass — Magic Key — is available, so that may affect crowds of people looking to get back to their magical place. This makes it hard to predict crowds this year.

It's safe to say you should purchase tickets in advance and make your theme park reservations ASAP. If you are attending both days, a multi-day ticket can save you some green, especially if you purchase through your favorite froggy friends! Multi-day tickets can be used any available days within 14 days, even weekend days! Based on park hours, The California Resident Promo 3-day ticket can be used any three days by Sept 30, 2021. Disneyland usually plans for a busy weekend with long park hours, but again, 2021 is not a normal year.

Everything You Need to Know for Disneyland Gay Days - Merch

If you already have vacation plans for the Gay Days weekend, don't let the promise of increased crowds stop you, but make sure to arrive ahead of park opening for each day of your trip. Take advantage of the lowest crowds early in the day by riding the most popular rides when you first arrive. (You can also take a peek at our tips for maximizing your time at Disneyland, which always come in handy, whether the park is crowded or not.)

If you're really concerned about the crowds and have a trip planned on these days, then look up the Gay Days schedule online and see the group meals and meet-ups. You can avoid those areas, rides and restaurants at those times to avoid the crowds. With park hopping, you'll see red shirts in either park on either day, but meet-ups and group rides are generally at Disneyland on Saturday and at Disney California Adventure on Sunday. People with Park Hopper tickets may hop between both parks after 1 p.m. Even with more crowds, Gay Days create a fun, festive atmosphere.

If you want to participate in the Gay Days events in the park, arrive early for each meal or ride. You'll see people line up early for rides and restaurants that are on the schedule.

Wear Red or Purchase Disneyland Gay Day Merchandise

Disneyland Gay Days - Wear Red

There is an official Gay Days red T-shirt that you can purchase. But if you don’t have or want the shirt, the organizers suggest you stick to red shirts. The red shirts help Gay Days participants to identify each other and show their numbers. You’ll see a lot of rainbow colors! You can even purchase rainbow Mickey ear hats in the parks if you need the perfect Disney accessory for the event. We've seen a lot of Disney rainbow souvenirs sold in the parks, especially around Gay Days (and in June for Pride). It goes without saying, but you don't have to officially be part of the event to show your support!

Follow the Schedule

Gay Days participants can follow a schedule if they want to meet up with other participants. Consult the website to find out about parties, meals, scavenger hunts, group rides, group rides, group photos, discounts, teen events, concerts and free activities dedicated to families with children. Whether you are participating in Gay Days or not, knowing the general schedule can help you manage your time in the parks. The most important scheduling detail to know for all park guests is which park is scheduled for Gay Days. For example, the event is at the parks on the following days:

  • Saturday — Gay Days at Disneyland Park
  • Sunday — Gay Days at Disney California Adventure Park

There are other Gay Days festivities Friday night, as well.

Find Gay Days Menu Items

Everything You Need to Know for Disneyland Gay Days-Rainbow cotton candy for Gay Days

Over the years, we have seen (and enjoyed!) special Gay Days dessert menu items, and even some meal packages at several quick-service restaurants in each park all weekend. The culinary team creates special Gay Days rainbow food items (and a rainbow tumbler) for Sept. 17-19, 2021. We went on a hunt for items in the park:

Everything You Need to Know for Disneyland Gay Days-A Mickey heart cookie and rainbow Slush

  • Mickey Rainbow Rice Crispy Treats at Candy Palace, Hunny Spot, Trolley Treats, Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff and Marceline’s Confectionery
  • Rainbow Sugar Cookies at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café, Plaza Inn, Market House, Alien Pizza Planet, Galactic Grill, Hungry Bear Restaurant, Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café, Pacific Wharf Café, Pacific Wharf Gourmet Coffee Cart and Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta
  • Rainbow Cake at Plaza Inn and Flo’s V8 Café
  • Specialty cocktails at Lamplight Lounge
  • Rainbow glow cube at Hollywood Lounge
  • Rainbow Cotton Candy at outdoor vending carts
  • Rainbow Pizza at Alien Pizza Planet
  • Rainbow Grey Stuff (it just had rainbow sprinkles)
  • Rainbow slush at Galactic Grill

Everything You Need to Know for Disneyland Gay Days - Rainbow Cake

Check out our favorite quick-service restaurants in Disneyland and California Adventure for some ideas on where to eat. Since you can expect weekend crowds in the parks, you might also make an advance reservation at a table-service restaurant to secure your table.

Everything You Need to Know for Disneyland Gay Days - Rainbow Mickey PropLook for Photo-Ops and Entertainment

In doorways, restaurant entrances or storefronts, keep an eye out for fun photo-ops with signs and giant photo frames. We did not catch any in 2021. We hope they retune in 2022. You might find a rainbow Mickey, a rainbow Disneyland sign or a rainbow picture frame. You can have a cast member take your picture to commemorate the day. If you follow the official Gay Days schedule, you can also jump in some group photos (in each park). That sea of red shirts in front of the castle just keeps growing and growing each year!

Everything You Need to Know for Disneyland Gay Days-People dressed in Disney and Gay Days gear to enjoy Gay DaysOutside of the amusement parks, there are pool parties, mixers, live music, DJs, dancing, brunch and other events in Downtown Disney and the hotels. Some require tickets, but many are free.

Enjoy Halloween Time, But Watch out for Oogie Boogie

Gay Days in the fall also hoppen to fall during Halloween Time at Disneyland, so there is a lot going on in the parks that weekend. This can also affect your planning. In 2021, the Disneyland Halloween Party, Oogie Boogie Bash, shortened the regular park hours at Disney California Adventure on Sunday, Sept. 19. Oogie Boogie Bash takes place from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Party guests start arriving at 3 p.m. The park closes at 6 p.m., so we use our park hopper ticket to hop over to Disneyland about 3 p.m.

Some people like to extend their trip to make a long weekend of Gay Days. If that is your plan, keep in mind that Halloween parties fall on the Thursday before and the Tuesday after Gay Days weekend. Disney California Adventure closed at 6 p.m. those days, as well. Plan ahead by checking the schedule for future Gay Days.

All Halloween parties are sold out for 2021. But no worries; you can have plenty of Halloween fun in the regular operating hours. In case you missed it, Undercover Tourist is now selling discount 2-day, 3-day, 4-day or even 5-day Disneyland Resort tickets. If you still need tickets for Gay Days weekend (or any day of the year), you can get a jump on savings.

If you are interested in other unofficial events at Disneyland, check out our post on Dapper Day. These unofficial days at Disneyland offer a unique way to experience the parks and meet other people. They can also affect crowds. Knowing about them can help you join the fun or plan the best time for your family to visit.

Have you visited Gay Days in the past? if you have any tips or questions, please leave them in the comments below. If you are looking for discount lodging in the Anaheim and Los Angeles areas, Undercover Tourist now books discount hotel rooms for Disneyland Resort hotels and many more Los Angeles area hotels!

Related: Full Schedule of Disneyland Events

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
View Comments
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Oct 26, 2019 at 4:49 p.m. David McMurtry Says...

I would love to volunteer for gay days ! How do I do that ?

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Oct 28, 2019 at 12:53 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi David!

The official site for the Gay Days event can be found here (including a link to volunteer!)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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Oct 8, 2019 at 5 p.m. Amory Says...

Such an amazing weekend. Best energy to experience in the park. ????????❤️

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Jun 18, 2018 at 1:36 p.m. Kristin Says...

Not sure if this has been said already, but Oct 7th is Sunday, not Saturday. I assume the dates are Sat 10/6 and Sun 10/7??

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Jul 31, 2019 at 9:21 p.m. LENOARD MITCHELL Says...

ACTUALLY OCT 6 IS ON A SUNDAY & OCT 7 IS ON A MONDAY.

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Jun 19, 2018 at 4:08 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kristin!

Thanks so much for pointing this out. You are correct, and it has been fixed!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Sep 24, 2017 at 6:04 a.m. Patrick Hanson Says...

Excited to share a shirt that is making its debut this year. https://www.etsy.com/listing/557574483/love-is-love-disney-shirtdisney-gay-days?ref=shop_home_active_1

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Jul 11, 2017 at 10:24 p.m. Johanna Says...

I just need you all to know (as I am a member of the LGBT community) that every theme part has a gay day some official some unofficial sooooo good luck avoiding us ???????????? we are everywhere!!

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Mar 5, 2017 at 10:51 p.m. Marcella Lindert Says...

I have been at Disneyland many times during Gay week. It is crowded and the lines are long, but the only thing that truly bothered me were some of the incredibly gross graphics on some of the red T-shirts. This is a family park and I would like to suggest some discretion. My five year old granddaughter was asking more questions than we wanted to answer. She was way too young to hear them.

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Oct 10, 2018 at 5:18 p.m. Shelley Says...

We were there this past weekend and it was crazy, busy, overcrowded. Not to mention they shut down Maxpass for the entire day Saturday. We were reimbursed by Disney but had we known what we were in for we would have planned a different week. What disturbed us the most was some of the men we saw were extremely inappropriate for a Disney park???? there are children everywhere. I was saddened by this and have to say that almost all the gay female couples and many of the males were fine. Just normal families enjoying Disney. Some though were dressed very inappropriate, behaved inappropriate even so much as pulling their shirts up while having pictures with characters while children stood in line behind them?! Our daughter is 11 and we had to remind her many times not to stare, it robbed us of some of the magic. Never saw any females behave this way nor any of the more mature males. Most were very kind, friendly and fun. A few rotten ???? I guess.

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Jul 30, 2018 at 4:55 a.m. Michael C Joyce Says...

I've seen this before as well. Too bad we can't be considerate of others. It's things like this that preturb the people we want to accept us. But instead, we have to rub their noses in it! Can you tell it upsets me? LOL

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Feb 7, 2018 at 8:27 p.m. Carlosinator Says...

Marcella, I agree with you. I love and accept everybody, but as I walked around I noticed many of the t-shirts were kind of insulting. Many of them wearing these shirts even made eye contact with me darinh me to make a remark, I just smiled and moved on.

Reply
Sep 28, 2016 at 5:51 a.m. Carol Says...

I will be there this weekend during Gay Days. Although I fully support this event, I would like to avoid really long lines. Would it be better to go to DCP on Saturday and Disneyland on Sunday since there are scheduled meetups for DL on Sat and DCP on Sun?

Reply
Aug 29, 2016 at 12:54 a.m. Nic Says...

Jesus was accepting of everyone and loved all. Maybe go back and read that bible. And remember that there is only one judge, and it's not you. Stay home!

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Aug 3, 2016 at 12:45 a.m. Kate Says...

Amen Chadrock! Love thy neighbour does not mean except the behavior and promote that which goes against everything the Bible teaches us. Love the child of God...but don't support the Sin. Christians stop picking out pieces of the Bible that suit you and just read it as the WHOLE WORD OF GOD:)

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Jul 12, 2016 at 5:24 a.m. Nat Says...

I am a heterosexual Christian who has worked in the hospitality industry for nearly 20 years. News to those who have no clue, a large majority of employees of Disney, hotels, airlines and other businesses in the hospitality industry are gay!!! And just as their straight counterparts who have also found their calling in this industry, the majority of them are wonderful, talented & dedicated people, who go out of their way to make your family vacations delightful and memorable. While I have never attended, I do know that Disney is not the sponsor of Gay Days, nor is it considered a sanctioned Disney event. So if you want to boycott Disney because they are inclusive to all, then please do. I beg you to! I would much rather have a magical day in the parks with my family with others who are accepting and inclusive of all.

Our last trip to Disneyland was in May, there was a couple (obviously newlyweds) waiting in line wearing matching t-shirts that said #Not Brothers. My daughter asked what that meant. I would much rather explain to my child that two people who are in love have chosen to spend their lives together than explain to my child why in this day and age intolerant, ignorant bigots still exist.

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May 4, 2018 at 2:50 p.m. Jasmine Says...

I LOVE this!!! As a married lesbian, I absolutely love that there are people who love and accept everyone. LOVE IS LOVE #lovewins

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Nov 9, 2018 at 1:08 a.m. lady d Says...

it looks like to many mens not to many ladies

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Mar 9, 2017 at 12:01 a.m. M Deann Mazins Says...

THANK YOU. You rock!

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Sep 29, 2016 at 1:37 a.m. Diane Says...

Amen sister! The intolerance of people is not Christian at all and it's easier to explain two people that love each other than the hate someone has for another that he doesn't even know.

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Jul 16, 2016 at 12:16 p.m. Chadrock Says...

You need to read your Bible Sister!

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Jun 17, 2016 at 6:25 p.m. Becki Says...

Seriously when someone told me they had gay days at Disneyland? I did not believe it for a second. So sad that I will not be going someplace that was my childhood favorite anymore. Yes, I have a narrow mind because I'm walking the narrow path Sharon. Better rethink your views.

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Sep 24, 2019 at 7:39 a.m. Sean Says...

Believe it because they definitely do. Just because you're judgmental does not mean Disney is! They are the Kingdom of Love, Acceptance and MAGIC! Bye, bye hopefully you're kids do not turn out like you!

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Feb 6, 2019 at 6:05 p.m. Kiaya Beasley Says...

so just because you don't like people who are gay your going to take somewhere special from your kids. If there happy and not bothering you then leave them alone. We don't need people like you talking crap on amazing and beautiful people like them. I'm a bisexual teenager and it's difficult because of older people like you don't understand us and can't accept it. People hurt themselves over comments and people like you. Watch what you say, it could hurt someone!!!!!!

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Sep 15, 2018 at 8:11 p.m. Nancy Says...

You won’t be missed!

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Aug 16, 2018 at 4:34 p.m. I certainly agree.Not everyone agrees with it. I'm one of themk Says...

I really would wish that you people would keep your views somewhere else other than Disneyland. I thought that was for children. Come on

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Oct 3, 2018 at 10:29 p.m. Charlie Says...

Seriously think about it. Yes it is a family park and a lot of us have families. My children and grandchildren go to the park with me and my partner. So sad for those that have such narrow and closed minds.

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Apr 11, 2016 at 3 a.m. Charles Says...

You have got to be kidding me. I thought Disney was moral, but I guess I was wrong. Will never visit Disneyland again.

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Mar 21, 2019 at 4:38 p.m. Ty Says...

Now, if you will also boycott all businesses who don't discriminate it will make my shopping experiences that much more pleasant.

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Feb 25, 2017 at 2:36 p.m. Mark Says...

Bye, have a good time!

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Jul 29, 2016 at 11:58 p.m. Scott Says...

Charles,

Just because this isn't an official Disney event, it doesn't make them immoral. Disney is still very supportive and compassionate toward the LGBT communities.

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Jun 20, 2016 at 6:33 p.m. Abis Says...

Dear Charles

I have just learnt about these days and I feel I am in a state of shock. I always thought Disney was a stronghold for everything pure and light in this world. I have to guess again.

This is a lot more than accepting homosexuality. It is the most insidious way to promote the whole idea to chlidren!

But don't worry. I know there is still innocence in this world. Just not in Disney

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Aug 23, 2016 at 1:36 p.m. melanie macdonald Says...

I completely agree. I have no issues with gay people. I just don't want to have to explain to my five year old son what a drag queen is. Especially at disneyland. Disneyland has always been a wholesome family oriented environment. Maybe the park owner should take a moment and educate himself on why walt created the park in the first place

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Oct 2, 2019 at 4:28 a.m. Ken Says...

Disney don't want you or your son bye

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Nov 8, 2016 at 9:21 p.m. Scott Says...

To quote Walt, "To ALL that come to this happy place: welcome. Disneyland is your land."

Reply
May 22, 2016 at 1:08 p.m. Sharon Says...

Charles, your narrow mind and your money are not missed.

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Feb 19, 2016 at 4:10 p.m. Alfred Verhoeven Says...

Dear friends,

Thought you might be interested in following:

Gay Days Disney: from an informal friends' day out to a weekend with 150,000 participants in RED. How Disney embraced the LGBT & families.

See the case study for my PhD Research Marketing the Rainbow: http://marketingtherainbow.info/case%20studies/disney.html

Best regards from Amsterdam,

Alfred Verhoeven

www.marketingtherainbow.info

Reply
Oct 1, 2015 at 5:09 p.m. Daniel Says...

Have they considered doing this even the last weekend of September to avoid the Halloween party and park closing early?

Reply
Apr 23, 2016 at 9:30 p.m. Person Says...

Yes. They will be doing this next year

Reply
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