Hoppin’ Good News: We’re selling tickets to the Disneyland Resort! Take a look at our discounts on Disneyland tickets, including Park Hoppers for Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Ribbit!
Gay Days is one of the most popular “unofficial” events at Disneyland, drawing crowds annually the first Saturday in October and again in March for "Mini Gay Day," for those who need a little red shirt boost in the spring. The Gay Day events are not presented by Disney, who does not endorse any group that meets during regular park hours. Disney does not offer information about the festivities, but Disneyland Resort is supportive of the events and the many guests it brings to their parks, hotels and restaurants. Because this is an unofficial event, the parks are still open to the public, so you don’t need a special ticket to visit the parks.
Photo Credit: Gay Days Anaheim
Disneyland Gay Days definitely bring in more people to the parks. Mini Gay Day is scheduled for March 2, 2019 at Disneyland Park and Disneyland Gay Days are scheduled for Oct. 4-6, 2019. There is a schedule of events for each day, with one park playing "host" each day during normal operating hours. There are family-friendly events, informal chats, 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!
Disneyland Gay Days
Gay Days and Crowds
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, it is not as busy. Based on park hours, Disneyland usually plans for a busy weekend with long park hours. If you already have vacation plans for the Gay Day weekends, don't let it 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. Use 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, make sure to avoid the park that Gay Days is being hosted in. If Gay Days is at Disneyland on Saturday, then go to Disney California Adventure that day (although with popular Park Hopper tickets, those red shirts may hop between both parks). Even with more crowds, Gay Days create a fun, festive atmosphere.
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, and you can even purchase rainbow Mickey ear headbands and hats in the parks if you need the perfect Disney accessory for the event. It goes without saying, but you don't have to officially be part of the event to show your support by wearing red!
Follow the Schedule
There is a schedule that Gay Days participants can follow. Consult the website to find out about parties, meals, scavenger hunts, 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 the following days:
- Saturday, March 2, 2019 — Mini Gay Day at Disneyland
- Saturday, Oct. 5, 2019 — Gay Days expected at Disneyland
- Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019 — Gay Days expected at California Adventure
There may be other Gay Days festivities during the surrounding days, as well.
Find Gay Days Menu Items
The Gay Days Anaheim site also promises special Gay Days dessert menu items and even some meal packages at several quick service restaurants in each park all weekend. You’ll see rainbow caramel apples, rainbow Mickey rice krispie treats and rainbow cookies. 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.
Outside 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 at the Same Time
Gay Days also happens 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 if you are planning to extend your trip to make a long weekend of Gay Days. If you want to attend Mickey's Halloween Party on Friday night in October, buy a ticket in advance during the summer, or you may want to hop over to California Adventure during the party time because Disneyland will be closed to the general public during the party.
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, so knowing about them can help you join the fun or plan the best time for your family to visit.