We had a great time over 17th year of GAYS DAYS last week (May 31 – June 4). We had 135k of “the tribe” show up and the events were a blast. This will be a DEFINATE yearly event. This year we stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort. Nice place. I still personally like Port Orleans better.
For those who don’t know – GAYS DAYS is yearly event in the first week of June. The Magic Kingdom event happens on the first Sat. in June and everyone wears RED shirts that day. It is AWESOME. The other Gay Day events start the Wed/Thru before. (See http://www.gaydays.com/ )
Although we spent little time in the parks and more on the GAY DAY events (Beach ball party at Typhoon Lagoon, Film festival at the Royal Plaza, great shows at the Parliament House, Dancing with the PORN STARS show and some hotel pool parties) we did make the mandatory appearance at the Magic Kingdom on Sat. June 1. All the “tribe” was out in full force having a blast. I always get emotional seeing the “sea of red” shirts in the Magic Kingdom. This year was no exception. The 3pm parade is wonderful as the cheers from the crowd rise as the “Red Shirts” follow the end parade. PRIDE at its best I tell you.
I also enjoyed meeting the NFFC people at the GAY DAYS convention. I bought the new book and Kendra signed it for me. She and her husband Russell were wonderful people and I loved how they support “our tribe”. Thanks!
Anyway – We had time to visit the “new” stuff we hadn’t seen since last year. We were not disappointed and really enjoyed what we saw. Here are some observations.
NEMO MUSICAL at Animal Kingdom:
I can’t believe how good this show is with its Broadway style format. The sets and music was10 times better than that awful show TARZAN on Broadway. We saw that opening night with Phil Collins 5 rows in front of us and BOY was it an embarrassment. A big KUDOS for having REAL PEOPLE sing!!! I can’t stand those rubber-headed, lip synching excuses for entertainment. Thank you Disney.
I bought the CD on iTUNES and have really enjoyed the music. I hope something like this comes to Broadway. This has got to be *the* best Disney show – ever! This beats ALLADIN in DCA, the LION KING show and even... *gasp* …HUNCHBACK at MGM which was one of my favorites. It was a really sad day when that closed. Now I can go back to see NEMO. This show makes Animal Kingdom even better. It is already my favorite park.
Who can I write to at Disney to thank then for a fantastic show? I seriously have to write a letter. I went to guest services on my way out to thank them and was given a card with an e-mail address. I lost it. Does anyone know what it is? *something* at guest communications dot com – I think?
NEMO at Epcot
Again … top notch entertainment. It reminds me of the older Disney-style themed rides. It looks like they spent money and really thought this out. It is well designed and a definite “must see” for every trip. The pavilion on a whole has a whole new feel and it was nice to see the whole thing fully realized. We have been seeing it in bits and pieces over the last few years and now … I walk in and say .. Ok .. I get it . Good job.
Granted the “future world” feel of the old pavilion is not there anymore – but face it – it HASN’T been there for quite some time. It is nice to see the attention on making it relevant again. It looks good.
I have heard it is NEMO light as compared to DL subs, but my guess is the FL ride has a better field of view. I mean, it has huge ROOMS of scenery as compared to the subs which have a tiny port hole. I look forward to riding the subs and comparing.
Ok .. Donald is now here.. it is cute but I liked the old ride better. It is not my favorite.
SPACESHIP EARTH post show
A big WHOO-HOO. This area made me feel like I did when I first visited EPCOT in 1989 while in college. It is very well done – and they are not done. Congratulations. Great stuff. I enjoyed the 3-D “build a body” (I had flashbacks to the BODIES exhibit in NYC) and sitting in the center of the room just watching the movie on the globe-shaped tv. Very cool.
The new wait-time signs around EPCOT are a nice addition. We also rode SOARIN. Again, this is now a “must-do” each trip. The Fastpass line was out of control. It seemed longer than the stand-by at one point.
The Flower and Garden stuff was nice – as always. I wish this was always going on at EPCOT. I say the park in general needs this type of landscaping attention to add value to a visit. I mean, come on … it needs a kick in the ***. I like the new changes but that are trickling in so slow that the “WOW” impact will never hit me. I suppose if I stay away from Disney for 10yrs and THEN go back – I would get a real WOW factor.
LAUGH FLOOR at Magic Kingdom
Ok .. this has been getting beat up a lot. We laughed and liked the show. I would go back again. It is not as endearing as TURTLE TALK but this has … ROZ !! And she is enough on her own to make me laugh . The audience was having fun. And while in the queue, I did “text” a joke to the number shown on the monitors. It wasn’t used, but I liked doing it.
I know the arguments of dumbing-down the TOMORROWLAND concept with characters – but I like the show. It is better than an empty building. It felt like it belonged. Can I say that at this point, I am happy with *any* attention shown to the Magic Kingdom? Damn … it needs it. We were in California for DL’s 50th, and in the Paris Magic Kingdom this past April and now FL for GAY DAYS and having seen them all – I agree with another poster who called them Neiman Marcus, Macy’s and Walmart.
The Magic Kingdom needs attention – but I have to say. I had no real desire to step foot in MGM this trip. It is funny how different parks stand out on different visits and others just fall flat. For this trip, I really had a good EPCOT visit.
UNIVERSAL and BLUE MAN GROUP
We went to the second showing of this. The opening night was the day before and we had tickets to the 6pm show. This is a great addition to their park. I saw this show in NYC in the early 90’s, in Boston 3 yrs ago and two of the BLUE MAN concerts that occasionally go on tour. This ORLANDO show is very much inline with everything else I have seen. They did a great job with their theater. The “rake” could have been a little steeper and the audience treats this like a movie showing rather than giving it the respect of a theater show I thought. There was a lot of “getting up and down” and walking the aisles. The littler kids seems a bit bored in some of the segments but overall it seemed very well received.
I can see this competing with LaNuba at Downtown Disney. I have said for while that I am very close to booking a stay at Universal Orlando and with the addition of Harry Potter at IOA, I can see this happening. This place is looking great. The CITY WALK was very alive and busy. It looked great – much better than Downtown Disney. We commented that Disney’s Downtown needs an infusion of *something*. It is really falling flat. We noticed it especially after taking a trip to Orlando’s LOOP which is a shopping mall nearby. (We had to go to Lens Crafters *sigh* don’t ask). We looked around and noticed how so many shopping malls in general have picked up on what Disney has been doing for so long and now … all these new malls are doing it BETTER - to the point where Disney does not look special anymore. I wonder if this was a motivation behind Disney’s new Entertainment Venue/Shopping/whatever they call it. Hopefully this new Disney shopping area will make me go “WOW” and Disney will be ahead of the curve again. I have faith. I have faith in the Creative forces – I support the talent.
Again – had a blast. The city was welcoming. All the cast members were top notch. The other guests (not there for GAY DAYS) were fine. I did not hear anyone complaining this year.
The Parliament House was the big star of our GAY DAYS visit. Orlando is so lucky to have a large active gay community. Here in the New haven area, it is not as busy as it was in the 80’s and early 90’s. It *almost* makes me want to move to Orlando. The performers are top-notch and the new owners have done amazing things to turn that place around. The concerts they put on were great and I enjoyed finally seeing Bananrama in person. Boy, they look good for 46. I didn’t know they were British!! Loved the accents.
I also laughed at the foam party. I wouldn’t get in the foam if you paid me. But it was fun to watch.
We enjoyed the convention space at the Royal Plaza. This year we didn’t even venture to the Wyndam. All the fun events seem to happen at the Royal Plaza. The sponsors were out in full force and the whole energy or vibe was fantastic. I am not convinced I would stay there during the event – too much constant “thumpa-thumpa” going on at the pool. We did sit outside at the pool with the DJ, etc .. it was nice to visit and then leave. We bought tickets for the “Dancing with the Porn Stars” for the first showing. Glad we did – as I heard is was quickly “censored” for the other showings. We also bought tickets to one of the movies from the film festival and I missed a talk on Friday night I tried to see but alas – we had pouring rain and took a nap.
After our nap, we went to BEACH BALL in the rain. This is an amazing party and should NOT be missed. Even in the rain. And no … we do not bring glow sticks and arrive BLASTED. We have a few drinks and meet nice, fun people. This is a circuit party that is actually very anti circuit. You would think the people are all buff bods and snobs and doped-out – but on the contrary – it is a very unpretentious good wholesome event. I highly recommend it. And we are not in the category of young “buff” hotties. We are average fun middle age (41 and 49) men who enjoy having a good time. The crowd is very mixed. GO !!! and see for yourself. http://www.onemightyweekend.com/
DISNEY VACATION CLUB
I have to admit, I have been keeping an eye on this for a while. I know it makes no real financial sense – this webpage spells it out the best I have seen: http://www.mousesavers.com/dvc.html - but I still am thinking “hmmmmm”
Well – if we go to GAY DAYS every year at this time, then “why not” ?!?!
My husband ( aka - civil union partner (yeah Connecticut) ) has put it the best. He likens it to buying a car. It is an emotional thing rather than a financial thing. I mean, I can buy an affordable sensible car or I can buy a car that “feeds my soul” and it sporty/expensive. I think DVC is the same thing. Well – when I save up for the initial buy-in, then maybe.
It all started last year when we were upgraded to a one-bedroom at the Saratoga Springs Resort. This Disney hotel acts as the overflow GAY DAYS hotels. DAMN those upgrades
We had another wonderful GAY DAYS Orlando experience. Disney is a part of trip but mostly there are other events at the hotels and off-site places we go. I wish Disney would be a little more pro-active in our convention. I mean, we get 135k people for this. PRIDE happens all over in May/June http://gaylife.about.com/od/gaypride/a/pride2007.htm How about an advertised separate ticketed event similar to Night of Joy?? I know we have the MGM party and the Typhoon Lagoon party, but these are sponsored by the Dance Party people. I have noticed more Gay Families with there kids this year. Perhaps Disney has noticed as well.
We hope to bring our daughter one year to see all the “goings on”. She is 16 now and loves her gay dad and *me*. She and her sisters stood up at our civil union along with my Dad and my brothers. Meg wrote a wonderful paper for school. Her assignment was on “sticking up for your civil rights”. She wrote about us. *sniff* I love you Meg
See you Orlando and Disney next year!!! Until then … I look forward to seeing what wonderful things the creative talent at Disney develops for the resort.