Disneyland to host second Pride night

Disneyland Pride Night

Disneyland hosts its first Pride Night in Anaheim in June 2023. Disneyland will host its second Pride night once again as an after-hours ticketed event. Photo: Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort

Disneyland will host its second Pride night once again as an after-hours ticketed event.

After years of allowing unofficial events such as the annual Gay Days Anaheim celebration, the theme park finally hosted its first Pride night party last year.

In 2022, Disneyland offered special food and décor for the annual June Pride Month, such as special cookies, pretzels and floral displays, but it wasn’t  an official event in the park.

Disneyland Pride night

The Anaheim Pride events are scheduled from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on June 18 and 20 as part of a series of Disneyland After Dark parties.

Tickets cost $159, excluding parking, and will go on sale to Magic Key holders at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Tickets will go on sale to the general public at 9 a.m. Thursday.

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The nights will include dance parties, a cavalcade (sort of like a parade but not exactly), photo opportunities, special food, and more.

Costumes can be worn, but are subject to Disney guidelines and should not be “obstructive or offensive.”

Disneyland’s first Pride night last year took place as the Magic Kingdom was embroiled in a massive public feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over HB 1557, a law that was dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” because it banned discussion of gay issues in public K-3 classrooms.

After then-Disney CEO Bob Chapek criticized the proposed law, DeSantis moved to assert control over the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which oversees land use and maintenance for Walt Disney World. Both sides sued each other, but they reached a settlement last month.

LGBTQ+ community not welcome at Disneyland

Disneyland hasn’t always welcomed the LGBTQ+ community.

In 1957, Disneyland banned same-sex dancing and security guards warned and ejected gay couples from the dance floor.

The policy eventually changed in the 1980s, but only after a series of lawsuits.

The unofficial Gay Days Anaheim party celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. At the event, many supporters wear red T-shirts to identify their affiliation.

In the early days, Disneyland posted signs at the park entrance “warning” guests about Gay Days Anaheim and offered white T-shirts on request to people who didn’t want to be identified with the event.

Now welcomed

Immediately after Disneyland announced its first Pride night event, one Twitter follower said she was in favor of the event, but was skeptical.

“Remember when Disney wanted to make it abundantly clear that they were not associated with ‘Gay Days’ and gave us a script to answer guests asking why everyone was wearing red shirts?” she wrote.

“Then they realized they could make money and started selling pins and rainbow cake slices?”

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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