Disneyland's first gay dance party attracts 1,400 revelers
Mickey and Minnie Mouse made their first official appearance at a gay dance party in Disneyland on Saturday as the event called "Kingdom" debuted at the Anaheim, Calif., theme park. The first private gay dance event ever held within the 47-year-old park, Kingdom attracted more than 1,400 revelers, organizers reported, including MTV's Dave Holmes and Real Worlders Genesis (Boston cast) and Ruthie (Hawaii cast). Chris Cox of the DJ team Thunderpuss spun at the party from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m.
The dance party was one event during the fifth annual unofficial Gay Days at Disneyland, which kicked off on Friday with a welcome party called "Wonderland" that was attended by an estimated 700 people. L.A. drag diva Momma hosted Wonderland, dressed as a glamorous plus-size Alice, and DJ Ray Rhodes provided the music. Saturday was the park's unofficial "mix-in" day, which organizers said attracted between 15,000 and 20,000 lesbian and gay visitors plus family members, many wearing red shirts to identify themselves.
"We are thrilled by the success of the event--and by how quickly it's grown," said a spokesperson for Gay Day 2, the group that organized all the events, including a well-attended Sunday mix-in at Disney's California Adventure theme park. "And we're looking forward to doing it even bigger and better next year--after we sleep for a couple of weeks."
Modeled after the unofficial Gay Days at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., each June, the Disneyland weekend is not a Disney-sponsored event, although the company did cooperate with organizers in creating the gay dance party, including providing Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in person. Mickey waved to the enthusiastic crowd from the stage, while Minnie was seen to dance with some of those attending. Except for some rambunctious, shirtless self-appointed go-go dancers who briefly took over the stage--before Disney security quietly asked them to return to the dance floor--the party went on without incident.
Both Wonderland and Kingdom were presented by Out magazine and Gay Day 2. The official Gay Days at Disneyland Web site is www.gayday2.com.