Orlando is a Southern town, but the entertainment industry and the theme parks have helped in the building of a strong gay and lesbian community. Same-sex dancing won't draw any unwelcome attention at clubs in the area such as those located at Universal's CityWalk or in downtown Orlando. The tenor of crowds can change, however, depending on what's going on in town, so respect your own intuition.
The popularity of Orlando with gay and lesbian travelers has been confirmed by the expansion of the June "Gay Day" celebration at Disney World into a weekend event that includes Universal Orlando and SeaWorld. Park-goers can wear red on Gay Day to signify their support of the gay and lesbian community. Additional information on the event can be found at www.gaydays.com.
For information about events for that weekend and throughout the year, contact the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center of Central Florida, 946 N. Mills Ave., Orlando (tel. 407/228-8272; www.thecenterorlando.org). Welcome packets usually include the latest issue of the Triangle, a quarterly newsletter dedicated to gay and lesbian issues, and a calendar of events. Though not a tourist-specific packet, it includes information and ads for local gay and lesbian clubs. Gay Orlando Network (www.gayorlando.com) is another planning resource for travelers. Watermark (tel. 407/481-2243; www.watermarkonline.com) is a gay-friendly publication that can be found in many bookstores.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.