Walt Disney World news

Family Outfest event aims to promote LGBT tourism to Orlando

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Jun 29, 2014 | Updated: Oct 19, 2014 - 9:25:27 AM
A new LGBT event is planned for Walt Disney World and is aimed at bringing families to vacation in Orlando. Mikael Frank Audebert, executive director of Converge Orlando, the LGBT Convention & Visitors Bureau, said that Family Outfest is "for the modern family - which is whatever definition you want it to be. You'll notice there's no LGBT or gay label. This is for anyone who believes in equality."

The inaugural Outfest is planned for July 1-7 and will include activities across Orlando, including a Parent's Night Out with dinner and bowling, a kids' night at Nick at Night, July 4 at the Magic Kingdom and "Out, Red and Equal," a daylong event held in downtown Orlando with a fireworks finale. The host hotels are Disney's Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, the Hilton Orlando at Lake Buena Vista and the Nickelodeon Suites Resort.

Over 1,000 families from across the country are expected to be in attendance. Unlike the Gay Days event held earlier in the summer which gets most of its attendance from singles and couples, Outfest should see most of its visitors as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender couples and their children. Gay Days first started in 1991, but is not officially sanctioned by Disney. However, Disney is an official sponsor of Outfest. Disney spokeswoman Bernadette Davis said, "Walt Disney World is a member of Converge, and as part of our membership, we are one of several sponsors of Family Outfest. But we welcome all guests, and we host and sponsor thousands of events each year."