Not Just Disney: The Best LGBTQ Friendly Attractions in Orlando

Old Town

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Orlando is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the country and a popular destination for queer vacation-goers. While Disney is a blast, and has been the host of Gay Days for many years, Orlando is not just Disney World. If you’re itching for fun, but want to avoid the Mouse’s House, here are some of the best LGBTQ-Friendly attractions and venues in Orlando to explore.

1. Universal Studios

This is like the grown-up Disney World. I mean, you can drink, there’s Harry Potter, it’s amazing. While this is still a theme park, we definitely feel like it doesn’t get enough love in the “I’m going to Orlando” travel blogs.

Make sure you get a two-day, two-park ticket to take in all the sites and travel between the Studios and Islands of Adventure on the famous Hogwarts Express. Don’t miss Gringott’s Bank or Diagon Alley, where you can pick up your own wand.

For Marvel fans, there’s an entire island for your perusal including the Hulk coaster and you can meet Spiderman and the rest of The Avengers. Take your Butter Beer to go and have a grand old time. 

Don’t forget the party continues all night long at CityWalk outside the parks. Don’t miss Volcano Bay either, the brand new water park. This whole place is a blast.

2. The Plaza Live Theatre

Image via the Plaza Live website

Located in beautiful Downtown Orlando, The Plaza Live has been the premier live concert venue for smaller houses since the 90s.

They opened as a two-screen movie theatre in 1963 and then it got converted to the concert space it is today in the early 90s. General admission capacity is only 1250 so it’s an intimate space that puts you right in the middle of the action.

Catch comedians, indie bands, and more, up close and personal. 

3. The Milk District

Image Via orlandomainstreets.com

This is Orlando’s gaybourhood and an amazing cultural hub for the city. You can find many of the best restaurants in Orlando here.

You’ll also find a ton of street art, coffee shops, music venues, breweries, and more. Drive around the streets and explore the diverse offerings.

The official Milk District is E Colonial Dr and E Jefferson St to N Bumby Ave and E South St. Check out the map here.

4. Lake Eola Park

Image via Orlando.gov

The sidewalk around the lake is .9 miles around and along the way, you’re certain to see some live swans and other wildlife who call the park home.

Enjoy a brisk walk, listen to music, grab some eats, and take in local arts and crafts shows and more at Lake Eola. Get a full breakdown of the upcoming events here.

5. ICON Park

Image via Visit Orlando – click photo for more info on ICON Park.

This is Orlando’s newest attraction on International Drive. There is plenty to do for the whole family and some nightlife attractions as well.

Ride the giant Wheel at ICON Park for a birds-eye view of the city, visit the wax museum, check out Sea Life Aquarium. Hear some great live music at Tin Roof.

Enjoy some Vampire Tacos at Yard House. Drop into the Sugar Factory for a confection laced cocktail (available both with booze and without) served in a huge goblet smoking with dry ice.

It’s an all-around good time to be had by all.

6. The Parliament House

Not for the kiddos but great for everyone else, The Parliament House closed their historic gay bar in 2020, but is reopening with a new location VERY soon! The previous venue was an all-gay bar, nightclub, theatre, restaurant, hotel and more. Information is still unfolding on its new location, but we have a feeling that there will still be something for everyone.

Keep up to date with news on its opening and its fun and wild atmosphere.

7. Southern Nights

The closest thing Orlando has to a lesbian bar, Southern Nights is an Orlando tradition. Dance the night away, drink great drinks, and don’t miss the Drag Race Competitions.

And make sure to check out Girl the Party every Saturday night, where ladies take to the stage for the hottest dance show in town. 

There are plenty of places in there to chat the night away and snuggle up. Don’t miss it.

8. Southern Craft

If nightclubs are less your style and you’re still looking for a place to grab a drink, Southern Craft is the low key partner bar of Southern Nights.

Don’t miss the special seasonal cocktail. Love whiskey? Don’t miss Whiskey Wednesdays for $7 select cocktails.

It’s the more grown-up version serving craft cocktails and a subdued vibe. Come relax and have some yummy drinks with friends.

It’s the more grown-up version serving craft cocktails and a subdued vibe. Come relax and have some yummy drinks with friends.

9. Old Town

Old Town in Celebration, Florida. Photo by Rachel Covello

If you’re craving amusement parks but want to avoid the crowds and expense of Disney, check out Old Town. This fun destination in Orlando is not only a date-night destination but also a popular attraction for families. Spend all night exploring the food, rides, and entertainment, or get there when they open and spend the day. There is plenty to do!

We highly recommend the haunted house, magic show, and classic car nights. Many of the store fronts have “LGBTQ Safe Space” stickers in their windows and Old Town celebrates pride, not only in June, but also with drag shows.

Where to Stay While in Town

While there are several LGBTQ-friendly hotels in Central Florida, we highly recommend The Holiday Inn & Suites Orlando SW Celebration. It’s centrally located to everything there is to experience in Orlando with easy access to I-4. And if you’re headed to Old Town, you can literally walk right across the street!

Orlando is a Gay Paradise and For Good Reason: It’s Not Just For the Mouse, Honey

We hope this has opened your eyes to experience Orlando beyond Lake Buena Vista. Don’t fight the tourists, have fun like a local.

Check out downtown Orlando and the surrounding areas to get a real sense of the city. Don’t forget to check out our Orlando dining out guide for tips on where to eat in O-Town.

Check out our Visit section for more not-to-miss locations here in the Sunshine State. We look forward to seeing you around!

**Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).

Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida and beyond, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.

Events are subject to change. Please check the events webpage for updates and schedules.

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june, 2024

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