Thinking of going to One Magical Weekend? Want to know more about it? You’ve come to the right place! Explore the ultimate guide to One Magical Weekend.
Get all your questions answered here. Find out exactly what One Magical Weekend is, when it takes place and what to expect. Plus, 15 guys who have been to a recent One Magical Weekend party share their real, unfiltered opinions with you.
What is One Magical Weekend?
One Magical Weekend combines kicking off Pride Month in the USA with a massive, non-stop 72 hour party at the happiest place on Earth – Walt Disney World!
In early June, over 150,000 of the world’s LGBT travellers descend on Orlando, Florida for One Magical Weekend, celebrating their Pride at one of the world’s largest annual gay celebrations. It’s a perfect marriage of Walt’s vision of a future where everyone lives and plays together, even if its for just one magical weekend!
The 2017 event, was the ninth year One Magical Weekend was held. Each year, the One Magical Weekend team work hard to create a multiple parties and events that take place at the host hotel, as well as at a range of other amazing venues.
Given its continuing huge popularity, it looks like One Magical Weekend is going to be around for many years to come!
Here’s how the One Magical Weekend Team describe the event:
Frolic with 6,000 of your best friends from around the world and dance all night while internationally-renowned DJs spin for you. Splash in Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Waterpark and let the six-foot waves knock you off your feet – as if only the waves will — until the wee hours, then towel off and head to the Cadabra after party to keep the revelry alive until you can toast the sunrise.
You’ll NEVER be able to pack more fun and friends into 72 consecutive hours. Why else do you think the crowd keeps returning, year after year, for nearly three decades?
If you’ve never enjoyed a 72-hour non-stop party, what are you waiting for? Three solid days of wall-to-wall excitement totally surrounded by people like you, who get it, who can’t wait to meet you.
Here’s the promotional video for One Magical Weekend 2017:
15 guys share their (real) opinions about One Magical Weekend
OK, so you’ve heard a bit from me, as well as the One Magical Weekend team. Well now, you can hear from ‘real guys’ who have been to One Magical Weekend. They’ll share with you their thoughts about it, what they love (as well as what they don’t), share some pro tips for first timers and reveal whether or not they’d do it all again.
As regular readers of the blog will know, I have a strict no advertising / no paid sponsorship policy here on the blog. So all of the opinions presented below are 100% independent. No one has been paid or incentivised in any way to share their thoughts.
DJ Shane Stiel
DJ Shane was one of the awesomely talented DJs spinning tracks at the Riptide event in 2017. Shane was kind enough to answer a few of my questions, which you can check out below:
Little Gay Blog – What is your #1 favourite thing about OMW?
Shane – My favourite thing about One Magical Weekend is that it brings people together to dance and celebrate love. It provides a safe space for LGBT and their supporters to be who they are, freely!
I also love to be able to spend a weekend with my colleagues and support their performances. I had a wonderful time spinning for the boys and girls at Riptide this year. It was an experience I will soon not forget.
And I must say the gorgeous men never disappoint…hehe.
How would you describe the music at One Magical Weekend?
The music at One Magical Weekend is mainly geared towards circuit and all depends on the particular event. You have poolside uplifting sets, main event big room sounds, then the dirty after hours sound for those late night folks.
One Magical Weekend books the worlds biggest DJ’s to bring an exclusive experience to their patrons.
What advice would you have to people going to their first One Magical Weekend?
I would say to be sure you have your schedule down as to what you want to do. One Magical Weekend takes place during Disney Gay Pride, so if people want to do amusement park events then plan accordingly.
However the organisers for One Magical Weekend make the events easy to attend and have them at decent times.
And lastly, would you go back again and why?
I have attended the last three years of One Magical Weekend and wouldn’t miss another weekend. Like I said before, it is a weekend to catch up and dance with some of my favorite people in the world.
It’s really tough for me to pick just one thing as “best” because for me there are two totally different “sides” to One Magical Weekend, and I love both.
On the one hand, there is the RipTide event, where they rent out the water park in the evening and have a DJ and dancing and drinks all while we get to wander through the water park. With the music and dancing it’s basically a circuit party on the “beach” by the tide pool. It was incredible music and a really fun time.
I also like going to the Disney Parks during the day. I’m a big fan of Disney World in general, so for me, One Magical Weekend isn’t just about the gay parties…It’s also about the feeling of community and solidarity walking through the parks and doing “normal Disney stuff” while seeing SO many people out in Rainbow and “Love Wins” t-shirts.
I know some people find that boring, but I’m a big kid at heart so to me the more traditional “Disney World” experience is a big part of what I also love.
I absolutely will go again, My partner and I have been going to this weekend almost every year for the last 8 years. It’s been a great experience every time, and I really recommend it to anyone – no matter which “type” of One Magical Weekend experience (parks or partying!) they prefer,
My favourite part honestly had to be that I met so many interesting gays from all over the country. I actually made plans to visit Miami and Ohio to meet some new friends I made.
The best party for me? The Typhoon Lagoon Party! It was insane being able to be in a waterpark and go on all the rides surrounded by fun (and sexy) gays in speedos and then have a full on dance in the middle of the park. Easily the best party for me!
My favourite part of One Magical Weekend was the closing party of Arabian Knights. That was the best venue they ever had. The music and dancing was amazing!
I would go back and do it all again. It’s a truly magical experience where you make new friends from all over the world.
My favourite thing about One Magical Weekend was the total fantasy aspect of it all. By fantasy, I mean the dream of seeing all of the negativity worry, stress and fear of fitting into society literally disappear.
Having everyone able to be free and express themselves the way they want to be seen and heard and not having to constantly looking over they’re shoulder to see if anyone is judging them! To see all of that for one weekend was truly MAGICAL🏳️🌈
I would absolutely return time and time again! Better yet, the goal would be to challenge myself to see if I can bring someone new every year to make this experience touch many more and have everyone feel the Magic in the One Magical Weekend!
My favourite part was the Typhoon Lagoon Party. It’s a unique setting that separates it from other parties and the slides are fun.
This was the first time I’ve been back for Gay Days in 3 years and with the exception of Typhoon Lagoon, the events didn’t have the appeal they did before. Mainly because there were no parties at the parks.
I didn’t make it last year for the party at Hollywood Studios, but I heard it was amazing. To come next year, parties at the parks would help.
My boyfriend and I are regular goers of Pensacola. We decided to add this on this year as well. Had a little extra time off for vacation. We have decided though given what was offered this year, opposing pool parties at hotels, no park parties etc. we probably won’t be coming next year.
I’ve always loved how active One Magical weekend has been in keeping the circuit alive.
This year, I would have to say Riptide at Gay Days Disney had to be my favourite One Magical Weekend party to date. What’s not to love about a circuit party at a water park at night?
Since I was a kid, I’ve always loved water parks. Now add music, a bar, and hot men: what’s not to love about it? Riptide was definitely the perfect start to my weekend.
This being my first year going to Gay Days, I would definitely go back next year. One Magical Weekend had a lot of sponsored events throughout the weekend from the pool parties, main parties and more – there was never a dull moment.
My boyfriend and I had a blast and look toward to doing more and meeting more people next year!
My favourite thing about One Magical Weekend is the ability to be surrounded by people who have zero judgment and are there to simply enjoy themselves and have fun. It was incredible to see so many different people from across the world come together to experience One Magical Weekend.
Having been my first One Magical Weekend, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The weekend is a lot of events, a lot of partying, and a lot of fun. Take an extra day off to recover. You’ll need it!
Honestly, the best thing about the weekend is the people. Everyone is there to have fun and is so friendly and welcoming. I’ve never met a stranger that weekend!
As for some advice: just come expecting a great time! Book your hotel as soon as you can, and if you have a large group, get one person to organise it and reach out to the hotel to make sure you get a block of rooms close together so that you don’t spend all your time going floor to floor trying to find each other.
Also: don’t forget sunscreen and a poncho because of the bipolar Florida weather!
There were so many great events, but I’d say the party at Typhoon Lagoon was definitely a highlight. What a unique experience! A party on the beach surrounded by a water park. What could be better? Dance a bit, slide down some rides, and go back to dance some more!
I would absolutely go back again. The parties and other events were great, but it’s the people you meet that really make the experience. I’m sure I could do it all again and it would feel entirely different.
The best event by far is Riptide at Typhoon Lagoon. It’s such a great way to kick off the weekend.
I also really love meeting people at One Magical Weekend. Staying at the host hotel is a great way to meet new friends and the staff does a great job at getting you to all the parties.
This (2017) was my second year going. While last year they did go a lot more “all out”, this year was still fun.
We’ll definitely be going back next year. We made so many new friends and partied with them well into the morning. It’s a great time!
My favourite thing about One Magical Weekend is going to the after hours Cadabra and connecting with friends that I see only once a year at this event. The after hours party is dark, sweaty and all about the music and dancing. It’s a dedicated crowd of people from all walks of the gay community from muscle, bears, twinks and twunks that are all about music and dancing, until the sun rises.
I definitely would come back. I grew up in Orlando, and the fact that the Disney Parks welcome us with open arms makes me want to spend my money here. Also I want to show support to the LGBT community of Orlando given the tragedy of Pulse. I think it’s important to be proud, visible and to live our lives having fun and dancing.
My favourite thing about One Magical Weekend is getting to see friends from all over who come to the event. Some of the people I only get to see once a year there.
I’d tell someone going to their first one to definitely go to as many of the events as they can afford and don’t be afraid to go up to someone and just say “hi”. Everyone is usually super friendly and open to meeting new people.
First of all, this was my first time attending One Magical Weekend, along with my twin brother and my best friend Joey! We had a blast! We got the three rooms facing the pool this year so we had a great view practically adjacent to the Dj!
I really enjoyed the events staff! Super well organized, attentive to detail, very secure and safe. Above all, security to me was a big thing following all the current events. I felt very safe at the hotel and at all the events and parties.
So security to me hits #1 above the fun, the sex, the drinking and whatever else goes on behind closed doors.
I would go back again because at the end of the day, it’s an event that gives back and raises money for a good cause! How often do we go out – whether in Miami or Fort Lauderdale or anywhere for that matter, drink party and go home with 0 results?
It’s a great feeling to know that this weekend, we partied for a great cause while having fun and meeting new faces! I love the surprises that come along…It’s a road trip after all.
We stopped over Cooper’s Hawk on the way home to Miami and had an amazing dinner at 10 pm, drank amazing wine (even bought a few bottles) and we got home at 2 am and worked the next day! It was a blast
My favourite part was definitely Typhoon Lagoon. Though it would be great if next year they contact Universal and see if Volcano Bay would be a possibility. And then of course, the expo was really fun!
I will keep going to One Magical Weekend because it brings us together. Even after Pulse, I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to enjoy – but it was amazing.
My number one favourite thing is that it’s fun and easy, with all the pool parties being at the host hotel or close by. It’s usually a good looking crowd too. Plus, I like running into old friends, as well as meeting new ones. I will definitely go back again!