Despite the ongoing beef between Disney executives and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the state’s “don’t say gay” legislation, Disneyland’s first-ever Pride Night went off pretty much as billed over two evenings, on June 13 and 15.
Both literally kicked off with a bang with special opening fireworks as Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” blared across the park, which had been meticulously dressed in LGBT purple and rainbows from the It’s a Small World ride to Main Street. Mascots depicting Disney’s iconic characters, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, were costumed in sparkly purple and rainbow hues.
That Disney, which along with Target and, eventually, the Dodgers, went ahead with a Pride event in the face of intense pressure on social media and elsewhere, served as casual evidence that corporate America’s aligning with its LGBTQ audience can withstand backlash from conservative opinion makers and legislators, if for no other reason that it’s simply good business to do so.
In the end, Disney’s Pride Night was about love, joy and happiness. Every section of the park had multiple dance parties, though a lot of people just chose to dance in the streets. This event sang out to everyone who attended, and so we did.