Bats Day in the Fun Park, LLC
Bats Day creator gives Pluto a squeeze.
Bats Day in the Fun Park, LLC
More than 400 black clad Goths pose for
a group picture at Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Disney Aug 24.
Walt Disney World
Christain singer Michael
performs in front of Cinderella's
Castle during 2003
Night of Joy.
This year's event, held on Aug. 24 at Disneyland,
drew more than 1,000 Goths to the "Happiest Place on Earth," according
to organizer Noah Korda, a 32-year-old Los Angeles-based graphic
artist and club promoter.
Goths posed with Pluto, rode the merry-go-round
and lurked about the Haunted Mansion ride. Korda said some tourists
photographed the black-clad Disney fans and even mistook them
as a promotion for Disney's upcoming film, "The Haunted Mansion."
Bats Day's Web site, which stresses that
the event isn't sanctioned by Disney, provides tips for a satisfactory
Under the frequently asked question, "Is
there any kind of dress code?" it states: "We found out that Disney
will not allow capes or fishnet stockings, on guys, to be brought
into the park. You can try to wear them in, but keep in mind that
you may be asked to take them off and place them back in your
"At first it was kind of for shock value;
let's freak out the 'normals,'" Korda said of the event's origins.
"But I don't know anyone who doesn't like Disneyland. I'm a fan
of the style, the artwork, how the park takes you out of your
That's exactly why a typical Disney fan
can't be defined, said Deb Wills, editor in chief of AllEarsNet,
an unofficial Disney World fan Web site.
"They have created this fantasy world that
allows people to be calm and relax," Wills said. "It really does
appeal to the entire gamut of folks, no matter what you do, how
much money you make or what you believe in."
Wills, who has been to several Gay Days
events, said the group's presence is hard to spot.
"With the wide range of
cultures at the parks, you'd be hard pressed to notice anything
going on," she said, adding "except at the Magic Kingdom," referring
to the Gay Days practice of encouraging participants to wear red
T-shirts so they can recognize each other.
During Raver Days, which are less frequent
than some unofficial days, club kids with their baggy pants and
stuffed animals in tow, may blend in with the tourists wearing
fuzzy Mickey Mouse ears and children carrying stuffed Pooh bears.
Besides Night of Joy, Disney officially
attracts epicureans to its Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
in the fall, athletes to its marathon in January and flower fans
to Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival in the spring.
Wills said she's noticed Disney expand
its official days to attract people with a variety of interests.
But she doesn't foresee Disney sponsoring events such as Gay Days
in the near future.
"They walk a very fine line in terms of
their audience," Wills said. "I think they have to be very careful
with what they sponsor and what they don't."
When asked about the future of the unofficial
events, Polak, the Disney spokeswoman, said: "Right now we have
a number of special events that happen here on our property and
they are the ones we focus on."
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