“For the first time in forever,” Disney marked Pride season with their inaugural Magical Pride celebration at Disneyland Paris on June 1. The park stayed open after dark, with rides running late, a lip sync competition, DJ sets from Boy George and Sindykatz, and performances from French disco star Corine and queer pop band Years & Years.
For their set, Years & Years covered “Reflection” from Mulan as well as Madonna’s “Like a Prayer,” in addition to songs from their own catalogue.
But Magical Pride also had to include a parade, and Disney theme parks love parades. This one included the who’s who of Disney: Aladdin, Ratatouille and Lilo & Stitch (all confirmed queers, I suppose). Allies Mickey and Minnie were also in attendance wearing brand new Pride looks, riding by in a car covered in rainbows.
Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander claimed on Instagram that “concerned parents,” otherwise known as a “far right hate group,” did not approve of Magical Pride and “petitioned to shut down the first ever Disney Pride yesterday but we were too powerful and magical to be stopped!” Disney has yet to confirm this petition, but we’ve reached out to them for comment and will update if and when we receive one.
This is the first time Disney has offered special experiences for queer folks at their parks, but queer folks have been organizing those kinds of experiences for themselves for years. The unofficial “Gay Days” have been happening at Disney parks since 1991, where groups of queer tourists flock to Disney resorts around the world in groups out of solidarity and a yearning to normalize the inclusion of queer families at the park. But now that Disney is finally starting to recognize queer folks in both their parks and their movies, maybe we can just enjoy It’s a Small World Like everyone else.