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Summer 2007 | Gay Days at Disneyland: Luxury Edition

Summer 2007 | Gay Days at Disneyland: Luxury Edition

When you hear the words "luxury vacation," Orlando, Fla. may not be the first place that leaps to mind. But along with the theme parks, Walt Disney World offers some world-class accommodations, dining, and resort experiences that you won't find anywhere else.

We asked Eddie Shapiro and Jeffrey Epstein, who just penned the updated and expanded edition of Queens in the Kingdom: The Ultimate Gay and Lesbian Guide to the Disney Theme Parks (Avalon Travel, May), to outline a few indulgences for those of you who want to hit Space Mountain during the day but still enjoy Egyptian cotton sheets at night.

SPLURGE: A contemporary vacation

Hotel: A lake-view room in the tower of Disney's Contemporary Resort
The recently remodeled Contemporary is perfect for the hipster who can't travel without staying in a W hotel. Boasting flat screen TVs, colorful tile work, and luxurious bedding, the rooms are more Mitchell Gold than Mickey Mouse. You may never want to leave. In fact, Eddie had to pry Jeffrey's hands off the balcony. But the best feature? Motion-sensor lights that can illuminate your way if you need to use the restroom at night -- or if you stumble in drunk. Either way. (Starting at $365 per night; 407/W-DISNEY)

Dining: Dinner at the California Grill
Perched atop of the Contemporary is one of the resort's most elegant eateries. The fare is fusion (think Wolfgang Puck) and ranges from sumptuous sushi to fabulous flatbreads. Plus you can watch the fireworks without having to face the humidity that might frizz your hair. (407/WDW-DINE)

Experience: Spa treatments at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Just around the monorail track from your room is the Grand Floridian, which boasts one of the resort's elaborate spas. Our favorite treatments include the Couples Instructional Massage ($300 for three hours) or the Citrus Zest Sugar Scrub ($125 for 50 minutes). Eddie wanted the Mother to Be massage but that's for people who are actually pregnant as opposed to just planning ahead. (Call 407/824-2332 for appointments)

SUPER-SPLURGE: A grand tradition

Hotel: One Bedroom Suite at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort
Inspired by San Diego's Del Coronado, the resort's priciest hotel is also its prettiest. Traditional architecture, airy rooms, and a beach that features private cabanas (which, incidentally, are usually quite empty at night -- we're just sayin') are a few of the highlights. The resort is Victorian in design but other queens fit right in, too. (Suites start at $975 per night; 407/W-DISNEY)

Dining: Dinner at Victoria & Albert's Chef's Table
Dining so chi-chi, the chef picks what you eat over seven delectable courses. A mere $165 per person before the booze but hey, it's five stars. The last time Central Florida saw that, the Jacksons were in town. (407/WDW-DINE)

Experience: Fireworks at Sea
Or at least "at lake." You and your party can view the "Wishes" fireworks spectacular from aboard a private schooner equipped with everything you need: champagne, chocolate dipped strawberries, and a butler. The boat has bedrooms, too, just in case fireworks make you frisky. ($375.58 per hour. Butler service, food, and beverage available for an additional charge; 407/824-2682)

YOU-HAVE-MORE-MONEY-THAN-YOU-KNOW-WHAT-TO-DO-WITH: The adventure of a lifetime -- and please take us!

Hotel: Presidential Suite at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
($2,075-$2,735 per night; 407/W-DISNEY) Picture a canopy bed so big it had to be built in the room. Picture a thatched roof in the living room, a curved couch, hand carved furniture, and a remote control fireplace. Picture a treadmill on the balcony, overlooking over 200 animals at play on the savanna (and if you're imagination's really good, as you run on said treadmill, you can dream that you are outrunning a wildebeest stampede). No other Jacuzzi on property is better for some wild monkey love.

Dining: The Sunset Safari
Why take the Animal Kingdom's safari ride with the rabble when you can have a private, 3 1/2-hour sunset tour to get up close and personal with the furry critters? Then head back to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for a four-course dinner at Jiko and eat them. ($160 per person, including dinner; (407) 938-4755)

Experience: Private beach party at Typhoon Lagoon
Who doesn't like after-hours pool parties? Rent out the wave pool and beach at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon water park for you and a couple of friends. You paid for the place -- you think they'll stop you from skinny-dipping? (Starting at $1,050; 407/939-7873)

Added Indulgence

La Nouba
For an evening activity with a bit more class than the nearby Dolly Parton's Dixieland Stampede, head to Downtown Disney to see this incredible Cirque Du Soleil show. Like all of Cirque shows, this one is quirky and mysterious and HOT, with beefy gymnasts and lithe ladies performing stunts and contorting their bodies in ways that defy biology. (407/939-7600)

Private Tour
Oh yeah, the parks! We almost forgot! But don't stop spending now. Not when you can see all of the parks with the advantage of a private tour guide. In addition to steering you clear of sucky rides, they can provide VIP seating to parades and shows and will run and get FastPasses while you ride attractions. At last! An escort you don't mind sharing with your friends and family! ($125 per hour for up to 10 guests; 407/560-4033)

For planning your Disney getaway, pick up Queens in the Kingdom on Amazon or at your local bookstore.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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Christopher Harrity