(Orlando Sentinel) Mickey the merchandiser has gone loud and proud, in a subtle sort of way.
Walt Disney World will be the gathering spot for thousands of gays, their friends and families this weekend, as the 23rd annual Gay Day takes place Saturday at the Magic Kingdom. Now a weeklong event, Gay Days began in 1991 as a single day on which the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community was encouraged to "Wear Red and Be Seen" while visiting the world's most-popular theme park.
Though Walt Disney World has always maintained a neutral stance on the annual event, neither endorsing nor discouraging it, the merchandising machine that is Disney isn't passing up an opportunity to put out a few crowd-pleasing souvenirs.
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Earlier this week, Disney began to sprinkle merchandise throughout its parks with designs including rainbows, symbol of the gay-pride movement. Red tank tops with rainbow-colored Mickey Mouse heads began arriving in shops along Main Street USA a few days ago. They were paired in store displays with other rainbow items usually found in the parks year-round, such as rainbow pins and antenna toppers.