The Orlando Bear Bash, an annual party for bears, leather enthusiasts, and their admirers, is returning for another fun year of parties and get-togethers. As in previous years, the host hotel is the Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld (10100 International Dr., 407-352-1100). This year’s Bear Bash will start on Thursday, September 25 and will continue through to Sunday, September 28. This year the theme is a festive and Hawaiian “Bear Luau.”
This year’s events officially start on the 25th but early arrivals will be happy to know that there are informal get-togethers that start as early as Tuesday, September 23. There will be an early arrival dinner at Village Inn across from the resort at 7 p.m., and an after-hours party at 1 a.m. (there will be an after-hours party starting at 1 a.m. every night through to Saturday). Dinner is not included in the event price and your event pass is required to attend each after-hours party.
On Wednesday there is an optional event at an additional cost going on at EPCOT, starting at 1 p.m. Early arrivals are forming a group to drink around the world at all of EPCOT’s 11 showcases. The Doubletree offers free shuttle services to EPCOT. There will also be a “Dive-In Movie” showing at 9 p.m. at the hotel; the movie being shown is Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Most attendees will be arriving on Thursday and there is a registration area and a vendor fair which will both be open at 3 p.m. in the main lobby area of the hotel. At registration, you will be given a swag bag that will contain your event passes and gifts from Bear Bash sponsors. There is a happy hour welcome reception inside the vendor fair starting at 6 p.m., and a luau welcome party starting at 7:30 p.m. on the pool deck. DJ Cap’N Kirk will be in charge of music for this first night. Dive in with your old friends and the new ones you’ve just made at the pool party, which goes on from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m., featuring music from DJ Roke Cabrera.
A Bearmosa Breakfast Buffet will be offered on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. (this is an additional cost not included with your Bear Bash event pass). If you missed partaking in the vendor fair on Thursday, it is open again on Friday and on Saturday from the hours of 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Registration is open on Friday from noon to 8:30 p.m. and from 10 p.m. to midnight, and on Saturday from noon to 8:30 p.m. and from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Friday’s main events consist of two pool parties (one in the afternoon starting at 1 p.m. and one in the evening starting at 8:30 p.m.). The DJs spinning your favorite music selections on Friday are Brian Dawe in the afternoon and Daniel Borrero in the evening. Fan favorite Orlando drag queen Gidget Galore will be hosting her Big Bear Game Show starting at 5:30 p.m.; make sure to play for a chance to win a lot of cool prizes! If you are into cigars, there will be a leather and cigar social in the evening starting at 11 p.m. Bring your own cigar and congregate with other aficionados just off the pool area. There will be another similar social on Saturday night as well, starting at 9:30 p.m.
The daytime pool party on Saturday starts at 1 p.m. and features music remixed by DJ and producer Barry Huffine, who completed major label remixes for Kat Graham and Maroon 5 this past year. There are three fun events in the evening on Saturday, the first of which is a Chinese auction drawing in the vendor fair, which will begin at 8:30 p.m. All proceeds from this auction will be going to charity. At 9 p.m., the results of the Mr. Bear Bash Cub and Mr. Bear Bash contests will be announced. Finally, the signature Bear Bash event, the BLU Ball, will begin at 9:30 p.m. BLU stands for bear, leather and uniform; wear your favorite fetish gear or uniform and be ready to dance into the wee hours of the morning. Music provided by DJ Barney Philly.
If you’re not ready to leave on Sunday, there will be an informal pool party from noon to 3 p.m. and a visit to Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights at 6 p.m. (additional cost).
Book your room now to ensure you have a spot at the resort! If you call the DoubleTree and mention Orlando Bear Bash, you can guest a discounted room rate that is as low as $93 a night if you mention Bear Bash when you book your rooms. This is valid for the regular guest rooms (one king bed or two double beds).
For Bear Bash event pass purchasing and other information, visit orlandobearbash.com.