How to Celebrate Pride Month 2024 at Universal Orlando Resort

June 4, 2024
A man and woman wearing Love Is Universal shirts eating a Pride sandwich

It’s June, which means it’s Pride, which means it’s my favorite month of the year! It also means it’s time to head to my favorite place to celebrate — this year, guests at Universal Orlando Resort have more ways than ever to celebrate inclusion for the LGBTQIA+ community.

I’m equally proud of my identities as a Universal team member and a queer woman, and I’m thrilled to share the details about our Love is Universal trifecta: food and beverage offerings, merchandise and event nights at Red Coconut Club in Universal City Walk.

Love is Universal Food and Beverage Offerings

Pride Sandwich on a table at Today Cafe

For Tim Blunk, assistant director of catering and special events, this year’s food and beverage offerings hold special significance. Tim joined Universal Orlando in March of 2022 and he has since played a key role in supporting and coordinating the culinary research team’s development work. Tim is also — like me —a proud member of the Steering Committee for our OUT Team Member Resource Group, which puts on programs all year to help team members connect, learn and recognize LGBTQIA+ culture. We say, “You don’t have to be to belong.” All are welcome!

Thanks to Tim’s position within OUT, he was able to use input from the community as part of this culinary research to help chefs create exciting new items. “In my role within catering and special events I get the opportunity to be a part of many unique projects,” he says. “As a steering committee member for the OUT employee resource group and a senior leader in food and beverage, I was able to merge those two worlds together and help collaborate Pride food and beverage offerings for 2024.”

OUT Team Members accepting an award at Hard Rock Cafe
Here’s a photo of me (center), Tim (far right), and other OUT Team Members accepting The Pride Chamber’s 2023 Corporate Ally of the Year award given to Universal Orlando Resort at Hard Rock Café Orlando.

During an inspiration session with several culinary leaders, the team talked through their vision for food across the resort. “We wanted to make sure that they taste incredible, looked appetizing, but that they also were easily identifiable as something that represented pride,” Tim explains. “Pride can be represented in many ways, but I think we all felt that rainbow representation would be key as that is a recognizable symbol worldwide for diversity within the LGBTQIA+ community.”  

One of Tim’s favorite offerings this year is the Pride Sundae featured at Universal Volcano Bay. This brightly-colored, vanilla-flavored sundae is layered with banana, orange, blue raspberry and strawberry and topped with rainbow sprinkles, an edible orchid and a cherry. “I hope this sundae brings joy to those who see it and they know it was created from a place of pride,” Tim says.

A Pride Sundae at Volcano Bay

Check out the rest of the Love is Universal food and beverage offerings throughout Universal Orlando Resort…

Love is Universal at Red Coconut Club in Universal CityWalk

Two women smile over drinks at Red Coconut Club

On Thursday and Friday nights throughout June, CityWalk’s popular Red Coconut Club will transform into a stunning, glamorous Pride party with a DJ who knows the LGBTQIA+ crowd and rainbow stilt walkers. You can enjoy this special offering on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Expect exclusive drinks available for purchase, including Rainbow Vacation and Blue Dazzle (it glitters!), and specialty beers including Ommegang Neon Rainbows and Brooklyn Brewery Stonewall IPA. This event is open to guests 21 and older. You can also expect exclusive photo ops that will make your entire social feed jealous. Here’s mine from last year!

Two women pose with rainbow stilt walkers at Universal CityWalk

Love Is Universal Merch

Who can resist a glow up?

In retail locations all over the resort, you’ll find displays of our popular Love Is Universal merchandise. From May through August, 100 percent of profits from the Love is Universal merchandise will be donated to local non-profit organizations that support and engage the LGBTQIA+ community.

New this year, I found a Love Is Universal license plate with a navy background that makes the rainbow colors even more dramatic. I grabbed a navy T-shirt with a matching image. This Love Is Universal double-down makes yet another fun photo! 

A Love Is Universal backpack, tumbler, and lanyard

You can find the merch in retail locations all over, like the Universal Studios Store in CityWalk, and online. And at Hard Rock Hotel, you can find additional Pride merch available in the Rock Shop!

Bonus Items

Rainbow Pictures at Universal CityWalk!

Make reservations at Vivo Italian Kitchen, where you’ll find a gorgeous display of home-made rainbow pasta arranged like a waterfall. Then you can step outside the restaurant and see the rainbow lights in the actual waterfall. Take pics by both!  

Celebrate Pride at Hard Rock Hotel

With so much happening around Universal, you can stretch your Pride celebrations over two days and continue your celebration overnight at the Hard Rock Hotel. Why Hard Rock? They do music best, and their WAX program will feature iconic LGBTQIA+ vinyl albums throughout the month of June. WAX offers an in-room record player and a curated collection of records chosen by Hard Rock’s team of music experts. You’ll also hear playlists around the hotel featuring LGBTQIA+ artists in heavy rotation. And as always at Hard Rock, you’ll receive free Universal Express Unlimited to skip the regular lines at participating rides and attractions at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Islands of Adventure with valid theme park admission. It’s win, win, win.

As much as anything, Pride is a joyful celebration that makes being colorful and visible important. I hope I see you at Universal celebrating. Happy Pride, all!

Must be 21 years and older with valid identification to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages.

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