When the gloomiest subculture on Earth meets the happiest place in the multiverse, strange things are almost guaranteed to happen. If your life has so far been incomplete without the sight of a group of Goths in full neo-Victorian regalia spinning around on the teacup ride, then this, my friend, is the event for you.
In its current form, Bats' Day is actually a three-day weekend event, which now takes place in the month of May (since 2009 - previously it has taken place in November, and, of course, August) so that black velvet-clad darklings are presumably at less risk of melting in the heat, in Anaheim, CA, near Disneyland (obviously). The 2008 Bats' Day took place in November so that attendees would be able to see the Haunted Mansion done up for the holidays. (The Haunted Mansion is the highlight of the park for most Goths. Who would've guessed?)
It attracts darkly-inclined and black-clad types from dozens of countries across the world, including England, Brazil, New Zealand, France and Germany.
New for 2011 will be the Happy Haunts Swing Wake, where guests are required to dress... as the dead. This is another hors d'ouevres party, with DJs, live entertainment, cocktails, and even a raffle. Ghoulies and ghosties and quite possibly some long-legged beasties (of the deceased variety) are expected to attend.
Lastly and most importantly, of course, there is the Bats' Day in the Fun Park, the trip to Disneyland proper. There is no official dress code for the event, but attendees are advised to bear in mind that the park is open to everyone as usual during the event, which means that families with small children and granny in tow do not want to see semi-nude Gothlings whizzing by on the rollercoasters. The Bats' Day website also states that Disney officials may ask you to go and get changed if your attire is inappropriate - or (I love this) if you look too much like a Disney character or member of the Disneyland cast. Put your ballgown away, Princess, this town ain't big enough for TWO Snow Whites...
|Goths just wanna have fun...|
Again like Whitby, Bats' Day is a very family-friendly event, with Gothy parents enjoying the opportunity to bond with their Spooky Kids. I'm sure they attract plenty of stares and attention from the 'normal' park guests, but when Goths are rife in the vicinity, possibly even in the majority, it's easier to relax and focus on the positive attention rather than the negative.
Whilst the event attracts a primarily Goth crowd, Wikipedia lists other dark genres and subcultures represented over the weekend as horror punk, horror rock, rockabilly, psychobilly, black metal, Halloween, hearse societies, Industrial and EBM. So basically, Goth with knobs on, then...
With the 2011 event looking set to be bigger than ever, grab your parasols, babybats and Nightmare Before Christmas bag, and head over to the Bats' Day LiveJournal community for regular news and updates. Oh, and there's the Bats' Day website, of course...
All images: Google Images