By Daniel Villarreal
Originally published on Advocate.com May 07 2013 4:00 AM ET
Everybody knows that the first Saturday of every June is Disney World's unofficial "gay day" — a time when LGBT people visiting the Magic Kingdom wear red shirts so that others will notice their presence. But what most people don't realize is that Gay Day is also accompanied by a four-day weekend full of events called "Girls in Wonderland" filled with pool parties, live shows and late-night events created just for lesbian and bisexual women.
Girls in Wonderland has grown so popular over its 10-year existence that this year it will be held at the Sheraton Lake Buena Vista resort, a large venue well-suited to accommodate the 6,000 expected attendees.
The hotel — which has recently undergone $25 million worth of renovations — is minutes away from Disney World, has two large pools surrounded by sun chairs and personal cabanas, an 80-foot poolside bar with signature cocktails and a spa offering soothing massages, mani/pedis and more.
The hotel will host Girls in Wonderland's daily pool parties and nightly after-hours discos as well as a drag king competition hosted by drag legends Murray Hill and Spikey Van Dikey and an evening of comedy with Chelsea Lately performer Fortune Feimster.
The weekend also features a handful of celebrity guests including Jessica Clarke (aka Lilith the blood-covered vampire goddess from True Blood), The Voice finalist Beverly McClellan, The L Word rock band Hunter Valentine and others at the weekend's big mixer, Boogie Wonderland at the local House of Blues.
There's also a cruisey party called "Traffic Jam" and a wild Friday night bash called Climax with DJs and dancers a-go-go. But if you're looking for something low key, you can also join the Girls In Wonderland dinner at the Rusty Spoon, try your hand at GIW's all-new poker academy or join the National Center for Lesbian Rights cocktail mixer and mingle at your own pace.
A portion of GIW's proceeds will go toward the NCLR so that it can continue pro bono legal work on behalf of LGBT people and also toward the Zebra Coalition, a local non-profit that offers assistance to LGBT youth.
Sadly, all the event's VIP passes are already sold out. But you can still pick up Party Girl Passes to gain entry into the weekend's parties, or you can hit up the events individually and pick-and-choose your weekend delights.
Either way, Girls in Wonderland offers dances, diversions and dinners for women of all tastes while letting you also help out two worthwhile LGBT causes. Princesses Belle, Jasmine and Tiana would all approve (and even Ursula and Maleficent would still have a blast).