If one didn’t know it was coming from the marketing department of the Disney Corporation, one might have mistaken the “Are you 23?” campaign as one capitalizing off of Michael Jordan’s famous association with the number 23.
After a viral campaign of a few months where we were teased with the question of Are you 23?, we found out that the rumors were true and Disney was starting their first Official Disney Fan Community.
The official announcement came during the Disney Stockholders Meeting, but following that, there was by-invite-only conference call with key Disney executives to discuss the D23 program that had many bloggers, podcasters and website hosts on the call.
I wish I could’ve been on the call, but maybe the fact that until now, I hadn’t provided a way for people to email me may have been the cause ;) So Disney, if you are reading this and want to invite me to future press events such as what occurred today, I have an e-mail link you can hit now.
According to what I’ve been told by people were on the conference call, Disney talked about the Disney Expo event that will occur on September 10-13 2009 and will have some exclusive events during the Expo for Members of the D23 Fan Club. Another thing that was mentioned was that there will exist the possibility for members of the unofficial fan community to have a presence at the Expo.
I’m not going to give a lot of details because it’s been cut & pasted all over the internet on many blogs and websites. But the official D23 website is http://www.disney.com/d23 and there is plenty of info there to read up on.
There has been a lot of chatter on Twitter and Facebook if purchasing a D23 membership is worth it.
First, I need to mention that the price of a member is $74.99 (before tax). Also, there are not any family memberships available at this time, so you’ll need to purchase a membership for each member of your family who you think will want to attend any special, members only events.
Since I don’t attend Disney stuff without Enchanted Rose, I purchased a membership for both of us. Memberships are available online only through DisneyShopping.com. When you purchase your membership you are asked to provide a Member Name. When I purchased my membership, I made the mistake of thinking D23 Member Name was like a screen name for a forum so I used one of my usual names. Later in the day, I got a call from Disney Shopping to get a name that matches a picture id. So, when I purchased my wife’s membership, I made sure to use her full name.
Another thing I should point out, you either need separate accounts for Disney Shopping to purchase more than one membership, or you’ll need to purchase one and then choose the “Buy as a Gift” option so you can purchase for the other members of your family.
Now to the question of if it’s worth it….
At this point, I think it’s too early to say. Right now for the money you are getting a 1 year subscription to the Disney Twenty-Three publication (which sells for almost $16/issue) and a free “Charter Member” gift. So unless the “free gift” is a piece of junk worth less than $10 you pretty much get $75 worth of merchandise for your membership.
During the conference call, Marty Sklar made the statement that this isn’t just Disney’s way of selling more merchandise. Already people have called this into question because D23 launched with some pretty pricey members only merchandise.
But, I’m going to go out on a limb that as time goes on we are going to hear about more members only exclusive events and access that doesn’t involve merchandise.
They’ve already announced the Disney Expo I mentioned earlier which has a discounted price for members ($58 savings off 4-day ticket and $7 savings off of daily price)
I’m guessing in the future that we’ll hear about other events and fan gatherings that can only be attended by members.
Only time will tell what the future will hold for D23.
For me, the decision was easy. I kept putting off joining the WDCC because I thought it wasn’t worth the $50 membership. Then, I found out this year that there were some WDCC members-only pieces that I cannot get, that my wife wants, because I didn’t join back when we originally wanted. When this opportunity arose, I had to join just to avoid missing out on any possible events or collectors merchandise that I couldn’t participate in because I wasn’t a member by a certain date.
So, yes, I’m 23 and dang proud! I cannot wait to see what the future holds now that Disney has taken the official foray into the world of Fan Communities.
Hopefully, they know what they are getting themselves into…haha