D23: What Does It Mean?
D23: What Does It Mean?
Posted Tuesday, March 17, 2009 at 1:43p Pacific Time
With the uptick in popularity of events like Comic-Con, I suppose it was inevitable that Disney would take control of its relationship with fans and launch an official fan club. And it's a perfectly reasonable thing to do: why shouldn't Disney own that relationship, and why shouldn't it make a little money off it? The more important question to the people who read a site like LaughingPlace: will D23 benefit Disney fans?
I think it's probably a wash. Yes, the D23 Expo will certainly be fun to go to, but some of that fun will almost have to come at the expense of shows like NFFC. Similarly, there's no way that a fan site will score an Imagineer interview if there's a waiting space in an upcoming issue of "Disney 23 Magazine." Fans will be getting a strengthened "official" relationship at the expense of a relationship with weaker independent Disney sources. Whether that's good or bad is hard to tell at this point, but the quality of Disney 23 Magazine and the Expo will decide.
Where I have an issue with D23--and, admittedly, it's a minor one--is on the subject of membership. Disney has no shortage of clubs it wants you to join, among them: Club 33, the Disney Vacation Club, Annual Passholders. (I'm sure there are others I've forgotten.) Disney is arguing for the umpteenth time that I need to pay a premium to elevate to the exalted status of "member," when those benefits seem slight, especially considering the two biggest aspects of D23--the new magazine and annual expo--are also accessible to non-members.
Furthermore, even for a company like Disney that turns out hundreds of products a year, there's only so much "special access" that can be granted. With my D23 membership Disney promises special access to events, merchandise... indeed, the same sorts of access that have been promised to so many other clubs. (Pity the poor Disney folks who have to figure out who gets first dibs on, say, a new attraction opening or an artist signing. I can imagine the D23, DVC, AP, and Club 33 marketing managers getting into a tussle.)
The "become a member" mantra was old already, and to me the D23 membership cards and certificates feel like obvious gimmicks. Would anything have been lost had Disney simply announced a first-class fan magazine and expo, rather than yet another club to join?
I am going to have to agree with MagicalKingdomQueen, I enjoy the collectible aspect of the magazine. The veneer of membership is a little thin, but getting the D23 magazines mailed to me is pretty cool.
Posted By MagicalKingdomQueen Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 1:06p Pacific Time
I joined, because of a gift membership. I personally think that it is a cool idea. just because I am part of this club, doesn't mean I can't be a member of other clubs, right? D23 is almost like a cool collectible to me, it also has the chance of having news that other places might not have. No offense to anyone! I love laughingplace.com!
Posted By trekkeruss Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 3:02p Pacific Time
The thing about the MKC is that it was, for millions of people, an employee benefit. It didn't cost a cent. Even when the MKC Gold Card program was rolled out, it still could be a good deal.
Posted By Schmitty Good Vibes Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 1:52p Pacific Time
I recall several Disney magazines that have come and gone. I know I was a member of the Magic Kingdom Club for years until it finally offered me nothing special. I believe there were other clubs that have come and gone (the Mickey Mouse Club for sure, but I think there were others).
Sorry Disney, it isn't worth it for me.
Posted By disbiz Wednesday, March 18, 2009 at 4:34a Pacific Time
I agree, at first glance the idea of D23 was a neat idea ( an exclusive Disney club for Disney fans) but when you start to dissect the club benefits that's when the excitement started to fade. So let me get this straight Disney, you want me to pay 75.00 for a website and magazines that are not members only material but available to everyone, 850.00 pens, and a expo that I can't afford to go to anyway. So really I'm paying 75.00 so I can say I'm a "member". Sorry guys but I need a little more. At the very least the website and mags should have been exclusive to members and maybe that 75.00 might not be so bad.