With the D23 Expo coming to the Anaheim Convention Center Aug. 19-21, you've probably been seeing Mickey smiling at you from billboards and busses everywhere inviting you to come. But what is D23 anyway?
D23 is a membership, fee-based club created by The Walt Disney Company for fans who love Disney --from the parks, to the movies to collectibles. The year-round fan club celebrates Disney's rich history, informs its members on what's happening in all aspects of the company at the moment and gives them a sneak peek at what's on the horizon. The name is a combination of "D" for Disney and "23" for the year the Walt Disney Company was founded, 1923.
"It's all about access and experience," Steven Clark, VP of Corporate Communication for Disney and Head of Programing for the D23 Expo, told a group of bloggers recently as we toured the Disney Studios in Burbank. When Bob Iger took over as President and CEO of the Walt Disney Company in 2000 one of his goals was to create a fan club that had "all things Disney under one roof."
And why not? If any company can capture the hearts of their guests, consumers and fans it's Disney. A fan club seems like a natural step. D23 offers two levels of membership, Gold ($74.99) and Silver ($34.99). Each level offering members exclusive merchandise, special offers, access to seasonal event and a subscription to Disney Twenty-Three Magazine.
During our tour of the Walt Disney Studio I met a really Goofy guy...I mean, literally, Goofy. Bill Farmer has been the voice of Goofy for over 25 years. He took the time to have lunch with us and he talked about his work with Disney (he was officially made a Disney legend in 2009) and chatted about D23 and the upcoming D23 Expo.
Though he was fun and silly, breaking into character throughout the lunch, a wave of sincerity and appreciation came over him when he talked about Disney and D23. "The fans are what the whole company is about," he told us over iced tea. "History is important to the fans...like visiting an old friend."
I guess that's why D23 is a natural move for a Disney fan. You get the inside scoop on what's happening with your beloved company, plus all the old stories and history, just like an old friend, but ...you know...without them ever tagging you in a picture on Facebook from your 1985 Senior Prom.
This week I'm attending the Disney D23 Expo, a three day event produced by D23. So look for updates and flagrant bragging about all the cool things I'm going to see and do.
You can go too. Get the lowdown and tickets here.
My interview with the cast of Phineas & Ferb