The Travelears Podcast, Website and Blog, was invited to participate in Disneyâ€™s D23 conference call today with Steven Clark (head of D23 and Executive Editor of Disney twenty-three), Dave Smith (Disney Chief Archivist) and Marty Sklar (EVP & Walt Disney Imagineering Ambassador).
This carefully orchestrated conference call, was very well attended by the press and members on the online Disney community.
Â As we all know by now, the D23 viral campaign was designed to launch an â€œofficial community for Disney Fansâ€, run by Disney.
Steven Clark confirmed today during the discussion that program was named D23 due to 1923 being the year that Walt Disney Company founded. He went on to say â€œthat the initiative celebrates the roots, creativity and future of Walt Disney Companyâ€ and that the Disney company recognizes that the fans are important to the Disney legacy.
D23 membership is $74.95 which includes:
- One year subscription (four issues) to â€œDisney twenty-threeâ€ publication. D23â€™s exquisite collectible magazine is filled with stunning photography, dazzling illustrations and Disney insider perspective. Itâ€™s an all-access pass to discovering the magic of Disneyâ€™s past, present and future!
- Membership Card and Certificate. The membership card and personalized, suitable-for-framing charter member certificate, feature many of Disneyâ€™s most beloved characters as drawn by Disney Master Artist Dave Pacheco.
- Surprise Collectible Gift. Just for D23 members, an exclusive Charter Year collectible gift from the new Walt Disney Archives Collection.
- Exclusive Special Events and Merchandise. D23 offers its members unique special-event opportunities throughout the year, as well as access to member-exclusive, limited-edition merchandise and collectibles.
- Discounted admission to the D23 Expo the D23 â€“ premier online destination for fans is free to everyone.
Access to the D23 web site is free.
From September 10â€“13, 2009, the D23 Expo comes to life at the Anaheim Convention Center. The Expo will be the single largest gathering of all things Disney.
The incredible experiences, exhibits and presentations at the Expo are another way D23 will connect fans to the timeless stories, characters and amazing worlds that we create here at Disney. Guests entering the main showroom floor of the recently renovated Convention Center will discover exciting pavilions from every part of The Walt Disney Company.
Each will offer unique immersive experiences the whole family can enjoy. Parks and Resorts, Walt Disney Records, Disney Consumer Products, ABC, ESPN and Walt Disney Imagineering â€” to name a few â€” will all be featured. There will be surprising gallery events, author appearances and signings and even a beautiful Disney Home to walk through. Radio Disney will rock the Expo every day, and you can expect favorite Disney talent to make appearances throughout the event. (We hear there may even be a wedding!)
Steven also commented that the D23 Expo web site, which will be coming soon, will give up-to-the-second breaking news about the Expo, including ticket information and online ordering, the latest event information and everything you need to know about the ultimate Disney fan experience!
Marty Sklar briefly spoke about his excitement in preparing articles for the new publication and Dave Smith gave a brief history of Disney Fandom.
After the formalities were completed, the queue was then opened for a limited number of questions to be asked to the Disney team.
Most of these questions came from the Disney online community and a few of the interesting points that were raised included:
- There mayÂ be the opportunity for the Online community to participate in D23
- The D23 Expo will be an annual event in Anaheim for the next 4 years and may visit other locations
- That planning for D23 started four years ago and ramped up over the past 12 months
- There are no immediate plans to hold in park events, but this maybe considered further
- There may be spin off benefits Annual Pass Holders, DVC Members and other Disney program members
- Marty Sklar stated, â€œThis is not meant to be another means for Disney to sell merchandise. It is intended for Disney fans to feel connected to the company and each other.â€
So in a nutshell, there it is. Disney has decided to actively participate in its own fan base. Is this is good or bad, time will only tell, but it does appear that Disney is putting some of its best talent behind this program to make sure that it is successful.
Make sure that you listen to the next special edition of The Travelears Podcast, as we will be discussing D23, the press conference and our own personal opinions about this very interesting concept.
And dont forget to check out our website for all of your D23 questions at www.thetravelears.comÂ