D23, the community for Disney fans, has announced a summer of events for its members. Dubbed Unique Experiences Created Exclusively for Charter Members of ‘The Official Community for Disney Fans’.
D23 Roars into Vegas with Its First Members-Only Contest
BURBANK, Calif., May 14 /PRNewswire/ — Disney’s D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans today announced its Summer 2009 Special Events Calendar. From very special screenings and stepping behind-the-scenes with Mary Poppins to visiting the legendary Walt Disney Studios and Archives to being among the first to experience the new Walt Disney Family Museum, D23’s inaugural slate of Members-only events promises outstanding, unforgettable opportunities that are exclusive to the fan community’s Charter Membership.
“D23 Members are Disney’s biggest fans, and they’re always looking for distinctive, memorable ways to celebrate the things they love most about Disney,” said Steven Clark, Head of D23. “For our inaugural season of events and contests, we’ve created an experientially and geographically diverse calendar that we know our Members will enjoy and remember fondly for years.”
SUMMER 2009 CHARTER MEMBER-ONLY SPECIAL EVENTS:
May 28 D23 “Up All Night” at Hollywood’s El Capitan Theatre (FREE) (Los Angeles, CA) — Theatergoers across the country will soon meet the unlikely duo of 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen and 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer Russell in Disney Pixar’s latest adventure, Up. D23 Members will be among the first to see the film at this free event at the historic El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles on May 28, 2009. The fun begins with a special pin trading event, followed by an all new Disney stage show and a screening of the new Disney-Pixar short Partly Cloudy and the highly anticipated and critically acclaimed Up! And it wouldn’t be a D23 event without a few other special surprises and guests!
May 31 D23’s Flowers & Fireworks Celebration at Epcot (FREE with park admission) (Orlando, FL) – Join D23 at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort to celebrate its members in all 50 states and more than 25 countries worldwide! Start the evening at the American Gardens Theatre with reserved seating for the Flower Power Concert Series Finale, starring the legendary Tony Orlando, to close the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Next, head to a VIP location to mix and mingle with your fellow D23 members over desserts and coffee, and then enjoy the spectacular nighttime extravaganza IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth from a private viewing area.
June 24 D23’s Supercalifragilistic Night on Broadway (New York, NY) — Disney’s award-winning musical Mary Poppins recently celebrated its 1,000th performance on Broadway and on June 24, 2009, D23 Members are being offered the opportunity to meet one another and share in the magic with premium seats, merchandise discounts and an opportunity to stay after the show for a special “behind-the-scenes” experience at the historic New Amsterdam Theatre in New York City. D23 Members also will receive the recently released 2-Disc Mary Poppins 45th Anniversary Special Edition DVD, courtesy of our friends at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.
June 24 D23 and Poppins Breeze into The Windy City (Chicago, IL) — Mary Poppins blew into the Windy City on March 25, 2009 and original Broadway stars Ashley Brown and Gavin Lee have been delighting audiences at the Cadillac Palace Theatre ever since. On June 24, 2009, D23 Members will have the chance to experience the “practically perfect” Mary Poppins like never before, with premium seats, merchandise discounts, complimentary souvenir program and a once-in-a-lifetime “behind-the-scenes” experience. D23 Members also will receive the recently released 2-Disc Mary Poppins 45th Anniversary Special Edition DVD, courtesy of our friends at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.
June 27 D23 and The Lion King Roar in Vegas (Las Vegas, NV) — After entertaining more than 45 million guests in theatres around the world, Simba and Nala have roared their way onto the world famous Las Vegas Strip. On June 27, 2009, D23 will host a special night at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, with premium seating for The Lion King, a “behind-the-scenes” experience and more, available exclusively to D23 Members.
June 27 & Aug. 15 D23 Day at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives (FREE)
(Burbank, CA) — A rare opportunity for D23 Members to enjoy a 2-hour tour of The Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Archives, hosted by D23 and Disney Archives staff. Only two dates are available for the Summer 2009 Calendar and space is limited.
July 17 D23 presents Disneyland, U.S.A. (FREE) (Anaheim, CA) — Celebrate Disneyland’s 54th Anniversary with a special screening of Walt Disney’s recently restored 1956 “People and Places” featurette Disneyland, U.S.A., as well as a panel discussion including Imagineer Tony Baxter, Disney Legend and Chief Archivist Dave Smith, and Disney Studios Film Archivist Ed Hobelman. The event will take place at Disneyland’s Team Disney Anaheim Theater and will be followed by a D23 Member reception.
Sept TBD The Walt Disney Family Museum Preview (FREE) (San Francisco, CA) – Prior to its October 2009 Grand Opening, D23 members will have the opportunity to experience The Walt Disney Family Museum, celebrating the life and achievements of the man who raised animation to an art, transformed the film industry, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a global and distinctly American legacy. This special preview will be hosted by the Museum’s Executive Director Richard Benefield. Dates and details will be available soon.
To find out more about D23’s Summer 2009 Special Events Calendar, including admissions and how to register for events, visit www.disney.com/D23 and click on the “Expo & Events” tab. All D23 Special Events are subject to change without notice, have varying admission fees and registration processes, and may require advance reservations due to space limitations.
SUMMER 2009 CHARTER MEMBER-ONLY CONTEST:
In addition to D23’s inaugural slate of special events, the fan community is also pleased to announce its first Member-only contest. This summer, one lucky D23 Member and a guest will have the chance to win an incredible getaway package to join the pack at Pride Rock and see The Lion King in Las Vegas including 2-nights accommodation at the Mandalay Bay Resort and much more. To enter, D23 Members are being asked to tell us what they love most about The Lion King in 300 words or less. A complete list of rules/ regulations and more information will be available at www.disney.com/D23 in early June.
The name “D23” pays homage to the wonder and excitement that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his fledgling studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official community for fans in the Company’s 85-year history. D23 gives its Members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication Disney twenty-three; a rich website at www.disney.com/D23; a new collectibles line, The Walt Disney Archives Collection; and special events for D23 Members throughout the year, highlighted by the D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, September 10-13, 2009.
Fans can join D23 at www.Disney.com/D23, all Disney Store locations within the United States, select shops at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, and www.DisneyShopping.com/D23.
Wrapping it up
I have been less than impressed with the D23 membership thus far. Combined with the inability of the fulfill many of the most basic membership elements (i.e. I had 4 separate poster delivered before receiving one that was not damaged) to the lack of stock for many of the collectibles in the D23 shop.
Let’s hope that Disney is learning to place more value on the members and their requirements to participate in the community. Events like this are at least a start.