Disney launches D23, a community for fans

Meliza Solan Surdi · March 13, 2009 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/757

Can we get some discounts to Disney stores and theme parks, please?

 Will fans really be willing to pay a $75 annual fee for membership to Disney's brand new entertainment community?

Walt Disney announced this week, a new community for Mickey Mouse fans that's available for an annual subscription. 

It's Disney's first official community for Disney fans in its 85-year history. So, what do fans get?

Drum roll, please.

D23 members will get a quartlery magazine, filled with photographs of Disney's history, a certificate and card featuring Disney characters (suitable for framing. Wow!), and an exclusive collectible gift. Fans can also stay connected through D23's Web site, which features real-time Disney news, feature stories and event information. 

Importantly, and probably the most intriguing value of the membership is that Disney will host special events to bring together Disney fans. The first event will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in mid-September. It's designed to be "The Ulimate Disney Fan Experience," according to Disney marketers. It will include celebrity appearances and sneak previews of upcoming films and it will offer one-of-a-kind merchandise. 

D23 also offers members "special event opportunities throughout the year." Unfortunately, whether those special events mean free days at the theme parks, isn't explicitly stated.  

The new community is Disney's attempt to broaden its online strategy to capture subscription revenue, according to the WSJ.

Will it work? There are skeptics who don't believe consumers will pay up, even though at first blush the price seems reasonable. 

After all, if ticket prices for a one-time entry to a Disney theme park for an adult cost about $60.00, why wouldn't consumers pay a little more for potential discounted tickets to theme parks, or special events, as well as some exclusive Disney paraphernalia? OK. A framed certificate doesn't seem all that exciting.

And, Disney fans are already converging elsewhere around various Disney content. For instance, on Facebook, there's already more than 23,000 fans converging around Disney's High School Musical. 

So, will D23 be a hit with Mickey Mouse fans and for Disney?

It could be. But it won't be because it's a place to bring together Disney fans. It'll probably work better if it's a membership that offers deep discounts to Disney's theme parks and Disney stores. 

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes