On Tuesday, Disney’s D23 official fan community announced a few new benefits that will allow some members to save enough money to warrant joining the club, but leave others wondering what’s in it for them.
Here are the newly-announced discounts:
Two D23 membership levels are available, Gold-level at $74.99 a year and Silver-level memberships at $34.99 a year. All discounts and special promotions are available to both Gold- and Silver-level D23 Members, so the only difference between them remains that Gold-level members receive the quarterly Disney twenty-three magazine, which retails for $15.95 per issue. (Gold-level members also receive special surprise gifts with the magazines in the mail.)
Given that most of the above-listed discounts are 10% off food, merchandise, and experiences, a D23 member would need to purchase $350 worth of those items in a year to “pay for” a Silver-level D23 membership (for the math challenged: 10% of $350 is $35, which is roughly the cost of a Silver-level membership).
D23 membership has never made sense to me. Very few events take place at Walt Disney World here in Orlando and those that were here have either been too expensive (a premium on top of joining D23) or not interesting enough for me to join. Only the Mandara Spa and ESPN Zone discounts listed above apply to Walt Disney World and I am not a frequent visitor of either of those locations.
These announced discounts leave me wondering why D23 members can’t also receive 10% off the same or similar restaurants and shops at Downtown Disney at Walt Disney World? Once again, those who travel to Florida’s Disney parks more often than California will see little value in joining D23.
But for those who frequent the Disneyland Resort and, for some reason, don’t have an annual pass which already grants them many of the listed discounts and more, perhaps this will be a new reason to join D23.
And don’t get me wrong. I think last year’s D23 Expo was fantastic (for both members and non-members) and this year’s announced “Destination D” members-only event sounds like a ton of fun. But I won’t be joining D23 until/unless more exclusive events and discounts come to my coast.