For the first time, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will soon offer a free membership level allowing Disney fans worldwide to gain access to exclusive benefits at no cost.
Today D23 announces plans to completely revamp its web site with new and interesting fan-oriented content in mind. The new site will launch on June 17, 2013 at D23.com, providing access to newly digitized content from deep within The Walt Disney Company’s vault of material, past and present, along with exclusive glimpses of the future.
Only D23 members will have access to the new content, but that access won’t cost a penny.
The new D23 Free Membership will include:
Members-Only Website Content: Access to all exclusive content on D23.com.
Exclusive Merchandise: D23 offers its members access to exclusive, limited-edition merchandise and collectibles.
Subscription to Weekly D23 FanFare E-newsletter with breaking news and special offers. (You may opt out of receiving FanFare after your first e-newsletter arrives.)
Discounted tickets to the D23 Expo 2013: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event
“We’re creating a unique destination that celebrates, in all respects, the essence of Disney,” said Steven Clark, head of D23. “We believe the new site will offer one of the most engaging Disney experiences yet—with even more to come in the future. We look forward to debuting the new D23.com to our current members as well as to new ones from around the world.”
D23.com will continue to offer the latest Disney news free to all guests who visit the site. But D23 Members can unlock even more magic in each section by logging in and accessing content whenever a golden key is shown.
The other D23 membership levels, Silver and Gold, will co-exist with the new free membership option, keeping the same prices and perks. A Gold membership, including a subscription to the now Gold-exclusive “Disney twenty-three” magazine, costs $74.99 and a Silver membership costs $34.99. The paid membership levels add value over the free one, including a membership card, annual gift, and access to D23 special members-only events.
Among content said to be featured on the new D23.com will be exclusive celebrity interviews, vintage film clips, rarely seen artwork and photography, treasures from the Walt Disney Archives, behind-the-scenes previews of new movies and theme park attractions, and more.
New departments and sections are planned for the site:
Ask a Legend, a video feature in which Disney Legends like Marty Sklar answer fans questions;
Attraction Rewind, celebrating the beloved attractions of Disney’s past which once delighted theme park guests;
Weird Disney, looking at some of the more unusual and outrageous pieces of Disney’s past;
Muppetology, which opens up the Muppet-acular universe of our fuzzy friends;
The Quotable Walt Disney, a digitized version of the out-of-print book featuring some of Walt’s most enduring words;
First Look, which gives members a glimpse into what’s new and what’s next including Monsters University;
Characters, profiling the most beloved characters from television, film and comics with concept art and complete biographies.
When the new site launches on June 17, highlights will include:
23 Questions with Once Upon A Time star Ginnifer Goodwin and Phineas and Ferb’s “evil mastermind” Dr. Heinz Doofenschmirtz.
D’scovered: Treasures unearthed by the Walt Disney Archives, including rare imagery from the proposed Mickey Mouse Park, a concept which evolved into Disneyland; alternative dialogue for The Haunted Mansion penned by Disney Legend X. Atencio; the illustrated story script for “The Karnival Kid,” the 1929 short in which Mickey Mouse first speaks; and a special memento created for Walt by legendary artist Salvador Dali.
Disney A to Z – A complete and newly-updated electronic version of the definitive Disney encyclopedia with more than 7,000 entries written by Dave Smith, founder and Chief Archivist Emeritus of the Walt Disney Archives
D23 Presents – A deeper dive into all parts of Disney from the opening of Mystic Manor in Hong Kong Disneyland to rarely seen footage of the former Disney Studio on Hyperion Avenue.
Disney Legends and the Walt Disney Archives – Two new microsites; Disney Legends will provide a deeper look at those who’ve made significant contributions to the Disney legacy, and the Archives site will open up the doors of this institution so D23 can share more of The Walt Disney Company’s expansive collections.
D23 is also promising further surprises for the site down the line.