What is D23? Everything you need to know about D23 The Official Disney Fan Club

in Disney, Events

D23 expo & D23 The Official Disney Fan Club

D23 is definitely a buzzword in the Disney community, and with the 2019 D23 Expo coming up (and all the D23 events happening during the holiday season) members and non-members alike are talking about what’s new in the world of D23.

But what is D23? And why are D23 events often so exclusive? Here is everything you need to know about D23 the official Disney fan club.

What is D23?

Founded in 2009 as the first official Disney fan club of its kind, D23 celebrates The Walt Disney Company to “bring fans closer to the magic.” D23 offers members unique merchandise, exclusive events and experiences, online content and publications, and an inside look at anything and everything related to Disney.

D23 is open to any and all Disney fans, and you can be any age to join.

Levels of membership

As you may know, there are many levels of D23 Membership, and you don’t have to break the bank in order to become a D23 Member. You can still reap many of the D23 benefits without paying the cost of a Gold-level membership. Here are the levels and costs of D23 Membership:

General: Complimentary

Anyone can sign up for a General D23 Membership and still have access to sign up for General D23 events, such as D23 Expo. A general D23 Member receives a subscription to the D23 “Fanfare” e-newsletter, access to exclusive news and stories on the D23 website, and has the ability to purchase tickets to the D23 Expo. For individuals who love Disney but aren’t sure if a D23 Membership is right for them, the complimentary General Membership is a great option.

Gold: $99.99/year

Gold Membership is the next tier up, and the price difference is quite a large jump. But this mid-tier D23 Membership will grant you access to special events, such as exclusive film screenings like “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” and holiday parties at Walt Disney Studios.

According to the D23 website, all of the following (and even more) is included when you become a Gold Member:

  • “Disney twenty-three” Quarterly Publication: A one-year subscription (four issues) exclusively for D23 Gold Members to D23’s exquisite collectible magazine, filled with stunning photography, dazzling illustrations, and the ultimate Disney insider perspective. It’s your all-access pass to discovering the magic of Disney’s past, present, and future!
  • Membership Card and Certificate: Your membership card and personalized, suitable-for-framing member certificate features Mickey Mouse.
  • Our 2019 Gold Member Gift: 10th anniversary with a pin set commemorating Disney milestones. From “The Skeleton Dance” to “Up,” each pin in the collection marks 10 Disney anniversaries in 2019.
  • Special promotional offers and discounts throughout the year: members can save hundreds of dollars on shopping, entertainment, and their next Disney adventure.  
  • Special Member Events: The opportunity to attend numerous D23 Member events throughout the year.    
  • Exclusive Merchandise: D23 offers its members access to exclusive merchandise and collectibles.    
  • Subscription to weekly D23 “FanFare” e-newsletter with breaking news, exclusive features and special offers. (You may opt out of receiving “FanFare” after your first e-newsletter arrives.)
  • Plus, stay connected to D23 every day at D23.com, featuring breaking Disney news, exclusive feature stories, event info, merchandise and more.
D23 Pin Set
Credit: D23

Gold Family: $129.99/year

This is the highest level of D23 Membership, though the price difference between Gold and Gold Family is much less drastic than that of Gold and General. Perhaps the most bang for your buck that you will get from a Gold Family membership is the ability to bring up to three guests to special events, whereas Gold members only get one guest. Given that, if you are a family of four, only one member of your family may want to splurge on the highest-tier membership, and then bring the other three members to events.

The D23 website lists all of the following as included when you become a Gold Family Member:

  • “Disney twenty-three” Quarterly Publication: A one-year subscription (four issues) exclusively for D23 Gold Family Members to D23’s exquisite collectible magazine, filled with stunning photography, dazzling illustrations and the ultimate Disney insider perspective. It’s your all-access pass to discovering the magic of Disney’s past, present and future!
  • Membership Card and Certificate: Your membership card and personalized, suitable-for-framing member certificate features Mickey Mouse.
  • Our 2019 Gold Member Gift: 10th anniversary with a pin set commemorating Disney milestones. From “The Skeleton Dance” to “Up,” each pin in the collection marks 10 Disney anniversaries in 2019.
  • Special promotional offers and discounts throughout the year: members can save hundreds of dollars on shopping, entertainment and their next Disney adventure.  
  • Special Member Events: D23 Gold Family Members have the ability to bring up to three guests to select D23 Member events.  
  • Exclusive Merchandise: D23 offers its members access to exclusive merchandise and collectibles.    
  • Subscription to weekly D23 FanFare e-newsletter with breaking news, exclusive features and special offers. (You may opt out of receiving FanFare after your first e-newsletter arrives.)
  • Plus, stay connected to D23 every day at D23.com, featuring breaking Disney news, exclusive feature stories, event info, merchandise and more.

D23 Expo

Every two years, D23 hosts the D23 Expo, a celebration of everything Disney held at the Anaheim Convention Center. The expo is three days of discussions, presentations, merchandise, previews, and more that take fans behind the scenes and inside the magic (much like our website suggests, might we add) of all things that encompass the Walt Disney Company.

D23 Expo is where Disney announces plans for the theme parks and upcoming films. It is where Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land, and Pixar Pier were showcased, where fan-favorite films like Moana were announced, and where Disney Legends were inducted. D23 is, quite possibly, the ultimate experience for any Disney fan, and to have the chance to attend the bi-annual event is at the top of many fans’ bucket lists.

Any level of D23 Member and even non-members can purchase tickets to D23 Expo, though prices vary depending on membership as there are big discounts available for D23 Gold and Gold Family Members.

No matter your membership level or ticket costs, each person who purchases a D23 Expo ticket will receive discounts on hotel stays and Disneyland Resort park tickets. According to D23, D23 Gold and Gold Family Members will also be entitled to special benefits throughout the expo weekend, including exclusive discounts and offers at select Disney retail and partner locations, a commemorative gift, and limited priority queueing for Hall D23 and the Expo Arena. For the ultimate Disney fan who has not yet become a D23 Member, it may be a good idea to purchase Gold and Gold Family Membership before purchasing tickets to receive these benefits during the expo weekend, and then cancel the high-tier membership after the expo.

Here are the prices for a 2019 D23 Expo ticket:

D23 Expo 2019 Ticketing infographic

 

Should I join D23 the Official Disney Fan Club?

Because the lowest-tier D23 Membership is free of charge, a General D23 Membership is quite possibly a no-brainer for any Disney fan. If you know that attending the D23 Expo with all the benefits of being a Gold or Gold Family member would be a dream come true, consider upgrading to the mid- or top-tier membership.

Whether you’ve always been a Disney fan or your love for the company is just beginning, we hope you’ve benefited from this look into the official Disney fan club. Are you a member yet?

View Comments (2)