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Old 08-07-2012, 11:13 AM   #1
HootDad
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To D23 or not to D23

Hi all,

I know you may be thinking that this is not the right board for this - and maybe it isn't - but bear
with me and I think you'll see why I posted it here.

Anyway, ever since reading about last years D23 expo I promised myself I'd go to the next one. With all of the (deserved) criticism of D23 I thought that the expo at least was well thought of. But lately I've been reading bad things about the expo too. So, I'd like input on the following...

First, to kind of give you a level set, my main interest is in the parks and Disney history. To that point, if I can't get into things like seminars with long time Disney legend imagineers (think Marty Sklar) then honestly I think that it would not be worth it to me. And I should add that, while I will pay attention and get event tickets as soon as I can, if these are things that sell out "in seconds" then I don't think I'll be able to get in.

So here are questions and how it relates to this board.

Should I instead think in terms of doing a DIS Unplugged sponsored "Backstage Magic"? Would this be something that is likely to include "special guests"? (As I recall there have been in the past) I know it would be more expensive, but if it's the type of thing that would likely include exclusive experiences then I would be into that.

Am I being pessimistic to think that I would not get into events with imagineers etc at D23?

Is the expo worth it regardless of the special events?

Bear in mind I am not interested in a cruise.

Any thoughts appreciated.

John T - HootDad - Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:30 AM   #2
mikelan6
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I have not been to any of the D23 events as I am not a D23 member (I don't live in SoCal and as a shareholder, I think we should have been given free or discounted memberships).

I have heard that there is an upgraded level of pass you can get to the D23 Expo events that will guarantee you get in to the lectures you want. This might be less expensive than going on an ABD tour.

I did experience the ABD BSM Tour with the DIS and it was incredible. ABD guests are treated in First Class fashion. However, the tour wasn't as detailed or geeky as you'd think. We did get a brief glimpse of Imagineering and the Studios, no access to Marty Sklar etc there. The DIS treated us to lunch with Mr Sklar, but that was not part of the regular ABD Tour. You would get more of the "access to celebrities" at a D23 Expo or Destination D if they offer that again.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:32 AM   #3
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It sounds like you would have loved the two Destination D events that they put on:

Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th

Destination D: Disneyland '55

These are the kind of events that I love. In fact I'm going to one this weekend (shameless plug). This year's is not centered on the Parks though, it's about 75 years of Disney animation.

In my opinion, the Expo tries to do too much. We'll see how it goes this year, but I'm still not sure they've learned the lessons of the past. D23 has put on some great events, including the first Expo, but I was underwhelmed with the last Expo.
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Old 08-07-2012, 11:41 AM   #4
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Last year we did the DisUnplugged July Backstage Magic ABD (Kermit hands) and then the D23 expo. No hesitation, I would do another DisUnplugged trip before going back to the D23 expo. I did not have the super duper, go anywhere $1000 D23 expo ticket, so there was a lot of standing around. There was differently neat things to see and do at the D23 expo, but the experience we had with our ABD group was 1000 times better. We're bummed we can't make a DisUnplugged ABD trip work into our schedule in 2013, but we're crossing our fingers for 2014!
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:04 PM   #5
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There is a fairly long thread about D23 currently on page 1 of Rumors and News which discusses if it will last.

My personal opinion, having been to the first Expo, was I was seriously underwhelmed. Of course I had been to all ten of the Disneyana Conventions and have been a member of the National Fantasy Fan Club (name change about four years ago to Disneyana Fan Club) and have seen what a true fan group can run. For more information go to www.disneyanafanclub.org and see what they do. Last major event I attended was when 50 of us went to DL Paris for the 20th Anniversary this April.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:09 PM   #6
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My DH got me a D23 subscription the year it started and I've kept it up because I like the idea of being a charter member of a Disney thing...
But let me tell you, I went to the expo last year expecting it to be the COOLEST DISNEY THING EVER and I've never been so disappointed in my whole life.
Let me preface by saying we are AP holders, go to WDW at least 1x a year, own at 2 DVC resorts, have been to both WDW and DL and LOVE all things Disney. So I think I'm being fair here.
I don't think D23 is worth it if you don't live close to the parks. The events sell out quickly and tend to be exclusively at or near the parks.
The magazine is great, love the merchandise, but all in all, it's just not worth it. My membership renews soon and I'm still trying to decide if I want to keep it or not.
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Old 08-08-2012, 10:07 PM   #7
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Personally, I found D23 to be a terrible disappointment. I signed up for a year (charter member) and was extremely underwhelmed. Membership might be more worthwhile for those living in California, where most of the perks/events are, but it wasn't for me. I have also heard of many D23 members being disappointed by the expo and what they were able to see and do.

Based on what you described, it sounds like an ABD trip might be more of interest. I went on one last summer and enjoyed spending a lot of time in Walt Disney Studios, Imagineering, Archives, etc. It really was an amazing experience and not something that you'll get with D23.
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Old 08-10-2012, 11:07 AM   #8
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Not Impressed

When first hearing about D23 I was excited. I thought it was just right for me. My DW got me a charter membership and I was ready to enjoy. After 2 years of membership I did not renew. The Magazines are wonderful and the few free items are good but I never felt like I was getting my money's worth. I live in Louisiana and teach so attending the D23 events never were possible due to the dates. I may once again become a member but not right now.
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