D23 fan club reveals 2016 membership gift

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It’s the end of one year and time for D23: The Official Disney Fan Club to launch its renewal efforts. For 2016 Gold Members or higher, they have a special gift that comes “From the Office of Walt Disney.” To celebrate the restoration of Walt Disney’s office suite on the Studios’ Burbank lot, the Walt Disney Archives worked with D23 to meticulously reproduce 23 unique pieces from Walt’s career that trace his path from America’s heartland to the world stage. It’s a great way to honor Walt and the company he created.

Included in the assortment are items from Walt’s early years in business such as his 1923 Laugh-O-gram Films Inc. business card and the famous 1928 “Everything OK” telegram, which Walt cryptically wired his brother Roy when he lost the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Also in the collection are the 1955 Disneyland invitational press preview pass and Walt’s notes on pages from the “EPCOT Film” script from 1966. Pieces representing animation, live action, television, and theme parks—as well as Walt’s own personal life—make up this one-of-a-kind set.

The gift comes in a “book” designed specifically to hold all the items and will be sent to all D23 Gold and Gold Family Members who join or renew from January 1 through December 31, 2016. Guests can see images from the gift—and learn more about the 23 rare items—at D23.com/OfficeOfWaltDisney.

Disney fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($74.99), Gold Family Membership ($99.99), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at D23.com and at DisneyStore.com/D23. D23 Members save when renewing their membership and may renew up to 90 days prior to their membership expiration.

I like the idea of The Walt Disney Company having an official fan club. In fact, I miss the old Mickey Mouse Club and the travel and merchandise discounts it provided. I’ve never really been a fan of the way D23 was conceived or executed. I don’t think you should charge an arm and a leg to be a club member. The benefits should outweight the costs by far, so far, I haven’t seen that to be the case. Sure, there is a free level now, which is a low barrier to get the D23 exclusive content, but I don’t see any other benefits for fans whether they’re an official member or not. (BTW, I’m not including events, which often require travel to attend and have a ticket you have to buy, as a benefit.)

If you are a D23 member and think you get something out of it, that’s great. It’s just not for me, you know.