Last week Disney unveiled a previously top-secret online project, D23, "The Official Community for Disney Fans."
Many Disney fans like me have spent the last few days figuring out exactly what D23 is and what it offers. The "23" in D23 refers to the year the Disney Studio was founded. There are free and paid components of D23, which are listed in a rundown at MousePlanet.
Non-members can enjoy the D23 website, which is supposed to have breaking news and feature stories as well as "classic articles" and treasures from the Disney Archives. There is also a quarterly magazine which can be purchased at stores; I would expect it will be carried by Disneyana at Disneyland. (Speaking of magazines, I was very sorry that the E Ticket Magazine ceased publication...it was a fabulous chronicle of Disneyland history.)
The annual D23 membership fee is a steep $74.99 which gets you the magazine, an e-newsletter, a membership certificate, a surprise gift, and "exclusive special events and merchandise."
Based on the descriptions thus far, this doesn't seem to be something for which I'll be saving my pennies, especially if the membership is geared toward steering members toward high-end merchandise. I love Disneyland merchandise, but there is a limit to what I can afford and display, and I already have more than enough items tempting me on visits to the park... The website and magazine are of interest to me, and both can be enjoyed without joining D23.
That said, I'll be watching news of D23 closely in order to see what Disney does with the program.
There will be a D23 convention in Anaheim this September which can be attended by members and nonmembers alike.
Al Lutz and Jim Hill share more details about the new endeavor and critique what is known about the program thus far.
J.C. Loophole also has posted info on D23 over at The Shelf.
For extra fun, check out the Yesterland column on the Magic Kingdom Club, which is sure to stir up memories for many longtime Southern Californians.