I did post this earlier in the string about "No 2010 Expo," and for those of you who hate seeing posts in different places, I apologize -- I don't know how to "merge." But the more I thought about what I wrote, the more I wanted to share it with more people, hope you don't mind.
The question was raised about whether a member should renew D23 membership, and I feel very strongly that it's something I'm HAPPY to be part of. Here are my reasons:
* The magazine. Yeah, it's been well discussed whether it's "worth" the cost, and on a practical level it DOES justify the full price. I look at it ALL the time, much to my surprise. The writing is good, the photos terrific. The layout needs a lot of work, and sometimes it leans toward promotional puffery, but there's a lot of terrific stuff in there that you just don't find anywhere else. "New" news? No. But new insight, new photos, new material that I've either never seen or never seen presented quite this way. I love it. A lot. And I would honestly miss it. It's worth a premium, and indeed I am collecting them just as they said I would.
* Local events. If you're outside of CA or FL or don't go there much, I can see some questions about renewing. (But, then, see my argument above.) But for those who ARE within driving distance, one or two events a year, even at the additional cost, is worth it. I'm going to the Archives event in April and really looking forward to it. I've been to the lot many times, but not on an official tour, and I get to meet with other Disney fans, so it's a plus. And I'm going to the Disneyland party, which I think sounds awesome, even taking into account all criticisms. Undecided about the screenings, but I missed out on "Toby" tickets anyway. These events absolutely, positively are "worth it" to me.
* Benefits. I actually used my D23 card on a Downtown Disney trip recently, and it saved me about 10 bucks. Not a lot, but if I go three times a year and use it at the merchants, that's $30 savings. Plus the magazine. Plus exclusive events. This is starting to make a lot of sense now to me.
* Community. Really. Truly. No, Disney doesn't offer message boards, comments and forums, something I don't understand. But I read MiceChat frequently, and say what you will, but those of us in D23 DO now have something more in common.
* Free gifts. I love receiving freebies with the magazine. Even if they only sent one or two a year, where else can I get these and feel like they're "free"? The calendar sits proudly in my kitchen and I look at it every day. I love it!
Is D23 worth it? YOU BET, for me at least. I can see LOTS of room for improvement, but it beats the heck out of the old Disney Club, it's even better than the MKC if you ask me, and since I never collected figurines, it makes more sense than the WDCC. And it's about, oh, $14,000 cheaper than buying into the DVC.