Hi folks .... I havent posted in a while, but, I was (still am? Who knows?) a charter first day member of D23. I remember being so excited to call in and join this mysterious new "official" club with great expectations, in March of 2009. A good friend did the same and we called each other to make sure we "got in" on the first day. We waited with excitement for the first expo, and attended the first Holiday screening (Christmas Carol at the El Cap) and dinner that December; I went to wonderful, once in a lifetime events like the Rocketeer screening and the Ponyo "premiere" (true, not a D23 event but D23 was the reason I got in) as well as taking friends to the Studio to see movies of our childhood 50 years later. Although there were frustrations at times, there were wonderful memories as well - which outweighed the frustrations - until the events of my third year of membership.
I feel, like many have written about other aspects of the Disney company, that the benefits of D23 have decreased. I know its a corporation, I know the people are wonderful and committed lovers of all the unique aspects of Disney history and creativity - but I just feel like I have been taken for granted and disrespected. The way so many things were handled at the second expo; the increased prices and watered down "uniqueness" of the events, at least in my perception; and the feeling that overall there are cutbacks in offerings for the year ahead. Do these measure out quantitatively? Perhaps not - but the FEEL that way to me. And my feelings are that I am not valued, that I am taken for granted, and one thing more than any other has made me decide to put an end to my participation ....
The screwed up, in my opinion, definition of my membership term and timing.
I know other threads have talked about the confusion of renewal and member years so I wont repeat all the factors, but - having joined in March of 2009, there is just NO ****** way that my membership can be considered to end prior to March 2012. Yet I have stopped getting magazines; received emails of my imminent loss of membership "privileges"; not received all the "freebies" that I was supposed to. My friend was in the same boat; she made the effort to email them asking when her membership was good through. They sent her the Kermit issue but no response. Yes, I know, I know ... the subscription fulfillment process is not maintained by D23 proper, or whatever. But this has been going on for years. Who gets a watch? Who gets a journal? Who gets what when? What is a "year"? Well, that sounds clintonesque - a year is TWELVE MONTHS!!! Duh. To quote my good friend, I'm no fool, no sirree. But I have been treated like a fool, like an object, like a number - not like a member or a friend. And it is NOT up to me to make the effort to fix it, it is up to the vast, undead bureaucratic machinery to which I am but a series of digits.
Added to that my feeling that year four will just be more of the same - not true for everyone else, perhaps, but true for me. I have been blessed with wonderful opportunities and great memories, long before D23, to have special experiences and meet wonderful creative people and castmembers, but now it all seems "been there done that". I do appreciate the creativity and thought that appear to have been put into the Smoketree ranch and Marceline events, but I cannot afford those - I just wanted basic service and respect.
To the D23 staff, you have all my respect and sympathy - I know you are probably fighting against pressures that we, the membership, will never fully know. Expected to deliver on budget committments and member levels without the resources to acheive them, trying to share your own love for this vast empire of creativity and imagination, and its wonderful history. I have appreciated everything you have accomplished, even along with the disappointments. But, it is January 2012 and apparently I am no longer a member for 3 years after March 2009, and I dont care about another 2 months of being taken for granted. I hope for better things ahead for you all and thank you for what you tried to acheive; I suspect the continued existence of D23 depends on the next year of results and its survival remains uncertain. I wish I could support it again but I feel like I would be saying "thank you very much for using me" and I get enough of that in the rest of my life LOL!
Good bye D23.