I've really vacillated in my feelings toward D23, and for a long time I was a big supporter because I really, really wanted to believe that this little group of people at Disney actually cared about its fans. But now my charter membership is up for renewal and I'm not even hesitating to let it lapse. Here's why.
A few months ago, I went to one of the few D23 events I've been to. Doesn't matter which. I thought it was OK, but I saw some D23 employees acting really rudely and smugly, like they owned the joint. OK, so they did, technically, but this was the kind of supercilious attitude that you sometimes though rarely see when non-costumed cast members are walking through Disneyland, acting as if the guests are an inconvenience. Anyway, that was fine, I could deal with it, but the event was really lackluster especially given the amount I spent for me and a friend to get in plus travel and accommodation.
I never found much use for my D23 membership, but I believed that a real fan would support Disney and ultimately D23 might become an ACTUAL "fan club." It's always bothered me that really, really simple things like allowing comments online, starting forums or watching old Disney videos isn't even a basic part of membership.
ANYWAY. What I did was, I wrote an email to several people at D23, including a couple of the "top" people. After two weeks with no response, not even a thank you, I sent the same email to guest services. This was not a complaining email. It was an email that said I really believed in D23 and wanted it to succeed, and I had made some observations that I thought could help them, since maybe they would want to know what a fan thought.
I never received a single response. No brief email of thanks or even of dismissal. No acknowledgment that my email was received. Not a thing. And that's when I realized D23 and its management doesn't really care about the fans. They have an idea of what they want this to be, and whatever it is, I'm getting absolutely no benefit from it. None. The event I went to was so lackluster that I certainly won't miss any D23 events in the future. I'll save my $75 from D23, won't buy the magazine, which has become just a bunch of corporate publicity fluff anyway that doesn't even come close to touching on the things I find interesting as a "Disney fan." I'm already saving $400 this year by not renewing my Annual Pass, so in all, the $500 or so I will save will go a long way toward a trip to Europe I've been wanting to take -- instead of 2/3 of one night at a Disney hotel, it will cover the cost of one-way airfare and one night of hotel, and I'll have a memory and an experience I find much better than the kind of dismissive attitude I get from D23 and Disney.
So, from this true and genuine Disney fan, I'll look elsewhere, like MiceChat, for my information and fan-appreciation of Disney. Just in the hopes that maybe they actually do read these forums, I wanted the people at D23 to know why they've lost yet another member. If they're going to be a fan club they might actually try communicating with the fans.