I had the pleasure of interviewing D23's Marketing Manager, Jeffrey Epstein a few weeks ago and got the inside scoop on the upcoming D23 Expo in California and the New and Re-Imagined D23 website, here's what he had to say.
D23 asked for feedback and the result is a better guest experience is on the way. A "very exciting" D23 Expo awaits members this year. After listening to it's members, this will be a very satisfying experience for all. Very different than before - An enhanced experience - There will be something to do for everyone in the family, every age will be able to enjoy it. Disney VoluntEARS will be there with lots of activities and interaction. Radio Disney will be broadcasting at the Expo too.
At the Convention Center where the D23 Expo will be, there are 2,000 seats in the arena where events will be viewed live and as a new bonus overflow areas for those members who don't make it into the arena can still watch it live. A ticket will guarantee your seat in the arena - something like a FastPass.
I'm also really excited about the upcoming New D23 App, to be launched in a few weeks, that will give members updates, times and important info during the Expo.
More Details about The D23 Expo
The Walt Disney Archives:
The last D23 Expo had many elements so this year they chose 3 to focus on - Mary Poppins, Once Upon A Time and Walt Disney's fascination with OZ.
In order to dig deeper D23 members will see costumes from Mary Poppins and Once Upon A Time and a dedicated archive about Walt Disney and Oz, it will be a great to get a deeper look into these 3 fabulous Archives.
Also on display will be the Fan Art Gallery Winners from the Mary Poppins Contest, featuring a really talented group of members.
We are very excited about Two Disney Storybook Legends are coming together after being asked to perform by fans. Alan Menken and Richard B. Sherman will perform together for the first time making Disney History! Can't wait to see them perform together.
Also at the Expo will be Exclusive Merchandise from
D23 Dream Store and Mickey's of Glendale.
D23 Member News -
Also very exciting was Jeffrey's news of a returning event "Sip and Stroll" on Friday, October 4th in Epcot at Walt Disney World in Florida. This event is held during the International Food and Wine Festival and D23 members get to enjoy great food and drink plus enjoy presentations on food and wine. The Norway Loft will be open during this time exclusively for Sip & Stroll guests to relax in the shade and enjoy a cool glass of water or lemonade. Then to top off the evening with a concert at 7:30 p.m. at the America Gardens Theater for reserved seating to see 80′s pop group Air Supply perform in concert.
And lastly they will enjoy desserts afterwards at the France Pavilion and a private viewing of the nighttime spectacular IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.
This is just one of many D23 Member events that we get to enjoy and many more are being added. Please visit https://d23.com/ for more info on past events and upcoming ones too.
A new addition to membership is now a Free Membership, it is different than the Gold and Sliver levels. It does have access to gated content, able to purchase exclusive merchandise, access to the D23 boutique and discounts. For more info about all levels of membership click Here
Also, some New discounts for all members are being added to give members more perks.
Another big happening in D23 is the Re-Imagined new website. It is going to have many new and exciting features. One that I think is very exciting is, it's going to have member exclusive content. "This is something they have wanted to do for a long time" according to Jeffrey. The content will also be very rich from Disney's Past, Present and Future, it will open up the Disney world like never before.
For example: Some rarely seen artwork showing a lesser known idea was a proposed Mickey Mouse Park, this was one of Walt's original ideas and he wanted it across from Disneyland. That would have been so cool.
This new website celebrates everything Disney - Here are some highlights :
Weird Disney - Showing some differences between today costumes of Mickey Mouse
Ask A Legend - Ask Legend Marty Sklar (pictured below) through social media (Twitter/Facebook)
D'scovered - Learn new and exciting Disney facts
Muppetology - Lots of Muppets facts and pictures
Plus lots of Disney, Marvel and Star Wars News!
There will also be a Disney A-Z - take digital and printed and put them together.
Disney A to Z: The Official Disney Encyclopedia is the first of its kind, a unique reference book. When it was originally published in 1995, it contained over 5,200 entries in alphabetical order. Now, in a new online edition, which Disney Chief Archivist and Emeritus and Disney Legend Dave Smith continues to update and expand.
D23 Extra tidbit :
Ginnifer Goodwin star of ABC's "Once Upon A Time" is also a D23 Member.
I want to thank Jeffrey Epstein for his time and insight, I learned a lot during this interview and I hope you enjoy reading it. I'm also looking very forward to his interview with Phineas and Ferb's Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz. And for more info on becoming a D23 Member please feel free to ask or go to the D23 website Here