March 10, 2009 – The Official Disney Fan Club, D23, is Announced at the Disney Annual Meeting
“Are You 23?” – The teaser released to fans before the D23 announcement
At Disney’s annual meeting on March 10, 2009, CEO Robert Iger announced the formation of a new official club for devoted fans. The D, naturally, stands for Disney, with the 23 representing 1923, the year Walt Disney arrived in Hollywood and founded the earliest version of the Disney Studios. The goal of the club is to provide fans an inside look at the past, present, and future of Disney Studio projects.
The first issue of the quarterly magazine, Disney Twenty-Three, featured a famous black-and-white image of Walt behind a camera, and included articles about the beginning of Disney archives by Dave Smith, a behind-the-scenes look at Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, Pixar’s UP, the Broadway version of The Little Mermaid, and the design of the most exclusive accommodations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The charter membership also included a special gift from the archives—a limited-edition print of the new Mickey Mouse portrait, and a certificate of membership, as well as special offers and a special store on the online Disney Store. D23 also has a website with information, special videos, and other tidbits of history.
As a member of D23, I can tell you that the information the magazine provides is mind-blowing for any Disney fan. The scope of information each issue is broad; members can read about something from the parks in one article, to a special Disney project in another (an example being the Annie Leibovitz portraits of famous Disney scenes), to a behind-the-scenes look at a new movie. For anyone who loves Disney history and wishes to learn more, D23 is highly recommended.