D23, the official Disney fan club, today announced a brand new free membership level option as well as a ‘re-imagined,’ gated website launching this summer. We had the opportunity to talk with D23 head Steven Clark who told us about the exciting changes as well as some of the amazing things D23 members of all levels have to look forward to in the upcoming months.
A few years ago, D23 introduced introduced its Gold and Silver levels. Separated by price, the two levels are identical save for the fact that Gold members receive a subscription to the oversized, full-color Disney twenty-three magazine with an exclusive gift. Then, silver members and non-members alike were able to purchase the magazine (without the gift) at newsstands or DisneyStore.com, but a recent announcement has now limited the magazine to just gold members. According to Clark, even back issues currently available on the DisneyStore.com website will no longer be available to anyone.
Now, there is an additional third level, which will offer D23 membership for free. ‘The free level of membership is something we’ve wanted to do since the beginning of D23,’ Clark told us, ‘but as you can imagine sometimes something as simple as a free level of membership has complexity to it and we’ve finally been able to actually make that happen. We’re in a position with where D23 is now that we are able to actually offer that free level of membership; we’re able to put in some of the bells and whistles into our website that we’ve wanted to do since the beginning. We’ve finally come to that point where we’re going to be able to offer varying levels of D23 experiences so any Disney fan — at no cost — can now have a certain amount of access to the Walt Disney Archives and Disney Legends and the access we have to all of Disney’s various business units.
‘It’s something we’ve heard of from a lot of our fans domestically, but also especially internationally. There are quite a few barriers as you could imagine to be a part of D23 if you don’t live in the U.S. So this really helps facilitate giving fans that live outside the U.S. their Disney fix,’ he added.
The free level, which will be available directly from DisneyStore.com, will grant members the same access to the newly revamped website that silver and gold members have, but it will still have its limitations. A key difference is that while free D23 members will receive a membership number as well as the Weekly D23 FanFare E-newsletter and the ability to purchase member-exclusive items from DisneyStore.com, they will not receive the physical benefits such as membership card, membership certificate and annual gift, that silver and gold members enjoy. With no membership card, free level D23 members will be unable to partake in many of the D23 member discounts with partners as well as many D23 member events. While Clark says there may be such opportunities afforded to free level members, popular events such as Destination D, Sip ‘N Stroll and ‘probably even Fanniversaries,’ will require a paid level of membership. That said, free level members will be eligible to purchase the 2013 Disney D23 Expo tickets with a D23 member discount and will fully receive D23 member benefits at the Expo, such as early access to the floor each morning.
Arguably the much bigger news, however, is the relaunch of the D23.com website on June 17. The newly ‘re-imagined’ site will feature rich multi-media content that’s exclusive to D23 members, featuring content inspired by the monthly magazine as well as newly discovered finds inside the Walt Disney Archives that have never been displayed in public, or perhaps even seen by many inside the company for decades.
Some content will still be publicly accessible on the new website, but it will serve primarily as a teaser for all levels of D23 members to ‘unlock the magic’ by clicking a Mickey keyhole icon associated with the article. One example of content that is likely to be featured is newly discovered art from Disney Legend Herb Ryman. ‘I think there’s about ten in this case,’ Clark explains, ‘we might put one up, but if you’re a member, you can see the other nine.’
And newly discovered art from some of Disney’s most revered artists and imagineers is only the tip of the iceberg. Clark explains: ‘Since I took over the archives in 2006, we’ve been squirreling away really great — whether it’s a memo or artwork or sketches, it could be from anything to animation to live action to parks — you know, little things that we’ve found just — you know maybe they’re not big enough to put together a whole story behind or maybe it’s not enough to do a presentation at the D23 Expo about, but really cool stuff that we know that our fans will love and we’re looking at doling that out, to start with, 23 days of really great archival finds. After that, we’ll have more of a weekly or a certain cadence after that.
‘Some of the things that we’ve been discovering in the archives, you see some of them from time to time during various presentations that we do like “Weird Disney” that we’ve done during our “Destination D” events or our Fanniversary events, but this gives us a more regular venue by which we can really share all the stuff that we’ve uncovered.’
And from the sounds of it, Clark is being rather modest in terms of what we can anticipate when the new D23.com site goes live. He tells us about one of the first items to be featured (which we can’t reveal to you just yet): ‘It wasn’t too long ago, [Walt Disney Archives Director Becky Cline] and I and a couple of the archivists were in one of the warehouses of the Archives — it’s not like a jaw-dropping “wow, look at all this amazing cool Disney stuff on the shelf,” they’re all in boxes. So it’s rows and rows and rows of boxes. And we happen to come across one box that said “Walt’s Office” and we pulled it off the shelf and when we looked inside… it was just an amazing find.’
As it turns out, the recent unearthing of many of these rare treasures from within the warehouses owes itself a lot to D23 itself. ‘[Walt Disney Archives founder] Dave Smith really did an excellent job of preserving all this stuff because when you think about it, when he started the archives, he had 50 years of Disney history to catalog and collect from ground zero and he did a great job, you know, starting that process, but then as the company grew during the Eisner era, the archives staff didn’t grow at the same rate, so a lot of it was just trying to keep up and keeping things that were essential for research at their fingertips, while the rest of the stuff went into boxes and went out to the warehouses — it’s just not possible to catalog it all. With a lot of the D23 events and Disney twenty-three magazine articles we’ve been doing, we’ve been doing more and more research, so we’ve had more and more people that are really scouring through these files and that’s where you’re finding all these gems. There are a lot of things that no matter where you fall on the Disney scale… we found the early WED assignment sheets — which Imagineer was assigned to which project, things like alternates for the Haunted Mansion scripts and sketches from a lot of the different upcoming animated features or scenes that weren’t used.’
Another key to discovering items is a change of focus. ‘Where we’ve been finding a lot of this really cool stuff is not just in our art files but we started really because of the research we’ve been doing for D23 stories — we’ve been digging into the actual files of the executives. So whether it’s Dick Irvine’s files… Joe Potter, Roy O. Disney — there’s a lot of really great stuff in there and so that’s been a gold mine. And then also just randomly as we’re researching things, we’ll come across boxes that are loosely categorized as art and we’ll find all the concept art for TRON, Black Hole and a bunch of other films — I think at the Expo this year, you’re going to be really pleasantly surprised, I think, if you’re a Mary Poppins fan — amazing, amazing artwork that has never been seen before.’
Speaking of Archives founder (and Disney Legend) Dave Smith, his quintessential guide to all that is Disney, Disney A-Z: The Official Encyclopedia will soon be available as a complete, updated edition electronically, accessible via the D23.com website. D23 worked with Disney Publishing Worldwide to make it possible so that the popular title will be accessible free to all D23 members and will be a living document, updated and kept current by Smith himself.
Regular features from Disney twenty-three magazine will also find new life online: ‘We have some areas that are focused specifically on Walt so the “Walk with Walt” section that’s in the magazine will be expanded and will live online and then we also have “Quotable Walt Disney,” so it’ll be an online version of the quote book, and one thing that’s really cool about that is that, again, in all of our research, we have found a lot of Walt quotes that have never been used before.
‘We’re also doing these micro-sites for Disney Legends, so a much more robust site than what currently exists. We also oversee the Disney Legends program, so I really wanted that website to be up to date and have more than just a bio but also have photo galleries and interviews where possible, sometimes we’ll actually have the legends come in and do some sort of online interview so that our fans can actually ask questions of the legends. So it’s great if you’re not able to go to one of our events, you can still have access to our legends through the website.’
Clark sums it all up with this: ‘In my view, it’s almost like there’s a whole new bumper crop of quotes and photos and documentation and artwork and information that we’ve kind of been coming across and I think that there’s noone out there in the world that cares more about this than people that are members of D23 and so it’s time to give it to them.’
We also had the opportunity to talk with Clark briefly about D23 Expo, which will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center August 9-11, 2013. Addressing concerns that have naturally come with growing pains, Clark told us, ‘This year, we have put in a lot of new procedures, larger venues, things like that, to really do our best to mitigate the capacity issue and waiting in line issue.’ He pointed out various changes such as the 2,000 seat overflow area that will provide seating and a live feed for those unable to get into the 4,000 seat arena. Additionally, the Stage 23 presentation room has more than doubled in size and a wristband system will be in place to allow attendees the opportunity to register for presentations on the 2nd and 3rd floors without necessarily having to wait in line.
Unfortunately one change that won’t be happening — at least this year — is Marvel and Lucasfilm will be noticeably absent from the ‘Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives’ exhibit. ‘Right now, Marvel retains a lot of the props and costumes from their films, just like Animation keeps a lot of their assets. We don’t have, for example, the props and costumes from The Avengers, Marvel retains all those assets, but we have a really great relationship with [Marvel Studios President of Production] Kevin Feige and he lets us borrow assets whenever we do exhibits like the Reagan exhibit.’
As for Lucasfilm, Clark says the relationship is just too soon to tell: ‘We haven’t crossed that bridge yet, what I do know is that with the new movie, we will retain all the assets. I hope that the archives will get them all because I’m a huge Star Wars fan and I really want them all in my office. [laughs].
‘We don’t have anything on those two fronts this year, but I can guarantee you’ll be seeing stuff in the future.’
According to the official press release, D23 members also have the following to look forward to:
- 23 Questions – We enhance our popular feature with audio interviews with ‘Once Upon A Time’ star Ginnifer Goodwin who reveals her Disney favorites—and what she’s looking forward to in the next season of the hit ABC show. Plus an exclusive with Phineas and Ferb’s popular ‘evil mastermind’ Dr. Heinz Doofenschmirtz, who talks about his truly devious plans… and Christmas.
- D’scovered – Treasures unearthed by the Walt Disney Archives. In the coming weeks the Archives will share extremely rare imagery from the proposed Mickey Mouse Park, a concept which evolved into Disneyland; spine-tingling alternative dialogue for the Haunted Mansion penned by Disney Legend X. Atencio; the illustrated story script for The Karnival Kid, the 1929 short in which Mickey Mouse first speaks; and a very special memento created for Walt by legendary artist Salvador Dali.
- D23 Presents – A deeper dive into all parts of Disney from the opening of Mystic Manor in Hong Kong Disneyland to rarely seen footage of the former Disney Studio on Hyperion Avenue.
- New departments and sections including: Weird Disney, looking at some of the more unusual and outrageous pieces of Disney’s past; Characters, profiling the most beloved characters from television, film and comics with concept art and complete biographies; The Quotable Walt Disney, a digitized version of the out-of-print book featuring some of Walt’s most enduring words; Ask a Legend, a video feature in which Disney Legends like Marty Sklar answer fans questions; First Look, which gives members a glimpse into what’s new and what’s next including Monsters University; Attraction Rewind, celebrating the beloved attractions of Disney’s past which once delighted theme park guests; and Muppetology, which opens up the Muppet-acular universe of our fuzzy friends. D23’s popular video series Armchair Archivist and Disney Geek will also return with all-new episodes.
‘Mary Poppins,’ ‘Once Upon A Time’ and ‘Oz’ to Highlight D23 Expo’s ‘Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives’
D23: The Official Disney Fan Club and the Walt Disney Archives are proud to announce the return of the ‘Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives’ exhibit to the D23 Expo. During the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center, August 9 – 11, 2013, this all-new exhibit curated specifically for the D23 Expo 2013 will feature: the 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins, ABC’s hit television series ‘Once Upon A Time,’ and a look at the longstanding connection between Disney and L. Frank Baum’s beloved series of books about the land of Oz.
‘Treasures’ will showcase a selection of crown jewels from the Walt Disney Archives Collection, many of which will be displayed publicly for the first time by the Archives. As the 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins approaches, the Archives will be presenting a wide array of pieces from the Academy Award®-winning 1964 film including concept art and matte paintings, Mary and Bert’s carousel horses, the snow globe from the ‘Feed the Birds’ sequence, costumes worn by many of the central characters and the recently acquired carpet bag, which Mary carries with her when she arrives at the Banks’ household. Also part of the exhibit will be the FanArtGallery, themed to Mary Poppins. D23 Members were invited to submit their work as part of the D23 Expo Fan Art Contest, and the winners’ colorful creations will be displayed in this year’s gallery.
On the heels of the global success of Oz The Great and Powerful, the Archives is proud to assemble artifacts illustrating Disney’s long association with L. Frank Baum’s Oz books. Highlights include a costume from 1957’s ‘Rainbow Road to Oz’ — a segment from The Fourth Anniversary Show, which celebrated Walt’s four years on television, starring many of the Mickey Mouse Club’s Mouseketeers — as well as concept art from unrealized attractions and Disney Studio productions. Also featured are props and costume pieces from 1985’s Return to Oz including the Tik-Tok puppet, ‘Powder of Life’ tin, and Dorothy’s costume and slippers. And, of course, there will be an assortment of costumes from this year’s Oz The Great and Powerful.
Now finishing its second hit season, ‘Once Upon A Time’ has become a huge hit among Disney fans for its ability to remain true to many of Disney’s classic stories while expanding their worlds with a modern twist. The Archives is honored to be presenting a selection of elegantly designed costumes from the show.
The D23 Expo 2013 will also feature the Disney Legends Awards — a tradition that pays tribute to the talented men and women who have made indelible contributions to the Disney legacy; the return of the D23 Expo Dream Store, featuring a wide selection of unique merchandise; an expanded Collectors Forum, where Disney fans can buy, sell and trade Disney collectibles, memorabilia and merchandise — and this year’s Forum will also include the worlds of Marvel and Star Wars — plus amazing live events, special celebrity appearances, panels and presentations and unique experiences from every corner of Disney, from upcoming feature film and television sneak peeks to what’s new and what’s next from our theme parks around the world.
Images courtesy of Disney D23.
Disney D23, the official Disney fan club has announced it will be letting its members be amongst the first to experience Disney’s new ‘Second Screen Live’ experience at a special screening of Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, NV on April 15, 2013.
Although the event is free to members and their guests, each attendee must bring a personal iPad will be required to partake in the ‘Second Screen Live’ experience. Using the iPad, there will be special challenges, speed trivia, sing-alongs and more for the chance to win prizes and play against other fans in the audience. The required app will be emailed to participants who successfully sign up when tickets become available March 20 at 1 pm PT. As is the custom, guests will also receive a special gift for attending the event.
For more information or to reserve tickets when they become available, visit the official event page.
The Walt Disney Company Japan announced today that it will stage the first-ever D23 Expo Japan, a special event for Disney fans created by D23: The Official Disney Fan Club. D23 Expo Japan, the first Expo to be held outside the U.S., will feature an array of engaging presentations, hosted by senior Disney creative executives, showcasing what’s on the horizon from across The Walt Disney Company, including theme parks, movies, television, music, and interactive gaming. Fans will enjoy unique experiences; have the opportunity to purchase one-of-a-kind merchandise and collectibles; meet many of their favorite Disney characters; and delight in countless other surprises. D23 Expo Japan will take place October 12–14, 2013, at the Tokyo Disney Resort® in the Maihama area. Expo ticketing and program information will be announced in March.
D23 Expo Japan will also feature two special exhibitions celebrating landmark Disney milestones. First, to pay homage to The Walt Disney Company’s 90th Anniversary, D23 and the Walt Disney Archives will present Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives, featuring nine decades of treasures from the Archives’ vast collection. Plus, the Tokyo Disney Resort will celebrate its 30th year with a special retrospective exhibit.?This special exhibition, presented by OrientalLand, operator of Tokyo Disney Resort, celebrates this milestone year by making D23 Expo Japan possible. Further details will be posted at http://disney.jp/D23 as they become available.
“We are thrilled to host this extraordinary, three-day event where all the wonderful worlds of Disney come together,” said Paul Candland, president, The Walt Disney Company Japan. “2013 marks The Walt Disney Company’s 90th anniversary, Disney Channel’s 10th, Disney Mobile’s fifth, the Disney–JCB Card’s fifth, Dlife’s first, and Tokyo Disney Resort’s 30th! The D23 Expo Japan allows us to show Disney’s tremendous appreciation to its fans.”
This event is supported by JCB Co., Ltd, and The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited as official sponsors.
Disney fans from around the globe flocked to Anaheim, Calif., for the first D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, in September 2009, followed by a second in August 2011. The next D23 Expo will take place August 9–11, 2013, at the Anaheim Convention Center and will feature: the 2013 Disney Legends Ceremony; a special exhibit from the Walt Disney Archives; the Collectors Forum, where Disney fans can buy, sell, and trade Disney collectibles, memorabilia, and merchandise; an all-new Fan Art Contest themed to the upcoming 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins, and a massive show floor full of special opportunities to see what’s on the horizon for Disney around the world.
Right now, Disney D23 Expo 2013 is gearing up to be the biggest and best ever. Being held August 9-11, 2013 at the Anaheim Convention Center near the Disneyland Resort, D23 Expo unites The Walt Disney Company with fans and fans with other fans. More than 40,000 fans congregated in 2011 to explore the past, present and future of Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Disney Interactive Studios, Disney/ABC Television and more, with the third expo promising even more.
Disney D23 has provided us with just some of the returning favorites as well as new additions to provide a more enjoyable experience for attendees.
The Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives returns to Disney D23 Expo with a 12,000 square foot display offering glimpses at some of the most coveted items from the Studios’ rich history.
Also returning will be the fan art contest, which has paid homage to Donald Duck as well as the 50th anniversary of 101 Dalmatians. The contest in 2013 promises to be practically perfect, however, as it honors the 50th anniversary of Mary Poppins.
The Disney Legends ceremony will also return, taking place in conjunction with the expo. Stay tuned to learn who the honorees will be this time around.
LARGER FLOOR, INCREASED ROOM CAPACITIES
For 2013, the Disney D23 Expo will serve up more space on the floor as well as inside its presentation rooms to make the magic more accessible to as many attendees as possible. The show floor will be comprised of Halls A, B, C and D of the Convention Center. In addition, the show will feature an expanded collectors’ forum, the popular destination for Disney fans to meet with other fans who offer various Disney-related products and services.
In addition to increased floor space, Stage 23, the largest presentation area outside of the Arena will be expanded to accommodate nearly 2,000 attendees. As for the Arena itself, which quickly fills to capacity for its major presentations, an overflow room will be provided with a live video feed for more than 2,000 attendees unable to make it into the Arena itself.
Attendees who are Disney D23 members will also continue to have special benefits such as early admission to the show floor. Charter members will also again have access to a special lounge where they can relax and meet with other members throughout the day.
TICKET PRICE INCREASE
Not surprisingly, 2013 will see a price increase in admission, but it’s really not all that terrible in the grand scheme of things (see the Sorcerer package for that). All three tiers (early bird, advanced, regular) still exist and essentially the regular (highest) prices for 2011 have become the early bird prices for 2013 with increases at the remaining tiers accordingly. The full tier pricing and dates are as follows:
EARLY BIRD (August 9, 2012 – December 31)
- D23 Member 1 Day: $40 Adult, $32 Child
- D23 Member 3 Day: $115 Adult, $91 Child
- Non-Member 1 Day: $47 Adult, $37 Child
- Non-Member 3 Day: $136 Adult, $106 Child
ADVANCED (January 1, 2013 – June 15)
- D23 Member 1 Day: $45 Adult, $37 Child
- D23 Member 3 Day: $130 Adult, $106 Child
- Non-Member 1 Day: $52 Adult, $42 Child
- Non-Member 3 Day: $151 Adult, $121 Child
REGULAR / EXPO ADMISSION (June 16, 2013 – August 11)
- D23 Member 1 Day: $50 Adult, $42 Child
- D23 Member 3 Day: $145 Adult, $121 Child
- Non-Member 1 Day: $57 Adult, $47 Child
- Non-Member 3 Day: $166 Adult, $136 Child
The Sorcerer package returns in 2013, but the price has now increased to $1500 per ticket. Only D23 members are allowed to purchase the package, but each member may buy up to 2 additional tickets.
Benefits of the Sorcerer package includes:
- Three-day admission ticket
- Reserved seating at all presentations in the D23 Arena and Stage 23
- Commemorative Sorcerer credential
- Pre-Expo tour of the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit
- Exclusive shopping time in the D23 Expo Dream Store and the Treasure Trove the day before the Expo is open to guests
- Exclusive tour of the D23 Expo show floor the day before the Expo is open to the public
- Private welcome reception
- Special entrance to the Expo each morning
- Hardbound Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives catalog
- Hardbound Disney Legends ceremony commemorative program
- A voucher for an appointment with an on-site massage therapist
- Exclusive D23 Expo 2013 tote bag filled with gifts
- “Fond Farewell” reception on final day of Expo
- Access to the Sorcerer Member Lounge
Tickets at all levels will become available for purchase beginning Thursday, August 9, 2012 at 10 am PST at d23expo.com
D23 Expo: ABC Adds Saturday Night Live’s Chris Parnell, Composer Michael Giacchino to ‘Prep & Landing’ Panel
PBe among the first to watch ABC’s most anticipated new fall series and animated holiday special and to have a chance to learn the secrets behind how they were made. Fans will have those opportunities at the D23 Expo, where the entire world of Disney comes together, August 19 and 20, at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Get a jump on the holiday season on Friday, August 19 at 12:45 p.m. in Stage 23, as the D23 exposition unwraps Walt Disney Animation Studios’ festive new special, “Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice,” with an exclusive premiere screening of the latest, nicest and naughtiest adventure in this multiple Emmy Award(r)-winning program. Santa’s dauntless elves, Wayne and Lanny, find themselves up to their pointy ears in trouble, as they race to recover classified North Pole technology, which has fallen into the hands of a computer-hacking Naughty Kid. Their mission to prevent Christmas from descending into chaos has some riotous twists, turns and surprises. A special “Christmas in August” presentation and Q&A, moderated by “D23′s Disney Geek” host Jeffrey Epstein, will follow with Emmy Award-winning directors Kevin Deters & Stevie Wermers-Skelton and producer Dorothy McKim.
A special guest star appearance with funnyman Chris Parnell (“Saturday Night Live,” “30 Rock,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and award-winning composer Michael Giacchino (“Up,” “Ratatouille,” “Cars 2,” “John Carter,” “Mission Impossible-Ghost Protocol,” “Lost”) will take place after the presentation.
Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz — the esteemed executive producers/writers of “Lost” and writers of “Tron: Legacy” — bring you ABC’s “Once Upon a Time,” a bold new series where fairytale characters collide with our world. On Saturday, August 20 at 12:45 p.m. in Stage 23, join Eddy and Adam for a Q&A, moderated by “D23′s Disney Geek” host Jeffrey Epstein, as well as a special screening of the show. Brace yourselves for a modern fable with thrilling twists and hints of darkness, brimming with wonder and filled with the magic of our most beloved fairytales. The series will premiere on Sunday, October 23 on ABC.
D23 Expo Update: Collectors Forum Map, Celeb and Merchandise Updates, Giveaways and Contests (and More!)
It’s been too long since there’s been a special Disney D23 Expo update and we have too much to share with you, so there’s a good chance stuff will be forgotten here and for that, we apologize. That said, here are a bunch of mouse-cellaneous updates you will be sure to appreciate knowing when visiting the Disney D23 Expo next weekend, August 19-21.
First, the Dumbo in the room. The official Disney D23 mobile-app that we were first to report was ‘released’ last night. It’s basically a web-app (or really, a mobile-friendly website) which can be found at D23Mobile.com. The app currently offers maps of all three floors (found under the Things to Know section) and allows you to create an account to identify the panels and presentations you are interested in attending (this is strictly for your benefit, not a reservation system!). It also has links to Twitter feeds as well as a way to keep on top of last minute announcements during the Expo. The best part is, it works on a normal web browser, so you can feel free to check it out yourself at home, print out the maps, or whatever.
What it doesn’t have (as it will be part of the full program guide which will hopefully be online soon) is a better layout of the Collectors Forum. Fortunately, exhibitors have been mailed a packet which contains a layout (pictured above) which can help attendees get an idea of where things are. Unfortunately the scan is a bit low-res so some exhibitors are illegible, but it’s pretty clear where Microsoft will be demonstrating XBox Kinect Disneyland Adventures. This map, by the way, came courtesy of exhibitor and comic artist James Silvani, who we mentioned in a previous update.
Speaking of James, now’s a good time to remind you that he is still accepting pre-orders for commissioned art featuring your favorite Disney, Disney/Pixar and Marvel characters. Unfortunately Amy Mebberson, who will be joining James along with Allen Gladfelter, has been fully booked with her pre-orders, but now is the time to hit James up. I speak from Con experience when I tell you that you can either pay now and pick up later, or wait in indefinite lines for your opportunity to request a drawing because these guys are extremely talented and once their work is visible to the public, the demand will grow substantially. So be sure to visit James’ site at SilvaniArt.com for more information on how to order a commissioned piece as well as check out some samples of his work.
Speaking of art for sale, the bad news is that while Mr. Billy Dee Williams will still be attending, his D23 Expo exclusive art will not be. It was previously announced that Mr. Williams had created a jazz-inspired piece featuring the Fab 5 that would be available in limited quantities at the Expo for $99.50 (or thereabouts). No word on what will the availaibility of the piece will eventually be.
On semi-related tangent, Coolwaters Productions, which is bringing Billy Dee Williams and actors from the TRON and Pirates of the Caribbean films amongst others has announced that TRON Legacy star Anis Cheurfa will be unable to attend the event and that any pre-orders for his autograph have been canceled and refunded.
But on a happier note, Coolwaters has also made available online all of the photos (including D23 Member exclusives) that will be available for purchase at the event (and pre-order, for which you will not need to attend) here. In addition, Coolwaters has posted information about separate photo-ops with the celebrities in pre-set configurations. For example, here is your opportunity to have your group (1-4 people) take a photo with both Bruce Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan from TRON. For more information, see this page (at this time, the photo op schedule has yet to be determined).
If you’re looking to find even more amazing celebrities to meet, mostly of the Disney kind, the Disneyana booth has an impressive array of talent from the past several decades who will be appearing. You can check out their full schedule here.
Disney Fine Artist and 2009′s official artist, Tim Rogerson, has made his appearance schedule known on his blog.
If you’re a Disney trading pin collector, you’ll want to check out this list of all the pins being released at the Expo including a limited edition set of just 10 pieces that sells for $700. If you’re a Vinylmation collector, you probably know about them all already, but Vinylmation.com has a list of the pieces being released at Disney D23 Expo on their events page. This should be common knowledge by now as well, but Disney Store has announced that they are no longer releasing just 500 of their 25th Anniversary 3″ figures at the Expo, but will instead be making all 2,500 pieces available.
Lastly, to save yourself some time, today is the last day to put in pre-orders for Mattel’s MattyCollector.com D23 Expo exclusives, both of which are still available. Save yourself the time now and be able to pick up your merchandise any time during the event without the fear of them selling out. You can do so here.
Now that we’ve talked about some mementos you get to pay for (and remember, we have already previewed Disney Store and Robert Olszewski items amongst others), let’s talk about freebies. There should be plenty to go around at the Disney D23 Expo. Earlier this week, a press release went out stating that Disney Publishing Worldwide would be offering exclusive Mary Blair prints at their booth. Also joining in is Disney Movie Rewards which is giving away a free The Lion King lithograph at their booth, while supplies last, as announced in their monthly newsletter to members.
But back on the topic of paying for stuff, according to DisneyStore.com, it looks like those seeking the D23 Exclusive Steamboat Willie and Lotso POP! Vinyls by Funko will have to wait until Sunday morning for their release. It also looks like the new Kidada for Disney Store collection featuring Tinker Bell, Jasmine, Ariel and Alice will also be available for purchase then.
Retro 51, a Disney licensee and a manufacturer of some spectacular pens (I am pleased to personally own a couple of them), has announced an Ugly Pen contest in which attendees can trade in their ‘ugly pen’ for a daily chance to win a new Retro 51 pen. There’s even a grand prize which includes a pen inspired by “it’s a small world.” Details can be found here.
Around the web, we have some special updates we’d love to point out if you haven’t found them already. First is an amazing guide to the eats in and around the Disney D23 Expo by the Disney Food Blog. Also, Jim Hill Media recently posted an eleventh hour interview with D23 head Steven Clark who offers up some additional info on the items being displayed at the Expo.
When the Disney D23 Expo comes to the Anaheim Convention Center from August 19-21, it will include a substantial presence by Disney Store, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012 and it’s inviting all the D23 Expo attendees to join in the celebration a bit early with the opportunity to purchase items exclusively available at the Expo.
Below is a gallery of item as well as pricing and edition sizes (usually some multiple of 25) which is sure to offer something for everyone, as long as they love the color silver, and don’t mind shelling out a few bucks (anywhere from $19.95 – $2,000.00).
There are a couple of things worth noting. Although Disney Store will be releasing its set of ten Disney Princess Designer Dolls (see here for more information), the only doll available for direct purchase at the D23 Expo is the 25th Anniversary Cinderella Designer Doll, which would technically be doll number eleven. You can see the box below, which will hint at the boxes for the actual collection. It appears that the special edition Cinderella will be in a silver dress as opposed to the blue dress.
Also causing some confusion is the Disney Store 25th Anniversary 3″ Vinylmation and pin set which lists an edition size of 2,500 on the pin card but has been announced as an edition size of 500. To clarify,
the edition size is in fact 2,500 but only 500 will be available for purchase at the Disney D23 Expo. The remaining stock will be sold online at DisneyStore.com at a future date, but only to qualified D23 members. All 2,500 pieces will be available for purchase at the Expo.
Disney Store has informed us that it will be honoring its usual discounts (e.g., Cast Member, Disney Visa) but the discounts won’t be applicable to certain items.
Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) invites families and fans to experience The Wonderful Words of Disney. Guests have the opportunity to attend exclusive sessions with renowned children’s authors, listen to timeless stories read live, and explore the ultimate Disney fan’s dream library at the ultimate Disney fan event, D23 Expo, taking place at Anaheim Convention Center from August 19–21, 2011.
Guests will be able to immerse themselves in The Wonderful Words of Disney (booth #702), where classic tales and new adventures come to life. With beanbag chairs, great reads, and kiosks featuring loaded tablets and smartphones, fans can peruse Disney’s vast library of books featuring beloved characters from Mickey Mouse to Buzz Lightyear—and series including Percy Jackson & the Olympians and The Kingdom Keepers. Disney Publishing Worldwide’s latest books and magazines—including the brand-new It’s a Small World publishing program, Phineas and Ferb magazines, the Captain America special interest publication, learning products including School Skills workbooks, and the recently launched Cars 2 Read and Race app—will be on hand for guests to read and enjoy.
On Friday, August 19, in the Disney Channel booth, fans of all ages are invited to join Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist Dave Barry and noted New York Times best-selling author Ridley Pearson, co-authors of the Peter and the Starcatchers series of prequels to Peter Pan, along with beloved Jake and the Never Land Pirates characters Jake, Captain Hook, and Mr. Smee, for a celebration of the power of imagination and the magic of Disney storytelling. This event also includes an appearance by actor David Arquette (the voice of Skully in the hit Disney Junior series Jake and the Never Land Pirates) and a special announcement from The Walt Disney Company Corporate Citizenship team.
In addition, storytellers will read Disney favorites on Saturday and Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in the Disney Publishing booth, including the Winnie the Pooh and Cars 2 Read-Along digital books, The Ballad of Nessie by Kieran Lachlan, and The Little Golden Book Tangled.
Exclusive giveaways include a high-quality print in honor of the late Disney artist Mary Blair, a chance to win two parks passes through the Disney English referral program, and a special card to download a “Build-a-Roller-coaster” app.
Additional highlights of DPW’s lineup at D23 Expo 2011 include:
- Don Hahn Reveals “Why We Create” (August 19, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.) – In a fascinating discussion, filmmaker, Academy Award-nominated producer, and author Don Hahn reveals insights into the creative process using classic Disney images, world-renowned art, advertisements, and music to share his inspirations and knowledge.
- Behind the Page with Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson (August 20, 9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.) – These highly entertaining best-selling authors will discuss the blockbuster series Peter & The Starcatchers, with focus on the new book, The Bridge to Never Land.
- Ridley Pearson Presents Kingdom Keepers (August 19, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.) – In this presentation, Ridley will discuss the series and reveal his behind-the-scenes experiences at the Disney Parks while researching the New York Times best-selling books.
- It’s a Small World Story Time and Pen Pal Program (August 19, 11:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.) – Listen to a live reading from the It’s a Small World picture book and the Hello World! book, followed by a very special opportunity to become pen pals with a Disney English student based in China.
Tickets to the D23 Expo are available at http://www.D23Expo.com. Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 Expo, including the Disney Legends Ceremony, and can be purchased for single days or for the full three days of festivities. Admission is $47 for a one-day adult ticket and $37 for children 3–12. Three-day passes are $136 for adults and $106 for children. Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will receive a discount for up to four admissions, as well as early entry to each day of the D23 Expo for themselves and their guests.
The film stars Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton as a childless couple who want nothing more than to be able to star their own family, but can only dream about what their child would be like. When young Timothy (CJ Adams) shows up on their doorstep one stormy night, Cindy and Jim — and their small town of Stanleyville—learn that sometimes the unexpected can bring some of life’s greatest gifts.
The film was written and directed by Peter Hedges and also stars Ron Livingston, Dianne Wiest, Odeya Rush, Rosemarie DeWitt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, M. Emmet Walsh, Lois Smith and Common. It was produced by Ahmet Zappa, Scott Sanders and Jim Whitaker.
Walt Disney Studios has also recently announced that Jennifer Garner will be making an appearance during its Arena presentation at the Disney D23 Expo, a week from Saturday. The official mini-site is also now life at http://disney.com/oddlife