|Headquarters||Burbank, California, U.S.|
|Key people||Bob Iger
|Owner(s)||The Walt Disney Company|
D23 is the first official Disney fan club for dedicated fans, sponsored by the Walt Disney Company. The Charter Year of D23 was in 2009.
D23 was introduced on March 10, 2009 by Robert Iger during the company's annual meeting in Oakland, California. The name D23 refers to D for Disney and 23 for 1923, the year when Walt Disney arrived in Hollywood and the company was founded. Walt only came with a little amount of money and no job, as he is quoted as saying: “I came to Hollywood and arrived here in August 1923 with forty dollars in my pocket and a coat and a pair of trousers that didn’t match. And one half of my suitcase had my shirts and underwear and things and the other half had my drawing materials..." The goal of D23 is to communicate with Disney fans by "placing them in the middle of the magic."
The major components of D23, and its memberships, include its own web site, Disney twenty-three (a quarterly publication), yearly member gifts, member events, member exclusive merchandise, and the D23 Expo, a Disney fan convention "Bringing all things Disney under one roof."
During the first year, D23 featured one level of Charter Membership for $74.99. In 2010, D23 introduced two levels of membership featuring different prices and benefits. Charter Memberships became Gold Memberships, and a $34.99 Silver Membership was introduced which included all the benefits of Gold with the exception of the quarterly publications "Disney twenty-three."
The D23 Web site features comic strips, breaking Disney news stories, event information, "This Day in Disney", a "Walt Disney Archives" section, and a "Disney twenty-three" section based on the quarterly publication.
Starting August 2, 2010, D23's website added a new page called "D23's Disney Geek", a weekly video newsmagazine hosted by Jeffrey Epstein of D23 about the latest news from the Disney universe. That day also saw the site's slightly new overhaul, with a new slogan—The Official Disney Fan Club—and mascots Chip 'n' Dale. On November 9, 2010 a new weekly sister web show titled "Armchair Archivists" premiered. Hosted by Steve Czarnecki & Josh Turchetta, 2 Disney employees (and D23 members) who showcase assorted treasures such as props, costumes and lost film clips from the Walt Disney Archives to the viewers. After the Second Season, Steve Czarnecki left the web show leaving Josh Turchetta as the lone host, the series was renamed "Armchair Archivist" (Singular). In January 2012, Melody Dale joined the show as co-host.
D23 Expo 
2009 & 2010:The Ultimate Disney Fan Experience 
The first D23 Expo was held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on September 10–13, 2009. It featured pavilions from Walt Disney Imagineering, showcasing models and tests for future attractions, Corporate Responsibility, which feature a photo op, as well as projects for overseas troops and homeless shelters, Disney Consumer Products, showing the many products being sold by Disney within the next few years, a Disney Dream Store, costumes and props from the Walt Disney Archives, a Collectors Forum, where people from all over the country showcased and sold memorabilia.
Events were held in the D23 Arena, Stage 23, Storytellers Theatre, and Walt Disney Studios Theatre. Many future projects were announced, including an expansion of Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, an extensive re-hauling of Star Tours for Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios, a film based on the Beatles' Yellow Submarine, a fourth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, a new Muppet film, as well as clips and sneak previews promoting projects such as Prep & Landing, Tangled, Beauty and the Beast in 3-D, a set of viral Muppet videos, and a film series with Guillermo del Toro.
Celebrity appearances included John Travolta, Nicolas Cage, Patricia Heaton, Kelsey Grammer, Tim Burton, Selena Gomez, Donny Osmond, Tom Bergeron, Kym Johnson, Betty White, Robin Williams, Joseph Fiennes, Johnny Depp (as Captain Jack Sparrow), as well as live performances by Miley Cyrus, Honor Society, and the Muppets.
As announced at the annual shareholders meeting in 2010, the D23 Expo did not return in 2010, but appeared to the Anaheim Convention Center through August 19–21, 2011. A then-new event called "Destination D" was held at the Disneyland Hotel ballroom in Anaheim, California on September 24–25, 2010. Each year Destination D will have a new theme, with the 2010 event's theme being "Disneyland '55." It is likely that these events will alternate each year. The following Destination D was held from May 14–15, 2011 in honor of Walt Disney World's 40th anniversary.
2011: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event 
The D23 Expo returned for its second time at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on August 19–21, 2011. Closely resembling the Inaugural D23 Expo on 2009, the Show Floor has expanded its pavilions with Disney Channel and Radio Disney, the Collector's Forum, Walt Disney Studios, Disney Living, Disney Corporate Citizenship, and Disney Interactive Media Group. The Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives has expanded by 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) since the Inaugural D23 Expo. The Show Floor also featured a new pavilion, similar to the Walt Disney Imagineering pavilion from the D23 Expo 2009, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts's Carousel of Projects which shows the highlights of the developing projects coming soon in Disney Parks around the world.
Shopping opportunities include the D23 Expo Dream Store returning from the Inaugural Expo. Other D23 Expo-exclusive stores include Mickey's of Glendale from Walt Disney Imagineering Headquarters in Glendale, California and the Walt Disney Archives Treasure Trove from the Walt Disney Archives in Burbank, California. Other stores include A Small World Village and a Disney Store in the Disney Living Pavilion. Another popular area was the Collectors Forum, where guests could buy Disney Collectibles and connect with the Disneyana Fan Club, Mouse Planet, Mice Chat, Hidden Mickey author Nancy Temple Rodrigue, and artist Brian Rood with his one-of-a-kind The Rocketeer.
Events took place at the D23 Arena, Stage 23, Stage 28, the "red carpet" at the Talent Round-Up area, Storytellers Stage at the Disney Living pavilion, and at the Disney Channel/Radio Disney stage. The Disney Channel stage held performances from Coco Jones, China Anne McClain, a first look for Radio Disney's N.B.T. (Next Big Thing), and a karate exhibition from Leo Howard. Guests also had the chance to meet and greet the cast of Good Luck Charlie, Jake and the Never Land Pirates and The Never Land Band, Lemonade Mouth (film), So Random!, Phineas and Ferb, Kickin' It, Fish Hooks, A.N.T. Farm, Handy Manny, Special Agent Oso, Pair of Kings, and Shake it Up.
Stage 23 hosted many events involving sneak peeks to Once Upon a Time and Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice, a recollection of all the Pixar shorts, a ceremony for the USPS Send a Hello Stamps, a character peak for the Monsters, Inc. prequel, Monsters University, a performance by Dick Van Dyke and the Vantastix, the celebration for the 25th Anniversary of Pixar, the Imagineering process for the Disney Cruise Line, the art design for the upcoming 2012 Pixar movie Brave, the "Imagineering" process for Cars Land which will be completed in the summer of 2012 at Disney California Adventure Park, the making of the Star Tours-The Adventures Continue attraction, the release of vintage photos and videos of Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and the D23 Auction. Stage 23 also hosted the final rounds for Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament (UDTT) Presented by Hasbro Trivial Pursuit: Disney for All Edition.
The first rounds of the UDTT were held on August 18, 2011 (one day before the D23 Expo)which narrowed from thousands to one hundred and from one hundred to 20. It was hosted by Dan Roebuck (guest starred in LOST and Wizards of Waverly Place) who narrowed down the final round from 20 people to 3. After two full days of trivia questions, John Kurowski is the winner of the inaugural Ultimate Disney Fan Trivia Tournament. His name will be engraved in a Ludwig von Drake (cartoon character) trophy which will be preserved in the Walt Disney Archives and John Kurowski will also win a preview cruise on the Disney Fantasy ship which will set sail to the public, part of the Disney Cruise Line, in 2012.
Stage 28 was used to celebrate the past, the present, and the future in the Disney Company and Walt Disney Imagineering. D23 Expo celebrated the past with the History of the Disneyland Hotel, the 45 years of it's a small world, the voices of many attractions in Disney Parks, the music of Pixar, and the Legends of Walt Disney Imagineering. Stage 28 also hosted the present and the future with a "Behind the Page" presentation of Ridley Pearson's Kingdom Keepers series, the making of the Little Mermaid attraction, director Don Hahn's presentation of "Why We Create" explaining the imaginary thoughts of helping him with his films, a "Behind the Page" presentation for Ridley Pearson and Dave Berry's Peter and the Starcatchers, a sneak peek of "Buena Vista Street" which will open in phases in 2012 at Disney California Adventure Park, and a presentation for "Imagineering's Guide to Creativity and Innovation."
The D23 Arena hosted many milestone events only at the D23 Expo. This is the second time that the Disney Legends Ceremony has taken place in front of guests at the D23 Expo (originally taken place at The Walt Disney Studios). This tradition started in 1987 and since then, 287 people have been awarded. In the Expo, the Company honored 12 people who contributed to the Walt Disney Company. this includes Jodi Benson, Barton Boyd, Jim Henson, Linda Larkin, Paige O'Hara, Regis Philbin, Anika Noni Rose, Lea Salonga, Ray Watson, Guy Williams, and Jack and Bonita Wrather. During the Ceremony, they honored a surprise honoree to the Ceremony's own host, Tom Bergeron.
Stars attending the D23 Expo 2011 
Allisyn Ashley Arm, David Arquette, Sean Astin, Dee Bradley Baker, Leigh-Allyn Baker, Dave Barry, Jodi Benson, Tom Bergeron, Chris Brochu, Doug Brochu, Kelsey Chow, Davis Cleveland, Zendaya Coleman, Lynn Collins, Jon Cryer, Billy Crystal, Willem Dafoe, Serena Delacruz, Jason Dolley, Robert Downey Jr., Kenton Duty, Dick Van Dyke, Roshon Fegan, Jennifer Garner, Michael Giacchino, Damien Haas, Melissa Joan Hart, Chris Hemsworth, Adam Hicks, Olivia Holt, Leo Howard, Adam Irigoyen, Carlon Jeffery, Scarlett Johansson, Coco Jones, Alex Christian Jones, Chelsea Kane, Taylor Kitsch, Hayley Kiyoko, Sterling Knight, Linda Larkin, Joey Lawrence, Kelly MacDonald, Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, Vincent Martella, Kyle Massey, Jack McBrayer, China Anne McClain, Sierra McCormick, Kevin McKidd, Zack Montana, Matthew Scott Montgomery, Paige O’Hara, Steven Perry, Regis Philbin, Dan Povenmire, Anika Noni Rose, Lea Salonga, Stefanie Scott, Jason Segel, Geno Segers, Shealeigh, Jake Short, Sarah Silverman, Dylan Riley Snyder, Brenda Song, Ladina Spence, Alyson Stoner, Caroline Sunshine, Bella Thorne, Tiffany Thornton, Shayne Topp, Wilmer Valderrama
D23 has had its fair share of criticism from its members. The D23 Expo in 2011 was considered horribly managed by many fans, who waited in line for hours to see a single presentation. Common complaints about the Expo were venue size, crowd control, quality of presentations, and mismanaged lines. D23 has also been criticized for focusing many more events heavily towards Anaheim, CA (Disneyland) than Orlando, FL (Walt Disney World), with international events being nonexistent. In 2012 a special event called Fanniversary was announced for six cities, making it appear as though Disney was reaching out to the fan community beyond their main local parks, but three of the six cities were within California and Florida (Orlando, San Francisco, and Los Angeles). Later in 2012 Disney did expand Fanniversary to other cities. Other complaints have included the prices of events (sometimes above $250/person after membership dues) and how quickly events have sold out or have been limited to a very select number of members.
See also 
- D23 Expo recap discussion on WDWRadio
- Highlight video from the inaugural D23Expo in 2009
- Official D23 site
- press release announcing launch of D23
- A catalog of all special event D23 patches produced