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  • D23 Loosing Its Luster?

    Is the Bloom Off the D23 Rose?
    here >>

    CorrectionMousePadC. W. Oberleitner
    Last edited by Chuck Oberleitner; 01-24-2010, 01:42 PM. Reason: Correction

  • #2
    Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

    Chuck, there was one big thing you failed to mention - and that is the filter through which you write this story. You are in charge of publicity for NFFC, which you perceive as being under attack by D23 and their Expo. So, I can understand your fear and anger. But very little of the Expo feedback that we saw on MiceChat reflects much concern. Additionally, the D23 events have and continue to sell well. If there is a problem, it is that D23 is perhaps a bit too successful for its own good. If people can't get into events, they may be less likely to renew.

    I was personally VERY happy with the 3 Christmas events and have signed up for the Magic and Merriment event at WDW - which sold out almost immediately.

    I hope that D23 continues to offer these unique events and serves up a mix of free, inexpensive, and premium events in the future.

    I really don't sympathize with the tone of your article. Sure, there are issues with D23, but they are filling a much needed niche that Disney has failed to address for a very long time - their fans!
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    • #3
      Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

      Dusty,

      I'm sorry to have to disagree with you. I've never hidden or disguised the fact that I'm a member of the NFFC board of directors and that my job title is Vice President Media Relations and Communications. In fact it's even footnoted in my September 15 article, D23: The Post-Expo Wrap-Upo-meon

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      • #4
        Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

        There is/was luster?
        That would be news.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

          I started out excited about D23. I bought my membership on the first day and my husband bought his a few weeks later. We attended the UP! all night event and had a great time. Then things started to go downhill and greed and poor planning took over. There was the debacle that ensued with the online ticket distribution system for the Disney Studios tour, subsequently repeated for the next tour. There was a "D23 expo" where D23 members got a teeeny discount, tickets went unsold and then heavily discounted tickets were offered to Disney employees. Why weren't those tickets offered to those of us who paid to belong to this club? Then the Princess and the Frog showings, which turned out to be regular things available to the public, some at a cheaper price. Then...the 'holiday events'. Maybe they are events. They are certainly priced as if they are something really fantastic. But they aren't. They are repackaged yearly events as in the candlelight processional, (park admission included, but you know most of the attendees are APs)or they are an overpriced dinner and a movie, as in the A Christmas Carol thing. Sure the events sold out quickly. There are plenty of people who can afford them, and that's ok, but how about an event or two for the people who thought membership was more than an opportunity to spend more and more m oney on less and less.

          Even the magazine has disappointed. The last issue featured several pages of an 'article' that was just a travel brochure for Disney Vacations.

          So for me, yes, there is NO luster left. This isn't a club for real Disney fans, it's another way to suck money out of the pockets of Disney fans. We'll both be letting our memberships lapse in the spring and have no intention of renewing.

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          • #6
            Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

            I am optimistic I believe that more events are going to surface and things are going to start happening, I say wait until its time to renew your D23 Membership and then cast your judgement. Heres to the future.

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            • #7
              Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

              Originally posted by Dustysage View Post
              Chuck, there was one big thing you failed to mention - and that is the filter through which you write this story. You are in charge of publicity for NFFC, which you perceive as being under attack by D23 and their Expo. So, I can understand your fear and anger. But very little of the Expo feedback that we saw on MiceChat reflects much concern. Additionally, the D23 events have and continue to sell well. If there is a problem, it is that D23 is perhaps a bit too successful for its own good. If people can't get into events, they may be less likely to renew.

              I was personally VERY happy with the 3 Christmas events and have signed up for the Magic and Merriment event at WDW - which sold out almost immediately.

              I hope that D23 continues to offer these unique events and serves up a mix of free, inexpensive, and premium events in the future.

              I really don't sympathize with the tone of your article. Sure, there are issues with D23, but they are filling a much needed niche that Disney has failed to address for a very long time - their fans!
              D23 isnt going anywhere, I think the D23 Expos will be the nail in NFFCs coffin soon (less than 5 years max). I honestly just cant see how NFFC can compete against it.

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              • #8
                Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

                D23 had luster?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

                  Originally posted by Imag1neer View Post
                  D23 isnt going anywhere, I think the D23 Expos will be the nail in NFFCs coffin soon (less than 5 years max). I honestly just cant see how NFFC can compete against it.
                  Very simple. NFFC is BY and FOR Disney fans. D23 is BY and FOR Disney. While those fans who join D23 will undoubtedly benefit to some point, the whole concept was created to try and pull the fans under their control. Do you think that all Disney fans would be willing to become Disney pawns? NFFC is more than just being fed Disney's pre-packaged Disneyana.

                  Your position seems a bit hostile towards NFFC. I believe that Disney has no agenda of trying to eliminate NFFC. They need avery fan and organization. If it appears that Disney is trying to control every aspect of fandom, it will turn fans off.

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                  • #10
                    Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

                    I am quite interested in this section from Chuck's article:


                    Additionally, there are no restrictions placed on the Disney-friendly media being given advanced registration information. They are free to share the early registration information with as many fellow D23 members as they choose.




                    I wish I knew which sites in particular (including this one) have been taking advantage of the early registration. This would clearly explain why so many D23 members have continually claimed that every single event sells out in only a minute or two, not to mention the eyewitness accounts of "Disney fan personalities" from various sites and blogs attending all of these events, usually with camera and notepad in hand.

                    Is this actually a matter of D23 directors wanting to create the impression of "scarcity"? Or is it more likely done to guarantee free media coverage of said events on the various fan sites and blogs? I'm thinking it's more the latter than the former.

                    D23 still smacks of Disney fan control to me. I haven't joined, nor do I intend to in the future. I'd rather be a member of the "by fans for fans" clubs like Carolwood Pacific, or the non-TWDC Walt-centric organizations like the Walt Disney Family Museum. D23 is way too corporatist for my tastes.
                    "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

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                    • #11
                      Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

                      The goal of Disney and D23 is to co-opt and steal as many fans as possible away from sites that have anything negative/realistic to say about the company.

                      That's much easier when you have bored lonely philandering housewives, soccer moms, geeks living in the folks' basement or the New Hampshire wilderness blogging about how magical your products are.

                      So, you bet your sweet arses that Disney is stacking the deck and making sure that any and every webmaster it can get will be at these events ... I would guess Chuck is a special case since Disney would love to see the NFFC fade away into insignificance.

                      But when folks it treated like pariahs a few years ago are now being welcomed with open arms and treated like media, it's obvious what's going down. When I see folks that Burbank was watching and waiting to pounce on, suddenly chowing down on cupcakes at media events across the country, it's very obvious the strategy has changed. Now ...

                      I've watched as the same Internet 'faces' just happen to luck out and wind up with tix to every one of the events. And ... if they don't, maybe they'll whine enough that Disney will suddenly open a block of extras ... or they'll luck out and a friend will take them. It hasn't failed yet.

                      I have to hand it to Disney and D23 ... what other company could get people to pay $75 for a fan club and then $130 to attend what amounted to a four-day commercial for the company? ONLY DISNEY.

                      They have finally figured out how to deal with 'THOSE people from the fan sites' (direct quote from a Disney high-ranking exec, with proper sarcasm included, at a media event in FLA in 2003) ... treat them like they're special. These are people who would drool over asking Tony Baxter a question or sitting in teh audience as Steve Davison acts out pyro (I want what that dude is taking!) That's what they're doing ... and it's obviously working like a charm.

                      If I were a D23 member and couldn't get tix for an event, but saw folks from Miceage, Mouseplanet, Mousesteps, LaughingPlace, Jim Hill Media at these events, I'd be pitching a --it fit and making sure REAL MEDIA heard about it.

                      That said, I'm sure I'm way off and it's just a lucky coincidence and Chuck must be full of sour grapes since he hasn't been blessed with pixie dust like almost every other webmaster, blogger or construction site photographer.

                      I mean, even Al Lutz is giddy as a school girl over a DLR Prez who actively solicted opinions on how to 'neutralize' him back in his first go around in Anaheim. (Note to AL: maybe you shouldn't ignore email).

                      Pixie dust is powerful.

                      I guess I'm just upset that I can't go to the amazing holiday bash for the online webmas.... I mean fans. ... Unless anyone wants to give a ticket to a very entertaining Spirit! I can put ya in the holiday spirit with all sorts of Tales about what is really going on at Disney and why if the current trend of whoring to every nut that has a fan site continues, you'll read far less of it online.

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                      • #12
                        Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

                        WDW 1974

                        In the words of Alice Longworth Roosevelt, come and sit by me.

                        chuck

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                        • #13
                          Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

                          Originally posted by WDW1974 View Post
                          If I were a D23 member and couldn't get tix for an event, but saw folks from Miceage, Mouseplanet, Mousesteps, LaughingPlace, Jim Hill Media at these events, I'd be pitching a --it fit and making sure REAL MEDIA heard about it.

                          That said, I'm sure I'm way off and it's just a lucky coincidence and Chuck must be full of sour grapes since he hasn't been blessed with pixie dust like almost every other webmaster, blogger or construction site photographer.
                          I highly doubt you're wrong. The silence in this thread is deafening.

                          How much longer before the regular visitors of these fan sites and blogs realize that they're being duped? Would their attitude about their favorite Disney webmasters change if it was common knowledge that they had early access to these special events ticket sales before their readers?

                          How ironic that the D23 fans flock to the discussion boards to rightfully complain about being squeezed out of event tickets that were in painfully short supply before being released, all thanks to the very people who run the sites they're complaining on.


                          Pixie dust is indeed very powerful. The Pentagon will probably launch a study on how to weaponize the stuff.
                          "Dope smoking insects and reckless driving always work." -- Cousin Orville

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                          • #14
                            Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

                            I hope the webmasters of all the sites come to realize how they're being played as well, if what WDW writes is true.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

                              Originally posted by BlueSkyDriveBy View Post
                              How much longer before the regular visitors of these fan sites and blogs realize that they're being duped? Would their attitude about their favorite Disney webmasters change if it was common knowledge that they had early access to these special events ticket sales before their readers?

                              Well, I can't speak for other web sites, but we get NOTHING from Disney. It is like pulling teeth for us to try to be included in press events and we are still almost always ignored. I'm sure on purpose. The one exception has been D23 - but that is only because they are working with all of the web sites equally to try and launch their product.

                              I signed up as a D23 member and know that many of the events will sell out quicly. So I start clicking "refresh" like everyone else and pray that I'll get tickets. I STILL haven't been able to get tickets to any of the Studio tours which have been offered (which I'd LOVE to attend).

                              There was only one of the events where tickets sold out quickly that I was able to get tickets and even then only because 4 of us were all online clicking refresh at the same time and one of us got through. Same exact way that we try to get tickets for the Disneyland merchandise events.

                              So, aside from your wild assumptions about us, WE simply don't have any special access. Though I can't explain how friendlier sites to Disney ALWAYS seem to be front row center at nearly every Disney event. Still, it doesn't seem to impact our ability to cover everything that happens in the parks. What we lack in press access, we make up for in insider info and great members!

                              -Dusty
                              MiceChat 101: Be NICE! If you don't play well with others, you are in the wrong sandbox.

                              Find us on Facebook: .

                              How do you support MiceChat? Join MiceChat GOLD!,
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                              • #16
                                Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

                                Originally posted by WDW1974 View Post
                                If I were a D23 member and couldn't get tix for an event, but saw folks from Miceage, Mouseplanet, Mousesteps, LaughingPlace, Jim Hill Media at these events, I'd be pitching a --it fit and making sure REAL MEDIA heard about it.
                                The REAL MEDIA would hardly twitch as the preferred media list is always the place to be. "Buying off" goodwill is standard practice, almost everywhere. Here's a recent example of how they do it in the bigs:

                                Pricey tropical junket seems to have paid off for 'Couples Retreat'

                                Pricey tropical junket seems to have paid off for 'Couples Retreat' | Company Town | Los Angeles Times

                                From a professional contesting standpoint a suggestion, D23 should limit the winning opportunity for arguably the most sought-after FREE events: the studio tours should be changed to once per member.
                                D23 Members may attend only one "D23 Day at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives" per calendar year. There are a limited number of tickets available.
                                "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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                                • #17
                                  Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

                                  if the main complaints are still about getting tickets to limited access things - everyone should push Disney to change ticket distribution. Make it a submit interest and lottery system instead of first come, first serve.
                                  Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


                                  Am I evil? yes, I am
                                  Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

                                  Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                                  Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

                                    So, Disney paid for the banner adverts for the Expo, same amount as any other company would?
                                    (If this is prying, then I withdraw the question.)

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

                                      Originally posted by sediment View Post
                                      So, Disney paid for the banner adverts for the Expo, same amount as any other company would?
                                      (If this is prying, then I withdraw the question.)
                                      the ads are by google.. so Disney would have 'bought' the ad space through the auction system.
                                      Check out my blog - Coreplex: Rambling from inside the Grid


                                      Am I evil? yes, I am
                                      Am I evil? I am man, yes, I am

                                      Originally posted by sleepyjeff
                                      Disneyland was meant to be sipped not chug-a-lugged

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Re: D23 Loosing Its Luster?

                                        WDW1974, I totally agree with most of what you said, although I dislike your tone:

                                        "That's much easier when you have bored lonely philandering housewives, soccer moms, geeks living in the folks' basement or the New Hampshire wilderness blogging about how magical your products are.
                                        "

                                        Condescending and rude. Whose attitude is showing there, yours or Disney's?

                                        Comment

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