You know what they say: the third time's the charm.
As D23 mapped out its plans for 2012 ... well, Steven Clark
knew that it was going to take more than just charm to make the third year of
operation for the Official Disney Fan Club memorable.
"Heading into Year No. 3, we felt that it was time that D23
did some different types of events," Clark explained in a recent phone call.
"We wanted to create events that go 'beyond the berm' and really take Club
members to places that they've never, ever been before."
Walt Disney got away from the grind of running the Studio by drivingout to Palm Springs and then vacationing Smoke Tree Ranch. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
Which is why - during the first few months of very eventful
2012 - D23 is producing experiences that give its members the chance to
literally walk in Walt Disney's shoes. The first of these special events is a
journey back to Walt's boyhood home, Marceline, Missouri , for a daylong tour
led by Disney archivists. It's the first
time Disney has led a tour of Marceline, which of course inspired Main Street,
And before that happens, D23 has also also made arrangements
to get a select number of members into the Smoke
Tree Ranch in Palm Springs, CA.,
which Walt loved so much. "You're
actually going to be able to vacation the way that Walt Disney did. Walt called the Smoke Tree Ranch his 'own
laughing place,' and we want to create amazing memories there for our
members," Steven said. "From
January 23 to 25, D23 members will be able to spend the night in a genuine
Smoke Tree Ranch bungalow, where they can try their hand at some of the very
same things that Walt did when he came out to Palm Springs to relax, including
lawn bowling and horseback riding, plus nights around the campfire where some
very special guests will be providing the entertainment."
Steven added, "This Smoke Tree Ranch experience is
going to be very, very different than a theme-park experience about Walt, but
still completely, authentically Disney."
The same could be said about D23's Journey to Marceline
event in March. Which will take D23 members via motorcoach to Walt's boyhood
hometown for a full day of activities.
Marceline, Mo. The small town that is said to have provided the inspiration for Disneyland'sMain Street, U.S.A. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
"We're working right now with the town of Marceline to plan
out all of the details of the day, but we will plan to have a screening at the Uptown Theater - the only theater in Marceline - of a movie that meant an awful
lot to Walt and has strong ties to his upbringing there," Clark continued.
And speaking of screenings ... Given that 2012 is the
75thanniversary of the world premiere of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," D23
is using that as an excuse to celebrate the animated feature with its next
"Destination D" event. Which will be held at the Disneyland Hotel in August.
"We've really dug deep into the vaults to come up with the
programming for next year's Destination D, whose theme is '75 Years of Disney
Animation.' We've found some things that even the most avid Disney fans have
never, ever seen before," Steven stated. "If you're a Disney animation fan,
this is really an event that you won't want to miss, because we're putting
together presentations and panels that will look at these films in really
But in addition to these ambitious new events, D23 will also
be bringing back some of the more popular events from its past. Like its
member-only tours of the Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Archives in
Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved
"These tours have been hugely popular with Club Members. The
only complaint that we've ever gotten about them is that people have repeatedly
tried to sign up for these Studios & Archives tours but keep missing out
because their capacity is so small. We've grown it and grown it since we
started, and now we're going to schedule four weekendsof tours, not four
individual days. We'll take D23 members
around the Walt Disney Studios and the Archives on both Saturday and Sunday,
which will double our capacity," Clark said.
There'll be all this ... plus the Official Disney Fan will
supplementing its already-popular "50 and Fabulous" film series with a
brand-new series of screenings, "From the Vault." Which will then allow D23
members to celebrate some of Walt Disney Studios' more contemporary productions
"Newsies" and "Sister Act." They
will also be doing seasonal events like "Disney and Dickens" and
"Magic & Merriment" (which are both sold out for this year). The "Sip & Stroll" event will
take on a new guise this year, literally, when it moves to October and becomes
"Sip & Scream."
Steven said that feedback from D23 members also helped them
make a decision to take their events on the road this year. Since it's D23's anniversary, and the
anniversary of a number of Disney movies, theme-park attractions and TV shows,
a D23 "Fanniversary" celebration will come to six different cities -
Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Chicago, Boston and San Francisco.
"If I had to sum up what it is about 2012 that's going to
make this year really special for D23 members, it's that - in the coming year -
we're going to give you the chance to get to know Walt Disney in ways that you
never have before. You're going to get to visit his boyhood home. You're going
to get to vacation like him and watch movies in the exact same theater where Walt
viewed his studio's works-in-progress. We've always said being part of
the official Disney fan club gets you insider access - and we want to really
deliver on that promise like never before and provide what many longtime Disney
fans have often dreamed about."
And the dream becomes reality in 2012. For further
information on what D23 has in the works for next year, keep an eye out for the
official press release for these upcoming Official Disney Fan Club events &
activities. Which is due to pop up on
the Web sometime later today.
I don't know you from Adam, but I am at a loss to understand your level of negativity here. Beyond the fact that you've chosen to criticize an event you've never attended - even though you live nearby - it's hard to believe you could "care less" about a topic you seem to be spending a great deal of time griping about.
This whole thing is actually supposed to be about fun. But I guess what's fun for one person differs from another. Oh, well.
Are you familiar with the William Saroyan quote that " ... a fanatic is a man who redoubles his efforts after he has forgotten his aim" ? I think -- at this point -- that you're just trying to keep this fight / debate / whatever-it-is going for reasons that now only make sense to you.
Sooo ... In your 12:54 p.m. post in this discussion thread, you took responsibility for your "unhealthy obsession" comment and then apologized ... sort of. Which is why -- at this point -- I'm just going to consider this matter closed.
As for any other JHM readers who might be considering continuing this kind-of pointless harangue with Gimbo, I now offer up a piece of advice that's often been attributed to Mr. Twain: "Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."
So -- please -- don't annoy the pig, okay?
I think that quote fits nicely with your various responses. I don't wish to continue; however, I must again remind you that on the 12:54 p.m. post, there is no apology after my comment. Nonetheless, this matter is closed.
“If you can't answer a man's arguments, all is not lost; you can still call him vile names.” Elbert Hubbard
Gimbo's posts don't surprise me.
He'shown time and time again on this site that he's a fool.
Zero friends = plenty of time for mindless posts.
Interesting slate of events from D23, although a certain club of fans we both know is probably looking at that list and wondering if Steven Clark hasn't got their meetings bugged. :)
I'll give D23 credit for finally listening to the members and planning lots more events away from Los Angeles and Orlando, as well as for adding more opportunities to participate in the ridiculously popular Studios and Archives tours. My only complaint would be the prices we've seen so far - $800 for a weekend at STR? Yeesh. I can imagine what the trip to Marceline will cost.
Jim, I'm curious as to how you interpret this. Is this a ramp-up of events based on a new sense of confidence in D23, based on the numbers they saw at Expo, or is Disney playing poker and going "all in" with the club in the hope that they'll generate enough new members this year to continue justifying the cost to keep it going?