Disney launches fan membership program

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Disney has launched a comprehensive membership program called D23 that includes a subscription to a new quarterly publication, offers to attend special events and purchase exclusive merchandise and a membership certificate and card.

The name "D23” is a reference to the year 1923, which is when Walt Disney opened his studio in Hollywood. The program is the first official community for Disney fans, according to a statement from the company. A one-year membership costs $74.99.

"We have a fantastic legacy that started in 1923 and is based on timeless stories, beloved characters and unforgettable experiences, but it's our fans that keep the spirit of Disney alive year after year, generation after generation,” said Disney president and CEO Bob Iger, at the company's annual shareholder's meeting.  "D23 is our way of saying 'thank you' and celebrating our fans, who bring the magic of Disney to life every day in every corner of the world.”

D23 members will receive offers to members-only special events as well as a discount on admission and early access to the D23 Expo, which will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center from September 10 to 13, 2009.

Members also will receive regular e-mail updates on special events and merchandise opportunities exclusive to them.

The premiere issue of the Disney twenty-three publication, which members receive a year subscription to, includes interviews with Tim Burton, Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens as well as a look inside Pixar Animation Studios.

The Disney.com/D23 fan site will feature Disney news, exclusive feature stories, blogs, a collectibles boutique, special event information, and other content. 

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