D23 … step by step III

Putting a Smile on the WorldOriginally this was supposed to be “step II” of my D23 experience – and it in some way still is – but then fellow blog writer Andy muscled into “my” series with his post about his experience with the D23 “club” / “community”  … so  now I’ll have to call this step III  ;- )

In my prior post in this series I commented on Disney most probably expecting us Europeans to be grateful for being allowed to join D23 even so they add a gross surcharge for international delivery. Afterall they never allowed Europeans to orde their (failed) Disney Yearbook. Andy chimed in reminding us that the extreme shipping is also tagged to any other orders international members place in the D23-shop – even if it is a small comparable affordable item such as a pin. I agree with him that this is really annoying. But – differen from him – I expected it. Afterall Disney always used to overcharge for shipping and handling with similar amounts such as 25$ – prior experience with the Disney Catalogue and the mailorder services of Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort Anaheim taught me that. In addition I never expected to place many orders for D23 exclusive merchandise. So while I think it is annoying it does not irk me as much as it does Andy. However, I think Disney should overthink this policy – even if international mailing results in extra work such as completing the custom forms (but more about that later). Also I think as an international member I also have the option to liump several orders of items together so to reduce the amount of shipping that applies to each separate item. However, I see that that might not work for limited items that sell out before the next item shows up one is interested in.

But Andy also wrote about him being disappointed with the D23 magazine and the surprise gift … I still can’t say anything about the magazine as it still has not arrived, but I got my surprise welcome gift today …

Seems he wasn’t to impressed by it … which I wouldn’t sign. But before I get to that present I need to explain how it arrived. Any international package arriving in Germany has to go through customs. Nearly any package that looks “commercial” and neither has a customs declaration nor a receipt, bill or similar attached to it gets stopped by custom officers and the supposed recipient is ordered to collect it directly at a customs office with a proof regarding the value of the package. Tuesday I received an according information that I was supposed to pick such a package up at customs and most probably also pay customs on it. When I arrived there earlier on Wednesday before work it turned out … it was the surprise welcome gift from D23. For some unexplainable reason Disney didn’t see it necessary to add a custom declaration to it, so I had to take the detour to the customs office. I expect better from Disney and would consider that poor service.

Once I had passed over this (unnecessary) hurdle it was finally time to closer examine the gift. As Andy already revealed it was a print of a drawing. In fact it is a large (20 by 30 inches) art quality print on heavy paper (archival #65 Cougar Natural Cover stock with fade-resistant, oil-based process links) printed especially as 2009 Charter Year gift for D23 members and comes with an according “Certificate of Authenticity”. The print shows the Mickey portrait by Paul Felix created on occassion of the 80th anniversary of Mickey on November 18, 2008 titled “Putting a Smile on the World” – I added a small photo of it to this blog for all interested.

But what do I think about the gift now? Let me state right away: I am not going to put it on the walls anytime soon … but … I think it is an interesting drawing of Mickey with a symbolic value that makes it a fitting charter year gift for D23. For sure I could have thought of other gifts I would have prefered and might actually put on display – but then it is hard to find a gift that is to the liking of all members. I think quite some thoughts went into choosing the print as gift and its sheer quality and size shows that Disney for ones was interested in giving more than a token gift and actually add something substantial to the collections of D23 members. So while not my personal subject choice for a gift to me I would deem it a good gift for D23 members.

So I am not going along with Andy on this … which makes me wonder whether we will be back in the fold together regarding the magazine … I’ll let you know as soon as I received my copy and had time to read it … in the meantime: what do YOU think about the print as the membership gift for 2009??

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2 Responses to “D23 … step by step III”

  1. Stephen Christiansen Says:

    Truthfully, I liked it! I’ve had a hard time finding a frame (trying to avoid the custom-built route) but it will make a nice additional to my other collection of Disney framed pin sets. I do agree that there should be some sort of additional value to being in the club, or they should have just left it a magazine subscription. I know I won’t be able to make the D23 expo, but I do get down to Disney World several times a year so I’m hoping they come up with some other special events or perks. I’m also a little disappointed in the extraordinarily high cost of some of the D23 merchandise. I mean, I like the pen, but $900 USD for a pen is going to be a little rich for all but the most adamant collector. Paying $75 for the right to buy a $900 pen… well, let’s hope there’s something a little better value. Heck, I haven’t even bought any of the $20 pins… and I’m a pin collector!

  2. Paul Marriott Says:

    I just got mine back from the framers and it’s incredible. It cost me around $500 to have it customed framed but it’s worth it!

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