TMSM Explains: Things Gold D23 Members Should Know For This Year’s D23 Expo

D23 Expo starts on Friday morning and we have had a few people ask “what happens if my Gold D23 Membership card hasn’t arrived before Expo?” First let’s address WHO is the Gold D23 Member as there is a lot of confusion with this. The person who bought the membership through the Disney Store is the member. That person’s name is on the D23 Membership card, so they are the only ones officially entitled to any D23 Gold Member perks at the Expo.D23 Gold Members may bring one Guest and D23 Gold Family Members may bring up to three Guests but those Guests can not enter the D23 Member line or purchase items with the D23 Member discount.
Secondly, let’s address  “what use to happen in the past” because people seem to think that what use to work will work this year and that is not the case. In the past  you could print out confirmation of your membership info, or if you got the “right” volunteer just tell them you were Gold and they believed you.

This year D23 has decided to be very clear on what is required to receive D23 Gold/Gold Family Member perks at the 2017 D23 Expo, and they have made it very clear that Gold Member IDs will be strictly enforced this year with statements like

  • Members will be required to show Valid ID and active D23 Gold Membership Card to receive access into the lounge.
  • Members will be required to show Valid ID and active D23 Gold Membership Card prior to line access.
  • One gift per membership card. This gift will not be made available or shipped out to any guests for any reason. A valid ID, your active Gold Membership Card and 2017 event ticket will be required for pickup.
  • Members will be required to show Valid ID and active D23 Gold Membership Card to redeem these special offers.
  • Remember to take your D23 Membership card with you to D23 Expo 2017 in order to take part in the above benefits.

in the “Things to Know” section of the D23 Expo website. Earlier this year D23 even added a blurb to that section of their website that states “Your complete D23 Membership Kit, including membership card will arrive within an average of 3-4 weeks of purchase. Membership purchases made after June 1 risk not arriving in time for D23 Expo 2017.” to encourage Expo guests to purchase a Gold or Gold Family D23 Membership early enough to give Disney time to ship and guests to receive their membership package before the Expo. If you didn’t buy a Gold Membership that’s ok, you can purchase one at the D23 Expo at the D23 Guest Services window.
The thing is some Gold Members didn’t order or renew on time to get their membership card in the mail, or they have misplaced their card. That is ok, this  happens to the best of us. But because D23 is serious about Gold Membership cards being in hand this year, they are changing up how they do things. They will no longer be taking print outs of membership info for benefits. Instead I was told by a D23 rep that “Gold member IDs will be strictly enforced this year to receive the Gold Member benefits (no exceptions). Because of this a temporary (Expo use only) Gold Member card will be available at the D23 Guest Services window, which will be located near the Arena at the box office windows for those who don’t have their card yet or forgot theirs.”
The operating hours for the D23 Guest Services window will be the same as the show’s Will Call hours. It is encouraged that you take your photo ID and D23 Gold Member information (printed from the Disney Store website, or Profile information section) with you to the D23 Guest Services window if you have to you go to get an Expo use only temporary membership card issued. If you want to take advantage of D23 Gold Member perks at the 2017 D23 Expo, you will need to have your current D23 Gold Membership ID card with you, if you don’t have one, visit D23 Member Services next to Will Call to have a temporary card printed out.

What Is the D23 Gold Member Line And How Does It Work?
Per the D23 Info to Know Section:
There are a limited number of priority seats available to D23 Gold and Gold Family members in Hall D23 and the D23 Expo Arena during the weekend. These seats will be made available on a first come first serve basis via a separate line. D23 Gold Members may bring (one) Guest and D23 Gold Family Members may bring up to (three) Guests. All members of your party must be present at time of entry to the queue (no saving). Priority seating is limited at each Hall D23 and D23 Expo Arena session, and the priority queue will be closed one hour prior to the scheduled session start time or once capacity is reached, whichever is first. For “ABC Summer Fun & Games” on Saturday, July 15 and “Celebration of an Animated Classic: The Lion King” on Sunday, July 16, the priority queue will be closed 30 minutes prior to the scheduled session start time or once capacity is reached, whichever is first. Should the priority queue reach capacity, D23 Gold Members will be directed to the general seating or stand-by queue, if available. Priority seating is not reserved seating, but allows first access to general admission seating.”

Ok but what does that really mean and how will it work??
Regarding Gold Member lines – once the capacity of the Gold Member line is reached, then additional Gold Members who arrive at the line entrance will be directed to the end of the standby line (which has been simultaneously lining up). There is a limited number of seats available to Gold Members in each session and once the capacity of those are reached, then D23 will back fill with standby (which will include all other general, gold and non members).
For the Hall D23 sessions, yes, there will be an overnight Gold Member queue will be in place, alongside the general queue for those sessions. The overnight queue for the show floor will be available for ALL ticket holders and D23 will not be separating Gold Members from that queue – if a Gold Member wants to see the Arena and access the Gold Member priority line, they will do so once the show floor opens and they head over to Hall A where the queue for the Arena will be located.
The Overnight  queue will have three queue options:

  1. Show Floor
  2. Hall D23 Gold Member Priority
  3. Hall D23 General / Overflow.

For Gold Member priority seating in Hall D23, there are several thousand seats available to Gold Member for each show, note that it is NOT a reserved section, but Gold Members will get first entry into the venue to choose their seat. Once they (Gold Members) have all entered, then D23 will allow in the standby line to fill in the rest of the seats.
D23 will do the best in their ability to count people as they ENTER the queue so they can inform Gold Members once the line has reached it’s capacity so they are not waiting unnecessarily – of course, some Gold Members will still want to do so in hopes that seats may become available, which in some cases does occur.

What Are The Other Gold Member Perks At This Year’s Expo?
A complimentary Expo-exclusive gift (available for pickup in Hall A and limited to one per D23 Gold Member attending the Expo) by Disney articst Disney animator Eric Goldberg and special offers and discounts from Disney partners including, Havaianas, Ozobot, Steiff, and Thomas Kinkade. Locations offering special “Gold Member” discounts are marked on the Expo Show floor with a “Gold D23 Circle.” Please remember that D23 Gold Members must show their valid D23 Gold Member IDs for all benefits.

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

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