During my first two years of being a D23 member I was not able to participate in many of the events that D23 sponsored. In my third year of membership I have been able to attend two! Recently, I was able to attend the D23 John Carter nationwide previews. I was pretty excited about the opportunity to both participate in a D23 event without needing an airline ticket and of course being able to see John Carter for free before it was released.
I found the event relatively easy to register for. I had pulled up the designated page about five minutes before registration opened. I made sure to refresh often. At the announced time the page was updated with a code, a code which I then used on a third party site, www.seeitfirst.net. I did have to register and setup an account on the website after I provided the screening code D23 provided. I was very quickly sent an email with my ticket enclosed and directions for the night of the screening.
On the screening night I arrived about an hour and ten minutes early and found that the line had already started. The oldest Between Kid and I found ourselves about 40 to 50 behind the front of the line. About 20 minutes later they announced that no cell phones would be allowed and that we could check them or take them to our car. I have to admit, even at the D23 Expo I never had to check my phone though I knew it had occurred for some of the sessions. They gave us the chance to take our phones and lock them in our cars if we wanted and fans watched each other’s place in line as shifts of fans went out to their cars. I did see that checked phones were held in numbered paper bags, for which I assume audience members were given matching tickets.
As I talked to others in the line it became clear that not everyone there were D23 members. Many, no most, had glossy ticket looking pamphlets with the Disney logo on them. I never found out the source of these tickets, I guess I got distracted. I had a printout! So I asked the gentlemen standing beside him if he was there with D23. No, he told me he was there with an invite from Disney Visa. Later, a staff member went through the line asking for D23 and Visa members. We were then pulled out of line and taken to the front! So we jumped from around 50th to 5th. The Between Kid was very impressed by this and kept making comments that we were VIPs. So despite the fact that a third party not Disney was clearly running the event, our D23 membership made us still feel special. This new line placement meant we saw John Carter from the middle of row, that wasn’t too high, wasn’t too low and was just right!
Another advantage of being placed with D23 and Visa members were everyone standing around me were Disney fans. We spent the time awaiting the movie sharing stories of parks, rides and other favorite movies. And of course our kids kept coming up in conversation.
In the end, this event did not have the bells and whistles that you often hear D23 events described with on podcasts. But it was free. And my membership did give me something I really wanted to do, was probably going to do anyway. Did I mention it was free? And we did hear staff explain to the others in line that Disney was doing something special for us, though I am not sure they knew what D23 was. I really appreciate that Disney was attempting to reach out to us D23 members Between Disney even in a small way.