Sunday Savings Series: Is D23 Gold Membership Worth It?

From D23 Expo in 2022

I’ve had a few people ask me my opinion on D23 Gold Membership, so I thought I’d address it here. This is my second year of being a Gold Member. My first year I received for free (plus processing) using Disney Movie Insider points. This year, I paid $99.99 for the Gold Individual Plan. At this moment I’m not sure if I’ll renew.

One of the benefits of being a Gold Member is that there are exclusive events. The events aren’t free, but they aren’t accessible to you if you aren’t a Gold Member. The problem is that being a Gold Member won’t guarantee that you’ll be able to secure a spot at these events.

A big part of the reason why I renewed was that it was the only way to attend Destination D23 this coming September. Unlike D23 Expo where you can be a general member, only Gold Members and their guests can attend Destination D23. When the Virtual Queue opened I knew I was in trouble because my place in line was over 8,000. I waited about half an hour, only to discover that the event was sold out. I later learned that all the spots were gone in under ten minutes, but the queue didn’t let people know. It’s not the same system that Walt Disney World used for the TRON Passholder Previews, which at least warned people that the spots were filling up.

Out of curiosity, I checked the D23 Facebook page that day. There were plenty of comments from people who had purchased a D23 Gold Membership specifically to attend Destination D23. They had wasted their money.

This isn’t the only time when events sold out quickly. I didn’t try for either the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind or the TRON Lightcycle / Run Previews, but in both cases, tickets for the events were gone in just a few minutes.

For D23 Expo, an Individual Gold Member could buy one ticket for himself or herself and another for one guest at a discount. Additional tickets were full price. I was on my Star Wars Day at Sea cruise when the tickets went on sale, and when I could finally buy tickets three day passes were gone. I received a discount on only one day, I had to pay full price for the rest. It cost quite a bit more. I wasn’t upset that the three day passes were gone, but it was frustrating that I couldn’t get a discount on the passes that I needed.

Of course, the extra events aren’t the only reason to buy a D23 Gold Membership. Last year there was a beautiful pin set. This year, it’s a Mickey statue, which they have not yet sent out. It also includes four issues of Disney twenty-three. It’s a beautiful magazine, but it’s not something that I can’t live without.

There are also other discounts and bonuses that come with a D23 Gold Membership. There is often discounted merchandise on ShopDisney. If you’re into pins, the discount at times could pay for itself.

Only you can decide if becoming a D23 Gold Member is worth the cost. Now that I thihen my membership expires, I probably will renew eventually, because I know I’ll want the discount for the next D23 Expo. That said, if you only want access to events, think long and hard before making that purchase. You might get in, but there’s more of a chance that you won’t.