New Disney+ plans to launch in November 2023, along with a price increase for existing users
by Brean Horne, Senior Writer
Disney+ is the latest streaming platform to shake up its subscription fees.
From 1 November 2023, viewers can cut the price of their monthly subscription by opting for an ad-supported plan.
But there’ll also be changes for people on the existing £7.99 plan – which could cost you more money.
Here’s everything you need to know.
What is Disney+ changing?
From 1 November 2023, Disney+ is launching two new price plans under the Disney+ Standard name, while increasing the price of the existing option.
Disney+ Standard with Ads
The first new option is Disney+ Standard with Ads which has a lower monthly fee of £4.99. This tier allows you to stream on the platform for a cheaper price – as long as you’re happy to watch adverts.
You also won’t be able to download to your phone.
The ad tier is already available in the US and will launch in the UK as well as France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Norway, Sweden and Denmark in November.
The other new tier is at the existing price of £7.99 called Disney+ Standard – but it’s different to what customers will be used to.
For a start you’ll only be able to have two concurrent streams at any time – a move that is no doubt to crack down on people sharing. You’ll also only get HD, with 4K reserved for Premium subscribers.
The current Disney+ account (which is £7.99 per month) will change to “Disney+ Premium” which will cost £10.99 per month.
This stays the same, so up to four people can all watch different things at the same time, plus you’ll get 4K picture quality and Dolby surround sound.
How do the Disney plans compare?
We’ve rounded up how the new Disney+ plans compare in the table below.
|Standard with Ads||Standard||Premium|
|Subscription Price||£4.99 per month (No annual bundle)||£7.99 per month or (£79.99 per year)||£10.99 per month or (£109.90 per year)|
|Video Quality||Up to Full HD 1080p||Up to Full HD 1080p||Up to 4K UHD & HDR|
|Audio||5.1 and Stereo||5.1 and Stereo||Dolby Atmos|
What does it mean for existing customers?
While the cheaper ad tier of Disney+ may sound like good news, things may get more expensive for existing customers.
You’ll automatically be moved onto Premium, and start paying the new higher price after 6 December 2023.
So this is effectively a price hike for that tier with a monthly fee increase of £3 per month, or an extra £30 per year if you pay annually! Netflix did a similar stealth price hike when it axed its Basic plan earlier this year,
Now, if you already stream with Disney+ you’ll get the option to switch to the Standard Plan or the Ads Plan. So if you don’t want to pay the higher price, you’ll need to manually change your plan before you’re billed for Premium.
Can you beat the Disney+ Standard price hike?
The good news is that you can beat the price hike on the Disney+ Standard account before things change in November.
All you’ll have to do is sign up for an annual subscription before the new prices and tiers comes in.
Right now you can get a year’s subscription to Disney+ for £79.90. So if you lock into this rate, it works out to around £6.66 per month.
And you’ll get to keep access to the full range of account offerings even when things change in autumn as this will automatically become a Disney+ Premium subscription. Just remember that when that year is up you’ll be paying the higher prices (unless you change your plan then).
Sign up via a cashback site such as Quidco or Topcashback and you’ll be able to get £10 or more back as an extra saving.
Another option is to be a bit more strategic and only pay for the months you want to watch something on Disney+. For example, paying £10.99 for just 6 months will cost £65.94 – or less if you opt for one of the cheaper tiers
This means you can dip in and out of a subscription and probably end up paying less overall. Check out our rules to spend less on streaming guide for more.
Other ways to save on Disney+
There are a couple of other options as well. O2 customers can save £2 off each month (though this could change), while Club Lloyds is offering one free year of Disney+ as one of the Lifestyle Benefit freebies.
What happens to free Disney+ via Club Lloyds?
Currently, you can get a year’s Disney+ membership for free with a Club Lloyds current account. We contacted Lloyds’ press office to find out if this would change and were told customers would continue to receive their current subscription. That means they’ll get the full Premium package when the change happens in November.
We wouldn’t be surprised if that changes in the future and they’ll offer Standard when you come to choose (or reselect) your year’s Lifestyle Benefit. But for now it appears you’ll be getting the full whack for free.
Which Disney+ tier is best?
Although the ad tier could save you money, the account offering is pretty basic compared to the other plans (and even other streaming services.)
First of all, it seems odd to have to pay for a plan that includes adverts. Since usually, you sign up for a paid subscription to avoid having to see or hear them.
You also get fewer people allowed to stream at once which isn’t ideal if you have multiple people using the account and watch around the same time. You also can’t download anything which limits how you can watch your shows as well.
Also, quite interestingly this tier doesn’t offer an annual bundle which helps you save more.
Personally, as someone who isn’t a massive fan of ads, this tier doesn’t seem like great value. Although you get to access the full Disney library, I think the Standard and Premium accounts offer much more.
As for the Premium package, you’ve got to weigh up whether you really need to pay extra to get the additional benefits. Better picture and sound is nice, but is is worth the more you’ll pay?
Things to consider
Ultimately, if you’re considering the best Disney+ plan for you though, the main things to consider are:
- How many people are likely to be streaming at the same time?
- Do you need to download shows?
- What is your tolerance for ads?
- Do you need 4K picture quality?
With all this taken into account, I imagine most people will actually be fine with the middle Standard tier! Although it’s good to have the cheaper option available if you want to save a little more.
Your answers to these questions above will help guide which plan will suit you best. And once you have a tier in mind, be sure to check out our Disney+ deals and offers guide to find out how to save on your subscription.