The Disney+ price increase isn’t new, but some will only start paying it now

Suprised by an email telling you you’ll pay more?

If you got an email late on Monday evening telling you prices of Disney+ were jumping by £20, you were no doubt angry – yet another extra cost.

But this isn’t a new hike, and most people have already been paying £79.90 a year since last summer. Here’s what you need to know about who and when will pay more for the service, and my top ways to pay less.

Who will pay more for Disney+

Prices went up in February 2021, with monthly charges going from £5.99 to £7.99 and the annual pass increasing from £59 to £79.90. If you already pay these rates you won’t be paying more (for now at least – you never know!).

However, these hikes only came into play for new customers or when you renewed – and there was an extended deadline for some. Those who signed up for an annual pass on or soon after the launch – between March and August 2020 (yep two years ago), could renew for a year at the old price of £59.

But this offer was only available for that first renewal. Any subsequent ones will be at the new higher price, and that’s why Disney has started emailing people to say there is an increase.

However, this email wasn’t the clearest – I had to check there wasn’t ANOTHER increase. Just looking at social media you can see a lot of angry and confused people.

Why Disney put prices up

When the initial hike happened last year, Disney said this was because it was massively expanding the catalogue of TV and film on the service via the addition of Star. This has included new and classic TV shows like The Walking Dead, original series like Only Murders in the Building and movies like Free Guy. To be fair there has been a lot of good stuff to watch.

How to pay less for Disney+

If a separate article looking at all the ways to reduce your Disney+ costs, but here are my top picks:

Only pay for months you use it

There are too many streaming services with too much great content to watch that there’s no way you can get proper value from more than one at any time. So it’s better to focus one month on Disney+, the next on Netflix, then Amazon Prime, then back to Disney+ and so on.

You’ll be saving money this way as long as you don’t pay for more than 9 months of the year, and even if you pay for 10 you’re spending the same amount.

And since Disney+ drops new episodes weekly, rather than in one go, you could time the months you use this service for when there are a couple of big shows you want to binge.

Get a SIM with O2

O2 contract and SIM-only users get access to a £2 monthly discount, meaning you’ll pay £5.99 a month direct to your bill.

Though going direct to O2 is quite expensive, there are often discounted offers from comparison sites that make it competitive. For example, I spotted £6 a month for 5GB of data on Uswitch. Factor in the Disney+ discount and extras from O2 Priority (e.g. free Odeon tickets and Gregg’s sausage rolls), and it could work out much cheaper than other networks.

You might also get up to six months free Disney+, depending on the size of your contract.

Use Clubcard points

Not everyone shops at Tesco, but if you do this is one of the better ways to exchange your points. You need £8 worth to get three months of streaming.

Save on Disney+

All the latest offers in our dedicated Disney+ article

Is it worth paying £79.90 a year for Disney+

Andy’s Analysis

Whether you pay nearly £80 upfront for a year depends on how much you’ll watch and which other streaming services you use.

There are some really good shows on there, and I’ll certainly be signing up to see the new Star Wars and Marvel shows, as well as catch movies like The French Dispatch.

But will I watch it every month? Probably not. I tend to save shows until all the episodes are available, so I’ll switch from annual payments to monthly, and just pick and choose. The other months I’ll be doing the same for Netflix, AppleTV+ and the other options.

If you have younger kids I can imagine instant access to the Disney cartoons and films is worth it and the service will be in constant use.

But for everyone else? Save some cash and only pay when you can really focus on what’s on offer.

Alternatives to Disney+

If you’re not happy about paying more for Disney+, you could look at the other streaming services, and potentially get them for free.

  • Apple TV+: £4.99 a month (up to 5 months free passes available)
  • Amazon Prime Video: £5.99 a month (30 days free trial available)
  • Netflix: from £6.99 a month
  • NOW: £9.99 a month (7 day free trial available)


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