Back in November, Disney+ made some major changes for its subscribers in many countries, including Canada and the United Kingdom, with the introduction of a new ad-supported tier and two new ad-free tiers.

These new tiers included:

  • Standard With Ads (No downloads + 2 concurrent streams at once) – £4.99/$7.99 a month
  • Standard – (No Ads + 2 concurrent streams at once) £7.99/$11.99 a month / £79.90/$119.99 a year
  • Premium  (4K + HDR + Dolby Atmos + 4 concurrent streams at once) £10.99/$14.99 a month / £109.90/$149.99 a year

Up until November 2023, Disney+ only had a single-tier option, which included everything but didn’t include ads.  This tier is now called Disney+ Premium.

Many Disney+ subscribers in the United Kingdom and across Europe are currently getting their annual renewal reminders coming in (I did too!).  This is because Disney+ originally launched in March 2020 across this region, so many of the long-term users who take out annual subscriptions are getting a bit of a shock with the renewal price since the new Disney+ Premium tier is over £30 a year more expensive than it was a year ago.  When Disney+ launched in 2020, it cost £59.99 a year to subscribe (though it didn’t include the Star hub at the time) and now an annual subscription will cost almost double that, which has annoyed lots of fans.

Unsurprisingly, many Disney+ subscribers are shocked by this massive increase and have been taking to social media to complain.  Unfortunately, Disney’s automated email doesn’t really outline why the prices have increased so much nor really explain in much detail that there are now multiple options.

Lots of existing annual subscribers are upset with the price rise and are considering quitting the streaming service; often, without the knowledge, they could move onto the Standard tier and stay at last year’s price or, alternatively, move to a monthly ad-supported tier and save over 50%.

Ironically, Disney actually wants as many subscribers as possible to move over to the cheaper ad-supported tier since that’ll make Disney more money.   However, I do think Disney hasn’t worded the renewal email very well since it doesn’t lay out the pricing for the three options available; instead, it makes you click for more information.

Disney announced the latest price rise would be coming into effect last summer, so it did give plenty of notice to subscribers, and these latest emails are just a warning being sent a month before the renewal is due.  The current price has been in effect for over four months, but if you have an annual subscription, you might be unaware of this recent change.

If your annual subscription is due, you can simply go into your account settings within Disney+ and choose which tier you want to renew at. 

There are also some other ways to save money.  Disney+ with ads is often bundled with other services, including mobile phone plans or current bank account membership.  For example, in the UK, Lloyds Bank, Tesco, and O2 now provide a cheaper alternative.  So it’s worth checking if there are any benefits to some of your existing monthly services to see if you can save money.

Over the past year, we’ve seen Disney, along with most other streaming services, drastically increase their subscription rates as they look to make the platforms profitable, since they’ve been making billions of dollars of losses on them for years and are no longer willing to continue to offer them cheap to build their subscription numbers. 

While the sticker shock of a renewal notice right now will no doubt make many fans take a second look at how much they are paying, as with all streaming services, it’s good to reexamine how often you’re using a streaming service and what tier you need to be on.  If you don’t watch much, maybe an ad-supported tier is a good option; if you’re a heavy user with the best TV and sound system, you’ll want the premium offering.  And if you never use it, maybe drop it completely and come back for a month or more when there’s something you want to watch, since that’s the beauty of streaming services.

What did you think of the recent price rise?  Let us know on social media!


For the latest Disney+ news, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Twitter: Facebook:

Related Article