Disney+ UK Price Shock: Renewal Email Confuses Subscribers

This post may contain affiliate links*

Amidst growing confusion and surprise, many UK subscribers are only now discovering Disney+’s price increase, months after the initial announcement, as their annual renewal notices begin to arrive.

When Disney+ announced its UK subscription price adjustments back in November 2023, it marked a significant shift in the streaming service’s pricing strategy.

But despite the initial announcement and subsequent changes taking effect for new subscribers in November and existing subscribers from December 2023, a large portion of the subscriber base is only now coming to terms with these changes.

And, to add to the confusion – many are failing to understand that they don’t have to accept the automatic price increase – and that lower-cost Disney+ plans are now available (see full details below).

Disney Plus on TV with remote

So, why are so many people only hearing about this now? This delay in awareness can be attributed to the timing of annual billing cycles for many of Disney+’s early adopters.

Disney+ made its UK debut in March 2020, quickly becoming a staple in British households with its offering of Disney classics, Marvel blockbusters, and Star Wars sagas.

Many subscribers who joined at launch entered into annual billing cycles that conclude in March every year.

As these cycles draw to a close, subscribers are receiving notifications about their upcoming renewal rates, leading to widespread surprise and dissatisfaction (something similar happened after the last major price increase in February 2022).

Therefore, due to the service’s billing structure, many of the platform’s initial subscribers are only now being confronted with the price increase as they receive renewal notices.

These emails, arriving approximately a month before the renewal date, serve as the first indication for many that their subscription cost will significantly increase.

The Disney+ Auto-Renewal Confusion

The confusion for many subscribers has been compounded by the way Disney+ has communicated these changes, particularly through their auto-renewal emails

Since December, existing Disney+ subscribers who are on an annual plan, have been receiving the following e-mail notification – with many going out in February:

Important updates to your subscription plan: We hope you are enjoying Disney+. We are updating our prices so we can keep bringing you brand new Originals, the latest blockbuster movies and most loved binge-worthy series.

“From XX March 2024, the price of your Disney+ Premium subscription will increase to £109.90 per year.

Giving You More Choice: We now offer more pricing options and better value than ever through our new subscription plans. If you would like to keep your current plan, you don’t need to do anything. Alternatively, it is easy to switch. Explore our plan options to find the one that best fits your needs.”

Disney+ Plan February 2024
Disney+ Plans

This sudden realization has prompted a flurry of activity on social media, with subscribers expressing their frustration over the significant price jump, especially compared to the previous year’s annual price.

And, while the e-mail does mention that other plans are available – apparently many subscribers failed to understand that there are lower-priced options.

Disney+’s move to a tiered subscription model was intended to offer greater flexibility and choice.

However, the automatic renewal of subscriptions into the new Premium tier – the most expensive option – has caught many by surprise. 

So, for those who are still in the dark, Disney+ now offers three subscription tiers:

Standard With Ads: At £4.99 per month, this is the most budget-friendly option, offering Full HD 1080p video quality with advertisements.

Standard: Priced at £7.99 per month or £79.90 annually, this plan offers ad-free viewing with Full HD 1080p video quality and download capabilities.

Premium: The highest tier, now at £109.90 annually, provides up to 4K UHD & HDR video quality, four concurrent streams, and download capability, all without ads.

Existing subscribers who want to switch to a different plan (or switch between monthly and annual), can go into their Account settings, and choose a new plan.

The introduction of these tiers and the subsequent price adjustments reflect Disney+’s attempt to diversify its offerings and cater to varying viewer preferences and budgets.

However, the execution of this strategy, particularly in terms of communication with existing subscribers, has led to confusion.

And, of course, this IS a major price increase – from £79.90 to £109.90 per year  – for those who wish to keep to same experience they had before (no adverts and 4K video resolution).

For new subscribers – or existing ones who are on a monthly subscription plan – it’s worth remembering that if you sign up for a full year, you pay for 10 months instead of 12 (but you lose some flexibility).

Disney+ VS Amazon’s Prime Video: One Price Increase, Two Methods

It’s interesting to compare Disney+ to Amazon’s Prime Video – which also changed its pricing tier recently by adding an ad-supported tier.

Amazon’s Prime Video in the UK has taken a different path with its subscription model adjustments, contrasting with Disney+’s strategy.

Amazon introduced an ad-supported tier but kept the subscription price unchanged for existing users.

The catch? The inclusion of ads and a downgrade in streaming quality, specifically removing Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support for viewers on this new tier.

Prime Video angry man collage

To retain the ad-free experience and high-quality audiovisual features, subscribers are now offered an option to pay an additional £2.99 per month – but if they do nothing, they’ll keep paying the same (but will get adverts).

Disney+’s price hike and Amazon’s downgrade for the same price represent two sides of the same coin – adjusting subscription models to include adverts while trying to balance revenue and subscriber satisfaction.

Disney+’s approach has been criticized for the lack of transparency about cheaper options, while Amazon’s strategy has frustrated users who feel they’re getting less value for the same price unless they pay more.

For more TV and streaming news, Subscribe to our free newsletter.

1 thought on “Disney+ UK Price Shock: Renewal Email Confuses Subscribers”

  1. Time between me receiving the email from Disney and cancelling 2.7s. I was one of the original subscribers paying £49.99 and now at £109.99 they are basically having a laugh.
    The part of the article mentioning that you can downgrade to pay the same is to miss the point.


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

man watchin streaming tv on tablet

Get Cord Buster's Free UK TV Streaming Cheatsheet


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get TV And Tech News

Get Bonus Streaming TV Guide