Disney+ is becoming essential for trips to the Disney parks — here’s why
Since it was released in 2019, Disney+ has become a much-loved entertainment fixture in many houses — over 152 million households at last count, to be exact.
It’s no secret that Disney+ is the place to watch both new and classic Disney cartoons, behind-the-scenes documentaries, new Marvel series, all things Star Wars and more.
But, its relevance in the Disney ecosystem now goes far beyond watching “Frozen II” (again) on the couch with your kids. Disney+ has been trending toward being a must-have for trips to Disney’s theme parks, including Disney World.
For example, over the summer, and running until Sept. 30, being a Disney+ subscriber saves you up to 25% on Disney World resort stays. This can be hundreds of dollars in savings for a monthly cost of $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year. Not only that, but there may be a card in your wallet that can knock that down to $0 out of pocket (more on that shortly).
Now there’s an upcoming Disney+ Day on Sept. 8 that will translate to even more perks in the parks for those with a Disney+ membership. Here’s what you need to know.
For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
What makes Disney+ great for travelers who might find themselves on a plane without good (or any) Wi-Fi for hours is that once you have downloaded the Disney+ app on your device, you can download as many shows and movies from Disney+ as your device can handle. This means your family can watch all their favorites on the go without having to be connected to Wi-Fi.
Related: The best credit cards for families
You can download shows on up to 10 devices and stream up to four at a time. This means during your next flight or road trip, you can load all your kids’ devices with shows to watch. There’s also an option for kid profiles that limits your child to shows rated TV-7FV and G.
Using Disney+ to save in the Disney parks
Until Sept. 30, having a Disney+ subscription can save you 10–25% on your Disney World hotel stay. How much you save depends on the tier your desired Disney resort falls in. You can get the full breakdown of eligible Disney resort discounts here.
Looking at a three-night, mid-September stay, if you booked at one of my favorite Disney moderate-tier resorts, Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter, the discount drops your rate from $319 to $255 per night. Over a three-night stay, that’s a savings of $192 thanks to the $7.99 per month service.
If you wanted a fancier experience, on those same mid-September nights, with the Disney+ discount, Disney’s Riviera Resort, one of the fanciest deluxe-tier hotel options, drops from $621 per night to $465 per night. Over the course of three nights, that’s a massive total of $465 in savings.
And if you plan to celebrate the holidays at Disney World, Disney+ subscribers can save between 10 and 20% on hotel stays most nights between Dec. 11 and Dec. 25.
Related: Disney World vs. Disneyland: Which is the better park to visit?
The discount should display automatically when you’re signed into your Disney account, but only if you used the same email address for your MyDisney Experience account and your Disney+ account. Keep that consistency in mind if you are signing up for either for the first time.
How to save on Disney+
There are a few ways to save on Disney+. As mentioned, the base price for Disney+ is either $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year. You can also bundle it with Hulu and ESPN+ for $13.99 per month (with ads) or $19.99 without ads.
If you have a Verizon Unlimited plan, you can get six free months of Disney+.
Additionally, we have seen an Amex Offer in recent months that provided a monthly $7.99 statement credit for up to six months of Disney+ charges.
On an ongoing basis, The Platinum Card® from American Express provides an up to $20 per month digital entertainment credit that you can use toward Disney+ (among other eligible services). Enrollment is required.
Related: How to use the Amex Platinum digital entertainment credit
What credit card to use for Disney+
If you don’t have any of the eligible American Express cards that offer the statement credits, or if you are just looking for a different card to put your Disney+ charges on, here are some other good options.
Some of the best cards for streaming services include:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Earn 3 points per dollar on select streaming services, including Apple Music, Disney+, ESPN+, Fubo TV, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, SiriusXM, Sling, Spotify, Vudu and Youtube TV.
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Get 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services (enrollment is required).
- Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card: Get 4% cash back on select streaming services.
The information for the Capital One Savor card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
For years now, Disney+ has been an affordable way to help keep the family entertained, both at home or on the road. But in recent months, it’s become an increasingly valuable tool to save money in Disney parks. And thanks to Disney+ Day, there will be additional ways to leverage your membership for some cool Disney access.