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Disney Plus Basic vs Premium: The Differences (And How To Choose)

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Disney Plus offers two main subscription options to choose from and both come with different benefits and limitations to be aware of. For those that simply want to save as much money as possible each month, Disney Plus Basic (Disney With Ads) is going to be the better option. For those that want the best experience Disney Plus has to offer, then Disney Plus Premium is going to be the right choice. Here’s a closer look at the two plans, and their main differences.

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Disney Plus first launched in 2019, and back then, there was only one plan available. At just $6.99 per month, the standard Disney Plus subscription was considerably cheaper than many other streaming services. Since then, the cost of Disney Plus has increased more than once, and the same plan now costs $10.99 per month (as of December 2022). The increase in price also led to the introduction of the newer Disney Plus Basic plan.

Priced at $7.99 per month, Disney Plus Basic is significantly cheaper than Premium, marking one of the main and most important differences between the two plans. Similar to the Disney Plus Premium plan, it is also possible to bundle Disney Plus Basic with basic Hulu (Disney Bundle Duo Basic), or with both ESPN+ and basic Hulu (Disney Bundle Trio Basic) at a higher monthly price. Unlike Disney Plus Premium, however, it is not possible to sign up to an annual Disney Plus Basic plan. The annual Disney Plus Premium plan costs $109.99 per year, reducing the average monthly cost down to around $9.16.

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The difference in price of the Disney Plus Basic and Premium plans can also affect the monthly cost of a Hulu Live TV subscription. While a Hulu Live TV with Disney Plus Basic plan is priced at $69.99 per month, a Hulu Live TV subscription with Disney Plus Premium costs $82.99 per month. Even though both Hulu Live TV plans also come with the same ESPN Plus (with ads) subscription, the more expensive (with Disney Plus Premium) live TV plan also includes ad-free basic Hulu.

Disney Plus Basic vs Premium pricing:

Disney PlusBasicPremium
Monthly$7.99$10.99
AnnualN/A$109.99
with Hulu$9.99N/A
with Hulu & ESPN+$12.99$19.99
with Hulu Live TV$69.99$82.99

Other Disney Plus Basic & Premium differences

The inclusion of ads is another main difference between the Disney Plus Basic and Disney Plus Premium plans. As Disney Plus Basic is an ad-supported service, users will have to sit through commercial breaks when watching content, similar to what they experience when watching traditional live TV, or when subscribed to any other ad-supported streaming plan. This not only means that ads are shown before a movie or episode starts, but also throughout playback of the video.

It is worth noting that ads are not shown when a video is viewed through a Kids Profile, even when signed up to Disney Plus Basic.

Disney+ Kids Profile
Disney+ Kids Profile

Another important difference between Disney Plus Basic and Disney Plus Premium is support for downloads. Like many other streaming services, Disney Plus does provide users with the option to download videos, making it possible to watch Disney Plus movies and shows without an internet connection.

However, this is a feature that’s only available to Premium subscribers. If signed up to Disney Plus Basic, subscribers will not be able to download any videos.

Disney Plus Basic vs Premium differences:

Disney PlusBasicPremium
Cost$7.99$10.99
Ad-free
Downloads
Annual plan
Bundle with Hulu
Bundle with Hulu and ESPN+
Bundle with live TV

Disney Plus Basic vs Premium summary

For those considering signing up to Disney Plus and unsure of whether Basic or Premium is the right plan for them, the decision mostly comes down to the cost, ads, and downloads. For those that want to save as much as possible each month, the $7.99 per month Disney Plus Basic plan is the cheapest way to watch Disney Plus.

However, Disney Plus Basic is only slightly cheaper than the Disney Plus Premium annual plan over the course of 12 months. For those that are sure they will use Disney Plus for a full year, and can afford to pay $109.99 up front, the annual plan breaks down to roughly $9.16 per month. This works out to be around $1.17 per month more expensive than the monthly cost of Disney Plus Basic.

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If signing up to the Disney Plus Premium plan, whether monthly or annually, subscribers will get an ad-free viewing experience and the ability to download Disney+ content to watch on the go. Neither of which are available with the Disney Plus Basic plan.

Lastly, if looking to bundle Disney Plus with basic Hulu, ESPN Plus, or Hulu Live TV, then choosing between Basic and Premium Disney Plus will also affect the overall cost of the bundle.

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John Finn

By John Finn

John started Streaming Better to help consumers navigate the live TV streaming and subscription service landscape. John has been editing and writing about technology and streaming for online publications since 2014, and believes the best streaming approach is to rotate between services as needed.

John's preferred live TV streaming service right now is YouTube TV although he does tend to switch live TV services multiple times each year to keep up to date with their changes. Outside of live TV, John also actively streams HBO Max (for the shows), Peacock (for Premier League), and Paramount Plus (for Champion's League). However, John is also currently subscribed to Apple TV+, Discovery+, Hulu, Starz, Showtime, and Shudder.

Contact John via email at john@streamingbetter.com or say hi on Twitter

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