You can no longer buy a Disney+ gift subscription (Disney+ Subscription Card) and gift it to someone. Disney appears to have made the change shortly before rolling out price increases to Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu. While these one-year subscriptions are no more, it looks like Disney plans to replace them with Disney+ Gift Cards soon.
As best as we can figure, annual Disney+ gift subscriptions were still available on Oct. 1 and had been discontinued by Oct. 6, 2023. A Disney+ Help Center post also confirms the change, stating Disney+ Subscription Cards “are no longer available for purchase in the U.S.”
Although Disney has now discontinued its Disney+ Subscription Cards, existing ones don’t expire. Therefore, any that were purchased in the past, and have not been used yet, can still be redeemed for a full year of Disney+.
Disney+ Gift Cards coming soon
For those that do want to give the gift of Disney+, it looks like Disney is preparing to add the option to buy Disney+ Gift Cards directly through the Disney+ website. While retailers like Best Buy, Target, and even the ShopDisney online store, already offer the option to buy gift cards, Disney+ is preparing to sell them directly to consumers, presumably in replace of Subscription Cards.
We recently spotted a new Gift Card section was added to the Disney+ website, which clearly states Disney+ Gift Cards are “coming soon” allowing buyers to “Give the Gift of Stories.” From what we can tell, this new gift card section went live on or around Oct. 27, 2023.
While this change won’t fundamentally affect the ability to pay for a subscription for someone else, it does change the way in which subscriptions are gifted. Instead of the ability to simply buy a year and gift it, the giver will need to purchase gift cards in the amount of the subscription. The buyer will then need to redeem the gift card against the cost.
According to the new Disney+ Gift Card page, “a Disney+ Gift Card towards a monthly Disney+ or Disney Bundle subscription” and “can be purchased in varying amounts from $25 and $200.”
Helping to boost Disney+ revenue
From the Disney+ perspective, this change could help to increase revenue through gift subscriptions. Considering the discontinued one-year-subscriptions don’t expire, they unlock a full year of Disney+ at any time, and regardless of any difference in price between the original cost of the gift subscription and the current cost of Disney+.
Last month, for example, the cost of a Disney Plus Premium annual plan increased to $139.99, up from $109.99. While any gift subscriptions purchased before being discontinued still unlock a full year at the old price, the replacement gift cards ensure recipients pay the rate of Disney+ when actually redeeming the subscription.
Furthermore, Disney states “Disney+ gift cards cannot be used for a standalone annual Disney+ Premium subscription.” This not only rules out the option of saving on the cost of a gift subscription over 12 months, but it also ensures gift card recipients pay the higher rate immediately following any increase in price in the future.
While the new Gift Card page doesn’t specify when the option to buy gift cards directly from Disney+ will go live, it stands to reason the change will take place very soon, especially considering the Holiday season is just around the corner.