Well, the honeymoon period is finally over. Disney+ is officially hiking subscription prices in South Africa, just over a year since it launched. We’ve been dreading this day, knowing in our bones that the Mouse’s cheaper-than-usual prices wouldn’t last forever. Fortunately, the increase isn’t as drastic as we were expecting. And there’s a month or so left to prepare for the increase taking place on 19 July 2023.
Out with the old, in with the new
The news comes via the streaming platform’s updated official FAQ page, and official SMS’ sent out to subscribing customers (though we’re still awaiting our SMS). The increase, coming into effect on 19 July 2023, will see old and new customers charged R140/m rather than the R120/m it was previously – a 16.8% increase.
The same goes for the service’s annual plan. What once cost R1,190 for a year of Disney+ will now set you back R1,390, only a 14.4% increase. There are still some savings to be found in the annual subscription, with the R1,390 price being equal to ten singular months – the only caveat being the upfront payment.
It’s difficult to blame Disney for this one. The continually falling Rand is probably to blame for this mess, though Disney hadn’t offered any official reasoning for the hike. Compare it to Netflix’s current prices (via Briefly), and even Disney’s new prices will be easier to swallow. And at the end of the day, South Africa is paying close to R60 less per month than its US subscribers. A win is a win.
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For existing customers whose renewal date falls on or before 18 July, you will still have access to another month (or year) of Disney+ at the current prices. Meaning, if new customers play their cards right, they could purchase a year’s worth of Disney+ before the new prices go live. Disney might actually be counting on this, as an early announcement might convince customers to rush out and purchase longer subscriptions to ‘save’ money.
As for those customers who signed up through third parties – DStv, Apple, or Google Pay – they “should refer to their provider for more information.” We doubt they’ll take any pity on you where pricing is concerned.
If you’re yet to receive an SMS, fret not. Disney’s FAQ states that it will notify customers via SMS, in-app notifications, or updates at least 30 days before the price changes go live.