Fight the price hike for Disney

www.tomsguide.com/opinion/the-disney-bundle-is-best-way-to-get-disney-plus-and-hulu-now

Fight the price hike — Disney Bundle is best way to get Disney Plus and Hulu now

By Henry T. Casey, August 12, 2022

This price hike makes the Disney Bundle “the way”

If you subscribe to Disney Plus but don’t know about the Disney Bundle, now is a good time to get familiar. That’s because pricing is going up all around the streaming world, following the step that Netflix took at the start of the year.

The Disney Plus price hike is a significant $3 increase for the ad-free version of the service, which goes up to $10.99 per month as opposed to its previous $7.99 pricing. This takes place on Dec. 8, 2022. This is the second Disney Plus price increase, following a March 2021 bump of $1 per month. Yes, it’s hard to remember but Disney Plus launched at $6.99 per month in 2019.

Then, we have the Hulu price hike, which isn’t as terrible. Ad-supported Hulu is going to $7.99 (formerly $6.99) per month, while ad-free Hulu goes up $2, to $14.99 (formerly $12.99). That change takes place on October 10, 2022. This is on top of the ESPN Plus price hike, that saw it go up 43% to $9.99 per month.

While ESPN Plus doesn’t strike our fancy as much as Hulu or Disney Plus, we know UFC fans need it, among others. Here’s a table if you prefer to see things like that:

Old monthly priceNew monthly price
Disney Plus$7.99$10.99 (Dec. 8)
Disney Plus with adsn/a$7.99 (Dec. 8)
Hulu with ads$6.99$7.99 (Oct. 10)
Hulu without ads$12.99$14.99 (Oct. 10)
ESPN Plus (always has ads)$6.99$9.99 (Aug. 2022)

It’s always a bad time for a price hike, but to have this happen as Hulu continues to get great shows (watch The Bear, please) and as inflation is an increasing fact of life? 

This all makes the Disney Bundle (currently $13.99, going up to $14.99)(opens in new tab) — which used to just be one bundle that packaged Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus — all the more interesting. Especially now that there are going to be four different Disney Bundles. Annoyingly, though, even the Disney Bundle we have right now is getting more expensive this fall, going to $14.99 from $13.99, if you’re already a member.

Disney Bundle prices

$14.99*$12.99$19.99$9.99
Disney Plus without adsYesNoYesNo
Disney Plus with adsNoYesNoYes
Hulu without adsNoNoYesNo
Hulu with adsYesYesNoYes
ESPN PlusYesYesYesNo
You save$13.98$12.98$15.98$5.98

*only available to “existing subscribers.” While this sounds like it will work for anyone who signs up before the Hulu price hike in October, Tom’s Guide reached out to Disney for confirmation regarding if you need to have already been a Disney Bundle subscriber before this announcement to lock in the $14.99 pricing. We will update this if and when we get a reply.

And, since we think Disney Plus and Hulu are the better parts of this bundle, let’s just look at these bundles for people who don’t care about ESPN Plus. 

The $14.99 Disney Plus bundle

What you get: So, If you hold onto the current Disney Plus bundle, you’ll be paying $14.99 per month. This is savings of around $4 over ad-free Disney Plus and ad-supported Hulu on their own, which cost $18.98 per month. That’s akin to a 50% discount on Hulu for as long as this pricing is available. And, yes, you get ESPN Plus on top of that.
Who it’s for: People who like ad-free Disney Plus and want Hulu and/or ESPN Plus.

The $9.99 Disney Plus bundle

What you get: The cheapest offer is the $9.99 Disney and Hulu bundle with ads. It offers $5.98 in savings. That’s akin to chopping Hulu down to just $2 per month.
Who it’s for: People who accept ads but don’t need ESPN Plus.

The $12.99 Disney Plus bundle

What you get: If you want ESPN Plus (which has ads), then you can get it with the the ad-supported Disney Plus and Hulu, for $12.99 per month. This is 50% off all of the above options.
Who it’s for: ESPN Plus subscribers who want Disney Plus and Hulu.

The $19.99 Disney Plus bundle

What you get: Lastly, there’s the priciest bundle. For $19.99, you can get ad-free Disney Plus and ad-free Hulu, with the ad-supported ESPN Plus. That’s $15.98 off, and it’s basically like getting ad-free Hulu for free.
Who it’s for: People who don’t like ads.

Outlook: It’s best to bundle, unless you churn

Of course, these bundles are only really saving you money if you want two or more of these services. While I pay for Sling TV, and can get some shows on there, I need Hulu for shows like Abbott Elementary (Sling doesn’t have ABC, where it airs originally) and the FX on Hulu exclusive Reservation Dogs

Currently, I’m on an even better deal: the 2021 Hulu Black Friday deal, which knocked Hulu to a buck a month for a calendar year. That deal expires after the price increase, so I don’t think I’m going to be able to lock in this bundle. 

So, if you like Hulu and Disney Plus (and even ESPN Plus), it’s time to bundle. Your best alternative, though, is to churn. It’s the one thing streaming services hate the most, but if you don’t think you need Hulu or Disney Plus or ESPN Plus for an upcoming month, you can just cancel and come back when the shows you like are back. That’s the easiest way to save money.

Henry is a senior editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He’s also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.

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