Disney Plus' price hike kicks in Dec. 8 — here’s how to avoid it

Disney Plus logo on a phone that's on top of popcorn
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Disney Plus subscribers have recently gotten some bad news. No, Baby Yoda's OK — and coming back in February for Mandalorian season 3. I'm talking about the incoming Disney Plus price hike, and unlike the modest update over at Hulu, Disney Plus will go up by $3 per month. Or, you're going to have to sit through ads.

And you have until December 8th, when the price change and new ad-supported Disney Plus tier go into effect. Me? I know I'll always choose an ad-free experience, but I know I don't want to pay more, either. That said, make sure you actually need Disney Plus right now, because we think you should consider canceling Disney Plus, HBO Max and Hulu this month.

That's why I locked my prices in now, by subscribing to Hulu and Disney Plus all on the same account, getting what's referred to as The Disney Bundle (which also includes ESPN Plus). And after the Dec. 8 price increases, the Disney Bundle is $14.99, saving you $13.98 over the combined costs of Hulu (with ads), Disney Plus (without ads) and ESPN Plus (with ads).

Disney Plus, Hulu and ESPN Plus price changes at a glance

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 Previous 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)

But what if, and I know you folks are out there, you don't want Hulu or ESPN Plus? Well, if you don't want ESPN Plus, know that The Disney Bundle is still providing $3.99 in savings vs just Disney Plus (no ads) and Hulu (with ads).

And if you don't want Hulu? Then it's time to think about how much Disney Plus you expect to watch. From now until Dec. 8, ad-free Disney Plus is $79 for 1 year. If you think you'll want the no-ads Disney Plus for at least 8 of the next 12 months, this is the deal for you. Why would you want Disney Plus for that much time? Well Mandalorian season 3, Secret Invasion, Echo, Loki season 2 and Ironheart are all coming next year, for starters.

The $15 per month

The $15 per month Disney Bundle saves you $14
After the Dec. 8 price hike, Disney Plus won't be available in this current bundle. To get ad-free Disney Plus with Hulu and ESPN Plus, you'll need to spend $20 per month.

Disney Plus: is $79 for 1 year, will be $109 soon

Disney Plus: is $79 for 1 year, will be $109 soon
Here's one of your last chances to get Disney Plus for a cheaper price. Disney Plus' ad-free tier is getting more expensive, with the annual subscription rising to $109 on Dec. 8.

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) — 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.

If you would sit through ads? Well, then your calculus changes, as ad-free Disney Plus will cost $7.99, so you'd only want to sign up for the $80 annual plan if you expect you'd want Disney Plus for 11 to 12 months of the next year.

All of the Disney Bundles

That said, there are going to be other Disney bundles, and the below chart breaks them down

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Header Cell - Column 0 $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

The $14.99 Disney bundle is here for those who keep the current Disney Plus bundle.You save $3.99 over ad-free Disney Plus and ad-supported Hulu. And then ESPN Plus is thrown in for free.

The $9.99 Disney bundle is the new cheapest bundle, and has ad-supported Disney Plus and Hulu. It offers $5.98 in savings.

The $12.99 Disney bundle tacks on ESPN Plus to the above bundle for $3 more, saving you $7 off of its price.

The $19.99 Disney bundle is for the ad-haters. Total savings of $15.98, includes ad-free Disney Plus and Hulu, as well as ESPN Plus.

Outlook: Time's running out

These price hikes were first announced in September, and are finally about to go into effect. I've already explained some of the shows you'll come back to Disney Plus for, but know that's going to be the home of upcoming Marvel movies too. One of December's big Disney Plus releases is Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again, an animated sequel. 

If you're a cord-cutter, you'll probably want Hulu for next-day streams of TV shows (especially if you don't have ABC). ESPN Plus has a variety of sports, and is a must for UFC fans. 

No matter what, though, you should not wait until Dec. 8 to figure out what your plan is for these services. And that gives us an easy, Disney-like rhyme: "don't wait, don't wait, December 8 is one day too late!"

Next: You need to see the Cocaine Bear trailer. Spotify Wrapped 2022 just went live, and Apple Music Replay looks a lot like it.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing 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.