In celebration of Disney+ Day on September 8, 2022, the company announced new guest perks at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Paris, Hong Kong, and Disney Cruise Line. This post takes a look at the special perks in the theme parks and everything else you should know about Disney+ Day.
This comes ahead of the third anniversary of Disney’s streaming service, to thank fans for their support in helping Disney+ grow to reach over 152 million households. In celebration, Disney+ subscribers can enjoy special benefits including additional time at Disney Parks around the world, exclusive offers, access to fan-favorite content, first-looks on the platform, and more.
The Walt Disney Company hasn’t announced all of the details for this year’s Disney+ Day, but last year a slew of new content debuted and there was a limited time subscription deal for the streaming service. The event also occurred in mid-November, on the actual anniversary of the debut of Disney Plus.
Our guess is that Disney+ Day has moved forward for a couple reasons. First, this puts it one day before the start of the D23 Expo, meaning whatever promotional subscription is released for the day can also encompass that event. Same with surprises and other announcements–the company could effectively turn Disney+ Day into Disney+ Weekend.
Second, it puts Disney+ Day in this fiscal year, and gives the company a chance to juice numbers before their current financial year ends. As the money-losing streaming service is a huge driver of the company’s stock price, that’s important.
Finally, moving Disney+ Day into September puts distance between it and Cyber Monday. Streaming services have historically offered deals for that shopping “holiday” after Thanksgiving. (We’ve paid $.99/month for Hulu several years running!) This gives the company a chance to offer promotions in both September and November and capture new subscribers in separate quarters/years–all without it seeming like the streaming service is perpetually discounted.
Other Disney+ Day details are likely to be released very soon. For now, here’s what we know will happen in the theme parks…
Disney+ Day in the Parks
In celebration of Disney+ Day, Disney+ subscribers with a valid ticket or Annual Pass and theme park reservations on September 8, 2022 will enjoy special benefits at the parks. Disney+ subscribers and their travel party are invited to enter all theme parks at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort 30 minutes before regular park open.
This essentially extends Early Entry at Walt Disney World to off-site guests who are Disney+ subscribers. If you’re not already, we’d highly recommend subscribing to Disney+ just for that 30 minute advance access. It’s worth the one-month subscription cost for your travel party to get a 30 minute head-start.
On-site guests aren’t at a disadvantage on Disney+ Day. Early Entry for eligible hotel guests will start 30 minutes before Disney+ subscriber’s have access to the parks, or 1 hour before official opening time.
This means that on-site guests can enter Magic Kingdom at 8 am, Epcot at 8 am, Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 8 am (be there earlier–Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance might start operating before that), and Disney’s Animal Kingdom at 7 am.
Speaking of which, Disney+ subscribers are the “real stars” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland, with Disney+ character meet-and-greets and cavalcades, “plus” more surprises throughout the day, including special photo opportunities throughout the parks.
For Disney+ subscribers, there will be complimentary Disney PhotoPass digital downloads via the My Disney Experience and Disneyland apps at select locations in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Disneyland Resort theme parks that day. Disney+ Day will conclude with a special Disney+ screening at Movie Under the Stars for guests staying at select Walt Disney World Resort hotels.
Over in California at Disneyland Resort, be on the lookout for commemorative chalk art at the Downtown Disney District and at the Disneyland Hotel, ways to “plus” your pics as well as fun and festive food and beverage throughout the Disneyland Resort.
Strike a starry pose at Hollywood Land with a photo op featuring Mater and Lightning McQueen before vrooming over to Cars Land to meet the four-wheeled stars themselves. To end the evening, guests staying at the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort are invited to stop by Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa for a special movie screening.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with blue dusted churros at Disneyland Resort theme parks this Disney+ Day on Buena Vista Street and Grizzly Peak at Disney California Adventure park, near Sleeping Beauty Castle and Astro Blasters in Tomorrowland at Disneyland park. At the Downtown Disney District, choose from three true-blue cocktails: an Ocean Breeze at Naples Ristorante E Bar, Blue Hawaiian at Uva Bar & Cafe, and a Tropical Margarita at Tortilla Jo’s.
Fans are also invited to join the celebrations digitally by stepping up their selfie game with Disney PhotoPass Lenses for Disney+ Day. Don festive Mickey ears or invite Groot to make a cameo through these limited-time lenses, available to those celebrating in the parks or at home in the U.S. through Snapchat and the My Disney Experience app.
Disneyland Paris will offer a dedicated entertainment program developed for Disney+ Day, in addition to photo opportunities with Disney PhotoPass and a blue-themed chocolate hazelnut donut.
Additionally, Disney+ subscribers and their party with theme park tickets and reservations are invited for the first time to enter Disneyland Paris at 9:00 a.m. (30 minutes before regular park opening) only on September 8, 2022.
Hong Kong Disneyland will also celebrate Disney+ Day…two days later…with guests visiting the park on September 10. No details as to how this will occur. Here’s hoping for a park takeover by Albert Mystic.
During the Disney Vacation Club Member Cruise that sets sail from August 29 through September 5, members aboard the Disney Wonder will be treated to special gifts from Disney+ and 9 exclusive shows and experiences supporting current and upcoming Disney+ programming.
Ultimately, Disney+ Day sounds like it’ll be a good time with a flurry of new content and some in-park fun at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disneyland Paris, plus whatever’s going on a couple days later at Hong Kong Disneyland. It’s hard to be “anti-fun and new things,” but we’re Disney fans…there’s always a way to spin a positive into a negative! 😉
While I’m looking forward to Disney+ Day, it bugs me just a little bit to see the emphasis the Walt Disney Company places on the streaming service that lost over $1 billion (that’s billion with a b) in the last quarter. From the sounds of it, Disney+ Day is going to be a bigger single-day celebration than Walt Disney World had on October 1 last year for the 50th Anniversary or this year for EPCOT’s 40th Anniversary. (We’re expecting nothing at all for the latter. Maybe a speech by the park VP.)
We’ve seen something similar at Disneyland Resort with Avengers Campus, where tons of cool characters keep appearing (e.g. Wanda Harkness, Loki, Zombie Captain America), but only thanks to marketing budgets for Disney+. Theme parks are once again the revenue engines for the Walt Disney Company, but are often just treated like cash cows, there for the milking.
Don’t get me wrong–I love that there are Disney+ Day offerings, and a lot of this sounds like it’ll be enjoyable. We’ll be at Disneyland on September 8 and definitely plan on taking advantage of the added hours, characters, PhotoPass, and more. I just wish there were more celebratory offerings in the parks just because–without need for a tie-in to, or funding from, some other division of the company. The days of Limited Time Magic, Year of a Million Dreams, Summer Nightastic, One More Disney Day, and AP Events aren’t that far in the past. Yet it feels like they were an eternity ago, from a bygone era of how Disney used to operate its theme parks.
Will you be visiting the parks for Disney+ Day? Excited for the 30-minute early entry for subscribers or 60 minutes for on-site guests? Planning on taking advantage of the PhotoPass offer, or trying to spot fan favorite characters? What do you think of Walt Disney Company’s emphasis on Disney+ and other direct-to-consumer streaming services? Disappointed that Disney+ is prioritized over Walt Disney World and Disneyland, or think it’s a savvy business decision? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!