There are a lot of perks that come with having an Amazon Prime Membership. For about $100 a year, members get great things like expedited shipping, discounts on memberships to programs like Grubhub, the ability to stream a ton of great movies and television shows, and more. Even with price increases, Amazon Prime members seem to feel that the cost is worth the benefits.
Now, what if I told you that, for a certain price, you could sign up for a program that would give you discounts on things like Disney theme park tickets, Disney Resort hotel stays, Disney merchandise, and more? You’d say, “But Disney doesn’t offer a program like that.” Well, per a report from The Wall Street Journal, The Walt Disney Company is considering creating it.
According to the exclusive report from The Wall Street Journal:
Walt Disney Co. is exploring a membership program that could offer discounts or special perks to encourage customers to spend more on its streaming services, theme parks, resorts and merchandise, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The program would be somewhat akin to Amazon Prime, which offers advantages such as free shipping, discounts at Whole Foods and a complementary streaming video service for a monthly or annual fee, the people said. Internally, some executives have referred to Disney’s initiative as “Disney Prime,” although that won’t be the name of the program, one of the people said.
Discussions at Disney are in the early stages. It couldn’t be learned how much the company would charge for membership and how long it would take to launch such a program.
The idea to create a Disney membership program is one that is supported by Disney CEO Bob Chapek. Kristina Schake, a Senior Executive Vice President and Disney’s current Chief Communications Officer, released a statement when asked about the program:
“Technology is giving us new ways to customize and personalize the consumer experience so that we are delivering entertainment, experiences and products that are most relevant to each of our guests. A membership program is just one of the exciting ideas that is being explored.”
Disney insiders who are familiar with the situation shared more information with The WSJ:
As an early step to better link Disney products and services, Disney is working to enable subscribers to its Disney+ streaming service to buy merchandise such as t-shirts, themed accessories and children’s costumes associated with some of its shows by scanning a QR code on the service that links to the Shop Disney website, people familiar with the plan said.
One example that executives have discussed as a possible merchandise tie-in is offering an exclusive toy version of a “darksaber”—a weapon from the Star Wars-themed series “The Mandalorian”—for sale only to Disney+ subscribers, a person familiar with the plans said. The company expects to introduce the retail feature on Disney+ as soon as this year.
It should be noted that Disney already has a couple of programs that could be considered memberships. First is D23 — the Ultimate Disney Fan Club. While D23 does have a free membership, it also has a Gold Membership that costs $99 per year for one person and $129 per year for two people. The Gold Membership comes with several perks, including a Collector Set, a one-year subscription to the D23 Magazine Disney twenty-three, access to VIP events, as well as other discounts and special offers.
Another Disney program that could be considered a membership program is the Annual Pass Program at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. Those who are Annual Passholders — or Magic Key Holders at Disneyland Resort — get certain perks with their Passes. Each Annual Pass or Magic Key comes with discounts on food and merchandise at select locations while on Resort property. They also receive special access to events, limited-time merchandise, and discounts on Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort hotels.