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Here’s how Verizon’s free year of Disney Plus actually works

Everything you need to know about the deal

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Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Disney Plus is The Walt Disney Co.’s ambitious attempt to dethrone Netflix in the ongoing battle for dominance of the streaming market. For the launch, Disney is pulling out all the stops in an effort to get as many people as possible to subscribe to the service, which costs $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year. That includes giving away one year of access through a deal with telecom giant Verizon, as well as a now-expired promotion in which customers could pre-purchase three years’ worth of a Disney Plus subscription at a discount.

The Verizon offer went live alongside the launch of Disney Plus on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Now that both the streaming service and the deal are available, here’s everything we know about the free offer: how to sign up for it, who’s eligible for it, how long it’s available, and what the fine print is. Read on so you can start watching The Mandalorian for free!

What is Verizon’s free Disney Plus offer?

In October, Disney and Verizon announced that certain Verizon Fios and Verizon Wireless customers would be able to get their first year of Disney Plus for free.

That’s a savings of as much as $83.88, for people who were thinking of subscribing to Disney Plus on a month-by-month basis.

What are Verizon’s eligibility requirements for the deal?

In order to qualify for Verizon’s free year of Disney Plus, you must be at least 18 and fall into at least one of the following three buckets:

  • You currently have Verizon Wireless service on an unlimited data plan, including the Verizon Unlimited plan, Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited, Above Unlimited, Get More Unlimited, Do More Unlimited, Play More Unlimited, or Start Unlimited. (It doesn’t count if you have a business or prepaid account, or if you’re grandfathered into one of the company’s old shared data plans.)
  • You are a new Verizon Fios customer — i.e., you’re about to sign up for, or switch to, Verizon Fios home internet/TV service. You’re eligible as long as you’re getting stand-alone internet with speeds of at least 50 mbps, or a two-year contract for Verizon’s Double Play or Triple Pay bundles. (It doesn’t count if you’re already a Fios customer, or if you’re signing up for Fios Business service.)
  • You are a new Verizon 5G customer — i.e., you’re about to sign up for, or switch to, Verizon 5G wireless home internet service, which is currently available only in certain areas of Chicago; Sacramento, California; Los Angeles; Houston; and Indianapolis. (It doesn’t count if you’re already a Verizon 5G customer.)

As long as you meet one of those criteria, you can take advantage of the offer. In addition, Verizon’s FAQ says that you’re still eligible to get a free year even if you’re already signed up for Disney Plus, whether through Disney or a third party:

Your pre-purchase will be paused and resume after the Verizon promo period. If you pre-purchased a monthly subscription through Disney, or a monthly or annual subscription through a third party, the Verizon promotional offer will begin when you enroll through Verizon, but will not automatically replace your pre-purchased subscription. After you enroll and complete the account setup, you will be sent an email with information about how to manage your pre-purchased subscription.

If you pre-purchased a three-year subscription already, you paid the full cost upfront, so you won’t have monthly payments that will pause and resume. Instead, Verizon will essentially tack on a free 12 months at the front of your existing membership.

How to get Disney Plus through Verizon

“Through Verizon” is the operative phrase here: That’s how you have to sign up in order to take advantage of the free year of Disney Plus that Verizon is offering. Note that the email address you sign up with must not already be in use with an active Disney Plus account.

  • If you’re already a Verizon Wireless customer on one of the eligible unlimited data plans, you can simply sign in to your My Verizon account/app to add Disney Plus. Once you log in, you should see a notice about the free offer — click on “Get Disney+” to start the process.
  • If you’re a Verizon Wireless subscriber who’s not eligible, you can get the free offer if you switch to an unlimited data plan before the deal expires (see timing below).
  • If you’re a new Verizon Wireless or Verizon 5G customer, you’ll see info about Disney Plus in your confirmation email from Verizon once you activate your device or once your installation is complete, respectively. Note that new Verizon 5G subscribers should’ve seen something about the free Disney Plus deal during the sign-up process.
  • If you’re a new Verizon Fios customer, you should’ve seen something about the free Disney Plus deal when you signed up. Once your Fios installation is done, Verizon will send you an email with a link to sign up for Disney Plus through the Verizon website or the My Fios app.

For more details on the free offer, check out Verizon’s FAQs for mobile/5G customers and Fios customers.

Note that Verizon Wireless accounts are separate from Verizon Fios accounts. That means that if you qualify for the Disney Plus free offer through both services — i.e., you’re a new Fios or 5G customer who also has (or is signing up for) an unlimited mobile data plan — you can get a free year of Disney Plus through each of your Verizon accounts. You’ll just have to sign up for the streaming service with two different email addresses.

There’s some fine print on Verizon’s sign-up page that is worth noting. When the 12-month promotional period ends, your Disney Plus subscription will automatically be renewed — at the monthly cost of $6.99, not the cheaper $69.99 annual rate. Also note that you’ll be billed through Verizon, not Disney.

There are two exceptions to this. If you’re currently an annual or multiyear Disney Plus subscriber, your existing membership will be billed through Disney (not Verizon) when it resumes at the end of the one-year free period. And if you’re a New Mexico resident, your Disney Plus subscription will simply run out at the end of the free 12-month window; it won’t be automatically renewed.

How long does Verizon’s Disney Plus offer last?

The Verizon deal is available from Nov. 12, 2019, to June 1, 2020. Regardless of when you sign up during that window, you’ll get a full year of Disney Plus for free starting on the date of your enrollment.

Is ESPN Plus or Hulu included with Verizon’s Disney Plus deal?

No. While Disney is offering a $12.99-per-month bundle of Disney Plus, ESPN Plus, and ad-supported Hulu, the Verizon promo applies only to Disney Plus. If you want to also get ESPN Plus or Hulu, you’ll have to subscribe to them separately.

Update (Nov. 12): Now that the offer is live, we’ve edited the article to add details about the sign-up process.

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