The Disney Movie Club — Is It Worth It?
If you’re reading this blog post, chances are you already know about the Disney Movie Club, or more likely you’re already a member yourself. But just in case you aren’t too familiar with it, or somehow happened to stumble upon this post while looking for reviews, information, or opinions about the club, here are a few of my thoughts as a very long-time member on whether or not it’s worth it.
Oh, before I start, just a quick note: all opinions are my own and there are no affiliate links in this post.
The official Disney Movie Club (which I’ll call “DMC” from now on) website spells out the terms pretty simply. The basic premise is initially you can order 4 movies for only $1 with free shipping (plus up to 2 additional titles at low prices). The caveat is that you become a member of DMC (but you already knew that from the fact it’s called a “club”).
The membership requires that you order 5 movies at regular price within 24 months. After you fulfill the 5 regular-priced movies requirement, you can either cancel your membership or stay as a VIP member.
Approximately once a month (up to 13 times per year), DMC will email you a “Featured Title” message, which you can accept or decline. If you accept, it will count as one of your required purchases. If you do nothing, the Featured Title will automatically be sent to you and you will be charged the price of the title plus shipping. This is important, especially after your membership requirement is fulfilled, because you must still respond to every “Featured Title.” If you forget to respond and get a movie you do not want, you must return it within 60 days of the shipping date (after the 60 days, you receive merchandise credit).
As for perks, for VIPs, DMC often offers a lithograph when you accept a Featured Title. Occasionally the Featured Title mailer includes random extras like stickers, which might be fun for kids, gift tags, or other small, simple extras.
Prices & Savings
For the sake of simplicity, since DVDs and Blu-rays are priced differently, I’m only looking at the prices of Blu-rays, which are often (though not always) packaged with a DVD and Digital copy.
A regular priced Blu-ray is generally $29.95 for a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital copy version, or a version with 3D is $31.95. DMC prices are somewhat higher than what you’d find at Target, Amazon, Best Buy, and Wal-Mart.
Of course, if you love Disney movies, it will be easy to fulfill your requirement, and that’s where the savings can come in over the long run.
As of this writing, DMC is offering the VIP sale, “Buy 1 Title at Regular Price, Get All Additional Titles 50% Off + Free Shipping.” Just for a quick illustration of the differences in pricing, I’ve added 4 titles to my carts on DMC and Best Buy:
- The Good Dinosaur Blu-ray+DVD+Digital+3D
- Into the Woods Blu-ray+Digital
- Big Hero 6 Blu-ray + DVD + Digital
- Cinderella Blu-ray + DVD + Digital
I felt these were a good mix of new and not-so-new titles to get an overall feel for the pricing. Even though the Best Buy screen cap doesn’t show them all very well, both carts contain the same titles in the same formats.
First, DMC’s total with the sale, which includes tax, is $77.82.
Best Buy has not calculated tax, and the subtotal is $96.96.
Now there are lots of arguments you can make that are perfectly valid: the fact that you paid higher prices to fulfill the membership requirement, you can shop around at different retailers for different prices, and you can choose to buy used for even lower prices. While generally good arguments and in most areas I try to find the best savings, there are too many factors that it would be splitting hairs to get into all the possible details.
After your fulfill the membership requirement, you become a VIP member. The biggest perk is DMC often runs VIP sales. The first being “Buy 1 Regular Priced Title, Get All Additional Titles for 60% off.” The other sale is, as shown above with the price comparison, “Buy 1 Regular Priced Title, Get All Additional Titles for 50% off + Free Shipping.”
As mentioned, VIPs get a lithograph when accepting the Featured Title, which is great for those who appreciate Disney’s animation. For pin collectors, DMC also has pins exclusive to VIP members which you can often add to your cart for free when purchasing a regular priced title.
My Overall Positive Experience
I’ve now been a member for over 10 years. In all these years, I’ve forgotten 6 times to respond to the Featured Title and had to make the corresponding return, which isn’t too bad especially since it’s been years since that’s happened. For me, the only downside to the membership is having to remember to accept or (more often) decline the Featured Title, which isn’t really a problem if I just respond right away when I receive the email.
Customer service is good. Returns have always been simple and quick. I once had to replace a title because the disc was faulty, and of course since that was their issue and not mine, there was no charge to return the faulty disc and replace it with a new one. Also, I contacted customer service once on the phone and the cast member was friendly and helpful, though that was years ago. However, my experience with Disney’s customer service overall in various departments has generally been positive, so I imagine that would be the case with DMC’s customer service now.
After I fulfilled my membership requirement, I do feel like I have saved a small amount compared to what I would have paid at other retailers because I wait for the titles I really want to drop in price and I usually only buy once a year during one of the sales. The lithograph or pin is a nice perk if it’s being offered when I make my purchase.
I’m also not very big on pins in general, but my favorite “gift” from DMC is the golden Mickey Mouse Anniversary pin, which I think is so pretty. Again, for the money spent on Disney, occasionally it’s nice to receive small perks. Considering how big pin collecting and trading is, I’m sure there are a lot of Disney fans who love the VIP exclusive pins from DMC.
As someone who grew up repeatedly watching Disney movies on VHS tapes, joining DMC worked out perfectly because I wanted to upgrade those tapes to DVDs. I’m not really a completionist when it comes to my Disney movie collection, and as new films are released, I choose the ones I really enjoy to buy on Blu-ray, so DMC has not incentivized me to buy more titles than I would have.
I realize in this day and age it’s all about digital media and more and more people are swearing off physical media. If that’s you, none of this is particularly relevant to you. But if you’re a movie fanatic, especially with Disney films, who still appreciates having a physical copy of the movies, I would definitely recommend DMC. As with all things from the Walt Disney Corporation, it’s not cheap. But once you fulfill your membership requirements, waiting for titles to age (I recommend waiting at least until the next calendar year from a title’s release date) and for the sales to come around (quite often) make the DMC’s prices reasonable. Pair DMC with Disney Movie Rewards, and the deals get even better!
If you’re a member of DMC or you’re thinking of becoming one, or even if you don’t think it’s a good idea, I’d love to know what you think! And of course, if anything needs clarification or you have more questions, please ask and I’ll do my best to answer.
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