Tree of Life at theme park in afternoon

Blue-rific Guide to Disney+ Day 2023 at Disney World & Disneyland

Disney+ Day 2022 is just around the corner on September 8, and as both subscribers and Disney Parks fans, we couldn’t be more excited. Like 2021’s inaugural event, this cerulean celebration is set to paint the town (or castle) blue with a whole host of special offerings at both the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts. 

While Disney has kept some details a secret, there’s a lot to look forward to for Disney+ subscribers and hotel guests alike. Read on for all the blue-rific specifics. 

What is Disney Plus Day? 

Launched in November 2021, Disney+ Day pays tribute to the subscribers and fans of Disney’s subscription-based streaming service. Naturally, most of the festivities for this pixie dust-drenched consumer holiday are held online, like the announcement of future films and TV series and limited-time subscription promotions. 

Chinese theater with guests

But, that’s not all. There are also some real-life perks for the service’s digital subscribers. For Disney+ Day at Disney World, Disneyland and some of the other Disney Parks worldwide, Cast Members roll out the blue carpet – literally – for Disney+ fans. Subscribers receive the VIP treatment, enjoying everything from extra time in the parks to special character appearances to photo freebies and complimentary swag. 

When is Disney Plus Day 2022?

While the first-ever celebration was held on November 12, 2021, in conjunction with the streaming service’s second anniversary, this year’s Disney+ Day is happening more than two months early, on September 8, 2022. 

No, this isn’t because the company just couldn’t wait to share their thanks with Disney+ subscribers. Rather, the event now conveniently kicks off Disney’s 2022 D23 Expo, which starts the very next day and runs from September 9 to 11, 2022. In short, don’t be surprised if Disney+ Day feels more like Disney+ Weekend. 

That said, although we expect announcements for the streaming service to come swift as a coursing river from Disney+ Day through the end of the D23 Expo, in-park festivities are exclusively planned for September 8. Keep reading for everything we know so far. 

Disney+ Day 2022 at the Disney Parks

Toy Story Land signage

Disney+ Day brings a pixie dusting of special, subscriber-only benefits to Walt Disney World and Disneyland guests on September 8, 2022. To take advantage of them, Disney+ subscribers must have a valid park ticket or annual pass (or be a guest in a subscriber’s travel party), as well as a park pass reservation for the day. 

You may also be asked to verify your subscriber status. So, be sure to fire up the Disney+ app on your phone and log in prior to your arrival so you can be ready to flash your credentials if necessary. Upon entry into the park, don’t be surprised if the main entrance touchpoints glow Disney+ blue with a tap of your MagicBand. 

Then, once inside, be on the lookout for any potential freebies. While nothing is confirmed yet for 2022, last year’s subscribers were treated to a few blue-hued giveaways, such as hats, buttons, t-shirts and more. The event continues throughout the day. 

However, you’ll especially want to stick around until after the sun goes down when the theme parks say “make it blue” to the park icons, including the Disney castles. (Do any other millennials have “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” by Eiffel 65 playing on loop in their head right now? Just us? *I’m blue, da ba dee da ba di*)

Everest attraction by lake

Here’s everything else in store for Disney+ Day at Disney World and Disneyland: 

Early Park Entry

The easiest way to “plus” your day at Disney is with extra time in the theme parks. Typically reserved exclusively for guests staying at Disney hotels, Disney+ subscribers visiting either Disney World or Disneyland will enjoy a half-hour head start to the day thanks to Early Park Entry. This allows subscribers and their guests to enter the park of their choosing up to 30 minutes before the normal park opening. 

For folks heading to Disney World, Early Park Entry on Disney+ Day begins at 8:30 AM for Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and 7:30 AM for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. At Disneyland, Disney+ Day Early Entry begins at 7:30 AM for both Disneyland Park and California Adventure Park

What’s more, guests staying at one of the Walt Disney World resorts or hotels of the Disneyland Resort won’t miss out on their 30-minute advantage. Instead, they’ll be able to enter their chosen theme park up to a full 60 minutes prior to park opening – no Disney+ subscription necessary. It’s a dream come blue. 

Complimentary Disney PhotoPass Downloads at Select Locations

Guitar with strings and keyboard

No matter when you choose to visit, one of the best ways to commemorate your trip to the Disney Parks is with a PhotoPass photo or two. And with free Disney PhotoPass downloads available at select locations around Disney’s Hollywood Studios and both of the Disneyland Resort theme parks, you’ll have plenty to choose from. So, keep your eyes peeled for Disney PhotoPass Photographers holding props especially for Disney+ Day.

Disney World Disney+ Day Celebration

While Disney+ subscribers can choose to enter Magic Kingdom, Epcot or Animal Kingdom early in honor of the streaming service, the majority of the Disney+ Day hullaba-blue is happening at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, along with select Disney World hotels. Let’s take a look. 

Disney+ Character Sightings

Disney’s Hollywood Studios pays homage to the Tinseltown that never was and always will be. But, for Disney+ Day, it is the service subscribers who are the true stars of the show. Throughout the day, they’ll receive the blue carpet treatment, including guest starring appearances by some beloved Disney+ characters. Say ‘hello’ to your favorites during up-close character meet-and-greets or catch them as they roll past in a cavalcade. 

Disney+ Movie Under the Stars at Select Walt Disney World Resorts

Exterior hotel building

A great way to relax after a day spent fighting the theme park crowds is with a laidback Movie Under the Stars. Offered at select hotels at Disney World, this complimentary activity tops our list of the best things to do outside the theme parks – and it’s completely free. 

These alfresco film screenings take place on the hotel grounds, whether overlooking Disney’s BoardWalk and Crescent Lake at the BoardWalk Inn, surrounded by towering pines at the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground or just steps from the hotel pool

For Disney+ Day, guests will enjoy a special showing featuring something from Disney+, and you don’t need to be a subscriber to take advantage. Since schedules vary from hotel to hotel, ask a Front Desk Cast Member at your resort for all the details. Whatever is playing, it’s sure to be the perfect end to your Disney+ Day.

Disneyland Disney+ Day Celebration

Similar to Walt Disney World, you’ll find a sprinkling of Disney+ Day offerings throughout the Disneyland Resort, including the Downtown Disney District and the Disneyland hotels. However, you’ll find the majority of the true-blue happenings at Disney California Adventure Park. 

Disney Plus-Inspired Chalk Art

Hyperspace Mountain signage on tower

The Disney+ Day festivities at The Happiest Place on Earth are too good to be blue, with the cerulean soiree beginning before you even set foot in the theme parks. Both the Disneyland Hotel and Downtown Disney District will undergo Disney Plus-inspired makeovers featuring blue-tiful commemorative chalk art. Stop by on your way to the parks to snap a colorful, celebratory photo. 

Exclusive Character Greetings and Photo Ops

Walt Disney World isn’t the only place you can enjoy special character interactions in honor of Disney+ Day. Disneyland is also set to dazzle subscribers with character-inspired activities. Cruise by Hollywood Land for a finely tuned photo op featuring Lightning McQueen and Mater. Then, rev things up over in Cars Land with a fully loaded meet-and-greet starring the four-wheeled celebrities themselves. 

Disney+ Blue-Hued Bites and Beverages

Disney Parks love an excuse to cook up special dishes and drinks, and at Disneyland, Disney+ Day is no exception. Along with DOLE Whip, corn dogs and turkey legs, The Happiest Place on Earth is known for its churros. However, for Disney+ Day, these sweet sticks of dough will undergo a magical transformation, with each receiving a generous pixie-dusting of blue sugar just for the occasion. 

Vanilla soft serve with caramel sauce and two churros

Subscribers and churro fans alike can sink their teeth into these sparkling treats at several locations resort-wide, including near Sleeping Beauty Castle in Fantasyland and Astro Blasters in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park and in Grizzly Peak and Buena Vista Street at California Adventure Park. 

But wait, there’s more! At Downtown Disney, guests 21 and up can also imbibe Disney+ style with a selection of three blue-licious cocktails. Disney+ Day drinks include the Ocean Breeze at Naples Ristorante E Bar, Blue Hawaiian at Uva Bar & Cafe and Tropical Margarita at Tortilla Jo’s.

Disney+ Movie Screening at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa

Like Disney World, Disneyland guests staying at one of the hotels can also end their Disney+ Day with an exclusive film screening. Held at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, this private viewing is a fun yet relaxing way to keep the magic going (for free!) even after you’ve left the park. 

Celebrating Disney+ Day Outside the Parks

Can’t make it to Walt Disney World or Disneyland for Disney+ Day? Don’t worry! Thanks to the beauty of technology (how appropriate for a consumer-driven holiday dedicated to Disney’s streaming service and its subscribers), there are still a couple of ways you can celebrate being a subscriber, even if you can’t visit the theme parks. 

Disney Springs sign on wall

Disney+ Day PhotoPass Lenses

Walt Disney World and Disneyland aren’t just great places to go on rides – they’re also fun spots to don a pair of Mickey Ears and shamelessly snap selfies. Now, through the magic of Disney PhotoPass Lenses on the My Disney Experience app or Snapchat filters, you can still do both even if you aren’t in the theme parks. 

Available especially for Disney+ Day, whether you’re partying in the parks or celebrating from the comfort of your home, these limited-time lenses are filled with character. Disney characters, that is. As well as putting on a pair of virtual Mickey Ears, selfie-takers can also mug for the camera alongside Groot, making for the perfect social media snaps.

Disney+ Marathon

Since you can’t celebrate Disney+ Day in the theme parks, why not bring the Disney Parks to you with the help of Disney+? Pop some popcorn, whip up some homemade DOLE Whip or other tasty theme park treats (Churro Bites or a Blue Bayou Monte Cristo Sandwich, anyone?), and put your Disney+ subscription to good use with a theme park-inspired marathon watch session. 

Can’t think of what to watch? Spend an evening watching the streaming service’s two newest movies. Disney’s live-action take on Pinocchio premiers during Disney+ Day, while Thor: Love and Thunder makes its streaming debut. 

Wish you were celebrating at the parks instead of from your couch? Disney has you covered with the Disney Parks Collection, which was unveiled last year for Disney+ Day 2021. This massive watchlist is your source for all things theme parks. 

White Mark Twain Ship Disneyland

Binge-watch the day away with everything from films inspired by Disney attractions like Jungle Cruise or Pirates of the Caribbean to behind-the-scenes documentaries. Cap off your movie marathon with an appropriate theme park ending – a “live” showing of Epcot’s Harmonious. 

Stay Tuned Online for Special Disney+ Announcements & New Trailers

Outside the theme parks, one of the highlights of Disney+ Day is the exciting announcements and fresh content. With the event’s placement leading up to D23, this is especially sure to be the case. So, along with your favorite social media feeds, be sure to check out Disney+ for new trailers for upcoming films, TV series and shorts. 

Are you celebrating Disney+ Day 2022 in the Disney Parks? Did you take part in the blue-tiful celebration last year? Let us know in the comments! Then, find out how to make your travel budget stretch further – and afford that Disney+ membership – with the help of our Disney discount tickets