The Vault

What is the Disney Vault and how does it work?

The “Disney Vault” is the term used by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment for its policy of putting home video releases of Walt Disney Animation Studios animated features on moratorium. Each Disney film is available for purchase for a limited time, after which it is put “in the vault” and not made available in stores for several years until it is once again released. The Walt Disney Company itself states that this process is done to both control their market and to allow Disney films to be fresh for new generations of young children.

Planning your purchases

What you need to understand about the vault is that if a title is released from the depths of the vault in say, 2012, don’t bet on seeing it for a long, long time. So if something comes out of the vault and you need it for your collection – make sure you get it! It won’t be around for years once it goes back in. Some might cynically say that this is Disney’s way of making sure that they make a ton of money….but they do tend to leave titles out for purchase for a while before sending them back to the vault.

So what has come out of the vault in recent years?

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • Pinocchio
  • Fantasia (1940) (Replaced Aladdin)
  • Dumbo
  • Bambi
  • Cinderella
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Peter Pan
  • Lady and the Tramp
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • 101 Dalmatians
  • The Jungle Book
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Aladdin
  • The Lion King

By the time you read this, these titles will mostly like be back in the vault and likely to stay there for some time.

What’s due out of the vault next? What’s going back in?

Movies out of the vault right now (as of March 2013):

The Lion King
Lady and the Tramp
The sword in the stone
Alice in Wonderland
Beauty and the beast

Movies going BACK into the vault very soon:
Beauty and the beast
Fantasia and Fantasia 2000

Movies coming OUT of the vault next:
Cinderella (Diamond edition and blu ray combo pack fall 2012)
Aladdin (20th anniversary and special edition spring 2013)
The Little mermaid ( 3D release and diamond edition mar 2013)

After these movies have their share out of the vault you’ll possibly see:
Peter Pan
Mulan (for its 15th anniversary)
Sleeping beauty

Movies that are back in the vault and won’t be seen for another 8 years are:
Snow White

Movies that you wont see for awhile are:
Sleeping beauty

Better plan your shopping accordingly!

Click here for the 2015/2015 update

See what is out of the vault right now and due for release! This is limited to the UK schedule only.






    1. I think it will be a while! It came out in 2010 and went back into the vault in 2012. Disney only release 2 or 3 titles from the vault per year, so we might be waiting quite a long time!

      1. I think it’s awful that they do that. That’s how people end up with copies and end up paying too much for what they should be able to buy all year round!

    1. At the moment it’s not known when it will be released but I would assume it will be around the time that the new live action BATB is due to be released

  1. You have The Lion King and Beauty and the beast listed as “out of the vault” but I can’t find them anywhere. Where are these for sale?

  2. Is it possible to re-release the digital copy of Beauty And The Beast for a short time for its 25th anniversary in 2018?

  3. I think this whole Disney Vault thing is ridiculous and we as consumers should be able to purchase these movies at all times. I have two small children that I would love to watch these movies with as I watched them as a child and of course I can’t. Lame.

    1. I absolutely agree! This whole ‘not wanting to oversaturate the market’ is lame. What, because dominating the film world, having 10+ theme parks and seeping Disney culture into every home isn’t saturating the market? It’s just a sales ploy – and a maddening one at that.

  4. Hi Is Pinocchio set to come out of the vault anytime soon? Thanks… Dislike the vault system!!!

    1. Hi Tabitha,
      I dislike the vault system immensely. We should be able to get our hands on any movie we like, when we like! I am sure it is just a money making ploy by Disney, rather than their claims of not wanting to ‘over saturate’ the market!!

      Sadly there doesn’t seem to be any plans at the moment to bring Pinocchio our of the vault in the US. However, if you have a region free DVD player you may be able to buy these titles from international Amazon sites, where they seem to be readily available.

      Lisa 🙂

  5. I have been looking all over for 101 Dalmatians Live (with Glenn Close) and I can’t find it anywhere. Says the 101 Dalmatians is out of the vault, but does the live version follow the animated one? If not, when can we know when that one will come out & if it does, then why can’t I find it in the US (Amazon has it for sale, but for other countries)? Thanks

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