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Is Disney‘s new game free on Nintendo Switch?

Hey friend! I‘m sure you‘ve heard about Disney‘s hot new game called Disney Dreamlight Valley. You might be wondering – is this free on the Nintendo Switch?

The short answer is: right now you need to buy early access, but the full game will be 100% free on Switch in 2023!

I know, I know, it‘s confusing. As a fellow gamer and Disney fan, let me walk you through everything you need to know about playing Disney Dreamlight Valley for free on Nintendo‘s handheld console.

Overview – What is Disney Dreamlight Valley?

Let‘s start with a quick overview for anyone unfamiliar with this game. Disney Dreamlight Valley is like if Animal Crossing and a Disney theme park had a super cute baby!

You make a custom character and explore a magical land filled with Disney and Pixar characters. There are fun tasks like decorating your own house, fishing, farming, and cooking. You can dress up in cool outfits and accessories.

There are beautiful environments based on movies like Frozen, Wall-E, Toy Story and more. It‘s a relaxing "life sim" designed for casual gameplay.

The game entered early access on September 6, 2022. The full free-to-play launch is planned for sometime in 2023.

Is it available on Nintendo Switch?

Yep, Disney Dreamlight Valley will be on the Nintendo Switch! The Switch version launched alongside other platforms like PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

So unlike some Disney games, Switch owners don‘t have to wait months or years for a port. You can play right now!

Do I need to pay? When does it become free?

This is the tricky part. Disney Dreamlight Valley is DESIGNED as a free downloadable game…eventually.

During the early access period, you need to purchase a "Founder‘s Pack" to access the game. Here are the options:

  • Standard Edition – $29.99 – Basic starter pack
  • Deluxe Edition – $49.99 – Some exclusive cosmetics
  • Ultimate Edition – $69.99 – More bonuses and currency

Once the game FULLY launches in 2023, Disney Dreamlight Valley will be 100% free on Nintendo Switch and all other platforms. No purchase needed!

So in summary:

  • Right now: Must buy a Founder‘s Pack to play
  • In 2023: Will be a free download for all Switch owners

I know the wait is a bummer. But the good news is that the paid early access helps fund development, and you‘ll get a head start before the masses arrive!

What do you get for free?

Once it goes free-to-play, you‘ll have access to a TON of great content at no cost:

  • Explore 7 unique Disney/Pixar themed worlds
  • Customize your character and house how you want
  • 30+ quests with iconic characters to complete
  • Fun activities like gardening, fishing, cooking
  • Multiplayer mode to play with friends
  • Regular content updates and events

The only limitations are cosmetic. You can buy outfits, furniture sets, and other visual swag. But you can‘t pay to progress faster or gain other gameplay advantages.

How does it compare to Animal Crossing?

As a fellow Nintendo fan, you might be thinking "Hmm, sounds like Animal Crossing with Disney characters!"

That‘s a very apt comparison! Disney Dreamlight Valley was clearly inspired by Nintendo‘s hit franchise.

Some key things they share:

  • Customize your living space and the town
  • Relaxing daily activities like decorating, fishing, etc.
  • Get to know the fun NPC residents
  • Special events and seasons
  • Super cute, cheerful vibe

Animal Crossing has more complexity and replayability for hardcore gamers. But Disney offers that magical Disney charm!

Will kids enjoy it?

Absolutely! Disney Dreamlight Valley is rated E10+ for Everyone ages 10 and up. The lighthearted activities, fun characters, and colorful world make it perfect for kids.

As a parent myself, I appreciate that there is no high-pressure combat, creepy enemies, or complex menus. Kids can easily pick it up and explore at their own pace.

The conversation text may be too advanced for very young readers. But the quest markers make objectives clear. My 5 year old loves watching my wife and I play. It‘s her new favorite bedtime "story"!

What do critics think?

So far Disney Dreamlight Valley is getting thumbs up from both gaming pros and players.

On review site Metacritic, it has a 79 average from critics and 8.1 user score. Here are some of the positives:

  • "Captures the Disney magic"
  • "Relaxing and uplifting experience"
  • "Fun quests with charming characters"
  • "Addictive gameplay loop"
  • "Gorgeous visuals and music"

Critics note the repetitive tasks may not appeal to some. There are also some technical glitches during early access. But overall, it‘s seen as a promising game for Disney fans and casual players.

Will I need to spend money?

The core game will be 100% free, but there are opportunities to spend:

  • Battle pass-style Star Path for cosmetics
  • In-game shop for items/outfits/furniture
  • Time savers like crafting kits
  • Future DLC expansions

You can play through all the content without spending, but many players like to unlock extra customization options. The paid elements are optional, but make sure to set limits if you or your kids are prone to overspending!

Should I buy early access for Switch?

If you‘re really excited about Disney Dreamlight Valley and want to start exploring early, buying access now is a great way to get a head start!

You‘ll get to experience:

  • Exclusive Founder‘s Pack items
  • Playing before the crowds arrive
  • Familiarize yourself with gameplay
  • Earn progress for the full launch

However, waiting for the free version is perfectly fine too. The price tag may not be worthwhile if you‘re unsure, or have a big backlog of games.

Watch some gameplay footage on YouTube to help decide if the magic of Disney Dreamlight Valley feels worth the cost of admission to you!

The Verdict

While currently paid, Disney Dreamlight Valley will eventually be a free game for Nintendo Switch owners to enjoy. If you crave a relaxing Disney life sim to escape into, it delivers charm and fun in spades.

The free launch next year will make it widely accessible for families and younger gamers. In the meantime, buying early access lets you settle into the valley ahead of the crowd!

Let me know if you have any other questions about this game. I‘m happy to share more insights about what makes Disney Dreamlight Valley such an appealing free option for Switch. Have fun in the valley!

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Michael

Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.