Disney Plus is Disney’s answer to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, but with a difference: it’s the exclusive home to shows and movies from the studio, including Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and National Geographic.
Disney+ is available in 19 countries and locations, including both the UK and US. It will also soon expand to eight more across Europe, including Portugal, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
Here is everything you need to know about Disney Plus, including price, shows and forthcoming releases.
What is Disney Plus?
Disney+ is a video streaming service. You can access it on multiple devices, including mobile phones, tablets, smart TVs, and set-top boxes. It is a subscription service, costing just one monthly fee for complete access.
First touted back in 2017, Disney sees it as a “big strategic shift” for the company, with its extensive library of content, including Marvel and Star Wars titles. These have generally disappeared from Netflix and other services in order to be exclusive to Disney Plus.
The majority of the content on Disney+ is appropriate for all ages, while shows and movies aimed at older audiences are switching over to the company’s other streaming platform, Hulu (which is yet to launch in the UK and other regions outside of North America).
What TV shows and movies can you watch on Disney Plus?
Marvel Studios films and shows, as well as the Star Wars franchises, are all exclusive to Disney Plus. The streaming service also has Pixar titles, Disney animated classics from the Disney Vault, over 500 films from the Disney library, Disney Channel movies, and around 7,000 TV shows from Disney itself, the Disney-owned Fox and National Geographic.
Plus, some obviously hasn’t come out yet – we know that Mulan will be hitting the service on 4 September 2020, but interestingly it’ll cost $30 extra to watch, since it isn’t getting a release in cinemas. That’s the first time content will cost extra above the subscription fee, although Disney says that for now this is a one-off in response to the global health situation.
Not all content is available everywhere. The UK didn’t have Frozen 2 (nor Onwards) from launch, although it got it fairly quickly after the US.
UK viewers did get the entire archive of 30 seasons of The Simpsons – a relief as it was previously rumoured that it wouldn’t be part of the service.
Disney+ offers shows and movies in up to 4K HDR (Dolby Vision) and up to Dolby Atmos audio. It also includes support for four simultaneous streams and the ability to set-up profiles for family members. There are also parental controls to restrict content depending on age – like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
Disney+ also boasts offline viewing as you’d expect, so you can download shows onto a mobile device and watch on the go.
The interface is simple and reminiscent of a mixture of Apple TV and Netflix. There’s a preview screen on the top third of the TV app, while the bottom has several rows with rectangle content icons.
The first row serves up all of Disney’s brands: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. Subsequent rows are for recommended content, new TV series or movies, and genres.
It supports profiles, so different family members can have their content front and centre, which is really handy.
How to watch Disney Plus
Disney+ apps are available to download from app stores across a wide range of hardware, including smart TVs, tablets, smartphones, streaming devices, game consoles, even desktop web browsers. Here’s a list of confirmed devices:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android mobile devices
- Android TV (including Philips)
- Apple TV (tvOS)
- Desktop web browsers
- iPad (iPadOS)
- iPhone (iOS)
- LG Smart TVs (nearly 900 models)
- PlayStation 4
- Roku streaming devices
- Roku TV
- Samsung Smart TVs (from 2016 onwards)
- Xbox One
Viewers in the UK can also add Disney+ to their Sky Q boxes – and subscribe through a Sky TV account. Now TV devices support the Disney+ app too.
How much does Disney Plus cost and where is it available?
Disney+ is currently available in the following countries and locations:
- Channel Islands
- Isle of Man
- New Zealand
- Puerto Rico
- United Kingdom
- United States
It is also coming to Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal and Sweden on 15 September 2020.
Disney also bundles all its subscription services in the States – including Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu – for just $12.99 a month. Keep in mind Hulu is available for $5.99 a month as a standalone with ads, while ESPN+ costs $4.99 a month.
In Canada, the service costs $8.99 (Canadian) per month (or $89.99 per year).
In Central Europe, the price is €6.99 per month (or €69.99 per year).
Subscribers in India are charged 1,499 rupees per month. That’s for Disney+Hotstar – a combined service.