Disney+ Guide: Cost, How to sign up, What to stream, Q&A
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In its short time on the market, Disney+ has quickly become one of the leading figures in the streaming wars – and its line-up has got even stronger with the launch of Disney+ Star.
This add-on service brings with it a vast library of content from the likes of Fox, FX and ABC, including sitcoms How I Met Your Mother and Scrubs, as well as iconic cult TV hits like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files.
Star’s roll-out has significantly diversified the range of films and series available, which had previously been restricted to generally family-friendly fare.
But do not fear: Disney+ is still be safe for children to browse through, thanks to parental controls which will put the more mature content firmly out of reach for little ones.
A quick guide to Disney +
What is Disney +?
Disney + is your one-stop-shop or all your favorite Disney Content. It’s not just Disney, there’s also tons of content from brands including Pixar, Marvel Studios, National Geographic, and Star Wars universe. There’s even some content from the Disney-owned Fox network, including the vast majority of Simpsons episodes.
For now, most of the content consists of Disney’s massive library of pre-existing shows and movies. This includes newer content as well as Disney classics straight from the Disney Vault. Of course original content is also part of the plan, and there are already some great exclusives to be found here — including the highly popular Star Wars show, The Mandalorian.
How much does Disney+ cost?
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A Disney+ subscription costs £7.99 per month or £79.90 a year in the UK. Any pre-Star Disney+ subscribers will note that there’s been a small hike in price. But even so, the price of Disney+ will still be less than a Netflix premium plan which comes in at £11.99 a month.
While the vast majority of content on Disney+ is included in your subscription cost, the studio does occasionally release so-called Premier Access titles which are available for an additional fee.
The first title in this scheme was the live-action remake of Mulan, which landed on the service for an initial cost of £19.99 (on top of the subscription fee) and became a free title three months later.
Upcoming animated adventure Raya and The Last Dragon is expected to follow a similar release strategy.
Is Disney + worth it?
Is Disney + worth it? Absolutely! Disney + represents enormous value for consumers, especially families. Instead of paying individually for all your favorite Disney movies or shows, Disney Plus gives you access to its entire library for a monthly fee. Disney + is also being very aggressive with adding highly anticipated new Disney movies to its library relatively soon after they leave the theaters. For example, you can already get Frozen 2 or Onward on Disney +!
Of course if you don’t have kids and aren’t a Disney fan, you won’t find that much here worth getting. Most of the content is family friendly, so more mature options just can’t be found.
How do I sign up for Disney+?
You can sign up to Disney+ on their website or through the Disney+ app.
You can download the app on most Android and Apple devices, as well as most Smart TVs and Amazon Fire TV. Check out our guide to find out how to download the Disney Plus app.
Disney +: Best TV shows you can stream right now
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The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
The second MCU show to land on Disney Plus, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier follows Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) in the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame. Will Sam take up the mantle of Captain America? The pair comes back together as new threats face a tumultuous post-Thanos world, and you get the same mix of fun set pieces and character banter you'd get from an MCU movie, this time with an extra dimension to the heroes afforded by a TV show's longer running time. Don't miss it.
The first Marvel Cinematic Universe TV show is now complete. WandaVision is an oddball show featuring Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), each reprising their roles from the Avengers movies. While the show is presented as a sitcom – or, rather, a series of sitcoms, with each episode riffing on the comedies of different decades – secrets about the true nature of the heroes' new home lurk beneath the surface. It's an unusual start for the MCU on the small screen, but a worthy and interesting effort to explore grief in an inventive way.
The Mandalorian is Disney Plus's breakout hit, and deservedly so. This expensive-looking show has unleashed Baby Yoda upon us – which is a true gift. Iron Man director Jon Favreau created this series, starring Pedro Pascal from Game of Thrones as mysterious warrior wearing the armor made famous by Boba Fett, and it's a comforting little series. Episodes rarely exceed 40 minutes in length, which is a blessed relief in this age of bloated streaming dramas. Its second season is particularly strong, offering high-end fan service alongside terrific new Star Wars stories – we called it the best TV show of 2020, and for good reason.
This new series of sub-20-minute documentaries focuses on a different member of the Pixar animation team in each episode. If you love movies like Toy Story, it's unmissably insightful – especially with the new Pixar movie Soul landing on Disney Plus in December.
If you miss The Muppets being on TV, or in movies, or you wondered more generally if Disney had figured out what to do with Jim Henson's creations yet, this series is worth a look. Billed as unscripted, but really more like a variety show in a classic Muppets vein, it's entertaining stuff – even if it won't take you long to get through the six episodes here.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars
The Clone Wars has finished its seven-season run on Disney Plus, now, and if you've been watching The Mandalorian during season 2, you'll know it's well worth a bing watch. This show kept Star Wars’ fire burning between the prequels and Disney’s Lucasfilm buyout, and even though it's set in the prequel timeframe, it corrects everything those movies got wrong, with weighty stories and great characterization. It’s that galaxy far, far away at its best, action-driven and packed with enough Star Wars lore to fill a space cruiser. You won't be short of Star Wars content on Disney Plus, with seven seasons of this to chew through.
Disney Plus app and devices
These are the devices that are compatible with the Disney Plus app:
Fire TV devices
Chromecast / Chromebook
Nvidia Shield (via Android TV)
Smart TVs (including Android TV, LG WebOS, Samsung Tizen, Vizio SmartCast)
The Disney Plus app can be downloaded on almost any device, then, and you can watch it in web browsers on desktop, too. The Disney Plus app supports up to four simultaneous streams, ten registered devices and you can create seven profiles. Each profile can create its own Watch List. You can download as much Disney Plus content as you want to watch offline, as long as you sign in to the app online every 30 days.
The app has different age ratings for content, and you can choose to create a Kids Profile to remove the more adult-friendly content on there (The Simpsons, for example).
As well as having different content hubs for Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic, the Disney Plus app has curated content lists themed around different subjects. These hubs include the major franchises we just mentioned, but also themed sets of Simpsons episodes, or Disney divided into decades. It's a nice way to find something to watch that's not just driven by Netflix-style algorithms.
In September 2020, too, Disney Plus added a co-watching feature called GroupWatch, letting you watch a movie or TV show with up to six other people, letting you invite subscribed members to a synced-up playback experience. You get the option to react to the stream in real-time, too.
Disney Plus FAQ
What is Disney Plus? Like Netflix, this is a streaming service, but it's exclusively packed with Disney content, including movies and shows from companies it owns.
When did Disney Plus launch? Disney Plus has already launched in the USA, Canada, Australia, Latin America, New Zealand, the UK, Japan, and most of Europe.
What does Disney Plus cost? $6.99/month in the US (or $69.99 per year), $11.99 in Australia and Canada ($119.99 per year) and £7.99 per month in the UK (£79.90 per year). The US price will increase by a dollar a month on March 26.
Does Disney Plus have 4K streams? Yes. Disney Plus supports 4K resolution, HDR, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. You'll see whether movies on Disney Plus support it under the 'details' tab on the listing pages in the app.
Where can I find it? Disney Plus is available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, PS4, Xbox One, Amazon's devices, Roku devices, browsers, Android TV and the UK's Sky Q and Now TV.
Which Disney Plus channels are there? There are no channels, as such, but there are five separate content hubs for Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic. It also features content from Fox, like The Simpsons.
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