Photo: The DisInsider
Disney Plus Premier Access came back in September 2020 with the live-action blockbuster Mulan. Photo: The DisInsider

Disney Plus Premier Access was introduced back in September 2020 with the live-action blockbuster Mulan. After the Coronavirus outbreak, that film was pulled from a theatrical run and placed on Disney Plus instead, where subscribers could pay a premium fee to watch it.

But what began as a “one-off” approach might just become more commonplace as lockdowns continue, with Raya and the Last Dragon the second Disney Plus Premier Access movie now available. It should delight the whole family – and not just because they won’t have to get off the sofa to see it!

What is Disney Plus Premier access?

Disney Plus Premier Access goes some way towards recreating the cinema experience. Brand new titles fresh from Walt Disney Studios are made available on Disney Plus day-and-date with their theatrical release, meaning you can enjoy them from the comfort of your home for an additional one-off fee. Not only can you share the excitement of the latest big-budget film with family or friends, but Premier titles are available to watch in stunning UHD or HDR quality and with Dolby Audio sound, according to Tech Radar.

The $30 fee might seem steep – although it’s cheaper than two cinema tickets and a bucket of popcorn – but once you’ve parted with your dough, you can watch the film time and time again. That in addition to enjoying the latest Disney extravaganza months before its available to regular Disney Plus subscribers.

What is the price of Disney Plus Premier Access?

Photo: Rolling Stone
Photo: Rolling Stone

The Disney Plus Premier Access fee is $30 in the US. In order to buy a Premier Access movie on Disney Plus, you also need to have a Disney Plus subscription, which costs $7 a month or $70 a year, Business Insider cites.

Disney Plus is also available as part of a bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ for a total of $13 a month. That's about $6 less per month than you'd pay if you subscribed to each of those services without the bundle

It's not clear if Disney Plus will stick with the $30 pricing for all Premier Access movies in the future.

What to watch on Disney Plus Premier Access?

Animated fantasy-adventure Raya and the Last Dragon is the platform’s second Disney Plus Premier Access title, released on March 5.

Photo: The Verge
Photo: The Verge

Disney’s epic live-action film Mulan was the first to get its debut on Premier Plus after the pandemic shuttered cinemas. Those paying the Premier fee could stream it exclusively for three months before it became available to all Disney Plus subscribers at no extra charge.

Similarly, the advance access window for Raya and the Last Dragon is open until May 4. If you haven’t paid for the film by this time, you won’t be able to see it until after it’s added to the Disney Plus library on June 4, and becomes 'free' to stream with a monthly subscription.

At the moment, there are no other films planned for this kind of release. But given the ongoing situation, Disney CEO Bob Chapek hasn’t ruled out further dual cinema and VOD releases for films like Marvel’s Black Widow.

Will there be more Disney+ Premier Access content?

Before Mulan even came out, Disney CEO Bob Chapek said the film would be a “one-off,” meaning regular Disney+ Premier Access content wouldn’t become normal. Right now, Raya and the Last Dragon is the only film or show that is known to be a Premier Access title, and it’s not yet clear if that could change in the future, noted Film Daily.

“That said, we find it very interesting to be able to take a new offering to consumers at that $29.99 price and learn from it and see what happens not only in terms of the uptick of the number of subscribers we got on the platform but also the number of transactions we get on that PVOD offering,” said Chapek.

Pixar’s Soul is scheduled to be released on Disney+ for free this Christmas and won’t be in theaters. This means not all future Disney+ movies will require an extra fee. There is a long list of movies getting release dates in the next year to two years, so it will be interesting to see which films make it to theaters and which ones rely on streaming.

How do I get Premier access on Disney Plus?

It’s pretty easy to watch a Disney Plus Premier Access title, but you do need to be a Disney Plus member first. So, if you don’t have a subscription, head to the website to sign up. Enter your email address, select a monthly or annual plan, then enter your credit card details.

Now you’ll be able to buy new Disney Plus Premier Access releases. These are found either on the homepage or by entering the film name into the search tool. Click on the desired title and you’ll receive a prompt to purchase, before being asked to verify your credit card details. Voila! Once that’s done, you’re ready to stream the latest and greatest from Disney. And, as long as you remain a subscriber, the movie is yours to watch as often as you like.

Note that a Premier Plus title can also be purchased through multiple devices with the Disney Plus app, including Apple, Google, Amazon, and Roku.

Can you buy or rent Premier Access movies on other services?

Though "Mulan" debuted exclusively as a Disney Plus Premier Access title in September 2020, that exclusivity period was only temporary. The movie became available to buy on other streaming platforms without a Disney Plus subscription on October 6, 2020.

It's currently unknown if "Raya and the Last Dragon" will remain exclusive to Disney Plus or if it will get a similar expanded release after a limited exclusivity window.

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