Disney Plus is not just home to Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and all your Pixar favorites, but educational entertainment like National Geographic and storied series like The Simpsons. Oh, and all the Disney movies and TV shows you could ever want to watch. Available in over a dozen countries — with more on the way — Disney has finally given us an all-in-one destination we Disney fans have been waiting almost two decades for. Welcome to Disney Plus (Disney+).
What is Disney Plus?
Disney+ is a streaming service that brings together all of the content in Disney's massive media empire — from Disney and Pixar to Marvel to Lucasfilm to National Geographic and 20th Century Fox — in one easy-to-use app. Available on nearly every major platform and with hundreds of films and TV shows from the Disney Vault and recent theatrical releases, Disney+ is a tantalizing realization of a dream many Disney nerds (like myself) have had of being able to watch their favorite shows and films in one place rather than having to hunt for them across a half dozen services — and this is also the first time a great deal of legacy Disney television content is available for streaming. In short, Disney+ is simply everything we ever wished it would be.
Anything and everything that falls under the Disney umbrella — and make no mistake, it is a huge umbrella — will eventually go through the Disney+ app, on whatever platform you wish to watch it on. If that sounds impossibly big, well, you're right. But Disney has done well to pave this road with the extremely successful ESPN+, which is also owned by Disney and runs on the same technology. (In fact, Disney bought the company that built the streaming side of ESPN+ in order to jumpstart Disney+'s development.)
The best part of Disney+ is that it is ridiculously easy to sign up for the service whether you're at your desktop computer or on the go with your phone. Unfortunately, as it stands right now, there is no Disney+ free trial available, but the low monthly cost makes it cheap to sign up and try it out.
What countries is Disney Plus available in?
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- India (branded as Disney+ Hotstar)
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
- United States
In addition to the countries listed above, Disney plans to launch Disney+ globally in dozens of other countries over the next two years. Disney+ most recently rolled out in Eastern Europe during the first half of 2021, with the streaming service scheduled to launch in East Asia during the second half of 2021 and into 2022.
What devices support Disney Plus?
Disney+ was available on quite a few devices at launch, but it's not as universally available as Netflix — yet. Whether you're on a phone, laptop, TV, or gaming console built in the last 3 years, chances are Disney+ is available right now or will be available soon.
iPhone and Android devices
Disney+ is available on Android phones and tablets, as well as Apple iPhones and iPads. The benefit of using Disney+ on a phone or tablet rather than watching on a smart TV is that on these devices, you can download videos for offline playback, which is something you can do on up to 10 devices per Disney+ account, meaning everyone on the plan can keep a few videos downloaded in case of emergencies like being trapped on a Wi-Fi-less flight.
Desktop and laptop computers
Like all modern streaming services, Disney+ allows you to stream directly from DisneyPlus.com on Windows, MacOS, and Chrome OS computers (sorry, Linux). You can't download videos for offline playback when streaming through the browser, but you do have some handy keyboard controls.
If you're on a Chromebook, just keep in mind you'll probably have it error out the first time you try to watch, but after a quick refresh, it should work just fine. Chromebooks are also the only laptops that can download videos for offline playback because Chromebooks also use they can use the Android app via Google Play.
It's rather unfortunate that Disney didn't release a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app at launch, especially since in order to release an Xbox One app, they've already done most of the work needed to make one. Additionally, since 4K streaming isn't currently supported when streaming through the website, a UWP would be a great way to allow Windows 10 media PCs to stream Disney+ in UHD.
That being said, Windows revealed in June 2021 that the new Microsoft Store launching with Windows 11 would feature a handful of new partners, including Disney+. Windows 11 is currently available in beta preview and launches officially at the end of the year.
Xbox, PlayStation & Streaming Hardware
Most people want to stream on a bigger screen so that they can enjoy Disney+ with their friends and family, and that means supporting the gaming and entertainment consoles that we use now more than ever. Support for Android TV, Roku devices, Google Chromecast, Apple TV and Fire TV devices has been here since launch day.
It's worth pointing out, however, that Disney+ isn't supported on a handful of Roku devices. These devices are the Roku LT model (2400X & 2450X), Roku HD model 2500X, Roku 2 XS model 3100X, Roku 2 HD models (3000X & 3050X), and select Roku Streaming Stick models (3400X & 3420X).
On the gaming console side, both the PlayStation 4 series and Xbox One series are supported right now, as well as the new PS5 and Xbox Series X and Series S consoles. I honestly believe that gaming consoles are the best for watching Disney+ because you can use your controller triggers to fast forward and rewind more easily than using the on-screen controls.
No mobile consoles are currently supported on the mobile console side of the equation, although Disney has hinted at bringing Disney+ to Nintendo Switch in the future. We have no concrete timeline on when it could launch on Switch, though.
A handful of Smart TVs have Disney+ apps at the moment, including Android TV-supported smart TVs from Sharp, AQUOS, and Sony Bravia; LG Smart TVs running WebOS 3.0 and above; Samsung Tizen Smart TV's (2016 models or newer); and Vizio SmartCast TV models released in 2016 and later.
Beyond these brands, there's support for TVs that run Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, or Roku TV through their respective app stores. This is great news because you can't stream Disney+ through browsers on Smart TVs. Likewise, Vizio TVs don't have a built-in app for Disney+ but can use Chromecast built-in and Apple AirPlay.
Which devices support Disney Plus in 4K?
There's more UHD content on Disney+ right now than I thought there'd be, but unfortunately, playing it will require a 4K Smart TV that supports UHD playback — or a 4K supported entertainment console connected to a 4K TV that supports HDCP 2.2 — so even if you have a 4K screen hooked up to your gaming PC, you won't be streaming 4K that way. However, there are plenty of 4K devices supported, such as the NVIDIA Shield TV 2019, as well as a whole host of excellent 4K TVs at every price point from $300 to $3000.
What shows and movies are on Disney Plus?
Disney has prided itself on its Vault of extensive content for decades. While the Disney Vault strategy was starting to decay in the digital age, Disney+ will reap most of its rewards by hosting most of the Disney Vault as well as an impressive array of content from Marvel, Lucasfilm, Fox, and National Geographic. Right now, Disney+ has about 500 films and over 7,500 TV episodes, including most of the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars Skywalker Saga.
While Disney+ hasn't organized its film collections in ordered playlists for easy marathoning, the Marvel section of the platform has grouped certain films together. Specifically, that page breaks up films under the four existing phases of the MCU. You'll also find a tab with every movie in the MCU listed in Timeline Order. Unfortunately, Disney is still in the process of making a deal with Sony over the rights to Spider-Man, so those films have yet to make it to the platform.
Since its launch, Disney+ has also launched a handful of brand new Marvel Studios content, including series like WandaVision, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki. You'll find those Disney+ originals, along with a variety of Marvel Legacy Movies and animated series, under the Marvel tab.
Speaking of tons to watch, I waited a long time to get all of my favorite shows and movies in one easy-to-use place, and as such, that meant that I had a long list of things I needed to watch, rewatch, and rewatch again because it's been so long since I've seen them. These are the first 16 films and shows I watched on Disney+.
What more can I watch with the Disney Plus Bundle?
Disney+ is just one of the major digital platforms Disney is serving up in this new streaming era. It's the largest, for sure. But it's also just one part of the puzzle. In fact, the Disney+ Bundle gives you the option to subscribe to Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu for just $13.99 per month.
Have a look at ESPN+
If nothing else — and if you're a sports fan of any kind — you also should consider a subscription with ESPN+. It runs on the same underlying platform as Disney+, so you'll be pretty familiar with how things work.
And as for the content, well. If you thought there was a lot of sports on TV, wait until you get a look at ESPN+. Yes, it's got live sports. All kinds of live sports. It's got college football games that you can't find on TV. It's got a huge amount of college basketball. It's got a smattering of NHL. It's got boxing and UFC — in fact, you have to have ESPN+ if you want to watch pay-per-view UFC events — and rugby and cricket and ... you name it.
And then there's the matter of original content. Think Peyton Manning was resting in his retirement? Not quite. Peyton's Places is keeping him plenty busy. Football coach Les Miles has a show, and you can find the irreplaceable duo of Boomer and TJ — and so much more, right there on ESPN+.
And, yes, you can watch ESPN+ on your TV, too.
And don't forget Hulu
The third arm of the trifecta is Hulu, which Disney also controls. It's where you'll find all the on-demand content you've come to know from that service, as well as original shows like The Handmaid's Tale. In addition, Hulu is where much content originally planned for Disney+ is ending up as Disney tries to keep Disney+ to more family-friendly fare, so the bundle will be the only way to ensure that you can see all of the content that's coming down the pipeline.
And perhaps more important for Disney's purposes is Hulu with Live TV which, as the name implies, gets you live (and local) television alongside all that other content. You can now get the Disney+ bundle with Hulu + Live TV, which allows you to watch current Disney Channel shows — and tons more channels — along with legacy shows and older seasons on Disney+.
How does the Disney Plus library compare outside the US?
There are differences in available content between countries. For instance, French law forbids theatrically released films from being put on a streaming service in that country for three years, so don't expect to see Avengers: Endgame on Disney+ in France until 2021 unless Disney manages some true shenanigans or gets that law changed somehow.
So far, however, the differences between the available content in the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands has been small, mainly that a few more of the recent Marvel and Disney films are currently unavailable.
Disney also began rolling out the new Star section of the Disney+ app in countries where Hulu is not available in 2021. Currently accessible to subscribers in Australia, Austria, Canada, Europe, Germany, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, and the UK, the Star brand page on Disney+ features movies and TV shows from Disney Television Studios, FX Productions, 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures.
As mentioned previously, the Disney+ and Star services are expected to launch in Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan by the end of 2021.
How long will it take for new movies to be added to Disney Plus?
With a few exceptions, the newest films in Disney's repertoire aren't available on Disney+ right now, but for most of them, we won't be waiting too long. Movies will launch on Disney+ after the full theatrical and home video release, which will vary between individual films but should be 5-8 months after the theatrical release.
It's worth noting this general timeline has shifted a bit since Disney+ launched, as Onward, Frozen II and Hamilton all came to Disney+ significantly earlier than expected. We also saw a handful of new films being released simultaneously in theaters and via Premier Access on Disney+ in 2021 because of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
What is Disney+ Premier Access?
As the pandemic continued to keep theaters closed and pushed back big blockbuster releases, Disney decided in late 2020 to do something new on Disney+: release feature films through Premier Access of Disney+.
Premier Access is an upcharge feature inside Disney+: you buy the movie for $30 and unlock it for however long you continue to subscribe to Disney+. You can also download the movie for offline playback on Android, iOS, and Chromebooks (through the Android app), and you can watch the movie as many times as you want, a significant change from other "home premiere" movies, which have been 48-hour rentals through one of the major digital retailers.
Films offered through Premier Access will eventually be available to all Disney+ subscribers, so if you don't want to pony up to watch it early, you'll probably be waiting 3-6 months to watch it through the main Disney+ catalog. So far, Disney has premiered five feature films via Disney+ Premier Access: Mulan, Raya and the Last Dragon, Cruella, Black Widow, and Jungle Cruise.
Parental controls, profiles, and account limits
Since Disney+ allows up to 7 user profiles on a single account — and up to four users streams at a time — it's only natural that Disney+ accounts are meant to be shared amongst family. However, when the kids are misbehaving or when a friend isn't chipping in the way they promised they would when you let them have your login, it's time to change the password and lock them out!
It's very easy to get sucked in while watching your favorite shows on Disney+ — I put on an episode of Kim Possible to watch during lunch, and then POW, it's dinnertime! — but if you want to give yourself a leg up against being sucked in by the siren song of the binge-watch, turn off Autoplay. Having to hit play every 20 or 40 minutes can help you break the cycle and get back to work, and since Autoplay is profile-based, you can turn it off for your kids' account while leaving it on for yours.
As a streaming service that is geared so much towards families and kids, parental controls on Disney+ are pretty simplistic at the moment: you can set up a child's profile and set it to only allow content with a certain rating. Unfortunately, rather than giving age-based restrictions, Disney's content filter works based on the MPAA and US television content rating systems, meaning that you'll have to decide if you want your child to see only G/TV-G content or allow in TV-Y7 and TV-Y7/FV.
How to get the most out of Disney Plus: Tips, tricks & more
Like any new, popular online service, Disney+ is not all smooth sailing, as magical as it may seem at first glance. Disney+ saw more users sign up on Day One as it expected in all of Year One, so overloaded servers have been the most prevalent problem so far, as evidenced by how widespread Error 83 has been. However, things are continuing to improve.
Of course, not all connection issues are related to server strain; you might need to check and make sure your internet is fast enough. On some iPhones, you can get around Error 83 by switching from Wi-Fi to LTE, but you'll want to remember that streaming Disney+ that way can eat a capped data plan alive. When servers are slow, or your network is down completely, you can still watch the Disney+ videos you downloaded to your phone, tablet, or Chromebook, at least.
How much does Disney Plus cost: Bundles, deals & more
The pricing of Disney+ varies a bit from country to country, but in all countries, you can save yourself a few bucks by opting for the annual billing rate rather than the monthly billing. In addition, one account can have up to four streams going at one time and up to seven profiles on the account, so you probably won't need to shell out for multiple accounts in one family. Here's a rundown of how much Disney+ costs in countries where the platform is currently available:
|Country||Monthly rate||Annual rate|
|Argentina||ARS$ 385||ARS$ 3.850|
|Austria||8,99 €||89,99 €|
|Belgium||8,99 €||89,99 €|
|Brazil||BRL$ 27,90||BRL$ 279,90|
|Canada||$11.99 CAD||$119.99 CAD|
|Chile||CLP$ 6.500||CLP$ 64.900|
|Colombia||COP$ 23.900||COP$ 239.900|
|Denmark||79 DKK||790 DKK|
|Finland||8,99 €||89,99 €|
|France||8,99 €||89,99 €|
|Germany||8,99 €||89,99 €|
|Greenland||59 DKK||589 DKK|
|Iceland||8,99 €||89,99 €)|
|India (as Disney+ Hotstar)||Rs 299||Rs 1,499|
|Indonesia (as Disney+ Hotstar)||Rp 39,000||Rp 199,000|
|Ireland||8,99 €||89,99 €|
|Italy||8,99 €||89,99 €|
|Luxembourg||8,99 €||89,99 €|
|Monaco||8,99 €||89,99 €|
|Mexico||MXN$ 159||MXN$ 1.599|
|Netherlands||8,99 €||89,99 €|
|Norway||89 NOK||890 NOK|
|Peru||PEN$ 25,90||PEN$ 259,90|
|Portugal||8,99 €||89,99 €|
|Spain||8,99 €||89,99 €|
|Sweden||89 SEK||890 SEK|
|Switzerland||12.90 CHF||129 CHF|
What's the best Disney Plus deal I can get?
Disney also has a bundle option that gives users Disney+, ESPN+, and ad-supported Hulu for $13.99 a month. It gets a little complicated, but the short version is if you have separate accounts on each of the three services, you can link them together in a sort of virtual bundle via a single email address. You pay Disney+ once a month, and Disney+ applies credits to ESPN+ and Hulu for their base subscription. You can also keep the various Hulu add-ons like Hulu with Live TV and/or No Ads with the Disney+ for an extra fee.
This is the best deal in streaming today.
Since the Disney/Fox content that's deemed too adult for Disney+ will go to Hulu, this bundle ensures that you'll be able to watch all the content under Disney's big umbrella. You'll also be able to watch all the sports on ESPN+ like UFC fighting.
Disney offered a 33% discount on a three-year subscription to D23 members back during and after the D23 Expo in August 2020, but that deal is no longer available. You had to pony up for the entire three-year subscription upfront, but you essentially paid two years to get one free, so for die-hard Disney fans, this was an excellent deal.
Disney+ on Us: how to get six months free from Verizon
While Verizon Wireless' original "Disney+ on Us" Campaign is no longer running, Verizon Wireless currently offers the Disney+ Bundle free to customers who sign up, switch or upgrade to the Do More Unlimited or Start Unlimited plans, for the first six months. If you already subscribe to one of Verizon's now-discontinued Unlimited plans, you may still be eligible to add the Disney+ Bundle to your account.
Can I give Disney Plus as a gift?
Disney offers physical subscription cards at Disney Stores and offering digital subscription codes online that you can give as gifts, but before you buy them, there are a few things to know:
- They can only be bought and redeemed in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, France, and Germany.
- The person who redeems the subscription card must not already have a Disney+ account or have ever signed up for the 7-day trial. If they have, they'll need to use a different email address and make a new account to redeem it.
- This is only redeemable for a standalone Disney+ account, not the Disney+ bundle. If you switch to the bundle, you lose whatever time was left on your gift subscription and immediately switch to monthly billing.
This means that you can't give someone currently loving their subscription a free year to redeem on their account right now, but we hope Disney expands it to function as normal account credits in the future the way that you can give gift cards for Netflix and Spotify. We're not there right now, though.
How does Disney Plus stack up to the competition?
Disney+ has already proved to be a worthy contender when compared to seasoned services like Netflix and Amazon. The content available for Disney+ is quite impressive. The pricing is even more so, with the Disney+ bundle still costing less than a Netflix Premium subscription, which has made it quite easy for many to swap over to Disney's offerings.
When comparing Disney+ vs. Amazon Prime, it's helpful to know that Prime Video is made available as part of Amazon's Prime subscription, which costs $12.99 a month or $119 for the year and also gives you access to free shipping and cloud storage, among other perks. While you can opt for a standalone Prime Video membership, which costs $8.99 per month, Prime Video's catalog of original content isn't as varied or family-friendly as Disney+. Additionally, Amazon Prime Video subscribers can only stream on two devices at a time across six profiles. Comparatively, Disney+ allows up to four concurrent streams and up to seven user profiles.
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