Disney is the latest company to wade into the film and TV streaming game with Disney+ – or Disney Plus if you prefer – a new streaming service that will let you watch all of the Mouse House’s best and brightest in one place.
It’s out now in some countries, including the UK and US, and with movies ranging from cartoon classics and Pixar’s finest through to Star Wars and Marvel – not to mention a bevy of exclusive new TV shows – Disney+ looks set to seriously shake up streaming. Here’s what you need to know.
You can also check out the brand new smartwatch Neo – a collaboration between Disney and Vodafone.
When does Disney+ launch in my country?
Disney Plus is out now in the UK, US, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland, and you can sign up here. Other countries will continue to get access over the next couple of years.
After an initial delay due to COVID-19, India also now has Disney Plus. Instead of a standalone service, it is integrated with existing Indian streaming service Hotstar. It costs Rs 399 per year for the basic package which is ad-supported, and Rs 1,499 per year for the premium ad-free version.
Other European markets (such as Belgium and the Nordics) will get the service in summer 2020. Variety also confirmed that Latin America won’t get the service until Q1 2021.
How much does it cost?
Disney+ costs £5.99/$6.99/€6.99 per month for a rolling subscription, or £59.99/$69.99/€69.99 for an annual subscription. As with other markets, this price undercuts several rivals (including Netflix) by offering up to four simultaneous streams, 4K content and unlimited downloads on up to ten devices for no extra cost.#
If you’re in the US there’s an even better deal if you don’t mind spending a little more. Disney also bundles in Hulu with ads and ESPN+ into one single package for just $12.99 per month. Since Disney+ is normally $6.99, ESPN+ is $4.99, and Hulu is $5.99 on its ad-supported plan, that’s a minimum saving of $5 each month. Don’t expect this bundle in every market though, as Hulu and ESPN aren’t widely available outside the US.
If you’re looking to save some money, then we’ve also rounded up the best Disney Plus discounts so far and how to get Disney Plus for free, so that you can make the most of the Disney streaming service for less. If you’re wondering whether Disney+ should be your new go-to streaming platform, here’s how the service compares to Netflix.
Users in the UK can now also gift people 12 months worth of Disney Plus with the new gift subscription service.
Which devices does Disney+ work on?
Whatever you’re looking to watch Disney Plus on – be it through a computer, smartphone, or tablet – you should be able to make it work.
You’re able to watch Disney+ on Roku, Chromecasts, Fire TV, laptops, Smart TVs, iPads, Android, iPhone, most smart TVs, Android TVs and game consoles – including the Nintendo Switch. It’s also available on Sky Q, Now TV and Now TV devices, but it’s a little complicated, as this also has the option of combining your billing.
Up to four users are able to watch simultaneously, and on some versions of the app you’re able to download content to watch offline.
Disney+ gift cards
Just in time for Christmas Disney introduced its own gift cards for Disney+, though there are some caveats. You can grab physical cards from official stores or a digital version from Disney’s site. Either way it costs $69.99 for a year’s subscription, with no option at all for cheaper, shorter subscriptions.
It only works for new subscribers – so don’t try and use it to gift extra time to someone who’s already working through The Mandalorian – and you can’t use it to sign up for the Hulu/ESPN+ bundle. It’s also only available from Disney itself, with no option to buy a card from Amazon or Best Buy, at least for the time being. Finally, it’s US-only for now.
What classic movies and shows are on Disney+?
Loads. Loads and loads and loads and loads.
First up, the service launched with “around 500 films from the Disney library,” as well as “around 7,000 episodes of Disney TV.” Those include the 13-film ‘Signature Collection’ of cartoons including Bambi, The Lion King, and The Jungle Book, along with 18 Pixar films.
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak Disney also added Frozen 2 to the platform three months ahead of its scheduled release to keep fans entertained at home.
Every Star Wars movie so far is on there (except The Rise of Skywalker), along with films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with both Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame making their streaming service debuts exclusively on the platform. There won’t be any of the Spider-Man movies though, even the Tom Holland ones – Sony has those rights – and there’s no Deadpool either, for reasons outlined below.
Thanks to Disney’s merger with Fox there is also a variety of Fox movies and shows – including the exclusive streaming rights to the entirety of The Simpsons.
One thing you shouldn’t expect to see: anything R-rated. While Disney’s never made much itself, its subsidiaries have, as has Fox. None of that will make its way onto Disney+ though, so you won’t see Alien rubbing shoulders with Bambi any time soon. Instead expect those films to appear on Hulu, which Disney has a financial stake in.
What are the new exclusives?
Arguably more exciting than all those old movies and shows are all the new things being made just for Disney+, including new shows set in the main Marvel and Star Wars Universes. Here’s some of the biggest new titles that are both live right now, as well as those that are confirmed to be coming to the service:
- The Mandalorian – The first live action Star Wars series from producer Jon Favreau (director of Iron Man and the new Lion King remake) stars Pedro Pascal as the titular Mandalorian bounty hunter, alongside the likes of Nick Nolte, Werner Herzog, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, and Giancarlo Esposito. It’s out now, with season two on the way in 2020.
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars final season – This popular animated series debuted its seventh and final season on Disney+.
- Untitled Rogue One Series, Date TBC – This prequel will star Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk as their characters from the recent film, exploring their adventures as a spy duo.
- Untitled Obi-Wan Kenobi series, Date TBC – Hello there! This massively anticipated spin-off will have Ewan McGregor reprise his role as Obi-Wan. The show will take place around the same time that Solo: A Star Wars Story is set.
Marvel Cinematic Universe
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, August 2020 – The first MCU original series to kick off will star Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan. It will follow the duo’s adventures post Avengers: Endgame, and also feature Emily VanCamp and Wyatt Russell, who will portray Sharon Carter and John Walker respectively.
- WandaVision, December 2020 – Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany) play two supers who appearing to be living the suburban lifestyle, but not everything is as it appears.
- Loki, Early 2021 – Another series following the events of Endgame, Loki will explore the life of the god of mischief/brother of Thor. Karen Herron will be directing, and Michael Waldron will serve as the head writer.
- What If…?, Spring 2021 – Taking a step away from the live action, this animated anthology series will explore alternative universes for each of the MCU films. For example, one of the storylines will tell the story of what would happen if Peggy Carter got the Super Soldier serum as opposed to Steve Rogers in Captain America.
- Hawkeye, Fall 2021 – Jeremy Renner will be coming back in his original Avenger role, and he will be joined by the Marvel Comics character Kate Bishop, who will likely become his successor. Variety has reported that Hailee Steinfeld is in line for the role.
- Ms. Marvel, Date TBC – The first muslim superhero Kamala Kahn will enter the MCU in her own series, exploring her origin story.
- She-Hulk, Date TBC – Attorney Jennifer Walters (and cousin of Bruce Banner) will look to balance her own gamma radiation powers with her legal career.
- Moon Knight, Date TBC – The final MCU show in the lineup will follow Marc Spector, yet another billionaire superhero. But if the series follows the comics, we expect his story will be slightly darker than the likes of Tony Stark.
- Forky Asks a Question – The bizarre cutlery implement from Toy Story 4 explores life’s greatest questions in a short animated series. Voice actor Tony Hale will be reprising his role as the title character.
- Monsters at Work, 2020 – The Monsters Inc. duo Mike and Sully (Billy Crystal and John Goodman) will return in this new series exploring their lives after the plot of the first film.
Other Disney+ originals and documentaries
- The Lady and the Tramp – The latest Disney live action remake, this time recreating the two dogs united by their love of spaghetti and meatballs.
- The World According To Jeff Goldblum – Think of ‘An Idiot Abroad’, but instead of Karl Pilkington travelling the world and sharing his thoughts and opinions, its Jeff Goldblum. Yep, we’re sold too.
- Encore! – Kristen Bell executive produces this show which brings together former cast mates of real high school musical shows to recreate their productions.
- The Imagineering Story – If you’re a big fan of the Disney theme parks, then this documentary series is a must, following the story and achievements of Walt Disney and the staff who brought the Disney brand to life for travellers around the world.
- Marvel’s Hero Project – Instead of comic book superheroes, this documentary shines a light on some of the real-life young heroes who are making a difference in their communities.
- Be Our Chef – You’ve heard of Bake Off and MasterChef, but this Disney cooking show has its own spin. Families from different cultures compete against one another (in the setting of Disney World, naturally) in a series of themed challenges, Disney style.
- High School Musical: The Musical: Series – No, the name isn’t a typo. This new series follows a group of High School students who are putting on a musical of… High School Musical. We’re all in this together, indeed.
- One Day at Disney – Although these are short episodes, this series will contain 52 of them, showcasing the creative forces who work for Disney.
- Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2, June 26 2020 – Frozen 2 was a roaring success, and this documentary will delve into how the creative team came together to create this epic musical sequel.
- Muppets Now, July 31 2020 – This unscripted series will feature all your favourite muppets, naturally lead by Kermit and Miss Piggy, alongside a number of celebrity guests.
- Marvel’s 616, 2020 – This documentary series will expand on the untold stories of Marvel, including the plots, characters and the creators behind the comic universe.
- Earth to Ned, 2020 – This puppet talk show from the Jim Henson Company will see real celebrities interviewed by alien puppets in a twist on the talk show formula that’s nothing if not novel.
Disney will also be remaking a few classic 20th Century Fox franchises with the aim to launch them on the streaming service. Home Alone, Night at the Museum, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Cheaper By the Dozen all in line for “reimaginations” for the platform according to Disney CEO Bog Iger.