If you’re looking to start a watch party on Disney Plus, the streaming service has a GroupWatch feature available in select markets across the world.
This allows friends and family to watch streams simultaneously, and control playback by pausing, re-winding and fast-forwarding the stream for the whole group.
If you’re looking to do it yourself, we have a step-by-step guide below. In addition, if the service isn’t yet available in your market, we have instructions on how to use GroupWatch on Disney+ from abroad.
Disney has also now revealed that users with an iPhone or iPad can stream Disney+ with friends via SharePlay. We have instructions on how to do this below.
You can check out our other guide for watching Disney Plus in 4K.
How to start a GroupWatch on Disney+
First things first, everyone who you wish to watch Disney+ with must be signed up to the streaming service and be logged into it on the device that they are using. You can sign up on the Disney+ website for £7.99/US$7.99 per month, or £79.90/$79.99 per year.
Once that’s accomplished, here’s all you need to do:
- On the Disney+ website or mobile app, select the movie/series you wish to watch and click on the group icon
- Once you’re through to the GroupWatch page, click on the plus icon to invite people
- Copy the link and send it to those you wish to join your watch party. You can invite up to six different people
- When all members are on the same GroupWatch page, click ‘Start Stream’
In addition, GroupWatch can only be instigated from the Disney+ website or the mobile app. However, once you’re in the group, you can move over to a smart TV or a streaming device by clicking on the group icon again on the series or film you’re watching.
How to use SharePlay with Disney+
SharePlay is a feature available on iOS 15, which allows users to Facetime each other and share videos, music and images live as they video chat alongside the content.
Up to 32 users can join a call at one time, and choose their preferred audio/subtitles to suit their preferences.
You must have an iPhone or iPad with iOS 15.1 (or iPadOS 15.1), as well as the latest version of the iOS Disney+ app.
Providing you have that, here’s what you need to do to start a SharePlay call with Disney+.
- Tap the SharePlay icon on the FaceTime call toolbar (the icon furthest to the right).
- Tap ‘Share My Screen’.
- Get the other person on the call to tap ‘Open’ on the ‘Join Screen Sharing’ banner that appears within the call.
- Once Screen Sharing is initiated, your incoming notifications will be hidden, and the FaceTime toolbar will disappear too. You can tap the purple icon in the top-right corner to get the FaceTime controls back though
- Open the Disney+ app and choose what you want to watch
Content can also be synched up to watch on Apple TV, should users want a bigger screen to watch on whilst they are on the call. The TV must be running on tvOS 15.1 for Disney+ SharePlay to work.
How to use GroupWatch on Disney+ from abroad
If you’re based in a country that doesn’t offer GroupWatch, you can access it through the help of a VPN.
VPNs (virtual private networks) allow users to reroute their IP addresses, which means you can browse the internet as if you’re in another country. There are numerous options on the market, but from our experience the most trusted, reliable and affordable VPNs are NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
To access Disney+ GroupWatch from abroad, simply do the following steps:
- Connect to a server in the UK, US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand on your VPN
- Open Disney+ and sign in as normal using your UK-based account
- You’ll now be able to access a different country’s version of Disney Plus – which includes the GroupWatch feature
For more information, check out our picks of the best VPNs for Disney Plus.
How to chat using GroupWatch on Disney+
Unfortunately, Disney+ doesn’t offer a built-in chat service alongside GroupWatch. Viewers can react to the content with six different emojis on Disney+, but that’s about it.
If you want to chat freely – or start up an audio/video chat – then you’ll have to use third-party software. There are several options to choose from – Discord, Google Meet, Messenger, WhatsApp or Skype. If you’re using PC, you can do this by simply opening it up on the browser and running alongside the stream. On mobile, the app version should run fine alongside Disney+.
Host a watch party on Disney+ using Teleparty
If you want to have an integrated chat box with your streaming friends, there is another way to host a watch party on Disney+. Teleparty is a rebrand of Netflix Party, a third-party piece of software for Chrome and Microsoft Edge users that allows viewers to watch TV series and movies together simultaneously whilst controlling playback, and having a text chat window alongside.
If you wish to start a Teleparty on Disney+, here’s the basic instructions you need to know:
- Head to netflixparty.com and select ‘Install Teleparty’
- This will take you to your browser’s extension page – select ‘Add to Chrome/Microsoft Edge’
- You’ll now see a red TP in your extensions list – pin the extension to your toolbar
- Head to Disney+ and click on the extension
- Start the party, and select whether you want sole control over playback controls
- Copy the URL and send to those you wish to join the watch party. They should click on the link and select the red ‘TP’ extension to join
- You should now see your friends in the chat window for the watch party
Teleparty is also available on Netflix, HBO Max and Hulu – though like Disney+ GroupWatch users must all have accounts with the streaming service. In addition, this extension is not available on mobiles or tablets.