Disney Plus is only a couple of years old, but it's already made quite a name for itself. Well, that's an understatement. It now has a subscriber-base totalling somewhere in the millions, and its library has ballooned in size since launch to include multiple tentpole shows. But should you buy it?
To help you decide if Disney Plus is worth your while, we've rustled up everything you need to know about the Netflix rival below. That includes the best Disney Plus price, availability, and the most important question of all: whether it has anything you should watch.
Let's get down to business (heh) and discuss all things Disney Plus.
- Disney Plus: See the latest prices here (opens in new tab)
What's on Disney Plus?
What can you watch on Disney Plus?
What's available on Disney's streaming service? Simply put, "a lot." Even though some of us might be cynical about what it can offer beyond family-friendly cartoons, the service is crammed with hundreds of hours of feel-good content across a variety of genres. More specifically, it strikes a solid balance between family-friendly fare and more mature shows (a decent proportion of which are actually good).
As we mentioned in our Disney Plus review, it's home to more than a few pop-culture juggernauts too. For starters, most films that take place within the Avengers 'Marvel Cinematic Universe' can be seen on Disney Plus at the moment (except for those tied up at other studios, such as Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk). Star Wars is also well represented - every instalment of the saga is available here, including the animated shows.
Brand-new movies that have only just arrived in theaters occasionally show up as well. Besides recent additions such as Encanto and Turning Red, Disney Plus has also been home to many major tentpole films over the past year; Black Widow, Raya and the Last Dragon, Jungle Cruise, and Cruella all became available via the service during 2021.
On balance, that's probably not a bad thing. Considering how tough the last few years have been, Disney Plus is exactly what we need right now.
Will shows and movies leave Disney Plus?
Even though Disney owns a lot of content, licenses make things tricky. That means movies and shows aren't always guaranteed to be available in perpetuity. Classic Disney properties like Aladdin aren't going anywhere, and neither are series created especially for the platform (She-Hulk, say). But content made by other companies? That may come and go.
What is the Star channel on Disney Plus?
Audiences in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have access to a larger range of drama via the Star add-on. This channel is packed with sitcoms like Modern Family or genre classics such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to say nothing of Oscar-winners including Nomadland. As a result, Star fills a niche that Disney Plus has been lacking for some time - more grown-up content.
Don't worry about your kids watching something they shouldn't, though. It's quick and easy to lock Star behind parental controls, and you'll have the opportunity to do so right away.
Are Disney Plus shows and movies in their original format?
This varies from case to case. And it's not all bad; as an example, you can choose to watch seasons 1-19 of The Simpsons in the modern 16:9 format (which caused upset upon release because it cut off a few visual gags) or the 4:3 original. In addition, insensitive cartoons from Disney's past with outdated attitudes or portrayals now come with a disclaimer.
However, some alterations are a bit more controversial. To start with, a handful of changes were made to Star Wars including Greedo saying "McClunkey" before meeting his end. Meanwhile, Hamilton has had some of its swearing trimmed back.
Disney Plus cost
Leery of paying for yet another streaming service? We hear you - there are more than enough vying for our cash right now. Luckily, the Disney Plus cost is pretty reasonable. While it's a shame that the Disney Plus free trial is no more (RIP), you'll normally pay less than you would for a standard HD month of Netflix.
How much does Disney Plus cost?
Cheapest offer: $7.99 per month (opens in new tab)
Best value: $79.99 annual membership (12% off) (opens in new tab)
Best bundle: Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus for $13.99 per month (opens in new tab)
Gift card: 12-month subscription for $79.99 (opens in new tab)
Best bundle: (opens in new tab)₹ (opens in new tab)299 per month (opens in new tab)
Best value: (opens in new tab)₹ (opens in new tab)1499 a year (opens in new tab)
Cheapest offer: (opens in new tab)₹ (opens in new tab)399 a year (opens in new tab)
Which Disney Plus deal should you get?
Want maximum value for your money? If you're just testing the waters or would prefer to keep costs down, the standard monthly membership ($7.99 per month (opens in new tab) in the USA, £7.99p/m (opens in new tab) in the UK, and $11.99p/m (opens in new tab) in Canada or Australia) is the best offer you can get at the moment. Now that the free trial is unavailable, it's by far and away the cheapest method of getting Disney Plus.
However, it's not necessarily top dog in terms of bang for buck. Rather, that award would go to the annual subscription. Even though it's paid off upfront (US viewers will hand over $79.99 (opens in new tab), UK fans are looking at a cost of £79.90 (opens in new tab), and those in Canada or Australia have to fork out $119.99 (opens in new tab)), you're saving money in the long run. That's because you're getting 12 months for the price of 10.
Based in the USA? You can also enjoy a better bang-to-buck ratio with the special offer that provides Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus for $13.99p/m (opens in new tab) (or $19.99p/m if you want to go without Hulu ads (opens in new tab)). Because Hulu and ESPN fill a niche that Disney can't, it's a surprisingly good marriage that's worth considering if you want something to suit every member of your family.
Disney Plus | Check prices in your area (opens in new tab)
Most regions with access to Disney Plus can get one of two possible deals - a monthly subscription or an annual one. While the month-to-month rolling contract is cheaper (and you can cancel it at any time), we'd say the yearly membership is a better buy; you're usually saving 12% on the monthly sub.
Disney Plus exclusives
There's more than enough original content on Disney Plus to keep you busy. Live-action Star Wars show The Mandalorian can be found here, for example, and it's now possible to see episodes of Moon Knight each week. You can even watch Hamilton (the original Broadway version from 2016) via Disney Plus. The list goes on, and it's only going to keep getting bigger in the coming years.
Here's a breakdown of the top ten exclusives that are available on Disney Plus right now.
- Obi-Wan Kenobi (opens in new tab) - Set ten years after Revenge of the Sith, this series bridges the gap between the prequel and original Star Wars trilogies. We called it a "mature, beautifully realised slice of Star Wars" in our episode one review.
- Moon Knight (opens in new tab) - The latest Marvel show stars Oscar Isaac in a clever and surprisingly risky superhero adventure. Our four-star review of the first episode called it "the best start to a Disney Plus series yet".
- The Mandalorian (opens in new tab) - As the first live-action Star Wars series, this generated enough hype to become mandatory viewing each week. In fact, our review of its premiere said it was "Disney Plus' first must-watch show".
- Loki (opens in new tab) - This time-hopping series is witty, mind-bending, and essential due to the huge storyline it sets up. As our review of episode one says, it's the start of something very big and very strange for the Marvel universe.
- Encanto (opens in new tab) - The latest film from the folks behind Moana and Tangled is a heart-warming adventure with earworm songs written by Lin-Manuel Miranda. Our review labelled it "high-tier modern Disney".
- Turning Red (opens in new tab) - Like we said in our review, this simultaneously emotional yet hilarious romp is "one of the stronger Pixar movies of the last decade". It's a lot of fun, and it's only available on Disney Plus.
- WandaVision (opens in new tab) - Blending sitcoms with unsettling drama to great effect, this is one of Marvel's most intriguing stories in years. As suggested in our review of the first episode, we were big fans.
- Hawkeye (opens in new tab) - Adapting one of the best comic book storylines in recent memory, this series is a delight and introduces your new favorite superhero in Kate Bishop. It may take a moment to get going (as our review points out), but patience is rewarded.
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (opens in new tab) - This action-heavy series grapples with Captain America's legacy, and it's a must-see for fans of 2014's Winter Solider movie (it has a very similar vibe). We loved it in our review of the premiere.
- The Imagineering Story (opens in new tab) - Want to be inspired? Here's an in-depth look at the history of the Disney theme parks and the tech powering their inventions. It's a fascinating story that's worth checking out.
What's coming to Disney Plus?
Now we're getting to the good stuff. If you're wondering what's in the pipeline for Disney Plus, you won't be disappointed - there are dozens of new, original TV shows arriving over the next couple of years. Chief among them is Ms. Marvel, due to air soon. Numerous movies are coming too.
Here are the highlights.
- Ms. Marvel (June 8 2022) - We're getting a series revolving around the MCU's first Muslim superhero in Ms. Marvel, and we can't wait for this fan-favorite to arrive.
- She-Hulk (August 17 2022) - Lawyer and all-around badass Jennifer Walters lands in the MCU with this series. It'll explore her origin as a Hulk and features Mark Ruffalo.
- Andor (31 August 2022) - This will be a live-action prequel series to Rogue One, and it'll focus on Rebel spy Cassian as he battles the Empire.
- Hocus Pocus 2 (September 30 2022) - We never expected a sequel to the Halloween classic, but thanks to a returning cast including all three Sanderson sisters, we'll take it.
- Disenchanted (November 24 2022) - As a sequel to 2007's delightful Enchanted film starring Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey, this should be a lot of fun.
- Willow (November 30 2022) - The 1980s fantasy movie is getting a follow-up series in 2022 with Warwick Davis, but very little is known about it so far.
- Star Wars: Ahsoka (date TBC) - It's high time that Ahsoka, star of the Clone Wars animated series, got her own show. This one follows her cameo in The Mandalorian.
- Pinocchio (Fall 2022) - Next in line for the live-action treatment is Pinocchio, and although we don't know much about it, it stars Tom Hanks and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
- The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (late 2022) - We know next to nothing about this one, but with director James Gunn at the helm, it'll be hilarious.
- Star Wars: Rangers of the New Republic (date TBC) - We're not sure what this series will involve, but it seems to be spinning directly out of The Mandalorian.
- Baymax (date TBC) - Featuring the return of the loveable Big Hero 6 robot, this is shaping up to be a fun visit to San Fransokyo as Baymax 'helps' citizens.
- Star Wars: Lando (date TBC) - The smooth-talking smuggler was one of the highlights of Solo, so being able to revisit his adventuring days is irresistible.
- Star Wars: Acolyte (date TBC) - Another live-action Star Wars show is on the way, but this one is set way back in the era of the High Republic.
- Night at the Museum reboot (date TBC) - Night at the Museum is yet another do-over for Disney Plus, though a release window hasn't been announced yet.
- The Spiderwick Chronicles (date TBC) - An adaptation of the popular book series, this show aims to bring the magic to a new audience.
Disney Plus Premier Access explained
Disney Plus occasionally features the 'Premier Access' add-on to go with its lineup of films and TV shows. What is Premier Access, though? And do you have to pay for it separately?
To answer the first question, think of Premier Access like going to the cinema. It allows you to see brand-new movies from the comfort of your own home on the same day they hit theaters, albeit for a small fee. So long as you've got an existing Disney Plus membership, it'll cost $29.99 in the US, £19.99 in the UK, $34.99 in Canada, and $34.99 in Australia.
In essence, Premier Access allows you to see blockbusters when they release even if you can't get to the big screen because of coronavirus restrictions (just remember, you need a Disney Plus subscription before you can use Premier Access).
However, it's worth bearing in mind that nothing is available on Premier Access at the moment. The last movie to hit our small screens was Jungle Cruise, and it's now free for all Disney Plus members.
Will Premier Access come back? Not for the time being. No other films have been announced as part of the scheme, so we don't expect it to be resurrected any time soon (unless more lockdowns happen, anyway).
What devices are compatible with Disney Plus?
As you'd expect from a multi-media giant like Disney, their streaming service is available almost everywhere. That means it's easy to get a hold of regardless of whether you want to watch on TV, your phone, tablet, or console. Most of these will let you download the app and start watching straight away so long as you've got an account. For more info, don't miss our guide on how to download Disney Plus.
Here's the full list of devices compatible with Disney Plus right now:
- Samsung or LG Smart TV
- Xbox One
- Roku device
- Google Chromecast
- Apple TV
- Fire TV
- iOS/Android device
- Web browser
Disney Plus errors
Even an entertainment giant like Disney struggles to contend with millions of subscribers tuning into their streaming service, so it makes sense that there would be a few errors here and there; although most issues have been resolved by now, a few still exist. Luckily, they're easy to sort out. If you have consistent issues, we've got a few tips for you to try below.
- Log out of Disney Plus, then log in again: OK, so we know you've probably tried this already - our apologies. But most of the time, it provides a quick and easy fix. All you need to do is select your profile, go to 'Account Details', and select 'log out of all devices'. As this would suggest, it'll sign you out of every device using Disney Plus. You're then free to log in again.
- Check your internet and make sure Disney Plus isn't down for everyone: If you're struggling, we'd recommend making sure that your internet is still active - take a look at the router or your other devices. If everything seems fine, have a quick look at the Disney Plus help account on Twitter to see if the streaming service is offline or down for maintenance.
- Delete the app and re-download it: The nuclear option of error code solutions. If you're getting nowhere, it's worth deleting the app on your TV or device and then re-downloading it. This could straighten out any issues Disney Plus is having.
Still hitting a brick wall? We'd suggest contacting Disney Plus Help on Twitter. You can also head over to the Disney Plus Help Centre (opens in new tab) and enter your error code, email them via DisneyPlusHelp@Disney.com, or contact customer service on 888-905-7888 if you're based in the US.
For an explanation of the most common issues, remember to check out our Disney Plus error guide.
If you want to grab the streaming service as a present for a loved one, you should drop in on our Disney Plus gift card page.