You have just landed on the official Disney Plus review where we explore every aspect of their new streaming services which are taking the likes of Netflix on.
For some reason, everything that Disney does always turns out phenomenal. The same goes for their newest streaming service that has won the hearts of many. We are talking about Disney Plus, which is a streaming service from Disney that launched in November 2019.
During the past year, Disney plus has made a lot of progress, and it’s even giving the likes of Netflix sleepless nights. It made its debut with an original series, The Mandalorian that had fans glued to their televisions for hours. There are other incredible series from this streaming service such as WandaVision that spontaneously became the most popular and most-watched shows in America.
All that being said is Disney Plus worth your time and money? It did have a rocky start, but they have updated their catalog, and there are more originals to binge on. It also has some special features like the 4K Ultra HD resolution and support for up to four devices streaming simultaneously. In that case, if you are a cord-cutter with children at home, Disney Plus is surely a must-have.
Your little ones will especially love it. While the choice of ditching other streaming services for Disney Plus will depend on your budget and priorities, it is still among the best streaming services out there. On that note, let’s take an in-depth look at details to give you a clear picture of what they have to offer.
Disney Plus overview
|Price||$7.99 per month or $79.99 per year|
|Content from||Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and National Geographic.|
|Simultaneous streaming||Up to 4 devices|
|Hulu & ESPN+ bundle||$13.99 per month|
It’s also very important to check out how Disney Plus stacks up against its competitors. This is the perfect way of helping you make a decision of whether to go for this streaming service or the other industry giants. Disney+ does have many of the popular TV shows and movies you probably won’t find anywhere else. The price is also affordable and to top it off you won’t have to bear with the pesky ads. But is it the real deal? Well, let’s take a look.
|Disney Plus||Netflix||Hulu||HBO Max|
|Monthly price||$8||Starts at about $9||Basic costs $6 with ads, Ad-free costs $12, Live TV costs $55||$15|
|Ads||No||No||Yes, with the basic tier||No|
|Some of the top titles||WandaVision, The Mandalorian, Toy Story, Avengers Endgame||The Crown, The Queen’s Gambit, Stranger Things||Catch-22, Handmaid’s Tale, Lost||The Entire HBO catalog, DC films, Studio Ghibli films|
|4K availability||Yes||Yes, but on the premium plan||Yes||No|
|Mobile downloads||Yes||Yes||Yes but on the Ad free plan only||Yes|
|HDR availability||Yes||Yes but on the premium plan||No||No|
|Number of streams||4||1(2 for the standard plan, 4 on the Premium plan)||2(unlimited with the Live TV and a $10 add-on)||3|
How much does Disney Plus cost?
The truth is the price of Disney+ is quite reasonable considering the fact that there are no ads and you get to enjoy 4K streaming. A monthly price of $8 is way cheaper than most of the other streaming services. The only other streaming service that is a little cheaper than Disney+ is Hulu but its basic version that costs $6 comes with ads. Therefore, it’s not such a high price to pay an extra buck for Disney plus in order to escape those annoying ads.
Furthermore, its annual price will save you a significant amount of cash. When you do the calculations, the monthly price should total up to just about $96 for the whole year. But then the annual price is at $79.99, which is a good discount and saving. We will definitely take any savings we can get.
Hulu and ESPN+ bundle
It’s not everyone that wants to watch movies and TV shows all the time. Some people also want to keep up with the latest sports matches and games. Thankfully, goofy movies are not the only thing you’ll get from Disney+. Sports fanatics can now rejoice because there is plenty of action awaiting them from ESPN+.
You can now get the Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ bundle for only $13.99 a month. With such a bundle, what more could you ever ask for? You will have your Disney+ viewing, and on top of that there is sports and more enchanting shows like the Handmaid’s Tale.
Keep in mind; this particular bundle consists of the basic subscription to Hulu. This means that you should prepare yourself for some ads. However, if you are so much into sports, they have got you covered completely. You won’t miss out on anything. ESPN+ includes NHL games, MLB, MLS, golf, tennis, boxing, college sports and ESPN films. And how can we forget about international sports? Whenever you can, tune in for some rugby and cricket games.
Normally people want to try out something before they can buy. The same goes for streaming services and just about any kind of service. If you want to try Disney plus before actually subscribing, there is a 7 day free trial. That said, Disney Plus free trials are quite rare to come by.
Disney Plus design and interface
The Disney Plus user interface is pretty much similar to that of the other streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. You will come across rows of content that are sorted out in terms of origin, streaming quality and other categories. At the top of the home screen, you will find a selection of the biggest hits from Disney. A dynamic banner holds the logos of Disney’s main five brands which also directly links to movies and TV shows from those particular brands.
Just under the brand banners, there is an Originals section that basically highlights all the content exclusive to this service. This includes the likes of Noelle and Forky Asks a Question and The World According to Jeff Goldblum. And then there is the Recommended for You section which might be familiar to you because it looks similar to that on other streaming services like Netflix. As you scroll through the homepage, you’ll find more categories with a nice touch of design. There is a section dedicated to movies and shows and it even includes a search function so that you can easily find exactly what you need.
The content catalogue appears buried but when you go to the TV shows or movies section, you’ll find a drop-down menu. You can use it to select the content you want by genres like animation, Drama, action, comedy, documentary, kids, Ultra HD and shorts. While the design and interface is not exactly ground-breaking, it’s pretty much easy to use and navigate. Everything is self-explanatory and you won’t have any trouble finding your favorite movies and TV shows. We do like the subsections in the movies and series section that allows users to look for options like animated, action or Ultra HD.
The sure way of configuring Disney plus is through creating user profiles. That being said, your primary profile will offer access to all content on the platform. Unfortunately, you can’t set it to a kid’s profile. What you can do is turn autoplay on and off, and change the main language. Though all is not lost if you’re concerned about your kids accessing adult content. It’s easy to set up a profile for the kids as long as you toggle the Kid’s Profile setting to On.
This will automatically prevent the PG as well as PG-13 content from showing on the profile. But again it also has some drawbacks such as the fact that it’s not suited for all age groups. For instance, you cannot possibly enable PG content and then disable PG-13 content all at the same time. Furthermore, your child can decide to switch over to another profile in order to watch the shows you’re hiding.
The issues we have mentioned don’t hold that much weight and can easily be resolved. We believe that the biggest problem with the Disney Plus interface is some popular content tends to be hidden. In fact, you might not even know it’s there. Though this is an issue other larger and popular services like Netflix also experience. All in all, we would like to see them take care of this and make content more accessible to the users.
What content does Disney Plus have to offer?
For some of us, it came as no surprise that Disney Plus is the home of all things Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar and of course Disney. So far, this sounds good enough. But what do you actually get in terms of content? Surprisingly, you get quite a lot for such a low price. This is a streaming platform that includes lots of things from Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and Disney too. With all that, you can’t possibly run out of content.
The content library of Disney+ is so huge that you will never miss a single Disney movie or TV Show there. The interface gives up a great mix of suggestions that includes classics and princess movies. You will only need to log into one place to watch Captain Marvel from the Marvel series, enjoy some action-packed time with The Clone Wars from Star Wars and finish off with Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER from the incredible National Geographic. They even throw into the mix 30 seasons of The Simpsons and other programming from Fox following Disney’s takeover.
Now tell me if that’s not good enough reason to jump up and down with joy?
That being said, we also have to see how all this content actually compares to what is on other streaming platforms and services. The most interesting thing about Disney plus is the original content. While at launch, there wasn’t much of it except for a few notable ones like the High School Musical and Encore, Disney has been working day and night to provide more to their subscribers.
There are definitely more originals than when the streaming service first came to light. Furthermore, they give you access to a huge movie catalogue that goes back into the 1960s and 1970s with classics such as Cinderella. These present the perfect way to relieve your childhood nostalgia.
In 2020, we did see Disney plus become a platform for some big releases. The coronavirus pandemic affected many sectors including the film industry. In many countries and states, access to movie theatres is pretty much still restricted. There are many movies that were scheduled to hit the theatres in 2020 but due to the pandemic, they ended up being premiered on Disney plus instead. For instance, the Artemis Fowl which is basically a film adaptation of a young adult novel was set to hit the theatres in May of 2020. However, in June, the film was premiered on Disney Plus. All the smaller films released were included as part of the typical subscription cost.
Bigger films like the Mulan remake and the animated film Raya and the Last Dragon were also released on Disney plus. The truth is this was exciting news for the many subscribers who were obviously looking forward to something but it came with a catch. People were required to make a $30 Premier Access purchase on top of their monthly subscription to unlock the new movies. The live-action Mulan became available on the streaming service for no extra fees after only two months. The additional fee for Raya and the Last Dragon is supposed to be removed on June 4.
The $30 added fee for big movies is quite a bummer considering that some streaming services like HBO Max are committed to releasing numerous movies, even the big titles without charging people extra fees. In addition, Disney plus has been extremely slow in new releases. There are upcoming Marvel movies set to drop on the service but still, no one knows when this will happen. You’ll surely find more original content on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Besides, Disney Plus tends to be too kid-focused to suit the needs of everyone. Thankfully, you can get more of the R-rated content from the likes of Netflix.
Which devices can you stream Disney Plus on?
For a recently launched streaming service, Disney Plus boasts of the widest distributions. It’s compatible with pretty much every device you can think of. You can stream it on your smartphone, tablet, Apple TV, Roku, smart TVs from various brands and so much more. The truth is Disney aimed for the moon and got their shot because there are barely any devices on which you can’t stream the service. We did take the time to test how well the service streams on various devices. When we streamed Disney Plus on Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku and Android TV, they worked remarkably well. The experience is even better if your streamer supports 4K HDR.
Aside from that, the voice commands worked smoothly on Roku, Apple TV and Fire TV. If you want to find a show title, you can use the voice command on any of the devices without facing any troubles. They worked just fine with only a few fixable glitches.
Disney plus allows the users up to four simultaneous streams and that what we like. It’s not easy to get this many simultaneous for the price. You can watch a maximum of four different shows on four different devices all at the same time. This is ideal for a large family. It also supports offline downloads.
The parental controls on Disney plus
Parental controls are evidently lacking on Disney Plus. While they do have the parental control feature, it’s a bit laid back. It’s easy to set up a profile for your kid. All you need to do is toggle the profile setting to On and it will cut off PG and PG-13 content from showing on your kid’s profile. Nevertheless, it doesn’t allow you to enable PG content and then disable PG-13 content. This actually makes it unhelpful because there may be kids in the home who are of different age groups.
The parents or adults in the house can create a PIN code that prevents kids from accessing adult profiles. However, anyone can pen the app and pick a profile they want to use. So technically, a child can’t possibly have a difficult time unlocking the parent account and watching the shows there. Maybe in the future, Disney will step up its parental controls. But for now, you just have to deal with what you have.
Quality and viewer experience
The viewers can stream Disney plus in HD which is nice because the shows will look great on the devices you stream on. This means the streamer is at par with the other competitors in the field. What’s impressive is how the streaming platform was able to pull this off since a number of the films are quite old. Though it proves Disney plus is very well aware of the importance of overall picture quality especially to the viewers.
The cherry on the cake is that a part of the content is also available in 4K HDR as well as Dolby Vision. All this doesn’t carry any additional costs and might be the reason you fall in love with Disney Plus. Your child will love watching modern animated films like Moana and Frozen in 4K. The 4K HDR collection is smaller than that on Netflix but it’s likely to expand in the future. Keep in mind, before you can fully enjoy any of this, a stable internet connection with speeds of at least 10Mbps and more is mandatory. You will also need a 4K TV with HDR support to watch the 4K content.
Depending on your internet provider, there might be data caps imposed on your internet. There isn’t a way to limit bandwidth usage on your own but Disney plus offers offline viewing. This can be your opportunity to stock up on shows and movies to watch later. We like that the app indicates if you are streaming with your mobile data or wifi. In case you want to avoid exhausting your mobile data, there is the option to stream in a lower quality. The second option is to download the desired movies and shows so that you can watch on the go and save data.
On the flip side, we noticed the resume function is unreliable. If you stop watching a show halfway to let’s say take a break when you play it once again it starts right from the beginning instead of where you left off. This means you have to waste time figuring it out. Hopefully, they will sort out this bug soon enough. It’s annoying to come back and find the service did not save your spot.
Verdict: Should you really get Disney plus?
It’s fair to say Disney Plus is an essential streaming service considering how strongly it has taken on titans like Amazon Prime and Netflix. That aside, many would like to know if it’s worth their time and money. Disney plus is ideal for the Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar fans who enjoy that kind of content. If you have kids the decision becomes even easier because this streamer has quite a strong slate of kid-friendly content. Disney plus is fun for not only the kids but also the adults. You will have the best movie weekends with your family thanks to its family-oriented animations, movies and shows.
Is Disney plus worth getting?
Disney is the ideal streaming platform for families with young children. While it has lots of content for the adults, the kids will definitely enjoy the wide array of family movies and shows.
What do you get with Disney Plus?
Disney Plus comes with most of not all the shows and movies from big brands such as Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic, Star Wars, 20th Century Fox and Disney.