Welcome to T3's official Disney Plus review. Since Disney+ launched late last year in the United States and Canada I have been reviewing the service and, now, after the streaming service is also now established in the UK, I present my considered take.
The short, one paragraph review is that Disney Plus is a superb new streaming service that delivers content for all the family, and it does so for a supremely affordable price point. If you like the works of Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, Disney and National Geographic then you will not be disappointed with Disney Plus.
UPDATE: Disney+ has been so well received that it has just won the much-coveted Best Video Streaming Service Award at the T3 Awards 2020.
The longer review, which follows, explains why I rate Disney+ so highly in far more detail, as well as presenting the very best Disney Plus deals (including how you can try the service for free).
In addition, once you've read this Disney Plus review, be sure to check out T3's super-detailed and long-running Disney Plus guide, which has the very latest news and information about the service, as well as content deep dives.
- Disney Plus to introduce over 100 new shows this year following "enormous success"
- Disney+ Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series is the absolution Star Wars fans deserve – here's why
- Disney Plus just added a brilliant new feature subscribers will love
Disney Plus review: price, release date and deals
Disney Plus (styled Disney+) is now available in the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as many other countries worldwide. The release date for Disney Plus in the US was November 19 last year, and in the UK the service launched on March 31, 2020.
There is a 7-day free trial to Disney Plus that is available in almost every territory worldwide, including the US and UK.
In the United States Disney Plus can be picked up either on a monthly or yearly basis. If paying as you go month-by-month in the US the Disney Plus cost is $6.99, which works out at $83.88 per year.
However, if you pay for a year's subscription to Disney Plus upfront then that figure drops to just $69.99, which works out at $5.83 per month. That figure is less than half a standard Netflix subscription and, in our eyes here at T3, offers fantastic value.
US audiences also have the ability to pick up Disney Plus as part of a bundle offer with ESPN+ and Hulu for $12.99 per month.
In the UK Disney Plus costs £5.99 per month or £59.99 per year, with the annual subscription offering the best value for money. £59.99 divided by 12 is just £4.99 per month, which again rings in a roughly half a standard Netflix subscription.
Today's very best Disney Plus deals can be viewed below:
Disney Plus review: apps, design and user interface
Disney Plus is available to access on basically every device and operating system you can think of, including:
Apple iPhones, Android phones, Sky TV, Now TV, Amazon Fire Tablets, Apple iPads, Samsung Galaxy Tab slates, Amazon Fire TV Sticks, webOS TVs, LG TVs, Sony TVs, Hisense TVs, Nvidia Shield, Roku streaming devices, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PCs, and Apple TVs.
The result of this is that accessing the vast library of content on offer with Disney+ is easy no matter where you are.
In terms of app design, users will find using it on any device very intuitive, as the user interface is heavily image led and menu systems clearly labelled.
On mobile apps, such as when accessed on smartphone, users also have the ability to download content directly to their device to store and watch later. This is ideal if you are travelling and will have limited or no access to a data or WiFi connection.
Playing a movie is easy, with a user simply clicking an image of a movie or TV show and then selecting play from the menu. You can also select content to store in your Watchlist, too, which can then be accessed easily from the Disney Plus Home Screen.
Disney Plus also has a robust search function that allows you to search for movies and TV shows by title and studio, as well as by actors or fictional characters. It is neat as if you want to quickly find, say, all the movies on Disney Plus with Iron Man in them then you can.
Disney Plus review: content library
This is where Disney Plus just knocks it out of the park. Disney owns Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, National Geographic and The Simpsons, which when combined with its decades of classic and modern content, produces a content library that is absolutely stuffed with movies, TV shows, documentaries, shorts, cartoons and musicals.
Honestly, when you first load up Disney Plus the selection is almost daunting, with pages and pages and pages of popular movies and shows scrolling by before your eyes. Indeed, if anything, discovering the limits of Disney Plus in terms of content takes days rather than hours or minutes.
Like popular streaming services before it, Disney Plus lays out its content from its Home Screen in horizontal themed bars, which can be scrolled through for a featured selection of content in that theme (such as "'90s movies"), but also allows the full selections in any category or medium type to be accessed directly via its menu.
Where Disney Plus does differ to other streaming services, though, is in its Home Screen placement of its content pillars — its studios. As such, you can very quickly, say, click on "Pixar" from the Home Screen to be taken directly to a sub-menu with more themed horizontal bars such as "Movies", "Shorts", "Originals" and franchise specific ones like "Toy Story" and "Cars".
This structure is good as it allows you to immediately jump into that specific galaxy of content and get browsing and watching quicker.
And, boy is there a lot to watch! If you wanted you could fire up Disney Plus for the first time and then just sit down for over a day and watch every single Star Wars film ever made. Or, if that doesn't appeal, you could spend the best part of a week ploughing through every single Marvel Cinematic Universe flick.
I myself, as a child of the '80s and the '90s, first started though by digging back into some of my favourite classic Disney movies such as the simply superb The Rescuers, before transitioning into watching Disney's Robin Hood, Aladdin, and The Great Mouse Detective with my daughter.
Later that evening I started watching the Disney Plus original The Mandalorian and then, the following day re-watched the visual space kitty epic that is Avatar. That was then followed by some The Simpsons and both Tron movies, as well as the complete Toy Story saga over the next 48 hours.
As of the time of writing I have been watching the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
And that was just a small taste of what Disney Plus has on offer.
In terms of TV shows, the horizontal scrolling bars make even better sense in terms of how Disney Plus displays content, with each bar acting as a season, and then episodes within that season accessible within it.
Start watching any piece of content on Disney Plus and it also remembers where you were and what you were watching, before then displaying a direct visual link on the Home Screen the next time you log in so you can get re-watching immediately.
Netflix and Amazon Prime Video may have slightly more mature, made specifically for 18-year-old plus movies on offer in my mind, and Disney Plus does miss out on some popular entertainment categories such as Anime, but in terms of everything else it absolutely nails it in my mind.
Disney Plus review: image and audio quality
Disney Plus is a great streaming service for A/V enthusiasts as, even at its low price point, it includes 4K, HDR video quality (including Dolby Vision) and Dolby Atmos audio quality. This means that if you have a 4K, HDR TV and Dolby Atmos audio setup you are in an entertainment wonderland with Disney+.
And, while not every piece of content can stream with this audio-video fidelity, many movies and TV shows can, including plenty of blockbusters, classics and Disney Plus originals. For example, the family favourite Frozen can be streaming in 4K, as too the entire of the original Star Wars trilogy and all Marvel movies. Naturally, Disney Plus originals like The Mandalorian are also compatible.
And that is but a small selection. What's more, Disney is continuously releasing upgraded versions of its content portfolio, so we can expect plenty more classic movies and TV shows to be enjoyed with ultra high definition visuals and immersive surround sound.
Neatly, too, the Disney Plus app lets you directly dictate the streaming quality you want, which is ideal if you are doing so on a limited data mobile device, or in an area where signal isn't strong. This keeps you connected and entertained, while also conserving any data allowances. After all, on small form factor screens like on a smartphone, 4K video streaming is kinda overkill.
Disney Plus review: verdict
There's just no getting away from the fact that Disney Plus offers a staggering amount of content for a very, very low price point.
With the combined might of Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and National Geographic on tap, as well as plenty more quality content like The Simpsons, Disney Plus delivers not just a massive amount of content, but a huge amount of programming that can be enjoyed by the entire family.
Over a 1,000 movies and more than 7,500 TV show episodes is just mind-boggling for what equates to about $6 / £5 per month, and even when you try to pick holes in the offering, such as that its content does lean slightly toward more younger viewers, at the end of the day you just can't take a shine of the Disney+ streaming service.
That ability to not only undercut rival streaming services in terms price dramatically (remember, Disney Plus rings in for half the cost of a standard Netflix subscription) but to also offer a comprehensive suite of entertainment for the entire family, makes it a no-brainer in my mind really.
A service like Netflix delivers more mature, adult programming, so for older viewers and professionals that certainly can't be discounted, but considering that you can bag 365 days worth of unlimited Disney Plus access for such a low price point, then (in my mind at least) I see Disney Plus as a brilliant one-service-only solution, as well as a second, complementary service, too.
Renting a single movie on today's popular platforms can cost upward of $6/£5, so when you then consider you get access to everything Disney+ has to offer for the same price point, it really does hammer home its stupendous value.
Overall, then, I think Disney Plus is the most exciting new streaming service on the market today and, due to its near perfect blend of affordability, vast content library and technical streaming image and audio quality, I find it incredibly easy to recommend.