Disney+ UK info
Disney+ UK price: £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year
Disney+ UK release date: 24 March 2020
Disney+ movies studios: Disney, Marvel, Fox, Pixar, LucasFilm
Disney+ app selection: Android devices, Apple devices, Chromecast, PS4, Xbox One, Roku, Web browser, Nintendo Switch
Disney+ UK sign-up: Register interest now
It's so close we can taste it: Disney Plus (or Disney+ if you prefer) goes live in the UK very soon, and this definitive T3 guide will tell you everything you need to know before the big day – how much Disney Plus will cost, how to watch Disney Plus, what the best Disney Plus shows and films are, and when Disney Plus launches in the UK.
Disney Plus has grown to be one of the biggest video streaming services of 2020, and has already launched in the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand. The UK is going to be joining the party in the next few weeks.
We've got the official pricing for Disney+ in the UK now – £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year – and the release date has come forward a week, from 31 March to 24 March 2020. That's seven fewer days that we have to sit around waiting.
This exhaustive introduction to the service has all the necessary info on the Disney Plus apps, which Disney+ movies come in 4K and HDR, what sort of audio streaming quality the service delivers, and any breaking Disney Plus news too. In terms of getting ready for the Disney Plus UK launch, there's no better guide to turn to.
If you're in the UK and you love quality content, you have permission to get very excited indeed: just look at the US, where Disney+ has definitely hit the ground running with a very strong movie and TV show selection. The Disney Plus app was the most downloaded one in the US at the end of 2019, and the service had more than 28 million subscribers by February 2020.
There will inevitably still be questions though: "what does Disney Plus offer?", "how much does Disney Plus cost?", "when can I sign up for Disney Plus?", "which Disney Plus channels do I get?", "what devices run Disney Plus?" and much more besides. We're going to answer all these and more for you.
The streaming wars are now on in earnest, with services like BritBox and Apple TV Plus also launching in the UK in recent times, but Disney Plus can hold its own against the competition. Let's get on to the important stuff of how you can sign up in advance of the UK launch, and how much you can expect to pay.
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Disney Plus: why register your interest right now
After you weigh up everything that Disney Plus offers – from Toy Story to Star Wars – and add in everything that's on the way, it's no surprise that Disney+ is attracting a lot of interest: this is a library of films and shows that's going to be hard to beat (we're looking at you, Netflix).
Right now, we'd say Disney Plus has a great opportunity to replace Netflix as the streaming service that people register for first, and cancel last – it has a huge library of content to draw on, content that's being pulled off its competitors' platforms.
At the moment, we're not sure exactly how Disney's current deals with the likes of Sky and the terrestrial UK stations will affect the Disney Plus shows and movies you'll be able to watch: there have been rumours of a deal between Disney and Sky to make the new streaming service a part of Sky Q, rather than a rival to it.
Disney+ is already competitively priced in the US, and will be equally so in the UK when it launches in March 2020: you'll pay £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year for the service. Netflix starts at £5.99 a month, but to get HD and Ultra HD quality, you need to up that to £11.99 a month.
Taking a break at any stage is fine: Disney Plus can be cancelled whenever you like through the website, or through the apps Disney makes for Android and iOS. Just like Netflix, you can stop and restart your Disney+ subscription at any time.
While you can't start watching Disney Plus in the UK until the 24th of March, we'd recommend registering you interest now to make sure you're first in line to enjoy its library of content when launch day arrives.
Disney Plus launch date, pricing, bundles
The pricing for Disney Plus in the UK has now been announced – you'll have to stump up £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year for the service. That matches the lowest £5.99 monthly fee you can pay for Netflix, though in the case of Netflix that's for just one non-HD stream to a single device, so the Disney package offers better value for money right now.
After one or two initial technical hiccups, Disney Plus is now live in the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, having launched across the 12-19 November 2019. In the US, it's available to subscribers for $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year, which also compares favourably with Netflix.
Is this not what 2020 vision means? From #ToyStory 4 and Aladdin to #LizzieMcGuire and WandaVision, here’s a look into our future at the blockbusters and Originals coming to #DisneyPlus this year. pic.twitter.com/QHGMHat89nJanuary 1, 2020
There's a bumper pack option inthe States as well: $12.99 a month, which also gives you access to Hulu and ESPN Plus as well, two other streaming services that Disney already owns, but which aren't available in the UK (at least not yet). Based on reports, more than a million people have already signed up for the service.
We've seen Disney Plus given away with certain smart TVs in certain countries too, so that's another option. Disney has also starting selling Disney Plus gift cards at its stores in the US, so you can buy someone special a 12-month subscription, but as yet we haven't seen any sign of that here in the UK.
Wider European availability (including the UK) has now been confirmed for 24 March 2020 (brought forward from the original 31 March launch date), which is when you'll actually be able to start streaming. So far, just the one £5.99-a-month package has been announced. India follows on 29 March.
One of the more interesting rumours we've heard is that Sky Q might bundle Disney Plus in some way, which would ease some of the licensing problems Disney is going to come across in the UK. Remember Sky already shows a lot of Disney content on its channels, from the Marvel movies to The Simpsons.
Disney Plus channels, movies and TV shows
If you're wondering what's coming to Disney Plus during 2020, Disney has very helpfully put together a trailer showing some of the highlights, which you can check out below. We've also collected together a list of some of the best original TV shows and movies heading to Disney Plus in 2020.
News of fresh content on Disney Plus is arriving all the time: we now know the cinema version of Hamilton is going to appear on the streaming platform (probably sometime in 2022), for example, after its run in cinemas.
Big blockbuster movies like the updated Lion King and the updated Aladdin are included, as is the second series of The Mandalorian of course. Falcon And The Winter Soldier and WandaVision are both arriving in 2020 too (the latter seems to have been pulled forward from 2021).
In fact we just got a bit of a glimpse of those Marvel shows, plus another original centred on Loki, at the 2020 Super Bowl – scroll down to the Marvel section to see that trailer and to get an idea of what's on the way.
Disney has built up a huge vault of video content down the years, so you're never going to be short of movies and TV shows to watch when you sign up for a Disney+ subscription. From classic Disney productions to newly acquired franchises like The Simpsons, there's a fine mix of stuff available.
Indeed, you might have noticed some of this content disappearing from other platforms so that it can be exclusive to Disney's new streaming service. Even Disney's own properties might start shrinking, with recent news reports suggesting the Marvel Television company is going to be scaled down. It seems that certain content will disappear and reappear while Disney sorts out its licenses with other services.
And the content just keeps on coming: February 2020 will see the arrival of Toy Story 4 on Disney Plus, for example, alongside a host of new episodes for shows like Marvel's Hero Project (those are dropping once a week at the moment).
Disney is keen to push its material as well, making the most of any award nominations and wins that it gets – see the way that it celebrated Toy Story 4 winning the 2020 Academy Award for Best Animated feature, for example.
In terms of movies, we've got classics like The Rocketeer, Tron and The Love Bug rubbing shoulders with more recent fare including Frozen, Captain America: Civil War, Big Hero 6 and Queen of Katwe. If you've not seen Who Framed Roger Rabbit? yet, we'd recommend checking it out – a fantastically entertaining film, and way ahead of its time.
That said, there are gaps – films like Dick Tracy, Father of the Bride, Mrs Doubtfire, George of the Jungle, Enchanted and Fantastic Mr Fox are all owned by Disney in one way or another, but have yet to make the jump to the streaming service.
On the TV show front, some of the best shows you can settle down and enjoy are The World According To Jeff Goldblum, the X-Men animated series, Duck Tales, and The Muppets. The jewel in the crown is the new and original Star Wars show The Mandalorian, while there are 30 seasons of The Simpsons as well, of course.
You might be a little surprised at what people are actually watching though: according to one recent survey, Disney+ users are more interested in watching classic Disney films rather than anything involving Marvel or Star Wars on the streaming platform – maybe because they've already seen the more recent material at the cinema?
The Disney+ movie and show selection is going to vary a little between regions, at least for the time being while these licences get sorted out: we know that Disney+ in Australia has more movies overall than the service in the US, for example.
‘Tis the season of giving, after all! 🎄🎁 This week, we have even more of your favorite #DisneyPlus Originals—including the Original Documentary, One Day at Disney—along with new additions like Thor: Ragnarok and Garfield. Start streaming now! pic.twitter.com/wRljHI8OcBDecember 6, 2019
It's a good idea to keep your eyes on the Disney Plus Twitter feed (as above), or on the Disney Plus interface itself if you've already signed up – new content is being added all the time, so if you think you're getting close to exhausting all the movies and shows... you're probably not.
That said, if you're already familiar with the bulk of the Disney, Marvel and Star Wars back catalogue, you might find yourself scratching around for something you're really, really interested in. As with Netflix, you can always cancel the Disney Plus streaming service for a month or two and then come back to it.
Shows like The Mandalorian and The World According To Jeff Goldblum had new episodes added week-by-week – in contrast to the Netflix approach, where entire seasons of new shows go live on the service at the same time. We'll have to wait and see whether it works for Disney+.
Above you can see a preview of a new 'Pixar in real life' series of shorts, in which various Pixar characters – from Monsters Inc, Inside Out, The Incredibles and more – appear in the real world, another of the Disney+ originals now appearing.
Disney is also pushing original movies to the service: check out Togo, starring Willem Dafoe and Julianne Nicholson, which is based on a true story. It looks like classic Disney fare, and it started streaming on Disney+ from the 20th of December 2019 (see the trailer below).
Witness the heart of a survivor. Watch the new trailer for #Togo, an Original Movie streaming Dec. 20, only on #DisneyPlus. pic.twitter.com/M6OsTj3DfsDecember 4, 2019
During the Disney+ trial that ran ahead of the wider launch in The Netherlands, a whopping total of 621 shows were available to watchers, and by now that number is definitely higher. As the trailers that we've embedded above show, new stuff is getting announced every day, and so far nothing has been taken away.
Thanks to Disney's acquisition of Fox, The Simpsons is available to stream exclusively on Disney Plus in the US – all 30 seasons of it. Most of the Star Wars films have been available from day one too (and expect more to get added after their cinema release). It's going to take you a long time to get through it all.
The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars series, only on #DisneyPlus. Coming to you early 2020. pic.twitter.com/0qous2yLkVAugust 24, 2019
As for original content, we've got five Marvel shows on the way to the streaming platform (covering characters including Hawkeye and Loki), while the first live action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian (spot the Boba Fett link), just finished its first series. The animated series The Clone Wars is switching to Disney Plus too, and there's an Obi-Wan TV show in the works as well, though we don't know exactly when that's going to appear.
One of the more recent announcements has centred around documentaries: Howard (about playwright and lyricist Howard Ashman), Untitled Mickey Mouse Documentary, and Science Fair are among the documentaries that are making their debuts on Disney Plus.
We also know that Avatar is making its streaming debut on Disney Plus, as per a couple of tweets from the official account – it's available to watch now. If you want to dive back into the world of Pandora and the Na'vi people, then the Disney Plus streaming service is the place to do it.
We may have had to wait a while to get Disney Plus here in the UK, but there should be no shortage of stuff to watch when you're finally able to log in and get streaming.
Disney has also confirmed that you're going to need an active Disney Plus subscription to keep watching shows and movies – if you decide you no longer want to keep paying, then you'll get locked out. That's pretty much par for the course for any streaming service like this.
As far as the scheduling is concerned, many big-name titles – including The Mandalorian and Captain Marvel – are already live. Other material will be later: the Loki series isn't due until 2021, for instance. We'll have to wait and see how long it takes for everything to become available.
How all of this translates into the UK isn't immediately clear, because Disney has different deals with UK broadcasters over shows like The Simpsons and its movies. It's a safe bet that all the original Disney Plus content (like The Mandalorian) will be available to stream at launch, but other material might take a while to move over.
Disney has posted a three-hour (!) trailer showing everything that was available on Disney Plus as of the November 12 launch day – from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to The Country Bears to Lost Treasures of Maya. Get settled down and check it all out:
Something that Disney will very much be keeping an eye on are awards: official nods from the awards shows have been helpful in getting Netflix and Prime Video on the map, and even Apple TV Plus has been recognised by the Critics' Choice Awards now, nabbing a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Billy Crudup in The Morning Show.
Disney movies have earned gongs in the past of course, with the Marvel movie Black Panther picking up three Oscars earlier this year, but Disney will want to see that extended to its television shows as well – recognition for the original content it's putting out would certainly raise its reputation as it looks to take on the likes of Apple TV Plus and Netflix (which has recently had a lot of attention for Martin Scorsese's The Irishman).
Plenty more content is on the way too, though that doesn't mean you won't see properties like Marvel appear on broadcast television as well as Disney+. Some shows and movies will be exclusive to the streaming network, while others will appear across several different platforms.
Disney Plus: Star Wars
Disney has some big-hitting franchises to call on for its Disney Plus service, but there's none bigger than Star Wars – Disney paid George Lucas a cool $4 billion for the western-in-space property back in 2012, and since then we've seen numerous films and shows from the universe appearing on screens.
Brand new, live action Star Wars series The Mandalorian has been attracting the most buzz as far as new Disney+ shows go, and you can check out a trailer below. The entire first series is now available to stream and series 2 of The Mandalorian is arriving in October 2020.
At the moment, you're also be able to watch the first six main films and The Force Awakens (though not The Last Jedi or The Rise Of Skywalker, yet), with the original triology available in 4K HDR quality for the first time. Eventually, expect all Star Wars movies to be available to stream – including Rogue One and Solo, which haven't shown up as yet.
On top of that you've got documentaries and animated series, including five seasons of The Clone Wars. A series based on Obi-Wan Kenobi is in development too, though it seems Disney isn't exempt from the problems that happen at other studios – the series has apparently been delayed while some extra script work is carried out.
We've also heard that a spin-off series based around the Rogue One movie is on the way, focusing on the character of Cassian Andor, played by Diego Luna. Shooting is due to begin this year on that, so we might see it in 2021.
You can expect The Last Jedi and the The Rise Of Skywalker movies to make their way to the Disney Plus platform eventually, too, even if Disney executives are now sounding warnings about making too many Star Wars movies. Disney is proud of its Star Wars library, and that should show in the Star Wars section of Disney Plus. Check out the latest trailer for The Rise Of Skywalker below:
The latest film in the Star Wars franchise hit theatres on the 13th of December, but as for the question of when The Rise of Skywalker is coming to Disney Plus, the answer is we just don't know: Disney movies have previously arrived on Netflix around 6-8 months after appearing in cinemas, so that would put the date in mid-2020 if the same pattern is followed.
That now extends as far as kids game shows, apparently: Disney has announced the Jedi Temple Challenge, to be hosted by none other than Jar Jar Binks actor Ahmed Best, which will test youngsters across a range of skills in a variety of locations. It's due to arrive sometime in 2020.
In terms of shows, the likes of Star Wars: Rebels, Star Wars Resistance and the Lego Star Wars series are up and available for your streaming pleasure, with plenty more to come in the months and the years ahead.
Disney Plus: Marvel
If you're not a Star Wars fan, then what about immersing yourself in the Marvel universe? Disney+ is the perfect streaming platform for Marvel superhero content new and old: several original series are on the way, including ones focusing on Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki and Hawkeye (which has been delayed but not cancelled, apparently).
During the 2020 Super Bowl event we got a brief look at some of these original Marvel shows, specifically Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and Loki. You can see the spot embedded below.
We're not quite sure exactly when all this new material is going to show up – The Falcon and the Winter Solider is scheduled to appear in August 2020 though, with WandaVision due in December 2020. There are also a variety of Marvel documentaries and other features to be watched.
None of those series are available at launch though, unlike The Mandalorian Star Wars spin off – you're going to have to wait until 2020 or even 2021 before those Marvel originals start streaming, with exact release dates to be announced nearer the time. Let's hope Disney gets them right.
Oh snap! #AvengersEndgame is coming to @DisneyPlus. Start streaming the epic finale to Marvel Studios' Infinity Saga on November 12 in the US, Canada and Netherlands and on November 19 in Australia and New Zealand. pic.twitter.com/8hk40y5OFyNovember 6, 2019
Then there are the movies: Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel, Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World were all available at the launch of Disney+ or soon after. In fact 17 of the 23 MCU movies are now available at the last count.
Three more have launch dates – Black Panther turns up on Disney Plus on 4 March 2020, Avengers: Infinity War hits on 25 June 2020, and Ant-Man and the Wasp lands on 29 July 2020.
As the tweet above announced, Avengers: Endgame was available straight away from the launch day of November 12 too – showing that Disney Plus had plenty of great Marvel movies on offer right from the beginning.
And what about the future of the MCU? In an interview with Bloomberg, Marvel chief creative officer Kevin Feige has confirmed that anyone who wants to "understand everything" in future Marvel movies is going to have to pick up a Disney Plus subscription.
In other words, the original Disney Plus content – including those series featuring Hawkeye, Loki and others – will feature information that'll help you understand what happens next in the next phase of the movies.
More recently, we've heard that a couple of Marvel Universe shows might be in development: one is said to be based around the Secret Invasion comic and the shape-shifting aliens known as the Krulls.
To work out when new content is going to drop, the best place to keep tabs on is probably Twitter – see below for details. Such is the level of interest in these Marvel properties that you're probably going to see a lot of leaks and rumours before the shows actually appear on Disney Plus.
Primeiras fotos de Anthony Mackie no set de "The Falcon and the Winter Soldier"📸: @statice1213 & justbeachy4stacy/IG pic.twitter.com/BGyQK1Dn4CNovember 20, 2019
Disney Plus: The Simpsons
And then there's The Simpsons: the classic comedy is into its 31st season now, having completed more than 650 episodes, and they're (almost) all on Disney Plus in the US, thanks to the Disney acquisition of 21st Century Fox. Future episodes will be available to stream too, though it's not exactly clear how long they'll take to get from the small screen to the streaming service.
If you're a passionate fan of the adventures of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, Maggie and the rest of the crew, then you've got one more reason to sign up for Disney Plus. Watching all the episodes of The Simpsons back-to-back sounds like the ultimate binge-watch.
Now, everybody smile. @TheSimpsons are coming to #DisneyPlus. Start streaming November 12. pic.twitter.com/M8zTYmELb7October 28, 2019
What we can't tell you yet is how much of The Simpsons you'll be able to watch in the UK – deals with Channel 4 and Sky mean that the available content might be restricted, at least for the first few months or years of Disney+ in the UK (there has been talk that Sky and Disney will continue to share The Simpsons between them). Stay tuned for future updates as the launch date gets closer.
As we've said, all those lovely Simpsons episodes are available in the US though, even if the Michael Jackson episode has been pulled for obvious reasons. As yet, however, Futurama – another Matt Groening creation – hasn't been confirmed for Disney Plus in the UK or anywhere else.
Disney Plus streaming, content and image quality
When it comes to devices and quality Disney Plus can be streamed on up to four devices at the same time in lovely 4K HDR with any package (Netflix charges a premium for 4K streaming). On top of that, Disney Plus comes with support for both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, so if you have the hardware you'll be able to enjoy an incredibly immersive, cinema-grade audio-visual experience.
Disney has a lot of older content of course, so not everything is available in 4K UHD at the moment. It's the same story on Netflix, which only offers a selection of its content (including all the Netflix originals) in the highest 4K resolution.
Some of the content you can already watch in 4K includes the Frozen movie, the original Lion King, the original Star Wars trilogy and all the Marvel movies currently screening, so that's a good selection to get you going. Hopefully older content is going to get upgraded in the future too.
Overall, the streaming quality of Disney+, and the number of audio and visual technologies it supports, is impressive – especially considering the price you pay in comparison with other similar services.
Disney Plus app and features
Netflix is your best guide for what to expect with Disney Plus when it hits the UK, as Disney Plus will be very similar: you'll be able to get at it on Android devices, Apple devices, Chromecasts, PS4s, Xbox Ones, Rokus, in your web browser and on the Nintendo Switch (though that last one is still "coming soon").
On the web, like any good web app, Disney Plus supports keyboard shortcuts – after you've signed up try Space to pause, M to mute, and the left and right arrow keys to rewind and fast forward, for example. You're not going to struggle when it comes to finding somewhere to watch Disney Plus.
Just like Netflix, you can set up multiple user accounts on the Disney+ service, so everyone in the family can keep their own viewing history and recommendations separate. Just select your avatar on the web or in the app to create a new profile.
The service continues to make it to more and more places too, with Tesla boss Elon Musk confirming that Disney+ is eventually going to make it to the console inside his company's electric cars – giving you yet another way to watch all that Star Wars and Marvel content you want to binge watch.
When it comes to TVs, check with your manufacturer: Samsung smart TVs running the Tizen OS (basically anything from 2016 and later) have a dedicated Disney+ app, so you can get up and running straight away, and other manufacturers offer similar apps. For other TVs without dedicated Disney Plus functionality, you could always use a Chromecast or a similar device.
The latest series of devices that have been confirmed to get Disney Plus access are those launched under the Amazon Fire TV banner: if you use Amazon kit to do your streaming, then you're able to tune into Disney Plus, and control everything with Alexa too.
The Disney Plus interface makes use of the familiar rows of shows and movies arranged in blocks for viewers to scroll through. Content is sorted into major hubs, including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. It's not difficult to find your way around.
Keep your eyes peeled for Disney+ functionality arriving on new TVs and other devices, because several bits of hardware have gained an official app since the service first launched, and that looks likely to continue. We'd expect the apps to get more functionality over time as well.
Disney Plus also offers support for multiple users on the same accounts, users such as kids and parents (this is actually something that Netflix does very well), and parental control features come built-in too. You're able to limit what the kids are able to watch, if you've got some of them with you at home.
Offline support is included, so content from Disney Plus can be saved to devices like smartphones and tablets, ready for watching without an internet connection. That should come in handy if you're travelling away from home and want to take the Marvel Cinematic Universe with you.
There have been a few hiccups along the way: Disney Plus suffered some downtime across the world at the start of 2020, though it only lasted a few hours. If something has gone wrong with the Disney servers, you'll probably see an "error 83" message on your device. On the whole though, it's a reliable and stable service.
If you are in the UK and absolutely have to have Disney Plus before it arrives on the 24th of March 2020, then it may be worth investing in one of the very best VPNs on the market today, though even then it's going to be tricky (and there's no guarantee that everything will work smoothly).