Disney+ key facts
Disney+ price: $6.99 US / $8.99 AU and CA / €6.99 NL / £Unknown UK
Disney+ launch date: November 12
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+ sign-up: Register interest here
Disney Plus (Disney+) is going to be the biggest streaming service ever when it launches in November 2019. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV Plus, NowTV and more are all about to get incredibly serious competition, as Disney brings the awesome might of its top-tier content selection to bear.
Disney Plus will be the home for movies, TV shows and cartoons from Marvel, Fox, Disney, Pixar, and Star Wars going forward, and judging by the vast content library shown off in the recent Disney Plus trial in The Netherlands, there are literally going to be hundreds upon hundreds of fantastic blockbusters and much-see shows to watch from launch.
Disney Plus will, almost certainly, see Disney-owned content get stripped either entirely or partially from its rivals services, too, or arrive on them only after Disney+ has had the exclusive, see-it-first premier timed exclusive. For lovers of quality content, it therefore seems like Disney Plus will rapidly become the first streaming service to consider when deciding what streaming subscriptions to take out.
As such, here T3 has produced a complete guide that tells you everything you need to know about Disney Plus. From answering frequently asked questions like "what does Disney Plus include?", "how much will Disney Plus cost?" and "when can I sign up for Disney Plus?", to detailing exactly what content you get included, and onto when the service launches in countries around the world, this is an authoritative one-stop-shop for Disney+ information.
Disney Plus: launch date, pricing, bundles
We know Disney Plus is coming to the United States on the 12th of November 2019, available to subscribers for $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year. That compares quite well with Netflix, which offers a choice of tiers to pick from at a starting price of $8.99 a month (and that's for a non-HD stream).
There's a bumper pack option 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. As we've said, Disney owns a lot of stuff these days.
What's not quite as clear at this point is UK availability. We're assuming that Disney Plus is eventually going to launch in the UK, but Disney hasn't specifically said that this will be the case, or given any clues as to a launch date or price. It has made noises about wanting to expand into other regions, but no specifics yet.
A recent report by Film Stories, though, seems to indicate that Disney Plus won't launch in the UK until early 2020. This is apparently because of licensing issues with Sky. Sky in the UK has a pre-existing deal in place to run a dedicated Sky Disney channel on its service that doesn't expire until next year, so the current thinking is that Disney Plus cannot launch until that deal runs out.
If Disney Plus does come to the UK, which seems likely at the moment considering their is a UK website for the service, how much will it cost? A straight currency conversion suggests £5.75 a month for the basic package and $10.69 for the one with extras, but currency rates fluctuate all the time, and Disney isn't likely to pay much attention to them anyway.
A better indicator might be Netflix prices – Disney knows that Netflix is its big rival, and will want to undercut it. At the moment you can subscribe to Netflix for £5.99 a month and up, with the top plan (4K quality where available and four simultaneous streams) yours for £11.99 a month.
Expect Disney to come in a little below those price points, though it can't offer ESPN Plus or Hulu here in the UK, because it doesn't have the necessary licensing rights. Somewhere in the £5-7 price range could be where Disney ends up pricing Disney Plus in the UK.
Disney Plus: movies, shows, channels
As we've already mentioned, Disney is now in charge of a whole lot of video content: from classic Disney and Pixar films like The Lion King (original and remake), to the big Marvel franchises, to television shows such as The Simpsons. It's been pulling some of its shows and movies off Netflix in preparation for the launch of Disney Plus.
Indeed, as noted above, in a recent Disney+ trial in The Netherlands, a whopping total of 621 shows were available to watchers, and that base number is only likely to grow even more before launch on November 12. For example, thanks to Disney's acquisition of Fox, The Simpsons will be available to stream exclusively on Disney Plus in the US from launch day – all 30 seasons of it. The Star Wars films will be available from day one too.
The Mandalorian, the first live-action Star Wars series, only on #DisneyPlus. Coming to you early 2020. pic.twitter.com/0qous2yLkVAugust 24, 2019
Disney is making content especially for the Disney Plus service too. We've got five Marvel shows on the way to the streaming platform (covering characters including Hawkeye and Loki), plus the first live action Star Wars series, called The Mandalorian (spot the Boba Fett link). The animated series The Clone Wars is switching to Disney Plus too, and there's unconfirmed talk of an Obi-Wan TV show in the works as well.
As far as the scheduling is concerned, as we've already said, we know certain titles – including The Mandalorian and Captain Marvel – are going to be available on launch day to help the subscription push. 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 Plus: streaming, image quality
Disney Plus will be able to stream up to four devices at the same time at 4K HDR for no extra cost. That is definitely shots fired at Netflix, who charge a premium for 4K streaming. In addition, Disney+ will also come with support for both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, meaning that if you have the hardware you'll be able to enjoy an incredibly immersive, cinema-grade audio-visual experience.
Disney Plus: apps, features
There are still a lot of questions around some of the details of the Disney Plus experience, besides the content you'll be able to watch and how much you're going to be asked to pay. Netflix is probably the best guide for what to expect. Disney Plus is confirmed to be coming on Android devices, Apple devices, Chromecast, PS4, Xbox One, Roku, Web browser, and Nintendo Switch (although the latter will not be at launch).
We have seen some of the interface shown off, too, with the familiar rows of shows and movies arranged in blocks for viewers to scroll through. Content will also be sorted into major hubs, including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic.
This is based on what Disney has been showing off ahead of the launch of the service, but we expect that the interface is still subject to change at this point – and will continue to change after launch day. Of course another user account will be required so Disney Plus knows who you are.
There will be support for multiple users on the same accounts, like kids and parents – that's actually something that Netflix does very well – and parental control features are going to come built-in.
Also confirmed is the ability to download content from Disney Plus to devices like smartphones and tablets. That should come in handy if you're travelling away from home and want to take the Marvel Cinematic Universe with you.
No doubt more details are going to come down the pipe before now and November, including – we hope – more information about what we can expect and when we can expect to see it in the UK (as it probably won't be on November 12). We'll keep updating this article as we learn more.
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