Disney+ price: $6.99 US / $8.99 AU and CA / €6.99 NL / £Unknown UK
Disney+ launch date: November 12, 2019 (US), March 31, 2020 (UK)
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: Start watching now
The biggest new streaming service of 2019 is finally here: Disney Plus (or Disney+ if you prefer) is live in the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, with more countries to come next year.
We've written this complete Disney Plus guide to explain everything you need to know about the hot new platform, and we're going to give you some pointers for getting your hands on the best Disney+ subscription deal as well.
It would seem that all the hype and buzz Disney has built up about its new service seems to be having an effect: in a recent survey, nearly two-thirds of those polled said they had already signed up for Disney+ or would be doing so in the near future.
Whether you need to know about the Disney Plus apps, or which content you can get in 4K, or the Disney+ shows and movies that it includes (covering a wealth of Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and Simpsons content), this is the only destination you need to get right up to speed on the new Netflix killer.
You can't argue with the simply exceptional movie and TV show selection provided by Disney Plus: you've got hundreds upon hundreds of fantastic blockbusters and much-see shows to watch once you subscribe.
You've got the Disney Plus questions, and we've got all the answers, as part of this comprehensive guide: if you want to know "what does Disney Plus include?", "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?" or anything else, then you've come to the right place.
Firstly and most importantly though, we start with the very best Disney Plus deals available at launch.
Best Disney Plus launch deals
Disney+ | $6.99 per month
Disney Plus on its own costs a very affordable $6.99 per month, and as part of the initial sign-up deal you get a 7-day free trial, too. This grants you access to all the movies and TV show content that Disney Plus has to offer.View Deal
Disney+ | Hulu | ESPN+ | $12.99 per month
This is the best launch bundle deal available for Disney+, delivering the hot new streaming service along with full access to Hulu and ESPN+ for just $12.99 per month. That's thousands of movies, TV shows, channels and live sports events, for one affordable price point. Indeed, when you consider that the standard Netflix plan costs $12.99 per month on its own, and delivers none of the Hulu or ESPN+ content, as well as a fraction of the Disney programming, the stunning value of this deal really becomes evident.View Deal
Buy Google Chromebook | Get 3 months of Disney+ free | Available now at Google
Head on over to Google's online store right now and buy a Chromebook and you get 3 months of Disney+ for free. Systems start from just $179 and there are a wide selection of makers to choose from, including HP, Lenovo and ASUS.View Deal
Disney Plus: why sign up right now
If you're thinking about a Disney Plus subscription, then not only do you have to consider the gargantuan amounts of content that'll you get access to immediately, but also that Disney-owned content is already being pulled (entirely or partially) from other streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.
For lovers of quality content, and especially anything from Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and The Simpsons, it therefore seems like Disney Plus will rapidly become the first streaming service to consider when deciding what streaming subscriptions to take out.
And the truth is that Disney+ is already very well priced, with the service available on its own for going on half of what a standard Netflix subscription costs. It's an appealing proposition for sure, and with such a breadth of content for all the family, it seems like the obvious first-choice subscription service for many users.
If you need to take a break at any stage, that's no problem either: you can cancel Disney Plus at any point through the website, through the Settings app in iOS, or through the Google Play Store app in Android.
Disney Plus launch date, pricing, bundles
After one or two 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. 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. Based on reports, more than a million people have already signed up for the service. You can check out this excellent value bundle deal above.
When it comes to Disney Plus pricing, always bear in mind that there might be special offers available for you to take advantage of: in the US, for example, Verizon is offering a free year of Disney Plus to unlimited data and Fios customers.
Just recently, Google has started offering three free months of Disney+ when you buy a compatible Chromebook, so that's one way of extending your free trial if you're thinking of dipping your toes into the Disney waters. You can view Disney Plus on the web on a Chromebook, or run the Android app on Chrome OS instead.
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 (just make sure they invite you round to watch).
Wider European availability (including the UK) has now been confirmed for March 31, 2020 (Film Stories got it right), but as yet the prices haven't been set. Expect the same 'a little lower than Netflix' approach to apply wherever Disney Plus launches though. The delay is largely due to licensing issues and pre-existing deals with Sky.
A straight currency conversion suggests £5.40 a month for the basic package and £10 for the one with extras, but currency rates fluctuate all the time, and Disney isn't likely to pay much attention to them anyway.
Expect Disney to come in around 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.
In the meantime, this staggered international roll out might leave Disney with something of a privacy problem on its hands. Disney has already got into hot water on social media by revealing spoilers about The Mandalorian, for example, before most of the world has had chance to see it, while hacked Disney+ logins have been put up for sale on the web.
Disney Plus channels, movies and TV shows
Disney has certainly amassed a lot of video content down the years, and that means Disney Plus has a very strong selection of movies and TV shows on offer right out of the gate. Classic Disney productions are bolstered by franchises the company now owns, including the Marvel films and The Simpsons.
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. The 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.
Expect the content to grow fairly rapidly over time too. We just recently got 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. It looks fun and you can see the trailer above.
Disney also recently announced a new Original Movie called Togo, starring Willem Dafoe and Julianne Nicholson, based on a true story. It looks like classic Disney fare, and it's streaming on Disney+ from the 20th of December, just in time for Christmas – check out 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), plus the first live action Star Wars series, called The Mandalorian (spot the Boba Fett link), which is available to watch now. 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.
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.
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 now 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:
Disney Plus: Star Wars
Disney has some huge franchises to call on for its Disney Plus service, and there's none bigger than Star Wars – the western-in-space property that Disney paid Lucasfilm $4 billion for back in 2012. Since then, we've seen plenty of new movies and new shows from Disney set in the Star Wars universe.
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. At the moment, you're also be able to watch the first six main films and The Force Awakens (though not The Last Jedi, yet), with the original triology available in 4K HDR quality for the first time.
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, but we're not expecting to see that for a while – it wasn't available at the launch of the Disney Plus service and no fixed date for a debut has been set so far.
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.
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.
Disney Plus: Marvel
If you're not a Star Wars fan, then what about 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, Hawkeye, and Loki, as well as a variety of documentaries and other features.
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 are all available at launch or soon after. In fact 16 of the 23 MCU movies are now available.
Four more have launch dates – Thor: Ragnarok arrives on Disney Plus on 5 December, Black Panther turns up 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 – is going to feature information that'll help you understand what happens next in the next phase of the movies.
To work out when new content is going to drop, the best place to keep tabs on is probably Twitter – see below for details.
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, thanks to the Disney acquisition of 21st Century Fox. As far as we know, future episodes will be available to stream too, in the near future.
Simpsons episodes are exclusive to the platform, like a lot of Disney Plus content: you won't be able to stream The Simpsons anywhere else. The Simpsons World digital service, which previously hosted all the episodes online, has been closed down with the arrival of Disney Plus.
Now, everybody smile. @TheSimpsons are coming to #DisneyPlus. Start streaming November 12. pic.twitter.com/M8zTYmELb7October 28, 2019
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.
All those lovely Simpsons episodes are available to stream at launch, in the US at least (though it does appear that the Michael Jackson episode has been pulled for obvious reasons). As yet though, Futurama – another Matt Groening creation – hasn't been confirmed for Disney Plus.
Disney Plus streaming, content and image quality
Disney Plus can be streamed on up to four devices at the same time in lovely 4K HDR for no extra cost – shots fired at Netflix, then, which charges a premium for 4K streaming. On top of that, Disney Plus comes 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 has a lot of older content of course, so not everything is available in 4K UHD, which matches Netflix – in the case of the streaming rival to Disney+, some select movies and shows, as well as all the Netflix Originals, are available in 4K.
Some of the content you can already watch in 4K includes the Frozen movie, the original Lion King, and all the Marvel movies, so that's a good selection to get you going. Hopefully older content is going to get upgraded in the future too.
Disney Plus app and features
Netflix is probably the best guide for what to expect with Disney Plus. Disney Plus is available on Android devices, Apple devices, Chromecast, PS4, Xbox One, Roku, in your web browser and on the Nintendo Switch (though that last one is still coming soon).
It is worth double-checking compatibility before you sign up though – according to one developer, Linux computers, Chromebooks, and even certain Android devices don't meet the strict DRM (Digital Rights Management) requirements of Disney Plus.
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. For other TVs without that 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 was shown off in advance, with 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. Now the service is live, you can log in and check for yourself.
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.
Disney Plus also offers 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 come built-in. You're able to limit what the kids are able to watch, if you've got some at home.
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.
These apps are still a work in progress though – quite remarkably, at launch the Disney+ service didn't offer a way to automatically resume movies and shows you were part way through, which made it hard to keep track of where you were if you had to break off. That functionality has now been added, as has a "continue watching" bar on the front screen.
If you are in the UK and absolutely have to have Disney Plus before it arrives at the end 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).