5 things I wish I’d known before I subscribed to Disney+

There's much more to the most popular streaming service than Mickey, Marvel and Mulan

Disney Plus Movie Prey with Amber Midthunder
(Image credit: Disney)

For a growing number of people, Disney+ is the best streaming service: it's cheaper than Netflix, has more content than Apple TV+, has more hits than Amazon Prime Video and has serious money to spend on new shows and movies. I'm a happy subscriber and I think Disney+ today is even better than it was at launch. Here's why.

1. Disney owns everything

No, really. Before I subscribed to Disney+ I though I knew what it was: kids’ movies, superhero movies and Pixar. And while they’re all there and well worth having, Disney+’s catalogue is enormous: the inclusion of National Geographic for documentaries and Star for drama means there are some real treasures here. Disney+ is much bigger than you might think, and has a much broader range of content than you might expect.

2. It has the best account avatars

It’s a little thing, I know, but when you compare the profile avatars on Disney+ to the ones on, say, Amazon Prime Video, the former is so much more fun: who wouldn’t want to be Perry The Platypus, Krusty The Clown, Miss Piggy or Darth Vader?

3. It's brilliant for kids...

I bit the Disney+ bullet during the long months of lockdown when my kids’ schools were closed, and it was invaluable: primary school-aged children are not easy to keep interested and entertained, but Disney+’s huge catalogue of cartoons, kids’ shows and family friendly movies – and its simple but effective age-based profiles – was a big hit in my home.

4. ...but it's surprisingly bloody, too

When it comes to streaming horror movies it’s Shudder that tends to pop into my mind. But Disney+’s horror collection is impressively gory, with films such as 28 Days Later, various Alien and Omen movies, some fun slashers and tons of shows including American Horror Story, The Walking Dead and for light relief, What We Do In The Shadows.

Oh, and there's also the awesome new R-rated Predator movie Prey as well, which is tearing up the charts. Basically, there's loads of adult content on here, including these bloody gems: some of the best R-rated movies on Disney+.

5. You can watch together even when you’re apart

Disney+’s GroupWatch feature enables you and up to six other people to watch the same thing at the same time, provided of course everyone has a subscription. Child profiles can’t be part of a GroupWatch, presumably for safety reasons. The sharing works on most Disney+ apps apart from on PS4 and some Roku models; you can also use SharePlay on recent Apple devices.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com).