Nearly all of us have grown up with Disney. Whether you fell in love with classics such as Snow White, Cinderella, and Beauty and the Beast, or went for more modern classics such as The Lion King or Mulan, or watched and re-watched Pixar favorites such as Toy Story and Finding Nemo, the Disney effect is almost always the same. Their movies connect people and touch our hearts.
However, as the world moves forward and people are increasingly choosing the small screen for their entertainment, Disney has had to adapt to stay relevant. And it's done this by making a major investment in the world of streaming.
Its service, Disney Plus, has been in the works for some time, and as of November 2019, it has been available to consumers in the United States.
However, while Disney Plus seems straightforward - it's a streaming service from Disney - there is a bit more to it, and it's normal to have questions about it.
So, to help you, we've put together this complete guide that will tell you everything you need to know before signing up for Disney Plus.
Disney Plus Fast Facts
Before diving into the details, here are some of the most important things you need to know about Disney Plus:
What is Disney Plus?
Put simply, Disney Plus is a new online, subscription-based streaming service offered by Disney. It's the entertainment giant's direct response to services such as Netflix and HBO Go, which have both grown tremendously over the years and shown that producing original content on a proprietary platform is an excellent way to succeed in the crowded video entertainment space.
What Shows and Movies are Available on Disney Plus?
Instrumental to your decision of whether or not to sign up for Disney Plus is the content available on the platform.
Unsurprisingly, Disney Plus features all of your favorite Disney classics. This includes classics such as Bambi, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, and Beauty and the Beast, as well as more modern animated favorites such as The Little Mermaid, Mulan, Hercules, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Tangled, and Frozen.
However, there is much more to Disney Plus than just the traditional Disney cartoons. Since Disney also owns Pixar, you can find all of these films as well, which includes the entire Toy Story franchise, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Up, WALL-E, and much more.
In addition, Disney now owns Lucasfilm, which means all the Star Wars movies are also available on Disney Plus, and it also controls Marvel, so you can use the platform to watch superhero favorites such as Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel, as well as The Black Panther.
Disney also recently bought Fox, which gives it the rights to tons of Fox content. For example, starting in 2020, all 30 seasons of The Simpsons will be available on Disney Plus, and there will be more Fox movies added to the catalog as time goes on.
But these titles are just a small percentage of what's available.
A Younger Audience
In general, Disney Plus is geared towards a younger audience, meaning you won't find any content on the platform that is rated above PG-13. This was an intentional move since Disney also owns Hulu, and it will continue to use this service to deliver more mature content.
While Disney Plus is your go-to spot for Disney, Fox, Pixar, and Marvel Content, as well as Lucasfilm (but we all know this means Star Wars and nothing else), Disney hasn't launched a new streaming service just so viewers can access all the old movies they've made.
Original content is essential for success, and Disney has invested more than $1 billion in 2020 to produce new, original content. It has also launched Disney Plus with a highly-anticipated new show, The Mandalorian, which is the first-ever live-action Star Wars TV show. It's set in the years just after the Return of the Jedi and is meant to clue viewers in to galactic life after the fall of the Empire and before the rise of the New Republic. Per episode spending for this show is around $15 million, putting it on par with hit shows such as Game of Thrones.
Disney is also planning a prequel series to Star Wars as well as a Captain America show called Winter Soldier.
All of these plans mean that we can expect the original content from Disney Plus to be geared towards superfans of Star Wars as well as the Marvel universe. And this makes sense largely because TV shows give writers and directors more opportunities to explore the nuances of these stories and engage more detail-oriented viewers.
As a result, between Disney's large catalog of already-made movies and its big plans for the future, Disney Plus is a family-oriented streaming service that has something to satisfy everyone's different tastes.
Where and When is Disney Plus Available?
Disney Plus became available in the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands on November 12, 2019, and it became available in New Zealand and Australia on November 19, 2019, meaning you can sign up right now if you live in one of these regions.
For those living in other countries, you will have to wait until later on in 2020 to access Disney Plus.
Disney plans to launch the service in Western Europe, which includes the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain, on March 31, 2020.
The rest of the world will need to wait a little longer to get access to Disney Plus. The company is planning to roll out Disney Plus in Central and South America, as well as Eastern Europe, starting in October 2020, and the Asia-Pacific region will get it sometime in the next two years, although Disney has yet to specify exactly when this process will begin.
That Disney is aiming to make its service available to people around the globe should not come as a major surprise. Disney movies and other content are known and loved worldwide.
How Much Does it Cost?
Now that you understand a bit more about what Disney Plus is, the questions you most likely have on your mind is: how much does it cost? Most of us, especially those who have cut the cord, are already spending money on streaming services such as Netflix and HBO Go.
However, the good news is that Disney Plus is considerably cheaper. It currently costs just $6.99 per month, which is almost half of what Netflix's most popular plan costs.
Furthermore, Disney Plus offers a slightly better value. For $7 a month, you can stream to four devices at the same time and do so in 4K, a service Netflix charges $16 a month to access. You can also save even more by paying for a year upfront, which will put you out $70. That works out to just $5.80 per month.
Other ways to save include bundling Disney Plus with the ad version of HULU and ESPN Plus, which allows you to stream live sports. Doing this will cost $13 per month.
Also, Verizon Wireless customers with an unlimited data plan can access Disney Plus for free for an entire year. All you need to do is sign up.
However, while this pricing plan seems to blow the competition out of the water, it will likely rise over the next few years as the service gets more popular. But for now, Disney Plus could prove to be a viable alternative to Netflix, or at the very least an inexpensive addition to the streaming services you already use to watch TV.
How Can You Watch Disney Plus?
Not surprisingly, to make Disney Plus more attractive to consumers, the company has made it available on a wide range of devices that support video, and it plans to make it available anywhere you can watch video content.
At the moment, you can watch Disney Plus on the following devices:
· Xbox One and PlayStation Four
· Apple TV
· Amazon Fire
· Samsung and LG smart TVs
· Roku devices (sticks, boxes, and TVs)
If you don't have any of these devices, Disney Plus has its own app which can be downloaded onto Android and iOS devices, and you can use a Google Chromecast to watch content on the big screen.
Another exciting feature of Disney Plus is that it allows unlimited downloads for offline viewing so that you can access shows or movies while traveling or when you're in areas without WiFi or cellular data.
Lastly, Disney Plus has made content available in English, Spanish, French, and Dutch, either as audio or subtitles, and Disney Plus originals will be created for even more languages, meaning it can be accessed by an even wider audience.
Why You Should Subscribe to Disney Plus
Clearly, Disney Plus has a lot of benefits and features that make it an attractive option. But if you're still unsure if you should sign up or not, here's a quick summary of all the benefits:
· Family-Friendly Content. Disney Plus gives you access to thousands of titles that are all rated PG-13 or less. So, if you have young kids at home and you're worried about them accessing the many adult-themed shows available on the web, Disney Plus is a nice alternative that will allow you to let children stream freely without you worrying about what content they're being exposed to.
· It's cheap. The current pricing plan might not last, but at the moment, Disney Plus is really affordable. And considering how much content you can access from it, it's hard to turn down this service.
· Hulu bundles. At the moment, Disney plans to keep Hulu and Disney Plus as two separate services, with Hulu being the place for more mature content as well as current network shows. However, because they are connected, you can get Hulu for very little extra money when you bundle it with Disney Plus, giving you access to tons of content and saving you a good amount of money.
· It's the only way to access Disney content. A few years back, Disney struck a deal with Netflix to allow users to watch their favorite Disney movies. But in preparation for the launch of Disney Plus, Disney canceled this agreement so that it could make Disney Plus the only spot for Disney content. Some titles will remain accessible on other platforms due to contracts still in effect, but new Disney titles and a vast majority of its existing catalog, which also includes Pixar, Marvel, and Lucas Film (Star Wars) shows and movies, will only be available on Disney Plus. So, if you're a lover of the content produced by these studios, it might be tough to go forward without Disney Plus.
Why You Should Not Subscribe to Disney Plus
The benefits are many, but that doesn't mean Disney Plus is for everyone. Here are a few reasons why you shouldn't bother, even if it is currently very inexpensive.
· This is yet another streaming service. Streaming was supposed to be a cheaper alternative to cable, but with so many different services, it can quickly become just as expensive to pay for all these different services. And while Disney Plus is currently really cheap, this is probably going to change, and this could have an impact on your budget.
· Disney Plus is focused on family-oriented content. As we've mentioned, Disney is going to use this service to stick with its family-oriented content direction. This doesn't mean bad content (the Star Wars and Marvel TV shows are highly-anticipated), and for some, this approach is welcomed. But if this isn't your thing, you could probably do without Disney Plus.
Overall, Disney Plus is an exciting new streaming service being offered by one of the biggest names in all of entertainment. Its release has been anticipated for years, and now that it's finally here, it's normal to wonder if this service is for you.
We're confident that most people will be happy with what Disney has done, especially if you are a fan of their many classic movies, as well as other classics such as Star Wars and Avengers. But, as with anything, it might not be for everyone. We hope this guide will answer all your questions and allow you to make the right choice for both your needs and your budget.