Curious about Disney Plus? We’ve get everything you need to know about the streaming service right here
It’s quite remarkable that Disney Plus has become one of the biggest streaming services on the planet and yet, it has only been available for a little over three years. With its constant flux of new exclusive shows in the Marvel, Star Wars, and general Disney universes as well as its ability to get cinema releases to the service in now record timing, you can see why the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have been lacking in comparison as of late.
That said, Disney Plus did just increase its prices in December 2022 as well as roll out ads for the first time. Still, there are plenty of ways to save on the streaming platform from the House of the Mouse and enjoy all the latest movies and shows in 2023 wherever you are.
That’s why we’ve been picking our experts’ brains to get the lowdown on Disney Plus. To help you decide if it’s worth your time and hard-earned cash, we’ve rustled up everything you need to know about the streaming service below. That includes the best Disney Plus price, availability, and the most important question of all: whether it has anything on it that you should watch.
WHAT’S ON DISNEY PLUS?
What can you watch on Disney Plus?
What’s available on Disney’s streaming service? Lots. Even though some of us might be cynical about what it can offer beyond family-friendly cartoons, the service is crammed with hundreds of hours of feel-good content across a variety of genres. More specifically, it strikes a solid balance between family-friendly fare and more mature shows (a decent proportion of which are actually good).
As we mentioned in our Disney Plus review, it’s home to more than a few pop-culture juggernauts too. For starters, most films within the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) can be seen on Disney Plus at the moment (except for those tied up at other studios, such as Spider-Man and The Incredible Hulk). Star Wars is also well represented – every installment of the sci-fi saga is available here, including the animated shows.
When combined with live-action originals like The Mandalorian, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Loki, Willow, Andor, WandaVision, and more, there’s plenty to keep you busy.
Want to see the most essential Disney Plus content? Check out our guides to the best movies on Disney Plus and the best shows on Disney Plus.
On top of this, new movies that have only just arrived in theaters occasionally show up as well. Besides recent additions such as Encanto and Turning Red, Disney Plus has also been home to many major tentpole films over the past two years; Black Widow, Raya and the Last Dragon, Jungle Cruise, and Cruella all became available via the service during 2021. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will join next in February with Disney Plus the only place you can exclusively stream the film.
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Will shows and movies leave Disney Plus?
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Even though Disney owns a lot of content, licenses make things tricky. That means movies and shows aren’t always guaranteed to be available in perpetuity. Classic Disney properties like Aladdin aren’t going anywhere, and neither are series created especially for the platform (She-Hulk, say). But content made by other companies? That may come and go.
The Spider-Man movies are a good example as Sony owns the right to the IP. We saw the Sam Raimi and Marc Webb Spider-Man films added to Disney Plus in the UK for a couple of months in 2022, so they may return in future.
What is the Star channel on Disney Plus?
Audiences in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have access to a larger range of drama via the Star add-on. This channel is packed with sitcoms like Modern Family or genre classics such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to say nothing of Oscar-winners including Nomadland. As a result, Star fills a niche that Disney Plus has been lacking for some time – more grown-up content.
Don’t worry about your kids watching something they shouldn’t, though. It’s quick and easy to lock Star behind parental controls, and you’ll have the opportunity to do so right away.
Are Disney Plus shows and movies in their original format?
This varies from case to case. And it’s not all bad; as an example, you can choose to watch seasons 1-19 of The Simpsons in the modern 16:9 format (which caused upset upon release because it cut off a few visual gags) or the 4:3 original. In addition, insensitive cartoons from Disney’s past with outdated attitudes or portrayals now come with a disclaimer.
However, some alterations are a bit more controversial. To start with, a handful of changes were made to Star Wars including Greedo saying “McClunkey” before meeting his end. Meanwhile, Hamilton has had some of its swearing trimmed back.
DISNEY PLUS COST
Leery of paying for yet another streaming service? We hear you – there are more than enough vying for our cash right now. While it’s a shame that the Disney Plus free trial is no more (RIP), Disney Plus is simply split into two tiers (as of December 8th) to make things easier – one with ads and one without. With that in mind, we’ve listed the cheapest Disney Plus sign-up offers and Disney Plus bundles below.
Which Disney Plus deal should you get?
If you’re hoping to get the cheapest possible deal (perhaps you’re just testing the water), you can’t do much better than the standard monthly membership. Short of picking up a free membership via phone and internet contracts like those with Verizon in the USA(opens in new tab) or O2 in the UK(opens in new tab), there’s no way of getting it for less at the time of writing.
Luckily, this basic subscription isn’t too expensive. You’ll be paying $7.99 per month(opens in new tab) with ads in the US, £7.99p/m(opens in new tab) in the UK, and $11.99p/m(opens in new tab) in Canada or Australia. You can cancel whenever you like, too; there’s no long-term commitment, so you can bounce as and when you want without any cancellation fees.
However, this offer isn’t necessarily top dog in terms of bang for your buck. Rather, that award would go to the annual subscription. Even though it’s paid off upfront (US viewers will hand over $109.99(opens in new tab), UK fans are looking at a cost of £79.90(opens in new tab), and those in Canada or Australia have to fork out $119.99(opens in new tab)), you’re saving money in the long run. That’s because you’re getting 12 months for the price of 10.
Based in the US? You can also enjoy a better bang-to-buck ratio with the special offer that provides Disney Plus with ads, Hulu with ads, and ESPN Plus for $12.99p/m(opens in new tab) (or $19.99p/m if you want to go without ads(opens in new tab)). Because Hulu and ESPN fill a niche that Disney can’t, it’s a surprisingly good marriage that’s worth considering if you want something to suit every member of your family.
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