It’s finally here. Yes, after a wait that’s felt longer than Maleficent's curse, Disney Plus will be available in the UK from 24th March 2020.
After a few forays into on-demand content, including deals with Netflix and Sky and its own first attempt at a streaming service, DisneyLife, Disney has fully entered the streaming wars. Since November 2019, Disney Plus has been competing head-on with the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime to get your eyes on their screens. And judging by the North American subscription rates, it’s already proving to be more popular than a genie with unlimited wishes.
That’s hardly a surprise though. Disney Plus is ready-made to provide endless entertainment for kids of all ages. And, with an impressive catalogue of content, covering Star Wars, Pixar and Marvel as well as classic Disney movies, Disney Plus has a huge appeal for adults too.
But what content will be available? Where can you watch Disney Plus? And how much will it cost? Read on as we tell you everything you need to know to help you live happily ever after with Disney Plus.
What is Disney Plus?
Disney Plus is a streaming service stuffed with Disney-owned TV and film content. As with Netflix, Amazon Prime and NOW TV, you’ll be able to access the content via your smart TV, set top box or smartphone in return for a monthly subscription. More on that in a bit.
As well as its impressive portfolio of films and TV shows, Disney Plus will be the only place you can watch original content created exclusively for the streaming platform. So, if you want to watch Baby Yoda steal the show in The Mandalorian or you want to keep up with WandaVision or the Loki TV series, you’ll have to subscribe to Disney Plus.
When is Disney Plus coming out?
Disney Plus launches in the UK on 24th March 2020.
The streaming service has been available in the US, Australia and Canada since 12th November 2019.
But even though the US and other territories were able to access the platform before the UK, any new episodes that come out after 24th March are likely to be available at the same time as the US So we shouldn’t have to wait longer to find out what’s going to happen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
How much is Disney Plus UK
You can subscribe to Disney Plus for a very reasonable £5.99 per month. To put that into perspective, it’s £3 a month cheaper than Netflix and £2 cheaper than NOW TV’s Entertainment Pass.
Alternatively, you can subscribe for a whole year by paying £59.99 upfront. That’ll save you £11.89 over the course of the year.
But even better, Disney is running a limited time pre-launch offer that bags you a full year of Disney Plus for just £49.99 if you sign up in advance. That’s an offer even Scrooge McDuck couldn’t argue with.
If you’re a subscriber to Disney Life, which is only available in the UK, then you will be migrated over to Disney Plus once it becomes available. However, at the time of writing Disney hasn't released any further details of how this will work or when it will come into effect. Still, we’ll keep you posted as we find out more.
Whether you pay monthly or annually, a Disney Plus subscription allows you to stream to four devices simultaneously with unlimited downloads on a maximum of 10 nominated devices. That means your kids can watch it on their tablets or phones, while you catch up on The Mandalorian, all at the same time. So no more arguing over watching Cars or Frozen for the hundredth time.
There’s even the option to create up to seven viewing profiles. At the moment there is no 4K or UHD option listed.
Six months free Disney+ for O2 customers
Mobile network O2 is offering both new and existing customer the chance to get six months of Disney Plus worth £36 for free. This offer is available to new and existing customers when they take out a new contract or upgrade to a new handset.
If you’re not in the market for an upgrade, current O2 customers can add Disney+ to their current plan for £5.99 a month and will receive £2 a month off your bill.
Check out the latest O2 Mobile and SIM only deals.
What shows are coming to Disney Plus?
Disney Plus will have a huge amount of content available on the day of launch. According to the official statement, there will be "nearly 500 films and 7,500" episodes you can watch on Disney Plus from day one.
Pretty much everything in Disney’s extensive back-catalogue will be available to stream straight away. This includes classics like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, Bambi, The Lion King, Lady and The Tramp, Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, and Cinderella. And there’ll also be newer Disney originals like Toy Story 4, the live-action version of The Lion King and Frozen II coming to the platform within a few months of the launch..
Of course, Disney has been gobbling up brands, networks and studios for years, taking the likes of Star Wars and Marvel Comics under its wing and making billions of dollars at the box office.
And all of these will be available to stream on Disney Plus, including the three most profitable films ever made: Avatar, Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
This means that, going forward, Disney Plus will likely be the only streaming platform where you can see huge box office hits like Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Captain Marvel and all future releases from both Lucasfilm and Marvel.
Disney Plus original TV shows
But that’s not all. Disney Plus is more than just a repository for all of its movies, as Disney has invested heavily in creating new, original content that will appear exclusively on the streaming platform.
In fact, Disney's chief financial officer, Christine McCarthy, stated that the firm is investing at least $1 billion into original content within the first year.
At the time of writing, this equates to 10 new movies and 25 original series in the works.
The Mandalorian, directed by Iron Man’s Jon Favreau, was the first series to appear exclusively on the platform. And Jedis can rejoice because a second Star Wars series is already in the works, this one starring Ewan McGregor who is reprising his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Marvel Studios will also be a major part of the platform’s original content offerings, bringing several of its characters into the TV world for the first time. The inter-connected movie universe will now cross over into a number of exciting shows including ‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’, ‘WandaVision’, ‘Loki’ and ‘She-Hulk’. All of these will premier in the coming months and years and will connect directly to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So be sure to watch them if you don’t want to miss any vital storylines, plot twists or characters.
One notable absence is new episodes of The Simpsons. Disney obtained the rights to the famous family when it acquired 20th Century Fox last year. And while new episodes won’t appear on Disney Plus yet due to licensing rules, Disney responded to viewer outrage by adding a collection of classic episodes.
Will The Simpsons be on Disney Plus?
When the Disney Plus line-up was originally announced ahead of its UK launch, one noticeable absence was any mention of The Simpsons, despite Disney now owning the rights since acquiring Fox for $52bn in 2017.
This was due to ongoing licencing restrictions with Sky, the broadband and TV provider that has up until now owned the broadcasting rights to both The Simpsons and many of Disney's other assets.
Disney has now confirmed that more than 660 episodes of The Simpsons from 30 seasons will be available at launch on 24th March, possibly in response to fan outcry that they would boycott the streaming service if Homer and his family were not included.
As it stands, The Simpsons will still be shown on Sky for the foreseeable future, whatever happens with the Disney Plus deal.
How to watch Disney Plus
Like most streaming services, there are a number of ways you’ll be able to watch Disney Plus. And based on the availability of the Disney Plus app in the US, there will likely be plenty of devices that you can stream it from.
Here’s how you can watch it:
- Directly via your web browser.
- The Disney Plus app which is available on most Apple and Android devices.
- Most Smart TVs, including Samsung and LG smart TVs.
- Chromecast to any TV with an HDMI port.
- Apple TV or Android TV
- Streaming stick such as Amazon Fire
- Games consoles such as Xbox One and PlayStation 4 should include the ability to stream Disney Plus, however not Nintendo Switch at the time of launch, unfortunately.
- Sky Q set-top boxes will include access to Disney Plus alongside other streaming platforms like Netflix and NOW TV.
Like everything Disney does, Disney Plus is visual and family-friendly and really easy to use. It even lets you filter what’s on offer by each brand. So you can search by Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, or National Geographic.
And as we’re based in the UK, we haven’t yet had a chance to review Disney Plus yet. But check back with us once after 24th March and we’ll let you know what it’s like.