What to Expect When You Sign Up for Disney+

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When it comes to a centralized place for everything Disney, there is no better place than Disney+. The service first launched in November 2019 and has been a runaway hit. Thanks to massively popular shows like “The Mandalorian” and “Wandavision,” Disney+ has already seen its subscriber count jump well north of 90 million. If you have not yet jumped on the Disney+ bandwagon, let’s take a look at everything you need to know before adding it to your list of favorite streaming services.

Is Disney+ Worth Getting?

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When you consider whether Disney+ is worth getting, you need to consider exactly what you are getting. You won’t find dedicated horror or action collections like you will on Netflix or Prime Video. Instead, you know that with Disney, you are getting a massive library of its original titles, as well as Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic, documentaries and more. If content like “Squid Game,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Stranger Things” and “The Boys” are not your entertainment preference, Disney+ is home to a cleaner style of content that will appeal to the whole family.

What Shows Will You Find On Disney+?

Currently boasting more than 7,500 television episodes on 500 films, Disney goes to great lengths to ensure that it will be the exclusive streaming home for any films released by Walt Disney Studios starting in 2019 and beyond. This includes first-run titles, as with “Black Widow,” “Mulan” and more. The only notable caveat is that some of Disney’s older movies and show selections are missing due to existing licensing deals with other streaming services. These movies and shows will be added to Disney+ library once those contracts expire.

What You Need Disney Plus Content

Marvel and Star Wars

Fan favorites like “The Mandalorian,” “Loki,” and “Falcon and the Winter Soldier” are some of the biggest hits right now, thanks to Disney’s ownership of both Lucasfilm and Marvel empires. That means nearly all of the Marvel film universe is available, including “Avengers: Endgame,” “Captain Marvel,” “Black Panther” and everything in between. The Star Wars catalog boasts each of the nine trilogy films, its numerous cartoons and a variety of documentaries around the movies. Notably missing are the two cult classic Ewok movies which do not have current dates of arrival to the platform.

21st Century Fox

Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox adds big names like “The Simpsons.” Internationally, Disney+ and it’s “Star” platform, which is a dedicated entertainment platform within the Disney+ service, is set to launch more adult-focused movie titles like “Die Hard,” “Alien,” “Predator,” “Kingsman” and “Planet of the Apes.” On the television side, Disney will look to bring “X Files,” “Family Guy” and “Sons of Anarchy” to the network. On the more kid-friendly front, “The Simpsons,” “Home Alone” and “Avatar” are already available. In fact, Disney is already jumping on its 21st Century Fox lineup by remaking the Home Alone series.

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Animation

Almost the entirety of Disney Studios cartoons will be available as well. This includes “Aladdin” (cartoon and film), “Little Mermaid,” “Lion King” and many more. On top of that, you also get Pixar’s full selection of titles, including the recently released “Luca.” Of course, Pixar is a Disney-owned property, so that means wildly popular titles like “Finding Nemo,” “Toy Story,” “Monsters University” and “The Incredibles” are all available.

Documentaries

What about National Geographic and other documentaries? Fortunately, Disney+ is full of excellent programming including space-oriented titles like “Mars: Inside SpaceX,” “Life Below Zero” and “Free Solo.” On the Disney documentary side, the collection is incredible: everything from the history of the parks in general to the Imagineer stories about Walt Disney. Of course, there is a solid list of titles that cover various attractions from Disney parks, showing some awesome behind-the-scenes footage.

How Does Disney+ Fare Compared to the Competition?

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Here’s the good news, as Disney+ is very much complementary to other streaming networks. What you find on Disney+ is unlikely to be found on competitive streaming networks. In terms of subscribers, Netflix is the only major competitor, and with its original programming, it will definitely be a Disney+ competitor for years to come.

Netflix vs Disney+

Netflix has massively popular television hits like “Squid Game,” “Bridgerton,” “The Witcher,” “Stranger Things” and more. These shows are award-winning on their own, as “The Queen’s Gambit” won numerous awards, as did “The Crown.” As there are no shows like it on Disney+, Netflix very much stands out, and that’s before you even get into its movie selection. On top of that, Netflix has a huge library of kid-friendly titles, but they are lesser-known on the familiarity scale. Ultimately, the libraries here are different enough, and what Netflix lacks in Disney names like Marvel and Star Wars, it more than makes up for with its viral hits library.

Hulu and Prime Video vs Disney+

On the other hand, Hulu and Amazon’s Prime Video are the next biggest and most notable competitors. Both offer popular shows, like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Little Fires Everywhere” for Hulu, while Amazon has “The Boys,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Jack Ryan.” Like Netflix, each of these networks are complementary so it’s easy to imagine that someone who subscribes to Disney+ can also subscribe to Hulu or Prime Video and enjoy almost zero crossover between the programming selections.

Which Countries Is Disney+ Available In?

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Initially, Disney+ signups began in the U.S., Canada and The Netherlands. It has since become available across Australia/New Zealand, UK, India, Japan, Indonesia, Switzerland and Latin America. Much of Europe is also covered, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Disney has not released additional details on future launch dates.

How Is Disney+ Customer Service?

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Not much has been said online about the Disney+ customer service, which is likely a good sign. They offer a full set of help topics and frequently asked questions on their website, ranging from payment information to video playback issues. On top of that, they have both a live chat and telephone service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week inside the U.S., while international times vary slightly. On top of that, you can always reach out to Disney+ on its social networks, including a dedicated help account on Twitter: @DisneyPlusHelp.

How Much Does Disney+ Cost?

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As of October 2021, Disney+ is currently $7.99 a month or $79.99 per year in the U.S. For that monthly cost, you receive access to the entire Disney catalog of movies, shows, documentaries and more. That enables a family to stream on up to four devices at once or download shows to watch later. In addition, the monthly price also allows GroupWatch, so you can watch with up to six friends at once and react together while streaming.

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The biggest caveat is for the same-day theater releases – like “Black Widow,” “Mulan,” “Raya” and the “Last Dragon” – which are available for an additional $29.99. That one-time purchase enables you to watch the movie as many times as you would like before it releases in the theater.

How About Disney+ Bundles?

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Where things get a little more interesting is with the “Disney Bundle,” which includes premium access to both ESPN+ and ad-supported Hulu. While no annual tier is offered, for $13.99 a month, it’s a great way to get access to all three services. For anyone who wants the ad-free Hulu experience, it’s only $19.99 monthly. Neither bundle subscription offers an annual purchase price, so it’s a monthly fee regardless of whether it’s limited ads or no ads at all.

You Can Get Disney+ for Free If…

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  • You are a current or new Verizon customer in the U.S. on select unlimited 4G/5G rate plans. On a qualifying plan, you can receive up to a full year of Disney+ for free. Lower-tier plans include up to six months of free Disney+, then full $7.99 monthly price.
  • You live in UK and use 02 as your carrier. They are offering a six-month trial on select plans, then a £2 monthly discount thereafter.
  • Sign up for Amazon Music’s subscription service and receive six months of Disney+ on Amazon, then pay $7.99 monthly.

Where Can You Watch Disney+ Content?

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Disney+ has already established a strong presence of support for the various platforms. Web browsers – which include Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari – are supported. For the moment, Linux is not currently supported nor are any mobile browsers. Playback on smartphones or tablets will require the available Disney+ app, which can be downloaded for both Android and iOS. All Android TV as well as LG’s webOS smart TV selection and Samsung’s Tizen operating systems are also supported.

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For connected TVs, Amazon’s FireTV, Roku, Vizio’s SmartCast, Apple AirPlay, Apple TV, Chromebook, Chromecast and more are supported. Last but not least are available apps on both the Sony PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles. Whichever platform you are on, you will have the full breadth of Disney+ content available.

How Is the Video Quality?

Disney+ currently offers select content in Dolby Vision, which is Dolby’s dynamic version of HDR. This means you should get the absolute best contrast out of your TV screen, though it will vary based on television quality. Additionally, select content includes Dolby Atmos for a more immersive audio experience. When it comes to 4K, Disney+ is one of the most generous, as any content that plays in 4K requires no additional cost. There is little question that in this regard, Disney is being very generous with its already low price and high video quality.

Disney+ Is Perfect for You If

The Disney+ service is perfect for you if you:

  • Want access to Disney’s entire (most) library of shows, movies and documentaries for one low cost.
  • Want access to new Disney movies soon after they are released to the theater.
  • Want to watch any of the new Star Wars, Marvel or Pixar content.
  • Want kid-friendly content that is fun for the whole family.
  • Are a Disney family and love that your kids can watch everything you did when you were younger.
  • Don’t want any ads interrupting your programming.
  • Want an easy-to-use interface for finding new content.
  • Want a wide variety of platform availability so that you can watch anytime, anywhere.

How Do I Cancel If Disney+ Is Not for Me?

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Disney doesn’t make you jump through hoops or call seven different people to cancel.

  1. Log in to your account and locate your profile in the drop-down menu at the top right. About two-thirds of the way down is an option for “Account.”
  2. Select your current subscription, and on the next screen, click on “Cancel Subscription.” Disney+ will verify you want to cancel your subscription. Click on “Complete Cancellation” again to confirm.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does Disney+ have a free trial?

While Disney did offer a seven-day free trial when the service first launched, that has since been eliminated. As of today, the free trial is no longer available.

2. How many profiles can I have?

As of today, Disney+ allows up to have seven different profiles per account. Each profile can be individually marked by using one of the more than 200 avatars available from Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar and Disney.

3. Does Disney+ have any ads?

Unlike Hulu, Disney+ is completely ad-free. That’s true even of its own content, and you will not see any ads or previews for alternative content before watching any selection.

4. What is Disney+ Star?

Star is a streaming outlet available through Disney+ that adds a larger lineup of programming from ABC, FX, and ESPN. It adds R-rated films to the lineup that live under the Disney name but don’t quite fit into the Disney+ family-friendly approach. Said another way, Star is how Disney is bringing Hulu content international since Hulu only exists inside the U.S.

5. Can I give someone Disney+ as a gift?

Yes! Disney has made sure that Disney+ can be gifted through its website. Visit the link here and click or tap on the blue “GIFT A YEAR” button. Note that this gift is only for new subscribers and cannot be added to an existing membership.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, there is little question that Disney+ has already well surpassed its audience expectations. That said, if your interests lie beyond Star Wars, Marvel and Disney’s truckload of classic content, it probably isn’t the service for you. That’s not to say it can’t live side by side with the likes of Netflix or Amazon. With those services, you get a huge selection of drama and comedy shows you won’t likely see on Disney+. Ultimately, the low price of Disney+ combined with its massively popular content library make it an easy grab for families and individuals alike.

David David

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.

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