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.
As of the end of February 2021, Disney+ is currently $6.99 a month but is set to raise to $7.99 per month on March 26, 2021. For that monthly cost, you receive access to all of the 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.
The biggest caveat is for the same-day theater releases – like 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.
The most cost effective method for Disney+ is paying for a full year at once. If you lock in before the higher price tag hits at the end of March, it’s only $69.99 for the full year. That’s a savings of just over $1 a month when compared to the month-to-month fees. The price will increase to $79.99 annually beginning on March 26th, 2021.
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 $12.99 a month, it’s a great way to get access to all three services. The price will increase to $13.99 at the end of March with the same level of access. For anyone who wants the ad-free Hulu experience, it’s only $17.99 monthly with an increase to $18.99 happening at the end of March. 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.
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. Playing back 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.
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.
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. The only notable caveat is that some of Disney’s older movie selections are missing due to existing licensing deals with other streaming services. These movies will be added to Disney Plus library once those contracts expire. This includes Marvel fan favorites like Luke Cage, Daredevil, Jessica Jones and The Punisher, all of which are currently finishing their Netflix contracts.
Fan favorites like The Mandalorian and Wandavision are the two 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.
Almost the entirety of Disney’s cartoons will be available as well. This includes Aladdin (cartoon and film), Little Mermaid, Lion King and many more. One final bonus is that Disney+ also brings the full lineup of The Simpsons.
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.
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 type 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.