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Disney+ Review 2019

The market is full of heavy hitters, but Disney+ promises to pack a real punch for Marvel fans and Star Wars buffs.

Live channels
N/A
Cloud DVR hours
N/A
Multiple streams
4
Monthly cost
Starting at $6.99
Package name PriceChannelsDVR Space Website
Disney Plus$6.99/mo.N/AN/AView Package
Package name
Disney Plus
PriceChannelsDVR Space Website
$6.99/mo.N/AN/AView Package

Update 11.2.19

Disney+ is live! The much-anticipated streaming service from Disney is ready for streaming. We’ll post a more in-depth review as soon as we finish experiencing the new streaming service for ourselves. Stay tuned!
Package namePriceChannelsDVR spaceWebsite
Disney+$6.99/mo.
$69.99/yr.
N/AN/AOrder
Disney+ bundle w/Hulu and ESPN+$12.99/mo.N/AN/AOrder

First take: Will Disney+ be any good?

An early demo in the Netherlands has produced strong reviews for the new service. It’s also given us a sneak peek at some new features, including access to the kind of bloopers and behind-the-scenes extra content usually reserved for Blu-ray.1 These little extras really add up in the end, and might end up swaying even die-hard Netflix and Hulu fans.

In this writer’s case, Disney+ had me at “Mandalorian”: just knowing that the new live-action series will be following up on the timeline after the events of Return of the Jedi is enough to make me sign up.

Disney+ deals and promotions

Disney+ launched on Nov. 12. Whether you sign up now or not, you’ll still have access to a seven-day free trial of the service.

And the much-coveted $12.99 bundle deal with Hulu and ESPN+ is available now, too.

Disney+ prices and packages

Access to the Disney library can be yours for only $6.99/mo.

PackagePrice
Disney+
$6.99/mo.
Disney+ bundle w/ Hulu and ESPN+
$12.99/mo.

The basic Disney+ plan already gives you a way to save. The annual subscription rate of $69.99 means that you’ll pay only $5.83 per month instead of $6.99, which means yearly savings of $13.89.

But the biggest savings come after launch with the bundle pricing for Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. For only $12.99 per month, this bundle offers monthly savings of almost $5 when compared to the combined subscription price of all three services.

Cord-cutting savings

Switching to streaming TV can save you big money! According to the average 2019 cable bill, customers switching from cable to a service like Disney+ stand to save more than $100 per month.2

Confused about how to cut the cord? Take a deep breath, then check out our stress-free guide.

Bundle up this fall with Disney+

Disney+ may not feature any content rated above PG-13, but that doesn’t mean that the service is just for kids.

In fact, the bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ guarantees that adults can still play while the kids are away. If exclusive Star Wars and Marvel content isn’t enough to tickle your fancy, the addition of ESPN+ and NatGeo just might scratch that itch.

ESPN+ offers a substantial variety of live sporting events and a nice library of documentaries and other sports-related programming. Disney’s family-friendly focus means that they won’t be bringing over R-rated franchises like Deadpool anytime in the near future.3

That said, you can still get your violence fix with ESPN+, whose exclusive deal with the UFC makes it the home for content from the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization.

All parents know that Disney movies are notoriously re-watchable, and this is a great way to vent after High School Musical: The Musical: The Series takes over your house. Remember, the life you save may be your own.

ESPN+ also offers access to all of the action that you would expect from the biggest name in televised sports. Signing up gives you tons of access to out-of-market games and other offerings from the NHL, MLS, MLB, and PGA, just to name a few.

You can find an exhaustive review of the service’s features here.

Disney+ original shows and movies

The devil is in the details, and Disney+’s originals look like a real mixed bag.

New original showsNew original movies
  • The Mandalorian (Star Wars original series)
  • Monsters at Work (Monsters Inc. original series)
  • Marvel’s What If…?
  • The World According to Jeff Goldblum
  • Lady and the Tramp (live action)
  • Noelle
  • Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace against the Universe
  • Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
  • The most exciting new offerings from Disney+ are Star Wars related. Fans will be hotly anticipating the live action series The Mandalorian (shout-out to our Boba Fett heads), as well as an unnamed show that will see Ewan McGregor reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in a new series of adventures. Additionally, fans can look forward to a seventh season of the Clone Wars animated series.

    These are great complements to Disney+’s other classic programming, including all of the movies from its former Vault, as well as all 30 seasons of The Simpsons.

    The highlights might balance out more unproven parts of the lineup like High School Musical: The Musical: The Series or The World According to Jeff Goldblum.

    The thought of even more High School Musical pouring into our world sends a Cthulhu-level cringe up this writer’s spine, and the addition of Jeff Goldblum hardly seems like an antidote. Disney has a lot of work to do if it wants to pull in people from beyond the blasters and tights crowd.

    However, there are some other interesting developments on the horizon, including hints that some of our favorite, recently cancelled Marvel shows might get a new lease on life on Disney’s streaming service after 2020.4

    Disney+ specs and features

    The cherry on top is that the Disney+ basic streaming service includes 4K Ultra HD video, HDR, Dolby 5.1, and Dolby Atmos compatibility.

    And there’s no reason to be selfish: you can share your account with up to four simultaneous users and unlimited downloads of all content for up to ten devices.

    Multiple streams

    Disney+ offers plenty of options for simultaneous streaming.

    PackageSimultaneous streamsOffline viewingPrice
    All packages4 Unlimited downloads on up to 10 devices$6.99/mo.
    $69.99/yr.

    Whether in a bundle or by itself, Disney+ currently offers only one tier of service. But the basic package features simultaneous streams for up to four users, as well as unlimited downloads to up to 10 devices for your offline enjoyment.

    You can get the same level of functionality from Netflix, but you’ll have to pay more for the pleasure. Hulu doesn’t have HDR, and while they won’t charge you more for 4K, their list of compatible titles is extremely limited when you compare it to what you get from Disney+.

    Compatible devices

    Disney+ has a big tent approach to device compatibility.

    Streaming deviceDisney+
    Amazon Fire TV
    Amazon Fire tablet
    Android mobile devices
    Android TV
    Apple TV
    Chromecast
    iOS mobile devices
    iPod Touch
    LG TV Smart TVs (select models)
    Mac computers
    Nintendo Switch
    PlayStation 3
    PlayStation 4
    Roku devices
    Samsung Smart TVs (select models)
    Vizio SmartCast TV (select models)
    Wii
    Wii U
    Windows computers
    Windows 10 phones
    Xbox 360
    Xbox One

    The only glaring omission from Disney+’s broad compatibility list is the Nintendo Switch.

    The Nintendo Switch’s absence is more surprising, especially considering the recent Japan-only release of a Disney-themed Switch console. However, Nintendo’s current deal with Hulu indicates that its future inclusion is likely.

    Best streaming devices

    Need a device to stream Disney+ and can’t decide which works best for you? Take our devices guide for a spin.

    Video quality

    Disney+ promises quality video, but offers little in the way of user controls.

    PackageVideo resolution
    All packages4K Ultra HD with HDR

    With a basic plan that includes 4K Ultra HD streaming with HDR, Disney+ has many positives when it comes to video quality. The drawback is that users can’t adjust video quality on the fly in order to deal with hiccups in their internet connection.

    But the ability to download video in three different levels of quality should go a long way toward saving your precious mobile data.5

    Having issues with your stream?

    Does your internet connection leave your video sputtering? Find a better connection and free the stream with our guide to the best internet plans for streaming.

    Channel guide

    We don’t know everything about it yet, but early reports on the demo version suggest that Disney+’s user interface will be a streamlined affair built around solid, franchise-specific categories.6

    It also offers up to seven user profiles with hundreds of avatars, all of which should make for a readily customizable user experience.

    Screenshot of Disney+ guide.

    From what we can tell, the new Disney+ user interface should be an intuitive experience for anyone already accustomed to navigating other popular streaming services.

    This menu style might also solve some of the common problems with other services: How many times have you had to depend on Hulu or Netflix’s algorithm to serve up something that would otherwise be impossible to find within the dark depths of its catalogue?

    Commercials

    Worried about sitting through endless commercials? Disney+ has two words for you: Hakuna matata. That means no commercials for the rest of your days.

    However, those looking forward to the $12.99 bundle should remember that the included version of Hulu is still ad-supported.

    Final take: Will Disney+ be worth it?

    ProsCons
  • Exclusive access to content from Disney, Pixar, National Geographic, the Star Wars franchise, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe
  • Unlimited downloads on up to 10 devices
  • 4K Ultra HD with HDR for up to 4 simultaneous users
  • No R-rated content, including Marvel’s more mature offerings
  • No streaming of movies currently in theaters
  • Possible lack of quality when it comes to new titles and original offerings (at least for launch)
  • Disney+ promises content that goes well beyond the kids shows that we might expect, especially when you include Hulu and ESPN+ for the bargain price of $12.99 per month.

    The promise of new Star Wars content alone is enough to get most people in the door. The trick will be keeping them around after they burn through The Mandalorian, Loki, and Marvel’s What If…?

    We’ll have to see if it has the staying power to overcome its streaming rivals, but its initial offerings should be more than enough to keep us entertained well into 2020.

    You can always opt for the seven-day trial if you still have doubts.

    Disney+ FAQ

    What will Disney+ include?

    There is currently only one tier of Disney+ service. It has new original series and movies, as well as a host of classic movies and series, including all of Disney’s former Vault movies. It also packs some surprises, like behind-the-scenes programming exploring the making of your favorite movies, as well as all 30 seasons of The Simpsons—“Everything’s coming up Milhouse!”

    How much will Disney+ cost?

    Disney+ costs $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year (for an annual savings of $13.89). You can also get your feet wet with a free seven-day trial.

    Will Disney+ have old shows?

    Yes, Disney+ will have a wide variety of Disney original programming, as well as classic shows from 20th Century Fox, ABC studios, and National Geographic.

    Will Disney Channel original movies be on Disney+?

    Yes, Disney+ will feature a wide selection of original movies, like Disney Classics, and other original content from the Disney Channel.

    Will Disney+ have an app?

    Yes, the Disney+ app will be widely available. You’ll be able to download it on Android TV and other Android devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS mobile, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Roku.

    Is Disney+ 4k?

    Yes, the standard Disney+ service offers streaming in 4k Ultra HD with HDR.

    Does Disney+ include Hulu?

    When you bundle, you can include Hulu and ESPN+ with Disney+ for $12.99 per month. This is a big discount when compared to a single subscription to all three of these services. In the near future, you will also be able to purchase Disney+ as an add-on through Hulu.

    What devices will Disney+ be on?

    Disney+ will be available on Android TV and other Android devices, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS mobile, Mac and PC computers, iPod Touch, Roku, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Disney+ is not yet available for Amazon Fire Tablets, Amazon Fire Stick TV, or Nintendo Switch.

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