Welcome to T3's official Disney Plus review. I've been constantly adding to my Disney+ review since the service first launched and now, two years on, I've come to know everything there is to know about it. I hope I impart some of that here.
My short, one paragraph review is that Disney Plus is a superb streaming service that delivers content for all the family, and it does so for a supremely affordable price point. If you like the works of Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, Disney and National Geographic and Star then you will not be disappointed with Disney Plus.
The longer review, which follows, explains why I rate Disney+ so highly in far more detail, as well as presenting the very best Disney Plus deals.
In addition, once you've read this Disney Plus review, be sure to check out T3's super-detailed and long-running Disney Plus guide, which has the very latest news and information about the service, as well as content deep dives.
And, for anyone thinking they could be interested in picking up Disney Plus, then they'll be excited to hear that Disney+ has just won the much-coveted Best Video Streaming Service Award at the T3 Awards 2021.
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Disney Plus review: price, release date and deals
Disney Plus (styled Disney+) is available right now in the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as many other countries worldwide.
The Disney Plus release date in the US was 19 November, 2019, and in the UK on March 31, 2020.
Today the Disney Plus price is $79.99 in the USA and £79.90 in the UK for a year subscription.
Disney Plus can also be bought on a rolling monthly plan, and that costs $7.99 / £7.99 per month.
There are Disney Plus bundle deals, too, in certain territories. One such example is The Disney Bundle, which is available in the USA. This includes Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu and is offered together in a package with a 25 per cent price saving.
Today's very best Disney Plus deals in your territory can be viewed below:
Disney Plus review: apps, design and user interface
Disney Plus is available to access on basically every device and operating system you can think of, including:
Apple iPhones, Android phones, Sky TV, Now TV, Amazon Fire Tablets, Apple iPads, Samsung Galaxy Tab slates, Amazon Fire TV Sticks, webOS TVs, LG TVs, Sony TVs, Hisense TVs, Nvidia Shield, Roku streaming devices, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PCs, and Apple TVs.
The result of this is that accessing the vast library of content on offer with Disney+ is easy no matter where you are.
In terms of app design, users will find using it on any device very intuitive, as the user interface is heavily image led and menu systems clearly labelled.
On mobile apps, such as when accessed on smartphone, users also have the ability to download content directly to their device to store and watch later. This is ideal if you are travelling and will have limited or no access to a data or WiFi connection.
Playing a movie is easy, with a user simply clicking an image of a movie or TV show and then selecting play from the menu. You can also select content to store in your Watchlist, too, which can then be accessed easily from the Disney Plus Home Screen.
Disney Plus also has a robust search function that allows you to search for movies and TV shows by title and studio, as well as by actors or fictional characters. It is neat as if you want to quickly find, say, all the movies on Disney Plus with Iron Man in them then you can.
Disney Plus review: content library
This is where Disney Plus just knocks it out of the park. Disney owns Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, National Geographic and The Simpsons, which when combined with its decades of classic and modern content as well as the entire Star content catalogue, produces a library of on-demand content that is absolutely stuffed with movies, TV shows, documentaries, shorts, cartoons and musicals.
Be under no illusion, the Disney Plus content library is best-in-class, beating Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Paramount Plus.
Honestly, when you first load up Disney Plus the selection is almost daunting, with pages and pages and pages of popular movies and shows scrolling by before your eyes. Indeed, if anything, discovering the limits of Disney Plus in terms of content takes days rather than hours or minutes.
Like popular streaming services before it, Disney Plus lays out its content from its Home Screen in horizontal themed bars, which can be scrolled through for a featured selection of content in that theme (such as "'90s movies"), but also allows the full selections in any category or medium type to be accessed directly via its menu.
Where Disney Plus does differ to other streaming services, though, is in its Home Screen placement of its content pillars — its studios. As such, you can very quickly, say, click on "Pixar" from the Home Screen to be taken directly to a sub-menu with more themed horizontal bars such as "Movies", "Shorts", "Originals" and franchise specific ones like "Toy Story" and "Cars".
This structure is good as it allows you to immediately jump into that specific galaxy of content and get browsing and watching quicker.
And, boy is there a lot to watch! If you wanted you could fire up Disney Plus for the first time and then just sit down for over a day and watch every single Star Wars film ever made. Or, if that doesn't appeal, you could spend the best part of a week ploughing through every single Marvel Cinematic Universe flick.
I myself, as a child of the '80s and the '90s, first started though by digging back into some of my favourite classic Disney movies such as the simply superb The Rescuers, before transitioning into watching Disney's Robin Hood, Aladdin, and The Great Mouse Detective with my daughter.
Later that evening I started watching the Disney Plus original The Mandalorian and then, the following day re-watched the visual space kitty epic that is Avatar. That was then followed by some The Simpsons and both Tron movies, as well as the complete Toy Story saga over the next 48 hours.
Oh, and then if you have any time left over on your binge there's the Star catalogue of content to visit. Star is such a great addition to Disney Plus as the vast majority of its content is geared towards adults, which nicely balances out the offering on the streaming service.
As of the time of writing I have been watching the Pirates of the Caribbean movies.
And that was just a small taste of what Disney Plus has on offer.
In terms of TV shows, the horizontal scrolling bars make even better sense in terms of how Disney Plus displays content, with each bar acting as a season, and then episodes within that season accessible within it.
Start watching any piece of content on Disney Plus and it also remembers where you were and what you were watching, before then displaying a direct visual link on the Home Screen the next time you log in so you can get re-watching immediately.
Where Disney Plus loses out to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video is in its selection of anime, and specifically popular Japanese shows and movies. It's simply not in the Disney Plus wheelhouse. If you're a anime nut, though, then there are plenty of other streaming services such as Crunchyroll that just specialise in this.
Disney Plus review: image and audio quality
Disney Plus is a great streaming service for A/V enthusiasts as, even at its low price point, it includes 4K, HDR video quality (including Dolby Vision) and Dolby Atmos audio quality. This means that if you have a 4K, HDR TV and Dolby Atmos audio setup you are in an entertainment wonderland with Disney+.
And, while not every piece of content can stream with this audio-video fidelity, many movies and TV shows can, including plenty of blockbusters, classics and Disney Plus originals. For example, the family favourite Frozen can be streaming in 4K, as too the entire of the original Star Wars trilogy and all Marvel movies. Naturally, Disney Plus originals like The Mandalorian are also compatible.
And that is but a small selection. What's more, Disney is continuously releasing upgraded versions of its content portfolio, so we can expect plenty more classic movies and TV shows to be enjoyed with ultra high definition visuals and immersive surround sound.
Neatly, too, the Disney Plus app lets you directly dictate the streaming quality you want, which is ideal if you are doing so on a limited data mobile device, or in an area where signal isn't strong. This keeps you connected and entertained, while also conserving any data allowances. After all, on small form factor screens like on a smartphone, 4K video streaming is kinda overkill.
Disney Plus review: parental controls
Disney Plus parental controls are strong and ensure that the content displayed is suitable for audiences of all ages. Subscribers can set access limits on mature content and create PIN-protected profiles, alongside the already existing Kid Profiles, to make sure younger viewers don't access inappropriate content.
For me, for example, I want to see everything that Disney+ has to offer, including the countless more mature movies and TV shows delivered by the Star content catalogue. My daughter on the other hand, who is 11, does not need to see that content, and I can easily hide it from her with Disney Plus's parental controls. The last thing I want my daughter watching, for example, is Deadpool when my back is turned.
The easiest way to restrict mature content is by creating a custom profile for your child, with rating options filterable as follows: 6+, 9+, 12+, 14+, 16+ and 18+. This means that as the child grows up you can tweak the content they have access to.
Disney Plus review: GroupWatch
Another really neat feature delivered by Disney+ is GroupWatch. This, as the name implies, is a feature that enables up to 7 people to watch a show or movie together online, with playback synced. Users can react to what they are viewing with emojis, too.
This feature has obviously come into its own over the past few years as people have been unable to meet up in person as much as usual, making film nights with friends possible once more.
Disney Plus review: verdict
There's just no getting away from the fact that Disney Plus offers a staggering amount of content for a very, very low price point.
With the combined might of Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, National Geographic and Star on tap, as well as plenty more quality content like The Simpsons, Disney Plus delivers not just a massive amount of content, but a huge amount of programming that can be enjoyed by the entire family.
Over a 1,000 movies and more than 7,500 TV show episodes is just mind-boggling for the price you pay for a year's access, and even when you try to pick holes in the offering, such as that its content doesn't deliver in terms of anime, at the end of the day you just can't take the shine off the Disney+ streaming service.
That ability to not only really rival streaming services in terms price but also offer a comprehensive suite of entertainment for the entire family, makes it a no-brainer in my mind really. I see Disney Plus as a brilliant one-service-only solution, as well as a second, complementary service, too.
Renting a single movie on today's popular platforms can cost upward of $6/£5, so when you then consider you get access to everything Disney+ has to offer for the same price point, it really does hammer home its stupendous value.
Overall, then, I think Disney Plus is the most exciting new streaming service on the market today and, due to its near perfect blend of affordability, vast content library and technical streaming image and audio quality, I find it incredibly easy to recommend.