Disney Plus Review: A Great Streaming Service for Families
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Is Disney+ worth the cost? At $6.99 a month, it’s one of the more reasonably-priced streaming services. When you combine it with Hulu and ESPN+ in the popular bundle option for $12.99, it’s a complete streaming option, minus live TV.
The Disney streaming service has been around for a little over a year and it is wildly popular. If you’re wondering if the platform is worth the cost, this Disney+ review will shed some light on the service so you can make an informed decision.
What is Disney+?
When considering any streaming service it’s important to know what you will receive. Disney Plus does not offer live TV. The service is a standalone service that carries only on-demand content.
- Star Wars
- All the Princess movies
- All the animated movies
- The Mandalorian
- National Geographic content
- The Simpsons
You will not find the content on Netflix, or any other service.
The service is an affordable $6.99 per month, or $69.99 for a year (a savings of $13.89). That puts it below Netflix’s cheapest plan, which costs $8.99 per month.
If you’re weighing Disney Plus vs. Netflix, keep in mind that eventually, there will be no Disney content on Netflix. You can read our comparison of the two services here to see how they stack up against each other.
If you don’t need live TV and are searching for a low-cost content option, you can get the Disney+ plus ESPN+ plus Hulu (with ads) bundle for $12.99 per month. That’s a terrific price that gives access to a significant amount of on-demand content and your favorite shows, 24 hours after they air.
If you want local networks, you can pair it with an antenna like the Mohu Leaf and you’ll get all your local channels as well.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be surprised at what’s on this platform. Right across the top, it segments its content into five buckets:
- Disney content
- Pixar content
- Marvel content
- Star Wars content
- National Geographic content
Within each of those buckets are dozens upon dozens of movies, documentaries, TV shows and series. Even better, all content is family-friendly.
Disney Plus has original series and movies created for devoted viewers. These shows and others are exclusive to the platform:
- The Mandalorian
- High School Musical The Musical The Series
- The World According to Jeff Goldblum
- The Imagineering Story
- Forky Asks a Question
The above is only the tip of the iceberg and you can expect additional new content over time. Star Wars fans can expect ten new shows, which were announced in late 2020 and include series on: Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, The Bad Batch, Ahsoka, Rangers of the New Republic, Boba Fett, Lando, and more.
A few of the hit movies currently available include:
- All the Disney Princesses movies (All the Elsa, Ariel, Snow White and Belle you could want. I stopped counting at 30.)
- Marvel Avengers Endgame (and so many more Marvel movies)
- Toy Story (and all the Pixar movies)
- All the Star Wars movies
- Heartwarming sports movies like Remember the Titans, Miracle, Secretariat and Invincible
- Classics like Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, Old Yeller, The Muppet Movie, Newsies, High School Musical and The Parent Trap
There is something there for everyone in your family.
Like all the major streaming services, you can stream on just about anything. If you have any of the following, you can view shows and movies:
- Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets
- Roku (boxes, TVs and sticks)
- Apple TV
- Macbooks, iPads, iPhones
- Any computer with an internet browser
- Google Chromecast
- Xbox One
- Samsung and LG Smart TVs
Bottom line – it’s really easy to watch content on the platform.
User Interface and Viewing
The House of Mouse invested a lot in its interface and it shows. We’ve tried watching from smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs and the app looks great on all of them.
Like other streaming services, clicking on a title brings you to a synopsis and the option to start watching. You can pause, rewind, and fast forward while watching. There are also no commercials on the service.
The platform does it’s best to segment content into logical categories:
- Titles recommended for you
- Hit movies
- Out of the vault
- Mickey Mouse through the years
- Inspired by true stories
- Ultra HD and HDR
- Disney Channel favorites
- Disney Junior Series
- Feel good sports movies
If nothing in any of those categories interests you, just click ‘search’ and more categories, like ‘Disney Through the Decades’ will appear. You can also type any title directly into search to find a specific movie or show.
Quality and Viewing Experience
Streaming quality is essential for anyone considering a streaming service. Most content streams in HD/SDR and looks great.
However, some content is available in 4K and Dolby Vision, for no additional cost. This currently includes the Star Wars movies, as well as Frozen, Moana, Aladdin, and more. They’re committed to growing this, which is terrific for subscribers.
If you’re like our family, we almost always have multiple people wanting to watch content at the same time. It can be frustrating to go to watch something only to boot someone off what they’re watching.
The provider currently offers four simultaneous streams on accounts. This is included in the base price and should be sufficient for most families.
Although the service doesn’t have a lot of adult-themed content, having access to parental controls is necessary for those with younger children.
Parents can create a Kids Profile to restrict access to more age-appropriate shows and movies. This will typically only show content that’s G or TV-7VF rated.
You can also create up to seven profiles, which can be customized from many available avatars and by name.
Pros and Cons
Not everyone loves Walt and all he created, so it’s important to know who the platform is for and who it isn’t for.
- Affordable monthly and annual plans
- Huge library of content
- 4K HD and HDR streaming
- Growing library of original content
- Intuitive, easy to use interface
- Diverse content
- Not for bingers
- No live content, sitcoms, or sports content – the bundle option is a good solution to this
- No free trial
- No gritty, adult drama, true crime or other adult-only content, such as what you’d find on Netflix
Overall, the service is a good value that most fans will enjoy.
Disney+ is an excellent deal. It’s almost a must-buy for families. At $6.99 per month or $69 a year, it’s less expensive than rival service Netflix.
While it won’t completely replace cable, the Disney Plus bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ for just $12.99 is enticing.
Pair that with a digital antenna so you can watch local channels, and you could save a boatload over cable.
What are your thoughts on the service? What has been your favorite new shows to watch? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!