Review was updated on 30th March, 2021
Disney Plus is a dedicated portal to the vast catalogue of movies and TV shows made and owned by the world’s biggest entertainment company. But even more exciting was the news that Australia would be one of just a handful of countries to get the new expanded version of the service – Star, which we cover below in our Disney Plus review.
What is Disney Plus?
Giant media corporations regaining control of their content is a big thing right now, but Disney have always played that game. That is exactly what Disney Plus is – almost all of Disney’s catalogue of original content ready to watch on demand. Classic and modern movies, cartoons, family films, teen dramas, and even a whole bunch of stuff you probably forgot that Disney made.
Disney now also own Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, National Geographic and 20th Century Fox. That means all the content from those mega-franchises and brands is now exclusive to Disney Plus as well. The icing on the very entertaining cake is the price, which is designed specifically to be cheaper than Netflix while delivering a staggering range of content.
In this Review
Disney Plus – The Pros and Cons
What can I watch on Disney Plus?
Disney Plus in Australia has some notable movies and shows that aren’t available on the US service – a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one. Across the Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars and National Geographic shows and movies available, there’s more than 750 movies (of which over 100 are in 4K HDR) and around 275 unique series. Those numbers don’t include the huge amount of extra content in the new Star section which will be covered in detail below. While there are less titles than you’ll find on Amazon Prime Video, Netflix or even on Stan, it is more likely to be filled with premium content.
Everything Disney with premium quality
The range of titles on Disney Plus is huge. The entire Star Wars catalogue is here, all of it in 4K, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Almost the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe is here as well, split into playlists for a marathon of Marvel movies – also all in 4K, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.
There are all the Pixar movies and all of Disney’s animations, new and old – from Sleeping Beauty to the live-action Lady and the Tramp, both the Lion King and its live action remake, Pirates of the Caribbean and of course the Toy Story films. They even offer unique versions such as the optional Avatar family-friendly cut. It would be a crime to not mention that the service also comes complete with The Simpsons.
Alongside all of this are a bunch of Disney Plus Originals, including the much-acclaimed Star Wars spin-off TV show, The Mandalorian, with new shows based around Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi on the way. The Marvel Cinematic Universe makes its way into high-budget episodic TV, too, with Wandavision and Falcon and the Winter Soldier leading the way. Jeff Goldblum has his own show too, as does Kristen Bell who reunites high school classmates and makes them perform musicals in Encore.
Even more Disney Plus content with Star
Added to the service in February 2021, the new “Star” section features a massive collection of movies and TV shows from the vast 20th Century Fox library, as well as Disney’s own movie studios Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures. This addition does away with any age group bias the service may have once had. With movies ranging from the Die Hard and Alien series to epics like Braveheart, award winners like Black Swan, The Shape of Water and Jojo Rabbit, there’s tons of depth and variety here. Then in TV shows, there’s stone-cold classics like The X-Files and Alias, Homeland, Empire, Firefly, Prison Break, Castle, Boston Legal, Futurama, Family Guy and more.
Sign up now on Disney+
Watch new and classic TV and movies from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic, 21st Century Fox and Star from one streaming service.
How much does Disney Plus cost?
Anyone who’s subscribed to streaming services will be used to the various tiers of monthly subscription options which are usually based on quality and number of simultaneous screens. Disney Plus turns this idea completely on its head, by pricing the service’s base monthly fee lower than the competition’s HD plans, with a further discount for those willing to pay for a full year in advance. With Disney Plus there are no tiers at all. Every subscriber gets access to the entire content library at the highest available quality streaming, as long as you’ve got the device to stream it. HD, 4K HDR, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, it’s all available on the base subscription price.
Up to four people can stream at the same time on an account, with up to ten devices able to download movies and shows to watch on the go. This is a perfect feature for family sharing. For this, Netflix charges $19.99 per month, while Stan costs $19. Disney Plus costs only $11.99/month – or, if you pay annually, it’s the equivalent of $10/month.
At launch, the price was cheaper – $8.99/month – but the addition of Star to the service has added a ton of movie and TV content in return for a modest price rise. Anyone who was subscribed before February 2021 keeps the old pricing for six months, by the way.
Unique Disney Plus features
The Disney Plus app is almost identical across all the TV platforms – both TVs and streaming devices. It is a consistent, easy to use and appealing interface that encourages you to browse content. As far as usability goes, it is up there with the best. As the entertainment icon that is best known for capturing happiness, is this really a surprise? The app won the Apple TV App of the Year award for 2020, so they’re clearly doing something right.
As it contains mature rated movies and shows, the Star section of Disney Plus can be PIN-protected, so that kids don’t accidentally stumble upon anything they shouldn’t. With the launch of Star, Disney has enhanced their profile system so that you can not only lock down adult profiles with a PIN, but also make it hard for the kids to leave the profile you set up for them with a new “Kid-proof Exit” feature.
How to watch Disney Plus
While initially it was reported that Disney Plus was only going to be available on a limited number of devices, Disney greatly expanded the list of supported devices just before launch, including all major smart TV platforms. The major popular devices that don’t have a Disney Plus app at this stage are Telstra TV and Fetch TV; however, Disney has the majority of devices covered, from streaming boxes to computers to game consoles – all you need is an internet connection.
Devices supported on Disney+
– Amazon Fire TV, Fire Tablet: Yes – All Fire TV devices & Fire TV Edition Smart TVs
– Apple TV: Yes – Apple TV HD (4th gen or later) & Apple TV 4K running tvOS 11.0 and later
– Apple Airplay: Yes – Apple TV 3rd & 4th generation; TVs compatible with Airplay 2
– Chromecast: Yes – Latest generation for highest quality playback
– Chromebook: Yes – via Disney+ Android app
– Roku: Yes – Roku boxes and sticks and TVs
– Android TV: Yes – Android TV-enabled Smart TVs (Android OS version 5.0 (Lollipop) or later): Sony Bravia, Sharp AQUOS, & Android TV set-top boxes: NVIDIA SHIELD TV, Mi Box
– LG Smart TV: Yes – LG models running webOS 3.0 and above
– Samsung Smart TV: Yes – 2016 models and newer (Tizen OS)
– Vizio SmartCast TVs: Yes – Select 2016 models and newer
– PC/Mac: Yes – Web browser only (Chrome 75+, Firefox 68+, Edge, Safari 11+, Internet Explorer 11)
– Android phones/tablets: Yes – Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and newer
– iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad: Yes – iOS/iPadOS 11.0 or newer
– PlayStation: Yes – PlayStation 4, PlayStation Pro, PlayStation Slim, PlayStation 5
– Xbox: Yes – Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One X, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X
– Telstra TV: No
– Fetch TV: No
We’ve tried the apps out on several different devices and while they’ve all performed well, the best choice if you’re looking for something that can stream Disney Plus with all the picture and sound enhancements is the Apple TV 4K. You can just as easily pick up your phone and cast content to your Chromecast. Google’s new remote-control-equipped Chromecast with Google TV also handles Disney Plus exceptionally well.
Contacting Disney Plus
Of course, we don’t always have a perfect experience with streaming services – technical problems can happen, and you need to know there’s someone you can call for help. With Disney Plus you’ve got the choice of either live chat via the web site, or you can speak to a customer service agent on the phone. Both options are accessed via the Help page on the Disney Plus web site and apps, with the support team available around the world from 8am until midnight, seven days a week. You can also find them on Twitter at @DisneyPlusHelp if you prefer social media.
Disney Plus verdict
The idea of a Disney-only streaming service had been around for a long while, but once it arrived it turned out to be even better than fans could have hoped. With stellar streaming quality, a massive library of content with some of the biggest titles on the planet and well-designed apps, Disney Plus is a brilliant streaming service to have around – and it’s priced just low enough that you won’t need to cancel any other ones to pay for it. Our Disney Plus review is that the service provides a necessary addition to the family home.