Disney Plus: everything you need to know about the streaming home for Disney, Pixar, Marvel, NatGeo

The Disney Plus TV Interface
What you need to know about Disney Plus. (Image credit: Disney Plus)

With a catalogue including animated classics, modern Star Wars and Marvel and content from National Geographic, Fox and Star, it's safe to say that Disney Plus is one of the best streaming services available right now.

The Disney-owned streaming service has recently seen a big shake-up, at least in the US, with the debut of an ad-supported tier. This places adverts before and during your movies and TV shows, and costs what Disney Plus did before — if you want to continue viewing without ads, you'll have to pay even more.

But Disney Plus may still be worth paying for, whether you're looking to entertain kids or catch up on modern cinema, lots of which goes straight to the platform. There's plenty of documentary too, especially with National Geographic's library.

Something else you need to know about is the Disney Bundle, which combines Disney Plus as well as Hulu and optionally ESPN Plus too. Subscribing this way saves you loads of money compared to picking the services up individually, and it's become incredibly popular.

We've put together this guide detailing everything you need to know about Disney Plus, from how much it costs and where it's possible to some of the biggest and best shows and movies you can watch on the platform.

What is Disney Plus?

Disney Plus is the streaming service from The Walt Disney Company that's home to the vast majority of the classic Disney movies you loved as a kid, but it's also where brands like Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic, and Pixar call home. 

That means you'll find everything from The Mandalorian, Hocus Pocus 2 and Andor to Pixar hits like Turning Red and Lightyear and Disney original movies like Hamilton, Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers and Hocus Pocus 2 all alongside one another. The same goes for Marvel hits like WandaVision, Ms Marvel, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, and Thor: Love and Thunder.

Plus, with new things hitting the service every single month, it's going to be pretty tough to run out of things to watch on Disney Plus. For the most part, Disney Plus is available as a standalone streaming service, but there are several options to access it.

  • US viewers get the option of the Disney Bundle (opens in new tab) which pairs Disney Plus with the ESPN Plus and Hulu streaming services for a single monthly fee of $12.99, though there are options which drop ESPN Plus and make it cheaper, or offer the ad-free services for more. Disney Plus is also now a standard addition to Hulu with Live TV.
  • In a few countries (including India) you'll find Disney Plus paired up with the Hotstar (opens in new tab) brand.
  • A number of international countries get content from the new "Star on Disney Plus" brand, which brings content (library and new originals) for slightly older viewers to the streaming platform. Most of the shows that are found under the Star sub-brand live on Hulu (opens in new tab) in the US, such as Pam & Tommy, Pistol, Dopesick, How I Met Your Father and Dollface.

What does Disney Plus cost?

  • In the US, ad-enabled Disney Plus costs $7.99 a month, or $79.99 a year if you decide to pay annually. (That'll save you about $13 over the course of 12 months.) 
  • In the US, ad-free Disney Plus costs $10.99 a month, or $109.99 a year if you want to pay annually. (That'll save you about $22 for the full year).
  • The UK price, for example, is now £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year.
  • In the Eurozone, Disney Plus costs €8.99 a month or €89.90 a year. 
  • In Canada, it's $11.99 CAD monthly, and $119.99 CAD annually. 
  • And so on.

The US having an ad-enabled and ad-free option is new as of December 8 — before that, you could pay $7.99/$79.99 and enjoy an ad-free experience, but introduction of an ad-enabled tier bumped up the price of the ad-free one.

Disney has said that this change will be coming to other regions over the course of 2023 too.

This follows Netflix doing basically the same thing, in introducing Netflix Basic with ads, but that streaming giant didn't bump up the cost of the ad-free tiers, as Disney did.

Does Disney Plus have a free trial?

Sadly, Disney Plus no longer offers a free trial. But there are often discounts and deals to help you get a taster of Disney Plus for free. For example, Verizon includes a six-month subscription to Disney Plus (opens in new tab) with some of its unlimited data plans — and other plans include the whole Disney Bundle for free.

What is the Disney Bundle?

The Disney Bundle is a fantastic subscription that combines Disney Plus with Hulu and ESPN Plus for a much lower price than if you paid individually. Unfortunately it's only available in the US.

There are four tiers of Disney Bundle, as of the launch of Disney Plus' ad-enabled tier:

  • Disney Bundle Duo Basic (ad-enabled Disney Plus, ad-enabled Hulu): $9.99 per month
  • Disney Bundle Trio Basic (Duo Basic plus ESPN Plus): $12.99 per month
  • Disney Bundle Legacy (ad-free Disney Plus, ad-enabled Hulu, ESPN Plus): $14.99 per month
  • Disney Bundle Premium (ad-free Disney Plus, ad-free Hulu, ESPN Plus): $19.99 per month

The third one on that list, called 'Disney Bundle Legacy' isn't available to buy, and you can only be on it if you were subscribed to the Disney Bundle prior to December 8 when the new tiers were introduced.

Disney Bundle (opens in new tab)

The Disney Bundle (opens in new tab) gets you Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and the basic Hulu plan for just $14.99 a month. If you were to subscribe to those three services separately, they'd cost $19.99 a month.

What's on Disney Plus?

Disney+, first and foremost, is home to all things Disney. That includes old favorites like Bambi, Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, and your favorites from the likes of Mickey Mouse and the gang. It also means newer classics like Frozen, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. And don't forget newer originals like Chip N' Dale: Rescue Rangers, Cheaper By The Dozen, and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

Disney Plus also is where you'll find the entire Star Wars universe. That includes the nine films in the Skywalker saga as well as new favorites like The Clone Wars. Disney Plus also is the exclusive home for originals like The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, The Bad Batch and Obi-Wan Kenobi plus upcoming Star Wars series like Ahsoka, Andor, Star Wars: A Droid Story and more.

And then there's Pixar — home to some of the most beloved animated movies of the past 20 years. We're talking Coco, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo, Cars, Wall-E, Up and, of course, Toy Story. It's all on Disney Plus. The streaming service has also been the exclusive home for some of Pixar's latest movies like Luca and Turning Red.

Disney Plus is home to Marvel. And that doesn't just mean the recent incarnation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, from Iron Man on through Avengers: Endgame. It also means things like the Marvel Hero Project, Agent Carter, classic Marvel cartoons, plus Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Netflix's Defenders shows, all under one roof.

The final tentpole for Disney Plus is National Geographic, which remains one of the best at what it does — taking you all over the world to see things in an all-new light.

Subscribers outside of the US (content varies by region) will also find content from Hulu and FX hitting the platform. Recent highlights from these brands include the likes of Welcome to Wrexham, Prey and Only Murders in the Building.

What can I watch Disney Plus on?

Disney Plus is available on pretty much any piece of modern streaming hardware you may own. That includes streaming boxes like Roku players and Roku TV, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, various smart TVs, Android and iOS mobile devices and PlayStation and Xbox games consoles. 

Is Disney Plus available in 4K resolution?

Yes, Disney Plus does support streaming in 4K resolution. Not every movie or show will be in 4K — particularly the older stuff. But if it's fairly recent, there's a good chance it'll be available in 4K.

Same goes for HDR, which stands for high dynamic range. Disney Plus supports both major standards of HDR — Dolby Vision (which is largely considered to be the better of the two) and HDR10.

There's a caveat here, of course. You'll need to have hardware that supports 4K resolution and HDR if you plan on taking advantage of those features. That goes for your television as well as any other streaming hardware you're using to watch Disney Plus.

Our recommendations to satisfy both of those requirements are Apple TV 4K, Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K and Roku Ultra or Roku TV.

What countries is Disney Plus available in?

Eventually, it'll be easier to say which countries don't have Disney+. As of March 2022, Disney Plus either is already available or has been publicly named for 27 countries, with some 60.5 million paid subscribers.

Here are just a few of the places where Disney Plus is available.

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greenland
  • Iceland
  • India (Disney+ Hotstar)
  • Indonesia (Disney+ Hotstar)
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

What is Disney Plus Premier Access?

Disney Plus Premier Access was a service that Disney Plus launched in September 2020 that allowed subscribers to access a movie at the same time it was released in movie theaters and prior to it being made available for free on the streaming service. 

For a one-time fee of $29.99/ £19.99, Disney Plus subscribers were able to watch movies that included Mulan, Cruella, Black Widow and Jungle Cruise from their homes.

This service was offered as a way of watching new releases during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. With Disney shifting back to theatrical releases windows for its biggest new movies, its unclear whether Disney Plus Premier Access will be offered again in the near future. 

Phil spent his 20s in the newsroom of the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, his 30s on the road for AndroidCentral.com and Mobile Nations and is the Dad part of Modern Dad.

With contributions from