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Disney Plus on Apple TV — everything you need to know

Disney Plus on Apple TV
(Image credit: Screenshot)

Apple TV is the best streaming hardware you can buy. And Disney Plus has quickly become one of the best streaming services, with more than 100 million subscribers worldwide. So Disney Plus on Apple TV? It just makes sense.

And truth be told, Disney Plus is the perfect service to have on Apple TV, because they both support all the features you want in a home entertainment package. Apple TV 4K supports 4K resolution, and Disney+ streams the best of its content in 4K resolution. Apple TV 4K supports Dolby Vision for HDR, and so does Disney+. Same, too, for Dolby Vision, which give you even better audio quality. (So long as you also have a speaker setup that supports Atmos.)

Disney Plus on Apple TV is pretty much a no-brainer at this point. But let's break it down. Here's everything you need to know about watching Disney+ on Apple TV.

Apple TV 4K and Siri remote

Apple TV 4K is the perfect match for Disney Plus. (Image credit: WhatToWatch.com)

Which Apple TV is best for Disney Plus?

In our minds, there's only one Apple TV that you should be considering in 2021 — and that's Apple TV 4K

Apple TV 4K is best for Disney+ for the same reasons we mentioned above. It's got all the specs you want in a modern streamer — 4K resolution, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision — and it's powered by the A10X processor, which still has CPU cycles to spare. That is to say that the overall experience of using Apple TV remains better than just about everything else out there. (High-end Android TV hardware from NVIDIA is the next best.)

All that said, we're fully expecting a new Apple TV hardware refresh any time now. (Really, any time now, Apple. What we've got is going on 4 years old.) That's not to say that the current Apple TV 4K doesn't run Disney+ well — to the contrary. It runs everything well. Just know that if you buy an Apple TV 4K today you might well see something new announced in the next few weeks. 

And a new Apple TV isn't likely to run Disney+ any better or any faster. So if you do go home with an Apple TV 4K today, you'll be able to watch Disney+ just fine.

Watch Disney Plus on Apple TV with the app

The best way to watch Disney+ on Apple TV is with the Disney+ app. Full stop. That'll get you the all the shows and all the movies — and all the information and extras that go with them — in one place. That also lets you lean back and watch things in a proper living room environment with a proper remote control. (Just not the Apple TV remote control, which is still pretty awful.)

Yes, you can use the Disney+ app on your iPhone or iPad and use AirPlay to shoot the video onto your Apple TV, but that's really an extra step and just not the way to do things. If you've got an Apple TV (which is why you're reading this in the first place), then you should watch Disney+ on Apple TV using the Disney+ app.

Here's how to get the Disney+ app on Apple TV:

  1. Go to the App Store on your Apple TV.
  2. Search for "Disney+."
  3. Select the little cloud download button.
  4. Click Open.
  5. You now have the choice to either sign up for Disney+, or use an existing login.

When it comes to logging in, you have a couple of options. The most obvious is to just use whatever remote you've got and the on-screen keyboard and have at it.

The even-easier option requires an iPhone and the iOS Disney+ app. If you're logged in to Disney+ on your phone, just open the app and your iPhone and Apple TV will talk to each other, and you'll automatically be logged in to Disney+ on Apple TV. Very cool.

Disney Plus app with AirPlay to Apple TV

Disney Plus on Apple TV via AirPlay 2. (Image credit: WhatToWatch.com)

Watch Disney Plus on Apple TV with AirPlay

OK, fine. You want to do things the hard way. Here's how to watch Disney+ on Apple TV using AirPlay from an iPhone, iPad or Mac.

  1. Open the Disney+ app and find something you want to watch.
  2. Start playing said thing.
  3. Tap (or click) the AirPlay icon.
  4. Choose the Apple TV you want to watch the video on.
  5. Sit back and wonder why you didn't just watch Disney+ on the Apple TV app in the first place.