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Streaming services populate the media today. With several options across all platforms, choosing a specific subscription service is difficult. To help you refine your choices, we’ve reviewed one of the most popular platforms today, Disney Plus.
Disney Plus originated in November of 2019, but in three short years, it has amassed loyal viewership of 87 million subscribers.
The platform has original content from shorts to feature-length films and older Disney Channel Original films from the 90s and early 2000s. Disney also has property rights to Fox and Hulu, so shows like Glee and Love, Victor reside on the service, too.
If you’re thinking about signing up for a free trial of Disney Plus, wondering if you should keep the service, or curious about Disney’s infamous streaming service, keep reading. We’ve outlined the pros, cons, and our honest thoughts about the platform.
Disney Plus at a Glance
- Disney Plus is affordable. Clocking in at $7.99 a month
- You will never run out of content
- The service works with most smart devices. The only product you cannot stream Disney Plus on is a Nintendo Switch.
Disney Plus Key Features
- One of the best parts about Disney Plus is it doesn’t come with ads. Ads help increase revenue to the platform. However, the overuse of ads can annoy customers and turn them off of the service. While using ads also helps alert subscribers of content coming up, sometimes users want to explore the platform on their own.
- A misconception about Disney Plus is it only shows kids’ content when in reality it streams Star Wars, Sports, Marvel movies and shows, Pixar films, and other esteemed classics. You can watch every single Simpsons episode if you wish. If you have kids, Disney Plus allows you to place viewing restrictions on the platform, so you don’t come home to your child watching Thor instead of Nemo.
- You can’t beat the price of Disney Plus. For just $7.99 a month or $79.99 a year, you get access to most of Disney’s catalog, National Geographic films and shows, Pixar original movies, and sometimes you can screen Disney movies while they are still in theaters. Disney Plus offered this option for Encanto earlier this year.
If you want to upgrade your subscription to include Hulu and ESPN+, you can bundle them for $13.99 a month, including Hulu with ads.
To get Hulu with no ads, the cost is $19.99 a month. Live coverage and live streams of games on ESPN include ads no matter which subscription offer you select.
- Content– Disney Plus caters to all ages, generations, and backgrounds. The service pulls content from many beloved sources and programs to provide an inclusive and entertaining platform. The child can watch a Pixar movie while the parents watch the latest Star Wars movie, and the teenager binges grown-ish.
– Disney owns most of the entertainment today, and if it doesn’t own a company right now,
there is a good chance it will gain rights to that company in the future. This just means that the content selections will continue to expand over the years making an investment in Disney Plus more and more worth your money.
– Despite its name, Disney Plus has more than just Disney content and bundling Hulu and ESPN+ with the subscription interests even more viewers.
- Downloads– Disney Plus permits unlimited downloads per year over ten devices. This means if you want to watch something on an airplane or when you don’t have service, you can. All you have to do is download the show or film when you do have service or WIFI to watch it later. If you wish to download content on more than ten devices, you will have to delete one of the previously used devices from Disney Plus.
– Looking at competitors, Disney Plus offers the best downloading option. Netflix only allows 100 downloads on four devices at a time, and HBO MAX only allows 30 downloads on three devices at a time.
- Streaming Quality– Subscription services have become popular for a multitude of reasons, including content, user interfaces, layout, and download capability, but one of the underlooked aspects of a good streaming service is its visual quality. Disney Plus has 4K HD, HDR (high-dynamic range), and Dolby Vision streaming, and you can choose between 720p or 1080p for a crystal-clear viewing experience.
– For sound, Disney Plus includes stereo audio, surround sound, and Dolby Atmos audio. Basically, Disney Plus reverts to the best audio option it sees fit based on the device you are using (most likely stereo or the built-in microphone on a laptop or tablet) and you can select which output works best for you. To change your audio preferences, open settings and select the best fit for your viewing preferences.
Disney Plus Pros
- Wealth of content
- Curated content
Disney Plus Cons
- Content does not change much
- Not the best interface
- Buffers frequently
Why Should You Get Disney Plus?
Disney Plus is an inclusive streaming service with content from Disney, Hulu, Fox, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, National Geographic, Star Wars, 20th Century Fox, and more.
From this content selection, you and your family and friends can watch content for endless days while still finding new programs you’ve never heard of before.
Another benefit of Disney Plus is its price. Subscribe for all this content at a low monthly rate of $7.99. That’s just $7.99 for every single Star Wars movie, National Geographic documentary, and most Disney Channel original movies.
Plus, this price allows you to watch content in 4K HD, HDR, or Dolby vision if your systems are compatible. If not, you can still watch programs in 720P or 1080P, the highest resolutions beneath HDR.
The sound design works with spatial audio and surround sound for some programs, providing a unique experience for the viewer.
The ad-free service caters to all ages and backgrounds with kid-friendly options and profiles that don’t limit themselves to kid-friendly material. Disney Plus expands daily, and with that, the service gains more and more content and more and more users.
If you find yourself still debating whether or not this service is right for you, let’s break it down a tad bit further.
Subscribers use subscription services to entertain themselves at home, on vacation, or while waiting to pick their kids or friends up to go home or hang out.
Another place people use streaming services is while traveling without Wi-Fi. If you travel frequently, or at all, you will run into areas where you don’t have service.
Perhaps you are about to take a long, overseas flight and you wish to watch something on your tablet, but you don’t have WIFI. There is a solution!
Downloads allow you to select and curate content you wish to upload onto your phone, tablet, or computer and upload it to watch while offline.
This is good for the service because it allows users to download up to 100 downloads at a time over ten devices which is the highest amount of downloads any streaming service offers right now. With Disney Plus’ content and cost, the download capability is a huge factor in swaying favor toward the service.
This editor would choose Disney Plus over any other service based on its download capabilities. You definitely get what you pay for.
We’ve already established Disney Plus has a wide array of content available for streaming. This is good because more people will use the service, but it can also be a negative aspect because more content can mean an increase in price.
Disney Plus increased one dollar since its launch in 2019, and although the bundles offer a great combo, every streaming service has increased in price at least once. When is Disney’s next turn?
This editor thinks Disney Plus has a great selection and will soon increase in price.
As most streaming services should, Disney Plus knows its audience. If you toggle on the kids’ profile, you only see content suitable for a child.
Depending on the content viewed via this profile, Disney Plus suggests other titles you may like. It is not quite as adept as Netflix, but it is a start.
For adult or older users who do not wish to solely view kids’ content, Disney Plus recommends titles based on your viewing preferences and the popularity of shows and movies.
This method takes a little while to start, and if you don’t know what you like going into the service, it may take longer to curate the content than those who know their favorite classic Disney film and Star Wars episode.
This editor thinks this is good for the subscription but has room for improvement.
Content Does Not Change Much
Although Disney Plus has a wonderful selection of content without ads, the content on the subscription does not change much.
Instead of filtering through titles every few months or years, Disney Plus acquires the rights and leaves content on the platform. If you’re looking for a service that has more variety, Disney Plus might not be your best option.
Another component of the content not changing is you never know when Disney will add a movie it received the rights to.
This is not uncommon in other streaming services, but if you rely on Disney Plus for updated movies, you might have better luck with HBO MAX or Netflix.
But if you enjoy the same constant content from Disney and its affiliates and don’t need to see the next Marvel movie on streaming services immediately, Disney Plus is perfect for you.
Not the Best User Interface
A user interface measures the relationship between the device and the user. How easy it is to navigate the platform. Disney Plus’s user interface is okay, but many users complain about the layout.
When you watch a program, Netflix shows you similar content to what you consumed, considering you liked the content. Disney Plus tries to do the same but does not eliminate shows and programs you’ve already seen.
So, if you’ve already watched Aladdin on Disney Plus, the interface might recommend it to you again. Even if Aladdin is your all-time favorite movie, the interface should suggest new titles to keep gauging the customer’s interest.
If you select a specific tag, for example, Pixar shorts or National Geographic programs, Disney Plus doesn’t show all of the programs offered on the same page. The platform fails to organize all of its content in one space, so you might find a random sitcom among the original movies.
This editor thinks this feature is bad for the service because it will frustrate users and cause them to think twice about investing in Disney Plus.
Services not loading or buffering is the worst part of streaming. You might have the best WIFI in town and a great connection, but the streaming service just won’t work. This happens for a number of reasons.
The server might use a lot of bandwidth to power the amount of content on its app. For Disney Plus, this is the main reason customers run into issues with Disney Plus taking so long to load.
Since the service has a ton of content, the more power it takes to fuel the platform. On its own, this might not cause a problem, but when you factor in higher quality streaming or sounds, the server uses even more bandwidth to run.
There are ways to fix this issue, like restarting the app, downloading a browser extension, or reducing your viewing quality, but those seem a little extensive just to enjoy a show or film without pausing.
This editor thinks Disney Plus’ buffering is unfair to viewers and will cause some to unsubscribe.
So, Should You Get Disney Plus?
Disney Plus is just like any other streaming service. It has a good selection of content and user features but also runs into issues with its user interface and buffering.
This editor gives Disney Plus a B-. If you love Disney, Marvel, Fox, and 20th Century Fox, Disney Plus is the service for you. With a cheap monthly subscription and bundle options, Disney Plus offers a solid service to its customers.