Disney+: Everything you need to know about Disney’s streaming service

They grow up so fast. Launched just over two years ago, Disney+ has become a powerhouse with one of the best libraries of movies and TV shows around, including some of the best original series from the likes of the MCU and Star Wars franchises — to name a few. As of October 2021, The streaming service hit just over 118-million paid subscribers and now goes toe-to-toe with the likes of Netflix, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, and others.

Though its library of movies and TV series isn’t as large as that of  Netflix, Disney+ is the exclusive streaming home of a significant portion of Disney’s massive content archive and is the only place to see new material like The Mandalorian, Hawkeye, and WandaVision. It also hosts a wealth of content — from Pixar and National Geographic — and combined with its sister streaming service Hulu, you’ve got one serious combination.

At just $8 per month and $80 for the year, it’s more affordable than Netflix ($14) and HBO Max ($15), and you can bundle it with Hulu and ESPN+ for just $14. Disney+ shows no signs of slowing down and is more popular than ever. Here’s everything you need to know.

What does Disney+ include?

Disney+ currently hosts hundreds of Disney-related movies and television series. Classic animated features like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Pinocchio are there, as is modern-day Disney Channel fare like Descendants, vintage live-action features including The Parent Trap and Old Yeller, forgotten oddities like the made-for-TV Fuzzbucket, a huge collection of ’90s Marvel cartoons, almost every Star Wars flick, Pixar movies, and much, much more.

While the service includes most Marvel movies, there are still some MCU films that you can’t find on Disney+ due to licensing agreements with other streamers, such as Netflix. Titles such as Spider-Man: Far from Home, Spider-Man: Homecoming and The Incredible Hulk are not yet available. You will, however, find all the Star Wars films.

Disney+’s original productions are where things get exciting. In addition to The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett, Disney+ will host at least two more live-action Star Wars series: the Rogue One prequel, Star Wars: Andor, in which Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk will reprise their roles from that film, and Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi, which is set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope that features Ewan McGregor reprising his role from the prequel films.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe series Falcon and Winter Soldier, Loki, WandaVision, and Hawkeye, have already hit big on Disney+, in which big-screen stars like Elizabeth Olsen and Tom Hiddleston reprised their roles that will directly affect Marvel’s big-screen adventures, including Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. The next string of shows will introduce characters like Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, and Moon Knight to the MCU before they appear in feature films. The Marvel series started rolling out in fall 2020 and will release through 2022 (at least).

All of the animated films previously locked away in the Disney “vault” can also be found on Disney+, with one exception: Song of the South, which Disney has buried since the ’80s due to its racially insensitive content. Some of Disney’s other animated features have also been edited (Dumbo is missing a racially insensitive scene, for example), and Disney+ is running advisories ahead of content that it believes could contain “outdated cultural depictions.”

Speaking of animation, Disney+ is now home to the entire Simpsons catalog, and after fix for the aspect ratio was issued, they’re all available in their original glory. The platform does not include the season 3 premiere, “Stark Raving Dad,” however, which features the voice of Michael Jackson.

Additionally, in this topsy-turvy COVID world that has seen theaters close and open and close again, for $30 Disney+ also provides “Premiere Access” to releases that are still in theaters or that are streaming exclusives. Some of these films include Soul, Luca, and the upcoming Seeing Red, which was just switched from its planned theatrical release to Disney+ due to theaters closing amid rising Omicron cases across the U.S.

Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

Where is Disney+ available?

Disney+ is currently available in the United States, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Germany, Ireland, Isle of Man, France, Belgium, Monaco, Italy, Portugal, Spain, India, Wallis and Futuna, French West Indies, French Guiana, New Caledonia, Japan, Indonesia, Latin America, Réunion, Mayotte, Mauritius, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and South Korea, with more countries being added this year.

Which devices does Disney+ support?

Disney+ is available on:

  • Computer web browsers
  • iOS
  • Apple TV (tvOS)
  • Google Chromecast
  • Android
  • Android TV
  • PlayStation 4
  • Roku
  • Xbox One
  • Select Amazon Fire TV devices
  • Smart TVs (LG WebOS, Samsung Tizen, Android TV, Google TV, Vizio SmartCast, Roku TV)

If you’re an Apple device owner, or you have one of the many smart TVs and streaming devices that feature the Apple TV App, you can subscribe to (and watch) Disney+ within that all-in-one streaming interface. Disney+ also supports in-app purchases on Apple devices.

How much does Disney+ cost?

Disney+ costs $8 per month or $80 per year. However, Disney+ isn’t Disney’s only streaming service. Following its acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Disney also controls Hulu, and it offers the sports-focused ESPN+. For $14, you can get a bundle that includes all three services, saving you $5 a month.

Impressive video and audio quality

Disney+ offers select content in both Dolby Vision, Dolby’s dynamic version of HDR that offers evolving content to supported TVs to squeeze the best contrast out of each scene, as well as Dolby Atmos, which provides an immersive, hemispheric soundstage for those with supported hardware.

While Dolby Vision is becoming more common, both Vision and Atmos are still rarities in streaming land, supported by only a few services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video and available on a small amount of content. One of the most tantalizing aspects about Disney+’s 4K content  — for Star Wars fans at least — is the availability of its Star Wars films, including the original trilogy (that is, the ’90s special editions) in 4K with Dolby Vision and Atmos support. This makes Disney+ the only way to view these films in these formats.

And if that wasn’t enough, in November of last year, Disney made 13 of its MCU movies available in IMAX format, which makes the image 26% taller (spak if your TV or projector is capable).

For those wondering about family viewing, Disney+ offers four

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