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Disney Plus review: An in-depth review of Disney’s streaming service

Expert Reviews Best Buy Logo
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
7.99
per month

Disney Plus' sixth brand Star has added over 75 TV shows and 280 movies to the streaming service at one go

Pros 
Family-friendly catalogue
Four simultaneous streams
4K UHD and Dolby Atmos
All titles can be downloaded
Cons 
Search functionality needs work
Very little original content
No British content
No free trial
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Earlier this year, Disney Plus launched a sixth brand, Star, that instantly added over 75 new TV shows and over 280 movies to the streaming service at one go. It’s the single biggest content drop on Disney Plus - and possibly any other streaming service - ever. Star enhances Disney Plus’ already-enviable portfolio that it has built along with its five titles that have been available since launch - namely Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic.

The new title brings award-winning TV shows like Lost, Desperate Housewives and Modern Family to Disney Plus, along with movies including the likes of Braveheart, Moulin Rouge and The Favourite. While Disney Plus is well known for being a child and family-friendly streaming service, the addition of Star content will bring more mature content to the service. To combat this, Disney Plus now has parental pins and profile-protection features to ensure that your young ones don’t accidentally stumble upon mature content.

But all this additional content comes at a price. A Disney Plus subscription now costs £7.99/mnth (£2/mnth more than its launch price) or £79.90/year (£20 more than the launch price). If you have an existing Disney Plus subscription, you’ll continue paying the old price for the next six months, until 23 August 2021.

At the Disney Plus investor-day live stream announcement at the end of last year, the company announced its ambitious roadmap that will see 10 Star Wars series and 10 Marvel series exclusively available on the streaming service in the new few years. Among these is WandaVision (currently streaming), Falcon and the Winter Soldier (currently streaming), Loki (currently streaming), Season 3 of The Mandalorian (December 2021); Thor: Love and Thunder (May 2022); the new Black Panther film (July 2022) and the next Star Wars film, Rogue Squadron (December 2023).

READ NEXT: Everything you need to know about Star on Disney Plus


Apart from this, Disney Plus - which currently boasts around 100 million subscribers worldwide - have also announced new movies and TV shows. This includes Harrison Ford returning to play Indiana Jones in the fifth and final instalment of the series, and Zac Efron appearing in the Disney Plus remake of the popular 1987-film, Three Men and a Baby.

We recently promoted Netflix to our best UK streaming service because of the amount of new content it impressively delivered at a rapid pace during lockdown. While it’s true that the coronavirus pandemic put a dent into Disney Plus’ production plans, it’s good to see the streaming service is taking an aggressive approach on multiple fronts to catch up with Netflix that currently boasts nearly 200 million subscribers (nearly double that of Disney Plus) worldwide.

Disney Plus review: A strong start

The Disney Plus UK launch in March 2020 couldn’t have come at a better time. Across the country, lockdown-stricken families and individuals were desperately looking for a new form of entertainment as the country was grappling with the early throes of the global coronavirus pandemic. Disney's biggest challenge was always going to be whether it could compete with streaming service behemoths like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video that already had a loyal worldwide user base, not to mention years to perfect their offerings.

To its credit, Disney Plus ticked all the right boxes, right out of the gate, something it continues doing to this day. The service now has over 800 films and 400 TV series from the likes of Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic and Star. Many of these titles - including the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars franchises - are available in glorious 4K Ultra HD and most also have stunning Dolby Atmos surround-sound. As with other streaming services, Disney Plus automatically selects the highest audio and video quality that your device can support.

READ NEXT: What's new on Disney Plus UK this month

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Disney Plus review: Price and features

Disney Plus now costs £7.99/mth or £79.90/yr. We like that the House of Mouse has a simple, fuss-free price plan instead of the complicated tier-based approach that other streaming services offer. It’s pretty flexible, too. You can use a single Disney Plus account on up to ten devices and stream content on up to four devices simultaneously. And, if you travel to a country where Disney Plus is available, you’ll be able to log in and access that country’s Disney Plus catalogue. Unsurprisingly, the Disney Plus US library has the most content, but the UK library is not far behind.

Sharing accounts can get confusing at the best of times but Disney Plus lets you create up to seven user profiles for each account. Each user can create their own watchlists and, based on what you watch, the service will suggest related content and ensure “continue watching” bookmarks are kept separate for each one. There’s also a separate kids’ profile that displays age-appropriate content and with the addition of Star, you can now also restrict specific profiles to only access age-appropriate content.

READ NEXT: How to watch Disney Plus abroad


The Disney Plus user interface is simple and easy to get to grips with, and it’s consistent across all the devices the service is available on. You have a carousel of featured content at the top, followed by shortcuts to the six main content brands – Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and Star – in the row below. Scroll further down and you’ll see rows of curated categories, including New to Disney+, Continue Watching, Animated Movies, Documentaries, Comedies, and so on.

Click the search icon and you’ll be able to quickly get to the content you want, by typing into the search bar, or you can browse through a series of “collections”, displayed below. These include Disney Through The Decades, Princesses, Marvel Animation, Disney Nature and Mickey Mouse and Friends. Frustratingly, the search bar is one area of the service that still needs work. Searching for ‘4k’ ‘hdr’ ‘kids’ and ‘children’ only returned results with those words in the content title. Thankfully, you can search by title, genre and actor names.

Select a movie or TV series and you’ll get the option to dive straight in and play it, add it to your watch list or download it, although this only appears if you’re using Disney Plus on a phone or tablet. Downloading content offline is a great way to stop your kids from hogging your bandwidth if you’re working from home, but you’ll need to keep tabs on how much you’ve downloaded as shows don’t auto-delete once you’ve finished watching.

One of the things we like most about Disney Plus is the extra content you see after selecting any title that you want to watch. Besides an episode listing (for TV series), you can also see related content through the Suggested tab and, under Extras, a wealth of bonus content of the sort you’d normally only find on DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Avengers Endgame, for example, has 32 videos, including the trailer, deleted scenes, special features and star tributes. This bonus content varies from title to title, but it’s a great way to watch content you otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

The final tab - Details - gives you a brief synopsis and also reveals which formats the title is available to watch or download, apart from other particulars like duration, director and cast. You’ll notice that all the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars films are available in 4K with Dolby Atmos surround sound. Yes, this also includes the older Star Wars movies that are remastered in 4K. Strangely, we could only see this information on the PlayStation 4 and mobile devices, not PC browsers.

Disney Plus also has a useful feature called GroupWatch that lets you share a link to any content that you're watching with up to six other people. Provided they're all Disney Plus subscribers, they can then watch whatever you're watching via synced playback on any compatible device. GroupWatch is a great way for families and friends to watch the same content remotely.

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Disney Plus review: Movies and TV shows

Disney has six brands that are front and centre of the service: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and Star. It’s also the only place where you can watch all 31 seasons (over 600 episodes) of The Simpsons, older episodes are now available in their original 4:3 aspect ratio. While Disney and Pixar have hours of content that will keep your kids entertained, it’s the Marvel, Star Wars and Star titles that will appeal to adults.


Disney Plus is the only streaming service that lets you watch all 11 Star Wars films in 4K. This is great news for die-hard Star Wars who previously had to jump through various online hoops to watch the entire collection, let alone in the best video resolution currently available on a streaming service.

Other highlights include Captain Marvel, which became the first Marvel film to skip other streaming platforms and go straight to Disney Plus exclusively. Also worth noting is that, aside from the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, you can also watch four of the X-Men films, and two Wolverine films. Disney Plus also has loads of exclusive shorts, specials and even Lego Marvel and Star Wars movies that only ardent fans would otherwise be aware of. Marvel’s library, for example, includes many animated series featuring Spider-man, Ant-Man and Hulk.

When it comes to Disney and Pixar content, there’s plenty to get stuck into. There’s a ton of original animated classic films, from Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast to The Aristocats and The Jungle Book, which have also been remastered in 4K. The recent live-action remakes of all those films are available, too, and there are plenty of modern Disney and Pixar hits here too, including Frozen, Frozen 2, Moana, Tangled, Soul, Finding Nemo and Dory – plus all three Cars movies. Many of these titles also have spinoffs or animated series of their own. Cars, for example, has 15 Cars Toon shorts.

The addition of Star in February 2021 gave Disney Plus its biggest content drop ever as the service instantly expanded its library by over 75 TV shows and 280 movies overnight. Star also introduced mature content to the service for the first time. Thoughtfully, parental controls were made mandatory with the introduction of Star. Star launched with four original TV series, with more in the pipeline to be released on a regular basis. Disney is also investing in regional TV series, something Netflix and Amazon Prime Video seem to mastered.

TV aficionados will be pleased to hear that Star has brought several high-profile TV series to the platform, including Lost, Desperate Housewives, Modern Family, 24, Scandal, Prison Break, Sons of Anarchy, Family Guy, Grey's Anatomy and How I Met Your Mother. Yes, some of this content is currently available to watch on other streaming services but they'll slowly be taken off those platforms and become Disney Plus exclusives in the near future. In terms of movies, Star brings titles like Braveheart, Bad Company, Cocktail, Con-Air, Deadpool 2, The Devil Wears Prada, Die Hard, Moulin Rouge, Runaway Bride, Pretty Woman and others.


The unsung hero of Disney Plus, however, is its wealth of documentary content, courtesy of National Geographic. This includes factual, biological and historical content and highlights include the Oscar-winning Free Solo and the BAFTA-nominated Jane, which tells the story of English primatologist and anthropologist, Jane Goodall.

The only downside is that pretty much all National Geographic content has a US slant to it so instead of seeing familiar faces like Sir Richard Attenborough and Professor Brian Cox breakdown complex science into simple terms, you’ll need to know who Neil de Grasse Tyson is (the US equivalent of Cox) or go behind the scenes with explorer-and-director James Cameron instead.

In The World According to Jeff Goldblum – a Disney Plus Nat Geo original series – the Jurassic Park actor gives his quirky take on everyday items, from trainers to denim, and tattoos. Another good one to learn about how life on Earth has come to be is One Strange Rock, directed by Darren Aronofsky and narrated by Will Smith.

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Disney Plus review: Disney Plus vs Netflix vs Amazon Prime

Disney PlusNetflix BasicNetflix StandardNetflix UltimatePrime Video
Monthly Price£7.99£5.99£8.99£11.99£5.99/mnth
Simultaneous device usage41243
User profiles75556
Offline mobile downloadsEverythingMost titlesMost titlesMost titlesOnly Prime titles
HD contentYesNoYesYesYes
4K contentOver 100 titlesNoNoMost titlesGood

selection

In the US, Disney Plus has to withstand competition from a variety of streaming services, including HBO, Hulu and Fubo TV, but in the UK its main streaming rivals are limited to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Of course, there’s also Sky’s Now TV and Britbox but the former is an a-la-carte subscription service and the latter doesn’t yet have a large enough library to compete with the big names, so we’ll focus on the UK’s big three streaming services for now.

In terms of price, Disney Plus sosts £79.90 for a yearly subscription, which amounts to around £6.5 per month. Amazon Prime Video, in comparison, costs £5.99 per month but it’s also included with Amazon Prime at £7.99/mth or £79.99/yr. Both Disney Plus and Amazon Prime have content mainly in HD and 4K but, while Prime Video limits you to three simultaneous streams, Disney Plus has a generous four.

Netflix has a tier-based subscription model. Its cheapest plan costs £5.99/mth, but this restricts you to standard definition on one device at a time. For £8.99 per month, you get Full HD (1080p) on two simultaneous devices and for £11.99/mth you get select content in 4K HDR and four concurrent streams. It’s no surprise that Disney Plus is the clear winner here. However - unlike Netflix and Amazon Prime Video - Disney Plus doesn't have a free trial period anymore, meaning you'll need to pay at least £7.99/mnth to see for yourself whether the service is worth subscribing to in the long run.


Disney Plus is the only service of the three to let you download each and every movie and TV episode to your mobile device, although Netflix has one advantage here: where Disney Plus downloads are limited to mobile devices, you can download to a laptop via Netflix’s desktop apps.

And, of course, Disney Plus will be the only service where you can watch all future (and past) releases from Marvel and Lucasfilm. Thankfully, both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have been preparing for this Disney content exodus by investing in original content of their own over the last few years. And that’s where they (currently) hold an edge over Disney Plus.

Apart from hit TV series like Stranger Things, The Witcher and Peaky Blinders, Netflix has even created foreign language series like Narcos and Money Heist that people the world over have now grown to love. In addition to original content, Netflix also has a slew of hit British TV series including Bridgerton, Line of Duty, Sherlock and Bodyguard in its repertoire, which is something Disney Plus can’t yet boast of.

Amazon Prime Video has been a few paces behind Netflix when it comes to original TV series of its own but it does have a fair few now, including Star Trek Picard, Good Omens, The Boys and Carnival Row. Prime Video also lets you purchase titles that are seldom available elsewhere, making it a good – albeit sometimes expensive – way to legally watch a movie or TV series that isn’t on another platform. Prime Video has also started getting into broadcasting live worldwide sporting events like international tennis tournaments and the Premier League, which could give the service a huge advantage in the near future.

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Disney Plus review: Device compatibility

A single Disney Plus account can be used on up to ten of your personal devices and it was compatible with 15 devices at launch, something that neither Netflix nor Amazon Prime could boast of when they launched. It also signed an exclusive deal with the UK’s largest pay-TV broadcaster, Sky, so Disney Plus was available on all Sky Q boxes at launch and later available in 4K on supported devices. Apart from this, you can stream Disney Plus on any of the following platforms and devices.

Web browsers

  • Google Chrome
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Internet Explorer
  • Safari (MacOS)

Mobile devices


  • Android phones and tablets (Androids 5.0 Lollipop or later)
  • iPhones and iPad (iOS 11 and later)
  • Amazon Fire tablets (Fire OS 5.0 and later)

Gaming Consoles

  • Sony PlayStation 4
  • Xbox One

Smart TVs

  • Amazon Fire TVs
  • Apple TV (4th generation and later)
  • Android TVs
  • LG WebOS Smart TVs
  • Roku TVs
  • Samsung Tizen Smart TVs
  • Sky Q

Digital Media Players

  • Chromebooks
  • Google Chromecast
  • Amazon Fire TV Sticks
  • Apple AirPlay
  • Roku TV Sticks
  • Now TV Sticks

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Disney Plus review: Verdict

Disney Plus has had a few big original hits (The Mandalorian, WandaVision and Hamilton) and a few near-misses (The Right Stuff, Mulan), always keeping you on your toes as to whether it's actually worth subscribing to the service long term. The addition of Star's massive library has clearly made this decision easier with the addition of over 75 new TV shows and 280 new movies to keep you entertained, but don’t expect any British or regional content from other countries on the service in a hurry. At present, Disney Plus is relying purely on its existing catalogue and its six big brands to give it an edge.

Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have kept the wheels churning consistently all throughout lockdown with a steady stream of great original content, and popular movies and TV shows, whereas Disney Plus has been slower to push exciting new titles, or indeed release originals, until the addition of Star content. That said, it seems harsh to knock points off Disney Plus when it appears to be ticking all the right boxes and adding new content and features at regular intervals. Our only other quibbles are with its underbaked search functionality.

Overall, Disney Plus is a no-brainer if you tick any of the following boxes: you want to keep yourself and your kids entertained, and you’re a fan of Star Wars, Marvel and/or The Simpsons. In terms of price, device compatibility, streaming quality, simultaneous device usage and additional extra content, Disney Plus has features that are on a par with - and in some ways better than - established names such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. The only thing to decide, then, is whether you can afford to take on another subscription service or whether to cancel one that you already subscribe to. To its credit, Disney Plus has at least ensured that this is going to be a tough decision for most people.

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