Streaming services have been the number one method for people to gain access to their films and television series lately. There’s immense competition between streaming platform giants such as Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go, and of course the king that is Netflix. But not too long ago a new contender stepped into the ring that is fighting for the championship among all the others: Disney+.
So, is Disney+ a good alternative to other streaming giants such as Netflix? Read on as I deliver my two cents about it.
What is Disney Plus?
Disney Plus is an all-new streaming platform that is owned by – you guessed it, Walt Disney Studios themselves. Since Disney is one of, if not the biggest name worldwide in entertainment, their news of releasing a subscription-based video-on-demand service was pretty big.
As we touched on earlier, Disney+ is a subscription-based streaming service that is owned and was created by The Walt Disney Studios. Like any other streaming service, they charge a monthly fee that gives you access to a range of shows and films that you can watch on a computer or a portable device.
As many people have already guessed, Disney+ is meant to compete with all the other major streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Go and many others.
When was Disney Plus released?
Disney+ was released late last year in a few countries and will soon officially launch in many other countries later this year.
Disney+ was first announced back in September of 2017 and released a couple of years after that. At first, Disney+ was released on November 12th, 2019. It was first made available in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and The Netherlands.
However, Disney+ will soon be made available to many European countries. On March 24 of 2020, Disney+ will be finally available in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Germany.
The only thing that has been revealed about future international releases of the streaming platform is that many other European countries can expect to receive Disney+ sometime in the summer of this year. These countries include Scandinavian countries such as Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway, as well as other nations including Portugal, Belgium, and Iceland.
Of course, you can use a VPN to access Disney Plus even if the service has not officially been released in your country.
How does Disney Plus differ from Netflix and any other streaming services?
One of the most frequently asked questions about Disney+ is what exactly makes it so special? This is probably because the platform does not currently have a massive library that can compete with the likes of Netflix.
What distinguishes Disney+ from other platforms isn’t the size of its library, but rather the specific type of content that Disney specializes in.
Disney announced some time ago that Disney+ would only be featuring family-friendly or family-oriented content. This came as no surprise as Disney has always prioritized this sort of entertainment. In other words, all content available on Disney+ will be films that are not rated R or TV series that are not rated TV-MA.
What Can You Expect from Disney Plus?
If we’re talking about the future of Disney+ then it is quite difficult to predict how the service will grow, both in terms of its original content and its success against other streaming platforms.
However, if we’re talking about what you can expect from personally using the service for yourself, here’s what you should know.
Android TV Box Bestsellers
For one thing, the service is still ironing out a lot of the kinks. For example, Disney+ experienced some connection issues on launch day and programs that refused to load. The majority of these issues have been rectified, to some degree.
You should expect to use an interface that is not as intuitive as other streaming services, unfortunately. Disney Plus’ search function is a little hit or miss and not all devices support some of the interface improvements yet, such as a “bookmark” function that remembers where you left off if you closed the app.
However, at the end of the day, you should expect Disney+ to function as a specialized platform for more light-hearted content. It’s a great service for families and kids, or it could be the perfect platform to use if you are a fan of Marvel movies, Pixar animations, Star Wars releases and the like.
Disney has announced that theatrical releases will make their way to Disney+ sometime after they have done their rounds at the theaters. This includes huge movies from last year such as Toy Story 4, Frozen 2 and Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.
How Much Does it Cost?
Disney+ is surprisingly cheap compared to others. You will only have to pay $7 USD per month or $70 per year to access their services. Additionally, there is also a free seven-day trial that you can use to test Disney+ and all of its functions.
How Can I Stream It?
Disney+ is currently available on a wide range of devices. Not only can it be seen on PCs and Macs but it is also available on Android and iOS devices. This includes Android TV and Apple TV. Disney+ also works on a variety of LG and Samsung Smart TVs and certain Amazon Fire TVs and tablets.
If you have a modern gaming device then Disney+ will also work on the Xbox One and the Playstation 4.
To summarize, Disney+ is available on many different devices. The odds are that if you are currently reading this article, you can watch Disney+ no problem.
What Shows and Movies can I Watch?
Disney+ doesn’t have the biggest library but it does definitely have some exclusive content that will pique people’s interests.
As we mentioned above, Disney+ will later gain exclusive access to Disney movies once they are done with their theatrical runs. But currently, there are a few original programs you can watch, most notably The Mandalorian, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and Diary of a Future President.
There’s also some nonfiction original content including the docu-series Marvel’s Hero Project and The World According to Jeff Goldblum.
Slow Streams or Buffering?
Are your streams loading too slow? Getting constant buffering? Not able to stream at full resolution? Check out these tips to improve your streaming experience:
- Use a modern Router that has advanced features like QoS to prioritize video content. Check out our recommended Routers for Streaming.
- If you are using a Wifi connection, be sure to check out our 9 easy steps to improve your Wifi for Streaming.
- Some Internet Service Providers throttle video streaming traffic without telling their customers. A VPN encrypts all your traffic and circumvents throttling, blocking and geographical restrictions.
What may be most exciting to some is the list of hundreds of old Disney classics that are all currently available for streaming. Famously known as “the Disney Vault”, this list includes nearly every film from their incredibly huge catalog. This includes classics such as Aladdin, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Fantasia, Pinocchio and far too many more to count here.
What Product Features Does It Include?
You will be happy to hear that Disney+ supports absolutely excellent video and audio quality. You can watch content in Dolby Atmos audio plus 4K and HDR video, as long as viewers have the hardware that supports these features. Most streaming platforms don’t have these features, which makes Disney+ unique in this regard.
Profiles that are signed up can also choose their own avatar. There are over 200 available and most of them are renditions or depictions of famous Marvel, Pixar or Star Wars characters.
Disney+ subscribers will have access to unlimited mobile downloads to view while offline.
Disney+ is also compatible with descriptive audio subtitles and closed captioning to assist those with disabilities.
What Doesn’t Disney Plus Include?
As mentioned previously, the one thing potential subscribers should keep in mind is that Disney+ is devoted to neglecting any and all R-rated films or TV-MA rated series. Anyone looking for more adult or explicit content will have to look elsewhere.
How to Install Disney Plus?
Disney+ can be easily installed on one’s computer by heading to the website. For tablets or smartphone devices, simply search for Disney+ in the Apple Store or the Google Play Store and download the app from there.
Now that we’ve gone over everything there is to need to know, is Disney+ a viable alternative to Netflix? Well, if the emphasis is on alternative, then our answer is a no. While Disney+ has good content, it currently has too little content to compete with a library as massive as Netflix’s.
However, anyone who is a big fan of Disney Vault classics, Marvel movies, Star Wars, and Pixar films would love to have Disney+ as a secondary streaming service, rather than one that completely replaces Netflix outright.
We should also stress that while Disney+ seems a little barren right now, there is no doubt that the potential for this platform to grow is massive. It has only been out for about three months at the time of this writing so we would urge everyone who is on the fence to pay attention to Disney+ in the coming months and see just how this old yet time-tested brand handles their new service.
In short, I would not recommend to cancel your Netflix or Hulu subscription and consider Disney+ a replacement. But overall Disney+ certainly has the potential to grow, has some great exclusive content and an impressive backlog of Disney films that could make a great supplement to your Netflix subscription.