Disney Plus in 4K: is it available and how to watch

Disney Plus 4K
(Image credit: Ivan Marc / Shutterstock.com)

It’s a marriage made in heaven: the visual effects driven spectacle of Disney Plus blockbusters – Avengers: Endgame, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Frozen – with a picture quality that packs four times more pixels on your screen than HD TV. It can only be Disney Plus in 4K.

Disney Plus currently offers over 100 titles in 4K, from iconic classics (The Lion King, X-Men) to modern favorites and Original series. And, as 4K becomes an integral feature of smart TVs, supported by myriad media streaming devices, we’ll only see the amount of Disney Plus 4K content increase.

Below we’ll explain what’s required to get the best viewing experience from Disney Plus, which devices are able to stream the best Disney Plus movies in 4K, and the type of content you can expect to dazzle your eyeballs.

Is Disney Plus in 4K?

Yes! And no...There are about 900 movies and 300 TV series available to stream. While the majority of them are only available in HD, there are 100-odd titles ready to stream in glorious 4K UHD (Ultra High Definition).

That’s a tenth of the Disney Plus catalogue. A lean amount, perhaps. But it includes the content most befitting of enhanced picture quality, with 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) bringing four times more pixels to the screen than a HD (1920 x 1080) TV.

  • All Pixar movies
  • Marvel movies
  • Star Wars franchise

With a quick search under Movies for “Ultra HD and HDR” content, you’ll find dozens of other titles in 4K too, like Disney’s The Jungle Book, teen rom-com 10 Things I Hate About You, and Yuletide classic The Muppet Christmas Carol.

To stream in 4K, you’ll need a subscription – check out the Disney Plus price guide here – and, as we explain in more detail below, a compatible smart TV with the Disney Plus app or a connected media streaming device.

And, if you're in the market for one, you can also check out our current top ten list of the best 4K TVs for 2021.

Disney's The Lion King

(Image credit: Disney)

How do I turn on 4K on Disney Plus?

Luckily you shouldn’t even have to, because, if your hardware is capable of playing 4K Ultra HD – and if the film or TV series is available in 4K – Disney Plus will automatically start streaming in the highest resolution possible. That’s the magic of Disney right there!

But, if your Disney Plus settings aren’t updating correctly, or you just want to prevent yourself from unwittingly consuming huge amounts of data, you can manually adjust your video playback settings, as below:

  • Open the Disney Plus app (opens in new tab)
  • Select your Profile
  • Select App Settings
  • Under Video Playback, select ‘Mobile Data Usage’
  • You can use either the Automatic (best video available) option, or ‘Save Data’, which will stream at lower quality but use less data.

It’s also possible to toggle the ‘Stream over Wi-Fi only’ option right, so you don’t automatically use data when you lose a Wi-Fi connection.

Under ‘Downloads’, you can alter ‘Video quality’ for downloaded TV episodes or films from ‘High’ (slowest option, takes up most device space), to ‘Medium’ or 'Standard' (the fastest option requiring the least storage).

As already mentioned, there are over 100 Disney Plus 4K titles but no definitive list of them all. If you’re not sure whether your favorites can be played in this format, simply click on the title and take a peek under the ‘Details’ tab. It should state ‘4K Ultra HD’ if so, along with other compatible viewing and audio options, like HDR (High Dynamic Range) and Dolby Atmos.

In addition to needing a 4K Ultra HD or HDR device, TV, or display, you’ll also require a high-speed internet connection of at least 25Mb, as you’ll be downloading large amounts of data and don't want to endure frequent buffering.

Finally, Disney Plus advises your HDMI cables support high-bandwidth digital content, and that external displays support HDCP 2.2 (High-definition Digital Content Protection).

watch raya and the last dragon online disney plus

(Image credit: Disney)
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On what devices can I watch Disney Plus in 4K?

The below come with 4K capability, including Disney Plus on Apple TV, although for some devices (e.g., Amazon Fire TV, Roku) you may want to check which specific models are compatible.

  • Amazon Fire TV 4K
  • Android smart TVs
  • Apple TV 4K
  • Google Chromecast
  • LG smart TVs
  • Roku
  • Samsung smart TVs
  • Xbox One
  • Xbox Series X | S

Disney Plus isn't currently compatible with Nintendo devices. Plus, if you don’t have a 4K TV, you won’t be able to stream Disney Plus 4K but are likely to be limited to 1080p HD resolution. For full details on how to get the streaming service on media streaming devices, why not check out our specific guides including Disney Plus on PS4 and Disney Plus on Roku.

Here you’ll find our verdict on the Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV 4K, and Roku Streaming Stick+, all of which are ready to stream high-octane Marvel action and Pixar masterpieces in 4K on Disney Plus.

Daniel Pateman

Daniel Pateman is a freelance writer, producing articles across the cultural spectrum for magazines like Aesthetica, Photomonitor, The Brooklyn Rail and This is Tomorrow. He also provides text-writing services to individual curators and artists worldwide, and has had work published internationally. His favourite film genre is horror (bring on Scream 5!) and he never tires of listening to Absolute 80s on the radio.