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Disney Plus: how to sign up, movies, shows, Mulan and more explained

Disney Plus UK
(Image credit: Future)

The Disney Plus streaming service is the House of Mouse's attempt at taking on Netflix, Amazon Prime and everyone else. It's where you go to stream movies and TV shows that Disney owns, basically – and it's now around nine months old, with launches still to come in parts of the world. In this piece, we'll explain everything we know about Disney Plus. Think of it as a guide if you're thinking of getting Disney Plus, or an explainer of what's to come if you're already subscribed to the service. 

If you're looking for a streaming service that bundles together films and TV from Marvel, the Star Wars universe, and National Geographic, then Disney Plus is where you want to be. That includes the full Skywalker Saga, the Star Wars spin-off films, and the flagship original, The Mandalorian. Then there's the vast majority of MCU feature flicks, and all of The Simpsons. More recently, there's the brilliant musical Hamilton. They're all available in 4K HDR for no additional cost, too, where supported.

Streaming services live or die based on their new content, and while we're pretty sure The Mandalorian season 2 is coming this October, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier has been delayed from its original August 2020 release date to an unspecified point. Still, once the world of TV and film production gets started again, there'll be lots to get excited about in the future of Disney Plus.

In September, the live-action Mulan comes to the service in some countries, but it won't be available to stream unless you're prepared to spend $29.99 (or your local equivalent). More on that below.

While Disney Plus hit the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Japan and a selection of European countries, other territories are still waiting patiently. Two years after the US release, Disney aims to have it everywhere.

Here's our comprehensive Disney Plus guide, including details on its price, movies, shows, bundles and the no-longer-available free trial.

How to sign up to Disney Plus

If you want to sign up for Disney Plus in the US, UK and Canada, you can sign up for Disney Plus here, or if you're in Australia or New Zealand, click here

Disney Plus free trial: is there one?

Disney Plus used to offer a 7-day free trial, but recently discontinued it.

Mulan on Disney Plus: how it'll work

The listing page for Mulan is already on Disney Plus in the US.

The listing page for Mulan is already on Disney Plus in the US. (Image credit: Future)

Disney Plus will release the live-action Mulan on September 4, it's been revealed, but there are a few twists to that. 

Disney's Bob Chapek announced the news, saying: "in the US, Canada, New Zealand, and number of countries, we will be offering on Disney Plus, the epic Mulan on a Premier Access basis beginning September 4, with the price point being $29.99 in the US."

So, that's the other twist: if you want to see Mulan on Disney Plus, it won't be included as part of your subscription. Instead, it'll be an extra $29.99 (or your local equivalent currency) cost on top of your subscription. That's because it cost so much to make. After you've paid for it, though, you will be able to watch Mulan as many times as you want while you're still subscribed to Disney Plus.

So you're not buying it, but you're not exactly renting it, either. Some countries, like France, won't get the movie until later.

It's a big move for Disney Plus, then, but it's been called a one-off. If it's successful, though, you have to expect they'll look at trying it again in future. 

  • What is Disney Plus? Like Netflix, this is a streaming service, but it's exclusively packed with Disney content, including movies and shows from companies it owns.
  • When did Disney Plus launch? Disney Plus has already launched in the USA, Canada,  Australia, New Zealand, the UK and most of Europe. It'll launch in Japan in June 2020, more of Europe in September 2020 and Latin America starting in late 2020.
  • What does Disney Plus cost? $6.99/month in the US (or $69.99 per year), $8.99 in Australia and Canada ($89.99 per year) and £5.99 per month in the UK (£59.99 per year). 
  • Does Disney Plus have 4K streams? Yes. Disney Plus supports 4K resolution, HDR, Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. You'll see whether movies on Disney Plus support it under the 'details' tab on the listing pages in the app.
  • Where can I find it? Disney Plus is available on iOS, Android, Apple TV, PS4, Xbox One, Amazon's devices, Roku devices, browsers, Android TV and the UK's Sky Q and Now TV.
  • Which Disney Plus channels are there? There are no channels, as such, but there are five separate content hubs for Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel, and National Geographic. It also features content from Fox, like The Simpsons. 

Disney Plus price and bundle explained

The Disney Plus price structure is mostly the same wherever you are, with monthly and yearly subscription tiers. Disney Plus costs $6.99 per month in the US, or $69.99 for a year's subscription. In the US, there's a $12.99 per month Disney Plus bundle with Hulu and ESPN+, which we'll explain below.

In the UK, Disney Plus is £5.99 per month, or £59.99 per year. In Australia, Disney Plus is AU$8.99 per month or $89.99 per year. 

In Canada, it's $8.99 a month and $89.99 for a year. In New Zealand, it's NZ$100 per year or NZ$10 a month. For Disney Plus in India, for new users the Disney+ Hotstar VIP plan is Rs 399 per year and Disney+ Hotstar Premium at Rs 1,499 per year. 

Disney Plus, notably, is cheaper than Netflix, which is $10.99 per month for its Standard Plan, and $14.99 for its 4K-equipped Premium tier. With Disney Plus, the flat fee gets you 4K HDR streams, . 

So, about that Disney Plus bundle. It includes Disney Plus itself, Hulu (with ads) and ESPN+ for just $12.99 a month. That's a great deal, with Hulu offering a wide range of adult-friendly shows and movies, while ESPN+ includes tons of sports content. This saves you around $5 per month, since Disney Plus costs $6.99 per month, Hulu costs $5.99 while ESPN+ is $4.99.

Disney Plus app and devices

These are the devices that are compatible with the Disney Plus app:

  • iOS
  • Android
  • Apple TV
  • Fire TV devices
  • Roku
  • Chromecast / Chromebook
  • Xbox One
  • PS4
  • Nvidia Shield (via Android TV)
  • Smart TVs (including Android TV, LG WebOS, Samsung Tizen, Vizio SmartCast)

The Disney Plus app can be downloaded on almost any device, then, and you can watch it in web browsers on desktop, too. The Disney Plus app supports up to four simultaneous streams, ten registered devices and you can create seven profiles. Each profile can create its own Watch List. You can download as much Disney Plus content as you want to watch offline, as long as you sign in to the app online every 30 days.

The app has different age ratings for content, and you can choose to create a Kids Profile to remove the more adult-friendly content on there (The Simpsons, for example).

As well as having different content hubs for Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic, the Disney Plus app has curated content lists themed around different subjects. These hubs include the major franchises we just mentioned, but also themed sets of Simpsons episodes, or Disney divided into decades. It's a nice way to find something to watch that's not just driven by Netflix-style algorithms. 

Disney Plus movies: what's new in 2020 and 2021

Disney Plus has had a big 2020 so far, releasing movies like Frozen 2, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Pixar's Onward, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and Artemis Fowl and the musical Hamilton. Talented gorilla film The One and Only Ivan is the latest big Disney Plus original movie, which arrived in August 2020.

These are the major movies coming to Disney Plus in the US throughout 2020 and 2021 that we know about right now:

  • Beauty and the Beast (2017): August 21
  • Phineas and Ferb: Candace Against the Universe: August 28
  • Fantastic Four (2005): August 28 
  • Alice Through the Looking Glass: August 28
  • Cinderella: September 1
  • The Wolverine: September 4
  • Mulan (Premier Access): September 4
  • Secret Society of Second-Born Royals: September 25
  • Christopher Robin: September 25Maleficent: October 1
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet: December 11
  • The Jungle Book (2016): May 30, 2021
  • The Lone Ranger: April 30, 2021
  • Tomorrowland: September 1, 2021

Older Disney Plus movies are the lifeblood of the service. You'll see many of them in our list of the best Disney Plus movies. You won't find adult movies on this streaming service, though, as all of the content on Disney Plus is family-friendly.

Disney Plus includes pretty much every Disney animated movie you can remember from across the decades: Snow White, 101 Dalmations, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid. There's more or less parity in the library across different countries, though depending on where you are, some movies may be tied up in deals with other services and will arrive on Disney Plus later. We've listed the main examples of this above.

Disney Plus also has an almost-complete archive of Pixar movies to watch, as well as every Star Wars movie, and that includes 2019's The Rise of Skywalker. 

Every single Marvel Cinematic Universe movie is on Disney Plus, except those that are owned by other studios (the two Tom Holland Spider-Man movies and The Incredible Hulk). That now includes Avengers: Infinity War and Ant-Man and the Wasp. 

Existing original movies on Disney Plus include The Lady and the Tramp, Noelle and Timmy Failure. You can watch those now. 

You'll also find a number of movies from 20th Century Fox available to stream on Disney Plus, including James Cameron's Avatar, The Simpsons Movie, the Home Alone series and Cheaper by the Dozen. Some of the X-Men movies have been added to the service now too.

Disney Plus shows: original series and classic shows

Existing Disney Plus originals include Star Wars TV series The Mandalorian and The Clone Wars, which are by far the best reasons to subscribe. Another series called Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian explores the making of the Baby Yoda-starring show.

Other originals include the excellent documentary series The Imagineering Story, and kid-friendly shows like Diary of a Future President, Zenimation, High School Musical: The Series and the Pixar shorts series Forky Asks A Question.

Disney Plus has a lot of non-fiction shows available to watch, like Shop Class, Marvel's Hero Project, The Big Fib, Disney Family Sundays and Disney Fairy Tale Weddings. As you might expect, a lot of its programming is targeted at families. 

In terms of classic shows, Disney Plus offers a lesser array of older series compared to its movie collection. What's here is mostly animated, like DuckTales, Recess, Gargoyles, Gummi Bears, Goof Troop, TaleSpin and several Marvel series, including the '90s X-Men and Spider-Man animated series. The big hitter, of course, is The Simpsons. There are 30 seasons to stream now, as well as The Simpsons Movie. You'll find some other live-action shows to enjoy, too, like Marvel's Runaways and Boy Meets World.

But what about the future?

The reason to be excited about the future of Disney Plus is its upcoming originals, a big-budget array of new Disney Plus shows that put the characters of Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars to work. The highlights for most adult viewers will be the upcoming canonical Marvel Cinematic Universe shows featuring characters from the movies, as well as new live-action Star Wars shows focused on popular heroes like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Cassian Andor. 

Still, while we were expecting the Marvel shows to begin in late 2020, it's now uncertain when they'll release, simply because they didn't finish filming before the start of the current pandemic. 

Below is a selection of the best upcoming shows on Disney Plus. We've excluded most non-fiction shows or game shows from the list, because there are so many in the works, and what's below is the stuff you'll actually be interested in. Note that some of these dates may be affected by the current global pandemic, but it's accurate at the time of publication:

  • The Mandalorian season 2: October 30 2020
  • Muppets Now – July 31 2020
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier – TBA
  • WandaVision – TBA
  • Loki – TBC 2021
  • What If...? – TBC 2021 
  • Hawkeye – TBC 2021
  • Moon Knight – TBC 2021
  • Ms. Marvel – TBC 2021
  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch – TBC 2021
  • Monsters at Work – Spring 2021
  • Turner and Hooch series – TBC
  • Beauty and the Beast Gaston and LeFou spin-off – TBC
  • Mighty Ducks series– TBC
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi series – TBC
  • Star Wars TV series created by Leslye Headland – TBC
  • Cassian Andor series – TBC
  • Lizzie McGuire sequel series – TBC
  • Willow TV series – TBC
  • Percy Jackson TV series – TBC
  • National Treasure TV series – TBC

Disney Plus error codes: what the numbers mean

Check out our list of Disney Plus error codes for more on what the different numbers mean. If you're having issues with Disney Plus you can't seem to solve, try the Disney Plus help center for more. 

This is how you contact Disney Plus customer service, too, if you can't resolve an issue. You can call 888-905-7888 if you're based in the US. You can also tweet the Disney Plus help account. This email should help, as well: DisneyPlusHelp@Disney.com. 

Disney Plus Verizon deal: how you can get a year of Disney Plus for free

Disney Plus and Verizon are still offering a year of Disney Plus for new Fios and 5G Home customers (click here to see the deal). You can still take advantage of the offer even if you're subscribed to Disney Plus already, according to Verizon's FAQs. Some bundles now include Hulu, too, as of August 2020. 

The 'Disney+ On Us' offer is only for new Fios and 5G Home customers. Business accounts are not eligible.

Disney Plus gift subscriptions: get a year of Disney Plus for a friend or family member

(Image credit: Disney)

Disney Plus Gift Subscriptions are available at the yearly $69.99 tier, and make an ideal last-minute gift. You can buy Disney+ Gift Subscriptions here. Right now, though, you can only get them in the US. 

Our verdict? Disney Plus is worth it, but mostly if you have kids

Disney Plus is slightly a more specialist offering than Netflix, aimed at fans of Disney, Marvel and Star Wars. It doesn't have the adult content or variety you'll find on other streaming services, but that's okay, because inevitably you'll find something you want to watch on here.

The archive of Disney Plus content is amazing, and for Disney fans, that's reason enough to subscribe. If you've got children, too, the service is more of a no-brainer.

The next year will be crucial for Disney Plus. Its initial offering of original shows has been solid, but slow, with many of its best series coming long after launch. In a few years, though, with a regular rotation of Star Wars and Marvel shows to enjoy every few months, subscribing is going to be essential.