Disney Plus UK: how to sign up, Star, SharePlay, GroupWatch and more explained

Disney Plus UK - Giant bowl of popcorn in front of TV screen with Disney+ logo displayed
(Image credit: JOCA_PH via Shutterstock)

Disney Plus UK has been growing in stature since March 2020, and is now one of the most popular streamers in the crowded marketplace. If you think it's just for children, you couldn't be more wrong. Disney Plus has a deep vault of TV shows and films, with all genres accounted for – and for all ages.

You'll find every single one of the Marvel movies and TV shows (including She-Hulk), Star Wars spinoffs like The Mandalorian, The Bad Batch and Andor, fantasy shows including Willow, and adult dramas like The Old Man. Because it is perfect for the entire family, Disney has built in a multiple profile function so you can put parental controls on your kids' access. 

Disney has also added SharePlay, a feature that lets you watch along with friends or family who aren't in the same place as you. We'll explain more about that later.

So, is Disney+ a good investment? We think it is, but if you're unsure, this guide will tell you all you need to know. For more, see our Disney Plus review, guide to the Disney Plus price and this info about Disney Plus Premier Access.

What is Disney Plus?

The Disney Plus logo alongside the logos for its subsidiaries

Disney Plus is the home of multiple Disney-owned companies' content. (Image credit: Disney)

Disney Plus is a streaming platform much like Netflix, which enables you to watch movies and TV shows on demand. Despite the name, it isn't only Disney content that's available (though, of course, there's a huge archive of the best Disney Plus movies past and present). You'll also find a vault of Marvel, Star Wars and, of course, Pixar. Plus, there's National Geographic movies and TV shows and enough of The Simpsons that you'll never run dry (32 out of the 34 seasons, to be exact).

In fact, Disney Plus is the streaming home of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars, so not only can you watch all of the iconic titles you already love, but you'll get first access to new stuff as well. Recently, that's included She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Andor, Obi-Wan Kenobi,  The Bad Batch, Ms Marvel, Eternals, Hawkeye and The Book of Boba Fett. Additionally, you get access to Star, a Disney-owned network, which has a plethora of US dramas, and Hulu/Disney Plus originals like Pam and Tommy – a dramatic delve into the true story behind the '90s celebrity couple's stolen sex tape (this is one that leaves you thankful for Disney's parental controls).

Disney Plus can be streamed on a whole range of devices, including your smartphone, games console, PC, smart TV and streaming stick/device. We go into more detail on supported devices later on this page.

Disney Plus: how to sign up

The Disney Plus app on a smartphone surrounded by popcorn

Disney Plus can be streamed directly on your mobile phone. (Image credit: AFM Visuals / Shutterstock)

To sign up for a Disney Plus subscription, head to the Disney Plus website (opens in new tab). From here, you can create an account, pick which subscription you want, and enter your billing details to get started. Then, with your login details to hand, you can download Disney Plus onto the device of your choice.

Is there a Disney Plus UK free trial?

Disney Plus Day logo surrounded by images from available movies and shows

Disney Plus is packed with the biggest movies and TV shows around. (Image credit: Disney Plus)

At the time of writing, no: the Disney Plus UK free trial was discontinued in June 2020, so the cheapest way to try Disney Plus is to subscribe for a month. That's not the cheapest way to have it permanently, though: an annual subscription is cheaper than paying monthly.

Disney Plus UK price: is it worth it?

A person holding a mobile phone with the Disney Plus app on it.

You can stream Disney Plus on multiple devices. (Image credit: Eliseu Geisler / Shutterstock.com)

Disney Plus is £7.99 per month, and unlike Netflix you don't need to pay more for the best picture quality: you simply pay for your subscription and get access to everything. That price has gone up since the platform launched – Disney+ was originally £5.99 per month – but we don't expect another price hike in the foreseeable future.

Paying monthly gives you the freedom to cancel, but it costs a bit more too. If you pay up-front for an annual subscription you can save 16%, bringing the total for a year down to £79.90. That's equivalent to £6.65 a month.

If you're willing to wait a little longer, Disney+ is planning to launch a more affordable, ad-based version of its service in 2023.

For a more in-depth look at Disney Plus' pricing options, check out our dedicated guide to the Disney Plus Price.

Disney Plus Premier Access

Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff in Marvel's Black Widow movie

Black Widow was one of the first Premier Access titles. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Premier Access was a premium option that allows you to watch big new movies before they're available to regular Disney Plus customers. We say "was", because it's been several months since Disney released its most recent Premier Access title, Jungle Cruise.

Premier Access launched during COVID as a way to get films to viewers when the cinemas were all closed. Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon were the first movies to take advantage of this. Since then, films including Cruella, Black Widow and Jungle Cruise were also brought to Disney Plus using as Premier Access titles. The premise was simple enough: if you wanted to see the film, you paid £19.99 to access it.

Premier Access has been plagued with controversy, most notably when Scarlett Johansson alleged in a lawsuit that the Disney+ release of Black Widow cost the film millions in box office revenues. Disney settled out of court and since then seems to have lost its enthusiasm for Premier Access.

As things stand just now, new films tend to appear on the standard Disney Plus package around 90 days after their cinematic release. 

What is Disney Plus Star?

The official logo for Disney Plus Star

The official logo for Disney Plus Star. (Image credit: Walt Disney Company)

In February 2021, Disney Plus Star – a new channel that sits on the homepage like Star Wars, Disney, Pixar, Marvel and National Geographic – arrived in the UK. With parental controls enabled, this allows users to watch adult TV shows and movies on the streaming service, and has doubled the amount of content available to subscribers of a certain age.

The line-up includes older content that Disney owns via other production houses, such as Fox Studios, which it bought in a multi-billion-dollar deal in 2019. As well as adding extensive library content to the service, like The X-Files, Lost, 24, Atlanta, How I Met Your Mother, Family Guy, Bob's Burgers, The Walking Dead and a selection of the Die Hard movies, original shows are a massive part of the offering, here. 

Originals on Star on Disney Plus include Prey, The Bear, Pam and Tommy, Marvel's Hit Monkey, Dopesick, American Horror Story, and Only Murders in the Building. Star is also the home of movies like The French Dispatch and Underwater, which were produced by its subsidiaries.

Star is included with your existing Disney Plus subscription, too, so you don't have to pay extra to get it.

New Disney Plus UK movies and TV shows

Obi-Wan Kenobi on Disney Plus

A screenshot of the official poster for Obi-Wan Kenobi's TV show. (Image credit: Disney)

Disney Plus is constantly being updated with new movies and TV shows including new episodes of the current crop of shows – and 2023 is set to be another bumper year for the streamer. Standout content set for release in early 2023 is:

The best of Disney+ UK in early 2023:

  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch
  • The Menu
  • Willow
  • Retrograde
  • Extraordinary

Movies coming up later in 2023:

  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Peter Pan and Wendy
  • Elemental
  • Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
  • The Marvels
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Next Goal Wins
  • True Love
  • Wish
  • Aladdin: Live From the West End
  • Three Men and a Baby

New Marvel shows for 2023:

  • What If…? season 2
  • Secret Invasion
  • Loki season 2
  • Ironheart
  • Echo 
  • Agatha: Coven of Chaos
  • X-Men '97

New Star Wars shows for 2023:

  • Star Wars: The Bad Batch – Season 2
  • Star Wars: The Mandalorian – Season 3
  • Star Wars: Ahsoka
  • Star Wars: Skeleton Crew
  • Star Wars: Visions – Season 2
  • Young Jedi Adventures

New Pixar shows for 2023:

  • Win Or Lose
  • Dug Days: Carl’s Date

New Disney animated shows for 2023

  • Monsters at Work season 2
  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur 
  • The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder season 2 
  • Tiana

Disney Plus UK 4K and HDR support

Kamala Khan and Bruno Carrelli on a rooftop in Ms. Marvel on Disney Plus

Ms. Marvel and Bruno Carrelli share a moment in the popular MCU TV show. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Disney Plus supports 4K and HDR. When you're in the app, head over to the 'details' tab of a given movie or show and you'll see a section that says 'available in the following formats', which will explain if the content in question features 4K Ultra HD and HDR. 

Additionally, Disney Plus UK offers additional support to Marvel movies with its Enhanced Mode. This allows users to watch certain MCU superhero flicks in IMAX cinema mode – i.e. allowing you to see more of what's on the screen due to its larger aspect ratio. You can learn more about Enhanced Mode here.

Disney Plus UK: apps and compatible devices

A promotional image of the Disney Plus Group Watch feature

Disney Plus can be streamed to almost any device. (Image credit: Future)

Disney Plus is available on almost any device in the UK, including mobile phones, games consoles, streaming media devices and many of the best smart TVs. You can take Disney Plus on the go, too, downloading as many movies and shows as you can fit on your device. That is, as long as you have an active subscription and connect to the internet every 30 days.  

Disney Plus UK is available on LG TVs, Sky Q, Apple TV, Roku streaming devices, Android (5.0 and later), iOS (11.0 and later), PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, LG WebOS smart TVs, Samsung Tizen smart TVs, Vizio Smartcast TVs, Google Chromecast, Now TV, and Amazon's Fire range of streaming devices. One notable exception is the Nintendo Switch, which is still pretty poor at supporting streaming services. 

Phillips' Android-based smart TVs support Disney Plus, too. Your Samsung TV should be able to get Disney Plus as well. Read our guide and discover if your TV can support it.

You can search for and download Disney Plus on the device of your choice, but here are some app links if you're having a bit of trouble. Disney Plus is available in web browsers, on Smart TVs, through Amazon devices, iOS, Android, PlayStation consoles, Xbox devices, Roku sticks, and almost everything else (except Nintendo Switch).

What are Disney Plus UK's parental controls

Moon Knight

Moon Knight is one of the more mature Disney Plus offerings. (Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Launching in February 2021, Disney Plus' parental controls feature allows adults to restrict the type of content that children and young teens consume via the streamer.

Disney Plus offers subscribers the chance to create up to seven profiles on one account, which can be tailored to each user's age. Parents can create access limits on various profiles (based on their content ratings), as well as being able to set profile PIN locks that prevent youngsters from accessing R-rated Disney Plus content.

Additionally, Disney Plus also provides the opportunity to create Kid profiles. This option only contains content that's suitable for children aged seven and younger, so there'll be no chance of them accessing mature movies and TV shows.

To create a Kid profile, or to stop children and young teens from seeing content that they shouldn't be watching, open up your user profile menu. Navigate to the 'edit profiles' section, and choose a profile to change. From here, you can add specific parental controls to each profile.  Once you're finished, click 'done' to let these changes take effect.

What are Disney Plus SharePlay and GroupWatch?

Baby Yoda

Grogu co-stars in The Mandalorian on Disney Plus. (Image credit: Disney Plus)

Released in December 2021, SharePlay is a new and exclusive Apple device-supported feature that allows Disney Plus subscribers to watch content with their friends and family.

Supported on iPhones, iPads and Apple TV devices, SharePlay enables up to 32 users to simultaneously watch the same movie or TV show via FaceTime. Users have the opportunity to select the audio settings of their choice, too, while individual subscribers can add subtitles if necessary. SharePlay is only compatible with tvOS 15.1, iOS 15.1, and iPadOS 15.1, though, so owners with devices on older software won't be able to use it.

For non-Apple device users, or those running software older than iOS 15, Disney Plus' GroupWatch offers an alternative. Launching in September 2020, GroupWatch enables up to seven people to watch a synced-up film or TV series across any number of devices. Subscribers can react in real-time to watch they're watching, too, using the in-built emoji system that GroupWatch employs. Interested parties can find out more in our dedicated GroupWatch hub.

Richard Edwards

Richard is a freelance journalist specialising in movies and TV, primarily of the sci-fi and fantasy variety. An early encounter with a certain galaxy far, far away started a lifelong love affair with outer space, and these days Richard's happiest geeking out about Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel and other long-running pop culture franchises. In a previous life he was editor of legendary sci-fi magazine SFX, where he got to interview many of the biggest names in the business – though he'll always have a soft spot for Jeff Goldblum who (somewhat bizarrely) thought Richard's name was Winter.

With contributions from