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Disney Plus Release Date, Price, Exclusive Shows & UK Launch

Disney Plus Release Date, Price, Exclusive Shows & UK Launch

Disney is the latest company to wade into the film and TV streaming game with Disney+ – or Disney Plus if you prefer – a new streaming service that will let you watch all of the Mouse House’s best and brightest in one place. Launching later this year with movies ranging from cartoon classics and Pixar’s finest

Disney is the latest company to wade into the film and TV streaming game with Disney+ – or Disney Plus if you prefer – a new streaming service that will let you watch all of the Mouse House’s best and brightest in one place.

Launching later this year with movies ranging from cartoon classics and Pixar’s finest through to Star Wars and Marvel – not to mention a bevy of exclusive new TV shows – Disney+ looks set to seriously shake up streaming. Here’s what you need to know.

When is Disney+ launching?

Disney Plus is set to debut in the US, Canada and the Netherlands on 12 November, with Australia and New Zealand launching a week later, and other major markets to follow within the first two years. The streaming service will include a selection of classic Disney content as well as the first of its new exclusives, including live action Star Wars show The Mandalorian.

The service is expected to launch in other countries at either the same or similar times, but as of yet Disney has only officially confirmed certain dates, so there’s a chance that fans in the UK or elsewhere might have to wait.

How much will it cost?

The initial pricing of the service is set to undercut major rival Netflix – which makes sense, given that Disney+ offers a more specific, focussed selection of content. With that in mind it will cost $6.99 per month (around £5.50) in the US, with the option of saving a little by paying $69.99 per year – which works out $5.83 each month.

There’s an even better deal planned if you don’t mind spending a little more. Disney will also bundle in Hulu with ads and ESPN+ into one single package for just $12.99 per month. Since Disney+ is normally $6.99, ESPN+ is $4.99, and Hulu is $5.99 on its ad-supported plan, that’s a minimum saving of $5 each month. Don’t expect this bundle to launch in every market though, as Hulu and ESPN aren’t widely available outside the US.

With Netflix’s standard plan now $10.99 per month, and its cheapest still $8.99, Disney’s pricing seriously undercuts the streaming giant – which should help it both lure Netflix subscribers into switching, and tempt others into picking up the Disney service on top of their existing streaming subscriptions.

For the other four markets that have been announced, Disney+ will cost $8.99 (Canadian) per month, and $89.99 for the year. In the Netherlands, the price will be €6.99 per month, and €69.99 per year. For Australia, the service will cost $8.99 (Australian) per month, and $89.99 per year. Finally, in New Zealand the monthly cost will be $9.99 (New Zealand) per month and $99.99 per year. 

If you’re looking to save some money, then take a look at our piece on Disney Plus discounts.

Is Disney+ coming to the UK?

Eventually? Almost certainly. This year? We’re not sure.

The company hasn’t yet said anything about its plans for the UK specifically, though did say that it intends to launch Disney Plus in “nearly all major regions of the world within the next two years” – which hopefully includes the UK.

Complicating things is the fact that the UK is one of the few markets that already has a Disney streaming service: DisneyLife, which costs just £4.99 per month. It includes a selection of classic Disney content, but doesn’t feature the latest Star Wars and Marvel movies, and is unlikely to include the new Disney+ exclusives. We’re expecting the company to fold DisneyLife into the new global Disney+ brand, but we’re not sure when that might happen. If there’s a delay, it might mean UK fans are stuck relying on a VPN to stream the new shows.

How to watch Disney+

Whatever you’re looking to watch Disney Plus on – be it through a computer, smartphone, or tablet – there’s a lot to choose from to suit your needs. 

Disney have confirmed the platforms you’ll be able to catch Disney+ on, which include Roku, Chromecasts, laptops, smart TVs, iPads, Android mobile devices, iPhones and game consoles – even including the Nintendo Switch. 

We’re not sure how many users will be able to watch simultaneously, but we do know that at least on the tablet version of the app you’ll be able to download content to watch offline.

Can I share my Disney+ password?

If you’re looking to use a friends account to avoid paying for your Disney+ plus service, then we may have some bad news for you.

According to some digging by Ars Technica, Disney and Charter Communications have announced a distribution agreement for programming on Disney+ (and other streaming services), which will “address the significant issue of piracy mitigation… [such as] unauthorized access and password sharing.”

We’re not sure as of yet how they’ll do this, but it could involve tracking IP addresses. We’ll let you know more information when we have it. 

What classic movies will be on Disney+?

Loads. Loads and loads and loads and loads.

First up, Disney has confirmed that the service will launch with “around 500 films from the Disney library,” as well as “around 7,000 episodes of Disney TV.” Those will include the 13-film ‘Signature Collection’ of cartoons including Bambi, The Lion King, and The Jungle Book, along with 18 Pixar films.

Every Star Wars movie so far will appear, along with films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with both Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame making their streaming service debuts exclusively on the platform – Endgame is set to arrive on 11 December, and we’d guess that Captain Marvel will be there from launch. 

Thanks to Disney’s merger with Fox there will also be a variety of Fox movies and shows – including the exclusive streaming rights to the entirety of The Simpsons.

One thing you shouldn’t expect to see: anything R-rated. While Disney’s never made much itself, its subsidiaries have, as has Fox. None of that will make its way onto Disney+ though, so you won’t see Alien rubbing shoulders with Bambi any time soon. Instead expect those films to appear on Hulu, which Disney has a financial stake in.

What are the new exclusives?

Arguably more exciting than all those old movies and shows are all the new things being made just for Disney+, including new shows set in the main Marvel and Star Wars Universes.

One of the shows that will launch alongside Disney+ is The Mandalorian, a live action Star Wars series from producer Jon Favreau (director of Iron Man and the new Lion King remake). It’ll star Pedro Pascal as the titular Mandalorian bounty hunter, alongside the likes of Nick Nolte, Werner Herzog, Gina Carano, Carl Weathers, and Giancarlo Esposito. That show will eventually also be joined by a Rogue One prequel starring Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk as their characters from the recent film, along with the final season of animated series The Clone Wars, and potentially even a spin-off starring Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

On the Marvel side there’s even more to look forward to. First up is The Falcon and Winter Soldier, starring Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan, and due to hit the platform some time in Q3 2020 (July to September, basically). Then Spring 2021 will bring us WandaVision featuring both Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen, along with Loki starring Tom Hiddleston. Summer 2021 gets us the animated anthology ‘What If?’ series, in which each episode will explore alternate versions of Marvel characters, and in autumn that year we’ll get the final announced show, a Hawkeye miniseries starring Jeremy Renner.

Outside of the Marvel/Star Wars goliaths, there’s Monsters At Work, a new show based on the Monsters Inc. movies. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is also on the way, along with a live action Lady in the Tramp remake, a National Geographic documentary series with Jeff Goldblum, and plenty more besides.

Disney will also be remaking a few classic 20th Century Fox franchises with the aim to launch them on the streaming service. Home Alone, Night at the Museum, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Cheaper By the Dozen all in line for “reimaginations” for the platform according to Disney CEO Bog Iger.

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Susan E. Lopez

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