I honestly don’t think Disney+ could have come at a better time! With everyone in the UK in lockdown thanks to COVID-19 and with people worldwide facing great uncertainty, I think we could all do with a little Disney magic right now! As a self-professed Disney nerd, I have had the advanced early-bird subscription offer since January. But like everyone else, have had to wait in eager anticipation until this month to start watching. After a few binge-watching sessions I decided to write a blog post with my thoughts on this new streaming platform to give you guys an idea as to whether Disney+ is for you.
First thing’s first, how much does it cost and is it worth the money? Well, whether it’s worth the money is pretty subjective to your personal preferences. However, what I will say is it’s one of the cheapest streaming services out there and in my opinion, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
If you’re not sure it’s for you, Disney+ are offering a 7-day free trial before purchasing. After that, you can choose to pay either £5.99 per month or £59.99 for the year. For one subscription you can create 4 accounts and stream on up to 4 different devices to keep all the family happy, or, though this is a little frowned upon, this could be used to split the cost between a couple of households.
As previously mentioned Disney plus is one of the cheapest streaming subscriptions available and has the added bonus of being able to create 4 different accounts which with many other subscription services you have to pay extra for. Now, I can hear some of you arguing that other streaming platforms provide more variety and I can’t argue with that. However, Disney+ probably does offer greater versatility than you may initially think. Not only can you stream Disney movies new and old, but you also have access to all the Marvel and Star Wars movies and TV series, Pixar productions, National Geographic shows, your favourite series from the Disney Channel and many original movies and series exclusive to Disney+. For me, the yearly subscription was worth it as I know I’ll love and use it, Disney is always a go-to for me when I’m craving a cosy duvet day or feeling under the weather. But, what streaming platform works for you is entirely individual. My advice, find a week you can get the free trial and fully utilise it (If you’re currently in isolation or working from home, now may be the perfect time) so you can see if it’s for you and take it from there.
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Disney+ is accessible via smart TVs, laptops, computers and on phones and tablets. I can’t comment on the TV part as unfortunately, my TV is not smart enough for streaming platforms. However, I have got Disney+ downloaded on my phone and laptop. I find the home page layout really neat, it has buttons for Marvel, Disney, Star Wars and Nat Geo which, when clicked on, takes you to several other different categories to scroll through.
Like Netflix there is a ‘continue watching’ and a ‘because you watched…’ recommendation section as well as a few featured movies and programs on the home page. On a phone or tablet, there is also the option to download things to watch later so you can stream on the go. On the laptop, there is an additional navigation bar allowing you to view your watch list and browse programs by series, movie or originals as well as a search tab if you’re looking for something in particular.
Overall I like the layout, it’s very aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. I think a great addition would be to be able to filter movies by year so you could find and watch the most recent releases. However, I haven’t had issues finding anything and the layout makes a lot of sense, so very little complaint here.
Disney is pumping out a lot of original content exclusive to Disney+. From movies, behind the scenes exposes and brand new TV series, there’s lots to sink your teeth into. Now, I’ve only had Disney+ for a few days and I still have a lot of originals to troll through, but here are my thoughts on a few I’ve watched so far…..
Star Girl is a Disney original movie about teenage angst and the desire to change who you are to fit in with accepted social norms, with one girl who continues to stands out. It wasn’t my favourite film, it was a bit of a non-starter in my opinion as it lacked a dynamic plot. But I have to admit there seems to be a lot of contemporary films like this surfacing at the moment such as Netflix’ All The Bright Places which I had similar opinions about. Long story short, I didn’t hate it, but I won’t bother watching it again.
Now, Lady and The Tramp Live Action was much more up my street. I know many people have mixed opinions on the remakes but as a rule, I really quite enjoy them. To me, it’s like getting to watch your old favourites in a new light. However, I can see why this one didn’t make the big screen as it was more a nice TV movie to watch at home than a hyped-up Hollywood blockbuster.
It’s cheesy, it’s Glee-esque and it’s right up my street! High School Musical The Musical The Series follows a group of high schoolers who take on re-creating the Disney blockbuster High School Musical. However, in the style of Glee, you see the drama and relationships behind the scenes of the production. It’s a great, feel-good easy watch.
Disney Weddings is quite possibly one of my favourite originals on Disney+. It follows couples getting married on one of the Disney properties and you see the process of their preparation leading up to a big day like no other. Now, usually, I’m not really into all that cheesy stuff, but my word this program hits me in the feels every time and I end up getting so invested in the process of happily ever after. If you’re a sucker for romance, this show is for you!
Be Our Chef is a family cooking show where two families go head to head to create Disney inspired dishes to win an all-expenses-paid Disney Holiday. It’s a little cheesy (excuse the pun) but if you’re wanting an easy watch then it may be a fun watch for all the family.
The Imagineering Story, wow, what can I say. I simply love getting an inside look into the World of Walt Disney and his creation of the theme parks I adore. It made me have a new appreciation for just how amazing Walt was. I think he’d be so proud that the parks today have the same fun, imagination and wonder he wanted to keep alive during his days of creation. It was also touching to see how much the people who knew and worked with Walt loved him. It’s definitely a must-watch for those who love the parks.
Mandalorian is a series under the Star Wars blanket. Now, you may have seen the adorable baby Yoda pictures circulating the internet over the last few months, well this program is the source. If you love Star Wars and programs of the sci-fi, adventure genre, then Mandalorian is for you. I wasn’t sure it would be up my street but I was pleasantly surprised by how hooked I got, in particular when baby Yoda became a feature.
As I said, I still have many more originals to sample but so far I’ve been impressed with the variety supplied and look forward to more to come throughout the next coming months.
As you might expect there are hundreds of Disney movies for you to devour, easily providing you with months of solid watch time. There are the original animated classics such as Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast and all the Pixar faves like the Toystory movies. Then you have all the old-time Disney creations, many of which I haven’t ever watched such as 2000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. In addition to this, you can binge-watch all your favourite Disney Channel movies such as High School Musical and there’s also the extended Disney nature documentaries on there which are truly spectacular. Additionally, you have the new live-action Disney remakes and then you can move on to the Star Wars and Marvel universes which are all on there too. Basically, you could watch Disney+ solidly for days and not run out of things to watch! I personally have a watch list as long as me to get through!
As well as the movies there are plenty of series to dive into too. Many are nostalgic Disney Channel programs such as Hannah Montanna, Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Lizzie McGuire. But there are more adult shows too including the new addition to the Star Wars Universe, Mandalorian as well as Marvel’s Agents of shield and Agent Carter. I’m not going to lie, I’m more here for the movies and originals and Netflix is certainly superior with its series offerings, but it’s nice to know there’s a selection of series to dip into if I want to.
Ok, so there were a few negatives because let’s face it, not even Disney is perfect! Again some of these may be personal preference, just because it bugs me doesn’t mean it’s going to bug you. Firstly, Disney has chosen to release episodes of TV series weekly so you are unable to binge-watch. Now, this isn’t always necessarily a bad thing, sometimes I find I get bored of a series if I watch too many episodes and have no building anticipation for the next one as I can watch it instantly. However, as many of the big streaming platforms release all their episodes in one go and this is what people are used to, many people may find this a point of frustration.
Secondly, from my browse, I did find some things aren’t on there like the original 101 dalmatians, they have two of the four Chronicles of Narnia movies and some but not all of the Ice Age films. These are just a couple I’ve come across so far. I was particularly surprised by the original animation of 101 dalmatians being missing. I guess it’s probably to do with licensing as due to Sony still owning Spiderman those films are unfortunately not in the Marvel section of Disney+ either.
Finally, I did expect there to be more new releases on the platform. For instance, Frozen 2 is not yet on there, neither is Maleficent 2 and a few of the other more recent Disney movies which have been out a while and I expected would have made it onto Disney+. I was also a little disappointed that as no one can get to the cinema for the foreseeable future that Disney hasn’t decided to stream some of their newer movies on there. But I guess I can’t blame them for wanting a second try at the box office when all this COVID-19 stuff has (hopefully) blown over.
For me, Disney+ is worth every penny. Since it’s release a few days ago I haven’t watched anything else and I’m confident it’s going to feature heavily every time I fancy a lazy day or want to find a movie to watch on an evening or weekend. However, if you’re not a big Disney fan, let’s be realistic here, it’s probably not for you. Though if you’re reading this post I’m suspecting most of you, like me, love Disney and if you do, well, it’s pretty hard to be disappointed with this streaming service.
If you are feeling Disney nostalgia or are in the middle of planning for a future trip, head over to my Disney Section for some more inspiration.