Time to get your ears on, mouseketeers. The wait for Disney+ UK is finally over.
While the new streaming service launched in the US, Canada, Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand months ago – pulling in over 10 million subscribers on day one alone – the House of Mouse has kept UK fans waiting until, well, a time when we could all surely use the distraction.
Below, we’ll talk you through everything you need to know about Disney+; the price, the shows, the Marvel affiliation, the Netflix rebellion, the future of DisneyLife, and much more.
What is Disney Plus?
Disney+ is the dedicated streaming service for films and TV shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and more.
It’s also fast becoming Netflix and Amazon Prime Video’s biggest rival, thanks to an enormous back catalogue of Disney films and a seemingly endless supply of family favourites.
Much like Netflix and Prime Video, Disney+ is also producing exclusive films and TV shows — but more on that later.
When will Disney Plus launch in the UK?
We’re in luck! Disney+ launched in the UK yesterday, March 24, 2020.
Disney+ is available now, with a 7-day free trial.
How much does Disney Plus cost?
A Disney+ subscription will cost you £5.99 per month in the UK, matching the rolling cost of a Netflix subscription. Committed subscribers can also choose to purchase an annual subscription for £59.99, saving £11.89 per year. As in the US, new subscribers can kick things off with a free seven-day trial.
How can I watch Disney Plus?
Subscribers can stream all of the platform’s content through the Disney+ app (Android and iOS compatible, including tablets), most smart TVs, Roku, Chromecast, and gaming consoles (PS4 and Xbox), with the notable exception of the Nintendo Switch (which is not compatible with streaming services).
What TV shows and films are available on Disney Plus?
Disney+ UK has launched with over 1,000 films, TV shows and originals, including some which are not available through its US service.
Of course, the show on everyone’s lips is The Mandalorian — the rave-reviewed Star Wars spin-off that spurred a million Baby Yoda memes.
The Mandalorian’s story is set between the fall of the Empire and the emergence of the First Order, following the travails of a lone gunfighter in the outer reaches of the galaxy, and has already filled an asteroid-size hole in the hearts of Star Wars superfans worldwide. The first two episodes of the series launch today, with the third coming Friday, and weekly installments from then on.
But that’s only the beginning.
UK-based Disney+ subscribers have already been granted access to The World According To Jeff Goldblum (an icon-led exploration through the world of deceptively familiar objects), a live action retelling of the 1955 classic Lady and the Tramp, a new Toy Story series centred on the fourth film’s breakout star (Forky Asks a Question’) and much more.
For many people, however, the draw is unlimited access to old and new classics like Up, The Lion King, and Monsters Inc, plus exclusives like X-Men: Days of Future Past — a notable coup for the commonwealth, as no X-Men films are currently available on Disney+ US.
And if that wasn’t enough, Disney seems to be announcing new shows and films every week.
Over the next year or so, Disney+ subscribers will be able to enjoy several new Marvel TV shows (Ms Marvel, She-Hulk, What If…?, Moon Knight, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, and Loki have all been green-lit), an Obi-Wan Kenobi Star Wars series (starring Ewan McGregor!), a Lizzie McGuire sequel series starring Hilary Duff, a Monsters Inc sequel series (Monsters at Work), and much more, including remakes of Home Alone, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Night at the Museum, and Cheaper by the Dozen.
We’ve even been told that the cinematic version of the smash-hit musical Hamilton will appear on the streaming platform after its run in cinemas, likely 2022.
Read more: What’s on Disney+ UK? A guide to every original TV show and film
Is The Simpsons on Disney Plus UK?
Many would-be Disney+ customers have spent months debating whether The Simpsons would be available to UK subscribers, as it is in the US, because the UK’s promotional activity had been noticeably Simpsons-free.
Thankfully, both Sky and Disney+ confirmed The Simpsons would be available on Disney+ UK earlier on this month. The Simpsons will remain on Sky, “co-exclusively” for new seasons, but its back catalogue is now available on Disney+ UK. You can watch and download every episode from season one to thirty today.
Disney+ UK also signed an exclusive deal to sell the streaming service through Sky Q set-top boxes.
Read more: The 25 best Simpsons episodes to watch on Disney+
What will happen to DisneyLife?
Though it has had something of a lukewarm uptake over the last couple of years, Disney actually already had an active subscription service in the UK before Disney+.
The service, DisneyLife, charged £4.99 per month for access to hundreds of Disney movies including the original Beauty and the Beast, Jungle Book, and Lion King, but little to excite binge-watchers. Kind of like a Disney+ Lite. Disney has confirmed plans to rebrand DisneyLife into Disney+ to coincide with the new service’s launch.
Current DisneyLife subscribers have been told that the company “will communicate more information about how to transition your subscription to Disney+ soon”, but firm instructions have yet to be confirmed.
Will Disney TV shows and movies still be available on Netflix?
It is unlikely we’ll see much from Disney on Netflix anymore. As the company began to put its streaming service in motion last year, Disney decided against renewing its deal with Netflix.
The choice marked a great win for the future of Disney+ and an undeniable loss for Netflix — the top movies of 2016, 2017 and 2018 were all Disney films, and Netflix gained a lot of subscribers as the vehicle to stream them.
But licensing is complicated and rumours have already begun to circulate that Netflix may get a few films back, albeit temporarily. One license, which affects movies released between January 2016 and December 2018, suggests some films would be removed from Disney+ and returned to Netflix in 2026.
The films affected include Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Finding Dory, Captain America: Civil War, Coco, The Incredibles 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, the live action Beauty and The Beat, The Last Jedi, Avengers: Infinity War, and Moana.
But the launch of Disney+ also coincides with the expiration of a complicated deal between Marvel and Netflix.
Over the last couple of years, Netflix released five original Marvel Defenders series in partnership with Disney. Then cancelled them all. With fans mourning the loss of Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher and Jessica Jones, many are waiting for Disney+ to revive the shows in some capacity.
Kevin Mayer, the Disney executive in charge of Disney Plus, has said Disney+ could possibly bring them back to life, but reports suggest their original deal could restrict Disney from working on one until some time this year.