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Disney+ Review: Is Disney’s Streaming Service Worth It?

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Disney+ is a popular streaming service and one which increasingly offers access to more content. However, the streaming service won’t suit everyone. If you are fan of Disney movies and shows, or Marvel, Star Wars or even The Simpsons, then a subscription is worth considering. For everyone else, Disney+ probably isn’t worth a year-round subscription.

Disney+ first launched in November 2019. The service has gone through a number of changes since then, with the price a prime example, Right now, a subscription costs a minimum of $7.99 a month with ads or $13.99 a month without ads.

Whether or not it is worth paying that price comes down to how much you care about franchise content like Disney, Marvel and Star Wars.

Disney+ $7.99 / $13.99
  • Experience
  • Content
  • Features
  • Price
3.5

Streaming Better verdict

If you’re a fan of classic Disney content, and/or Marvel and Star Wars, a Disney+ subscription seems like a no-brainer. For everyone else, Disney+ probably won’t be a subscription you need year-round.

Pros

Ad and ad-free plans
Disney classics
Marvel
Star Wars
Can bundle Hulu and ESPN+

Cons

Expensive ad-free plan
Smaller library
Better suited to families

Disney+ full review

If you’re still unsure of whether Disney+ is the right service for you, here’s our full review.

How we reviewed this service: We remain subscribed to Disney+ throughout the year and this review is based on that long-term usage, along with our experience of using the service across a variety of devices, including Apple TV, Fire TV, Google TV, Android mobile, and disneyplus.com. Over the past year, we’ve subscribed to both Disney+ Basic (With Ads) and Disney+ Premium (No Ads) plans.

Disney+ specs — what you need to know

Below are some of the main specs and features that you might want to know about before signing up to Disney+.

Monthly Plan$7.99 (Basic)
$13.99 (Premium)
Annual Plan$139.99 (Premium)
Simultaneous Streams4
Ad Free✔ (Premium)
On Demand
Live TV
Downloads✔ (Premium)

Disney+ experience — what it’s like to use

Over the years, Disney+ has become a much richer streaming service and is now home to a decent amount of content. While the Disney catalog is the main reason why you might consider signing up for a subscription, some of the other franchises and services are likely to appeal to some homes as well.

Disney+ is well aware of this and makes sure that its most popular content and franchises are front and center when visiting the website or opening the app. This is achieved through the use of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and Hulu shortcuts.

Hulu in Disney Plus app
Disney+ app Home

Clicking on any of these will immediately narrow down the catalog to content from that franchise or service.

Below these shortcuts, users are presented with genre or themed rows of recommendations. Examples of themed rows include Space and Exploration, New to Disney+, Sports Documentaries, Reimagined Classics and so on. Users will also find traditional personalized rows like Continue Watching and Because You Watched…

Disney+ Rows
Disney+ Rows

For those that prefer to browse the entire catalog, the Disney+ app also includes a left-side navigation menu. Categories available through this side menu include Home, Watchlist, Movies, Series, Originals and Settings.

Clicking on any individual title will open a standard title page where users can view additional information about the title, including runtime, release year, and a description. Alongside the option to play and add to a watchlist, many titles also include the option to play a trailer.

Disney+ Title page
Disney+ Title page

Title pages also typically include a Suggested section at the bottom where users are presented with a variety of recommended similar titles.

Disney+ Suggested
Disney+ Suggested titles

As Disney+ offers a consistent user experience, you can expect a very similar app experience regardless of the device you are using. This includes when using a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet.

Disney+ content — what you can watch (including Hulu)

While the Disney+ library has grown massively over the years, the exact amount of content a subscriber has access to will depend on their subscription.

In general, all Disney+ subscribers get access to the main Disney+ catalog. This not only includes classic Disney and Pixar movies and shows, but also access to popular franchises including Marvel, The Simpsons, and Star Wars.

Disney+ Star Wars
Star Wars on Disney+

For fans of science and exploration-based content, Disney+ also offers access to a good variety of National Geographic titles at no additional cost.

Disney Plus National Geographic
National Geographic on Disney+

If you are also a Hulu subscriber, the Disney+ app now includes access to the Hulu library as well, somewhat removing the need to use the standalone Hulu app.

While the Disney+ app doesn’t appear to include access to the entire Hulu library, it does include a substantial amount. According to Disney, “thousands of movies and series from Hulu’s library” are available to stream through the Disney+ app.

Disney+ Hulu content
Hulu content on Disney+

All of these titles are housed within the Hulu tab in the Disney+ app. This is an intentional move by Disney to ensure the app remains primarily focused on Disney+ content.

Subscribers are also able to further narrow down Hulu content by selecting one of the associated brands or channels. For example, A&E, ABC, Fox, FX, MTV, and so on.

Disney Plus Hulu brands
Hulu brands on Disney+

Again, all of this additional Hulu content is only available to those with a Hulu subscription, whether it’s a standalone Hulu subscription or part of a Disney Bundle subscription.

Even without a Hulu subscription, Disney+ subscribers still get access to a good amount of content. However, the library is definitely focused on franchise content and isn’t as wide as libraries offered by some competing streaming services.

Disney+ Live TV — can you watch live?

Disney+ does not offer any option for watching live at the moment. While many other streaming services offer access to live local channels or free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels, Disney+ has yet to offer any live channels or content.

For those that are looking for access to live TV, in addition to Disney+, it might be worth considering a Hulu Live TV subscription instead. Hulu Live TV not only unlocks access to more than 95 live TV channels for $76.99 a month, but a subscription also includes access to Disney+, the basic Hulu library and ESPN+.

Hulu Live TV
Hulu LIve TV guide$77+ a month
95+ channels
2 streams
Unlimited DVR
Disney+ and ESPN+
Sign up

Disney+ value — how much you pay

Disney+ Basic (with ads) costs $7.99 a month, and at this price, it is comparable to ad-supported plans from many other streaming services.

ServiceCost
AMC+$4.99
Discovery+$4.99
Paramount+$5.99
Peacock$5.99
Netflix$6.99
Disney+$7.99
Hulu$7.99
Prime Video$8.99
Max$9.99
Ad-free plans

The Disney+ Premium (without ads) plan costs $13.99 a month (or $139.99 a year). While also comparable to other ad-free plans, we feel it is a little on the expensive side.

ServiceCost
AMC+$8.99
Discovery+$8.99
Apple TV+$9.99
Starz$9.99
Prime Video$11.99
Paramount+$11.99
Peacock$11.99
Disney+$13.99
Netflix$15.49
Max$15.99
Hulu$17.99
Ad-free plans

Disney also offers various bundles which can help to lower the cost of a subscription. These bundle options allow combining Disney+ with Hulu or with Hulu and ESPN+.

Disney+with Huluwith Hulu & ESPN+
Basic$9.99$14.99
Premium$19.99$24.99

The bundles offer significantly better value overall and are the best way to subscribe to Disney+. Even if you don’t want access to Hulu or ESPN+, Disney+ is still comparably competitive on price.

Is Disney+ worth it? — what we really think

We like Disney+ but we don’t love it. If you are a fan of Disney content, and/or the Marvel or Star Wars franchises, then Disney+ may very well be worth a subscription. Even then, however, you may be better off buying the movies and shows you want instead of remaining indefinitely subscribed to the service on a permanent basis.

Homes with families will also see some additional benefit in having access to Disney+, due to its large library of family-friendly content. Again, if families find their younger members mainly focus on one or two Disney titles, it may just be better to buy those titles instead of paying for an ongoing subscription.

Where we do see some major value is in the addition of Hulu. If you are subscribed to Hulu (or the Disney Bundle) then having access to Hulu content within the app is a nice addition. Hulu not only greatly improves the quantity of content available but also the variety of content available.

If you already pay for either Disney+ or Hulu, then you may find that you can add the other service at a cheaper price. If that is the case, we would suggest adding the additional service and seeing if it works for you at the combined price, as this is the best way to maximize the value.

To sum up, those that are already convinced the Disney+ library will be of value to them will find that a subscription is worth it, either standalone or as part of a bundle. For everyone else, Disney+ feels like a subscription you should rotate in and out of your monthly subscription budget, as and when a new movie or show you want to watch becomes available.

Disney+ FAQs

Below are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Disney+.

How much is Disney+?

Disney+ costs a minimum of $7.99 a month. For those wanting to skip the ads, the ad-free plan costs $13.99 a month. It is also possible to bundle Disney+ with Hulu (starting at $9.99/month) or Hulu and ESPN+ (starting at $14.99/month).

Is there an annual Disney+ plan?

Disney+ does offer an annual plan but not for its cheapest ad-supported tier. Instead, it is possible to sign up for the Disney+ Premium (No Ads) annual plan for $139.99 a year.

Does Disney+ have ads?

Disney+ offers two main plans to choose from – Basic and Premium. If signing up to the Disney+ Basic plan, subscribers can expect to encounter ad breaks before and during videos.

How many Disney+ streams?

Disney+ can be streamed on up to 4 devices at the same time.

Can I watch Disney+ on my devices?

Disney+ can be watched on a wide variety of devices including streaming players and smart TVs powered by Android TV (including Google TV), Apple TV, Fire TV, and Roku. Disney+ can also be accessed on Hisense, LG, Samsung and Vizio smart TVs, as well as Android and iOS mobile devices.

Can you download Disney+ videos?

Yes, many Disney+ videos are available to download on mobile (Android and iOS) devices. Subscribers can download content on up to 10 supported mobile devices at a time, and downloads will remain available as long as the subscriber connects to the internet with the device at least once every 30 days.

John Finn
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John Finn

By John Finn

John Finn is the Founder and Editor of Streaming Better, a platform created in 2019 to help consumers navigate the complicated live TV streaming and subscription service market.

John has been covering technology for various online publications since 2014. After originally covering the wider tech industry as a writer and editor, John now spends his time focusing on the emerging video-streaming market, including live TV streaming, SVOD, AVOD, FAST, and TVOD services.

In a bid to keep up to date on the industry, John actively subscribes to multiple streaming services at the same time. However, John continues to advocate that the best approach for consumers is to rotate between streaming services as needed.

A Psychology graduate from England, who now lives in the US, John previously worked in the aviation industry as an airline reviewer. While reviewing airlines isn't quite the same as reviewing devices and streaming services, John brings the same analytical eye to all of his reviews and industry analysis, along with a special emphasis on what's best for the consumer.

Connect with John
Email: john@streamingbetter.com
X: @J_Finns
Website: JohnFinn.net

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