Disney Plus: Everything Australians need to know about Disney's ad-free streaming service

Alyssa Powell/Business Insider

A new streaming service has joined the ranks of Netflix, Stan, Amazon Prime, and the other services jostling for control of your TV. Disney Plus features TV and movie content from names we’re all well familiar with: Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television.

The platform includes a mix of classic titles from Disney’s vault and new programs developed exclusively for subscribers on monthly or yearly plans.

Learn more below about how the Disney Plus streaming service works, including what shows and movies are included, how much it costs, and more.

What is Disney Plus?

Disney Plus is an on-demand, ad-free streaming service created by The Walt Disney Company.

With Disney Plus, subscribers can watch thousands of Disney movies and series on their devices (smart TVs, phones, laptops, tablets, and gaming consoles). The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch anywhere, anytime.

Disney Plus content comes from Walt Disney Studios’ and Walt Disney Television’s biggest names: Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox.

How much does Disney Plus cost?

Disney Plus costs $A8.99 per month, or $A89.99 per year ($A7.50/month). This low price includes hours of entertainment spanning many different genres and interests, and best of all, it’s all ad-free.

Before you commit to this cost, you can start a seven-day free trial.

Are there Disney Plus gift cards?

While Disney Plus gift cards are available in the US, that offer is yet to extend to Australia.

How to watch Disney Plus:

You can watch Disney Plus from a large variety of places. The service lets you stream on up to four devices simultaneously:

  • Desktop web browsers
  • Mobile devices and tablets (Android and Apple).
  • Smart TVs (LG WebOS, Samsung Tizen, Android TV, Vizio SmartCast)
  • Boxes and game consoles (Apple TV 4th Gen and later, PlayStation 4, Roku, Xbox One)
  • Streaming devices (Chromebook, Chromecast, Apple AirPlay, Amazon Fire TV)

Does Disney Plus work on Xbox One?

Yes, Disney Plus works on the Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X.

Who should sign up for Disney Plus?

Disney Plus is an ideal service for Disney fans, whether they’re Marvel geeks or animation aficionados. It’s especially suitable for families with children who want to immerse themselves in the vast world of Disney.

Though the current lineup of original programming is a bit limited, more exclusive shows are set to be added over the coming months. For now, however, Disney Plus is more of a draw for people who want to watch recent Disney movies and older Disney titles from the studio’s vault.

If you’re someone who always ends up searching for Disney shows and movies on another streaming service anyway, you might want to consider subscribing to Disney Plus because it holds all that content in one convenient place. Disney has also removed a lot of its content from other streaming services, including Netflix, so Disney Plus will soon become the only subscription streaming platform with access to many of its titles.

What shows and movies can I watch on Disney Plus?

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In short, virtually all of the Disney shows and movies that have already been released. You can cry through Pixar’s “Coco” and “Up”, learn about the world around you through a Nat Geo documentary, and satisfy your comedic itch with an episode of “The Simpsons“. You’ll have access to classics like “Snow White” along with recent hits like “Avengers: Infinity War”.

With that said, some Disney titles are still temporarily missing from Disney Plus. Their absence is due to existing licensing deals with other services and networks, and all of the missing titles will be added at a later date.

Disney Plus also includes exclusive original programming, such as a Star Wars TV series focused on a Mandalorian bounty hunter, a retelling of “Lady and the Tramp” featuring Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux, and a new perspective on the familiar objects in our lives through “The World According to Jeff Goldblum”.

More original shows are on the way as well, including several series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “WandaVision,” and “Loki” were all teased in a special Super Bowl trailer in the US. While the library of exclusives is relatively small right now, this upcoming lineup of original content will allow Disney Plus to compete better against other services with more exclusive shows, like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

These are the best original shows and movies to watch on Disney Plus right now:

  1. The Mandalorian The Western-style take on “Star Wars” takes place five years after the fall of the Empire and focuses on a bounty hunter who journeys far out into the galaxy.
  2. “Pixar in Real Life” This hidden camera show features interactions between Pixar characters and people in the real world.
  3. “The World According to Jeff Goldblum” Journey along with Jeff Goldblum (“Jurassic Park,” “Thor: Ragnarok”) as he travels the world to explore subjects that are of interest to him, including how tattoos, ice cream, and sneakers are made and developed.
  4. “Marvel Hero Project” The “Marvel Hero Project” pays tribute to extraordinary kids who have helped their community. In each episode, the kids will be surprised with the honour of being made into a Super Hero with their very own Marvel Comic.
  5. “Lady and the Tramp” This live-action retelling of the 1955 Disney classic “Lady and the Tramp” has an all-star cast, including Tessa Thompson (“Westworld,” “Thor: Ragnarok”) as the voice of Lady and Justin Theroux (“The Leftovers,” “Maniac”) as the voice of Tramp.

When are the global release dates for Disney Plus?

Disney Plus is now live and available to stream in the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Disney Plus is expected to arrive in more global markets, including Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway, Portugal, and Sweden this year.

How does Disney Plus compare to other streaming services?

While services such as Netflix and Stan cast a wide net over movie and TV entertainment, Disney Plus is much more focused and narrow in scope by revolving entirely around Disney content. Luckily, it doesn’t actually feel that limited since Walt Disney Studios and Walt Disney Television create everything from animated to action and sci-fi thrillers.

It’s a major plus that Disney Plus (for the time being) has zero ads. We don’t know whether that will change down the line, or whether it will add tiered ad pricing like some other streaming services, but in the meantime, we always appreciate ad-free streaming.

At less than $A10 a month, it’s very affordable compared to major competitors. If you find the Disney content of other streaming services lacking, subscribing to Disney Plus is an affordable way to fix that problem.

Of all the major streaming services, it’s also one of the most generous in the areas of multiple-device streaming, profile additions, and downloads. You can stream on up to four devices simultaneously, add up to seven profiles, and enjoy unlimited downloads.

Disney Plus also offers 4K HDR streaming and Dolby Atmos audio on select titles for no additional cost. This is in contrast to Netflix, which requires subscribers to pay for its most expensive plan to receive 4K support.

How do I sign up for Disney Plus?

You can sign up on the Disney Plus website.

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