Disney Plus is launching this November, bringing with it a stack of original content from the entertainment giant. But does it live up to the hype?
Find out how you can get Disney Plus, how much it costs, how it compares to other streaming services and what you can watch.
What is Disney Plus?
Disney Plus (also styled as Disney+) is the Walt Disney Company’s paid video on-demand streaming service. Completely ad-free, the service will be home to exclusive content from Disney’s owned properties, which include Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, Pixar, 20th Century Fox, and National Geographic. Not only will customers have access to legacy content, but there will also be new, original programming, being created for the service based on the aforementioned properties.
For example, customers will be able to watch all 30 seasons of The Simpsons and Avengers: Endgame on Disney Plus, as well as new arrivals, like The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
With Disney’s exclusive rights to several popular franchise properties, the service is a viable competitor to other entertainment juggernauts in New Zealand, like SKY, Netflix, Neon, Lightbox and TVNZ On Demand.
- Each Disney Plus account will be able to stream up to four devices simultaneously.
- Seven user profiles can be created for each household.
- There will be unlimited downloads for offline viewing.
- Disney Plus will be able to stream 4K Ultra HD content in Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos immersive audio.
Will Disney Plus be available in New Zealand?
Disney Plus will be available in New Zealand from 19 November this year. The launch of the Disney streaming service will come one week after its launch in the US, Canada and the Netherlands. The international rollout of the service has been strategically planned to tie in with blockbuster film releases, with Frozen 2 scheduled for a November release and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker releasing in December.
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How can I watch Disney Plus?
Similar to other streaming services like Netflix and Neon, Disney Plus is both web and app based, and can be accessed with an Internet connection. Below is a list of devices that Disney Plus can be viewed from:
- Desktop web browsers.
- Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TV).
- Google (Android phones, Android TV, Chromecast & Chromecast built in devices).
- Xbox One consoles.
- Sony (Android based Sony TVs & PlayStation 4).
- Roku (Roku TV & Roku streaming players).
You can sign up to Disney Plus as soon as the service launches on November 19. Depending on your viewing needs, and the number of users in your household, you will need to ensure that your Internet connection speed is up to par. Here are the basic requirements you need.
How much does Disney Plus cost in New Zealand?
Disney Plus will have a monthly subscription fee of $9.99NZD. Customers who prefer a longer-term subscription will be able to purchase a year’s subscription for $99.99NZD.
The service will be slightly cheaper for Kiwis than US subscribers, who will be paying $6.99USD ($11.15 NZD) per month and $69.99USD a year ($111.68 NZD), based on current exchange rates.
What shows will be on Disney Plus?
Disney Plus will feature an extensive library of content from Disney’s owned properties, all of which will be exclusive to the streaming platform. Not only will there be theatrical releases and legacy content, but there will also be new and original films and TV shows for customers to enjoy.
Disney Plus Legacy Content
Having removed Disney related content from other streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus will now be the only place to watch previously released films, TV shows and animated series made by Disney and its owned properties, like Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar and 20th Century Fox.
Here are some of the legacy content coming to Disney Plus:
- Marvel Studios films
- Star Wars films
- The Simpsons (All 30 seasons)
- Disney animated classics
- The Sound of Music
- The Princess Bride
- Disney afternoon cartoons (Duck Tales, Chip N’ Dale Rescue Rangers, Darkwing Duck & more)
- Fox cartoons (X-Men, Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends, Fantastic Four & more).
Disney Plus Original Content
Disney has also planned a slew of original programming for the streaming service, based on the various franchises the entertainment giant owns. Some of the upcoming original films and shows coming to the service include:
- The Mandalorian
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
- Moon Knight
- She Hulk
- What If…?
- Cassian Andor (Star Wars) series
- Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars) series
- Lizzie McGuire
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7
- Monsters at Work
- Lady & the Tramp
This is just a snippet of the original content coming to Disney Plus, with more being planned.
How does Disney Plus compare with other services?
The main point of difference between Disney Plus offers and other streaming services like Netflix, Lightbox and Neon, is the fact that Disney Plus will be the only platform in which consumers will be able to watch Disney-related content.
In the time leading up to the announcement of Disney Plus, Disney had been slowly removing its content from various other streaming services. For example, at one time the entire Disney animated classics were available on Netflix.
Disney Plus also comes at a much cheaper cost per month, at $9.99NZD a month, compared to Netfix’s $11.99 per month for its basic plan, Lightbox’s $13NZD per month and Neon’s $13.95NZD per month. The only exception is Amazon Prime, which currently works out to approximately $8.70NZD per month (depending on US exchange rates).
A more detailed comparison on other streaming services available in New Zealand is available on the Canstar Blue website.
At this stage, it is unknown whether Disney Plus will come bundled with a phone or broadband plan. Both Lightbox and Netflix come bundled with selected Spark plans and Netflix is also available through eligible Vodafone plans.
Is Disney Plus worth it in New Zealand?
With such an array of streaming video on-demand services on the market, consumers are really spoilt for choice. However, it can be daunting having to sign up to multiple services to watch your favourite shows.
Ideally, if you had to choose one streaming service, your best plan of action would be to consider the service that offers the content you are most interested in, as well as, which broadband and mobile plan suits your needs best. Taking advantage of bundled offers from broadband or mobile providers allows you to get the best of both worlds.
Not only that, but signing up to a broadband or mobile plan that comes with Lightbox or Netflix for free, means that you can still sign up to another streaming service and have access to more content.
Unless you are a Disney fan or there’s something specific that you’re interested in watching on Disney Plus, it’s hard to argue for signing up, especially if you’re already paying a monthly subscription for another service.
There is no doubt, however, that Disney is likely to continue growing its library, given the number of properties it owns and franchise opportunities across film, TV shows and animation.
Many Kiwis may struggle to justify signing up to Disney Plus, despite it being cheaper than its competitors. Perhaps the best option forward is to give Disney Plus a try using the service’s free trial, before making a commitment.