When is Disney+ launching in the UK? How much does it cost? How do I sign up?

Everything you need to know about Disney's new streaming service

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It’s been a long time coming, but entertainment juggernauts Disney have finally entered the streaming market with new service Disney+.

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This is huge news for TV fans: it means that there will be another player in the battle for streaming supremacy currently headed up by Netflix and Amazon.

Find out everything you need to know about the Disney streaming service below.

When will Disney+ launch in the UK?

Disney+ will be available in the UK from 31st March 2020. TV fans in Germany, France, Italy and Spain can enjoy the service on the same date.

This will be several months after the service launched in USA, Canada and The Netherlands (it’s been available there since Tuesday 12th November 2019).

The platform will roll out in Australia and New Zealand a week later, on Tuesday 19th November.

How do I sign up for Disney+?

Disney+ is not up-and-running as yet, but you can sign up for updates on the service here.

What is Disney+?

It’s a major new streaming service owned by The Walt Disney Company which will feature a host of new and past TV series and films from Disney and its many subsidiaries.

That means you can not only expect to find Disney projects like Lady and the Tramp, but also shows and films from:

  • Pixar
  • Marvel
  • Star Wars
  • Fox
  • National Geographic

As per streaming services like Netflix, there will be no adverts on Disney+.

How can I watch Disney+?

The Disney+ app will be available via the following platforms:

  • iOS devices and Apple TV
  • Android phones and TVs
  • Google Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices
  • Roku sticks and TVs
  • PS4 and Sony TVs
  • Xbox One

How much will Disney+ cost?

Disney hasn’t yet announced a price for UK customers.

Disney+ will cost $6.99 per month and $69.99 per year for users in the USA.

What original shows and movies can I watch on Disney+?

Here are the biggest releases to expect when the series launches:

  • Star Wars series The Mandalorian, a new show set in the outer reaches of the galaxy between episodes VI and VII.

  • A new Toy Story series centred on new character Forky, called Forky Asks a Question. Viewers can also expect Lamp Life, an animated short exploring where Bo Peep was during the events of Toy Story 3.

  • An oddly-titled High School Musical show called High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. The scripted show is set in the school in which High School Musical was filmed, and sees students putting together their own stage version of the film. Not confusing at all.

  • Festive comedy Noelle, which stars Anna Kendrick as Father Christmas’ daughter, Noelle Kringle.

  • A National Geographic show led by Jeff Goldblum called – amazingly – The World According to Jeff Goldblum.

  • Encore!. Led by Frozen star Kristen Bell, this reality series reunites former castmates of a NYU theatre school musical production for a new performance of the same play.

Later on, viewers can also expect…

  • Several Marvel TV shows have been greenlit including Ms Marvel, She-Hulk, Moon Knight, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki and What If…?.
  • A Star Wars Rogue One prequel series based around Diego Luna’s character Cassian Andor.
  • The seventh season of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • An Obi-Wan Kenobi Star Wars series, starring Ewan McGregor as the main Jedi Knight.
  • Monsters Inc sequel series Monsters at Work.
  • A Lizzie McGuire sequel series, starring Hilary Duff.
  • Diary of a Female President, a series following a 12-year-old Cuban-American girl’s plans to become US president.
  • Documentary One Day at Disney, each mini-episode delving into the role of one Disney employee.
  • Remakes of Home Alone, Night at the Museum, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and Cheaper by the Dozen.

This list will be updated as more shows and films are revealed…

Which other TV shows and films will be in the Disney+ library?

From day one, Disney+ will feature all 30 seasons of The Simpsons, seasons of Malcolm in the Middle, Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland and many more films and TV series from across the Disney, Lucasfilms, Pixar and 20th Century Fox – acquired by the Mickey Mouse corp in March 2019 – libraries.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Disney now owns the rights to the likes of Avatar (and its upcoming sequels), Titanic, the Planet of the Apes reboot series and TV series like Homeland, Modern Family, Family Guy, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and 24. This means they could all come into play on the streaming service in the future.

What is the difference between DisneyLife and Disney+?

Disney already have an active subscription service in the UK, called DisneyLife. A £4.99 subscription grants access to a catalogue of 450+ Disney movies (including all the original versions of The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book and so on).

Why has Disney entered the streaming game at this point in time?

Disney CEO Bob Iger told Barron’s that the company had to act when they saw the tides turning in the entertainment industry, with relation to online streaming. “It became very clear that what we were observing was real, sustainable,” he said. “Sweeping, permanent, profound transformation.”

“What I posed to my senior team and ultimately to the board was, ‘We can’t sit back and let this happen.’ I can imagine other companies in other industries in similar positions in the past 50 years,” He said. “Eastman Kodak (KODAK) watching the advent of digital photography probably comes to mind the most.”

How will this affect Disney’s film release strategy?

The major Disney film releases will still hit theatres as the first port of call. “Our studio makes between eight and 10 movies a year, and they’re big budget, hopefully big box-office films, that really belong, we believe, on the big screen,” Iger says.

He adds that any films produced for the streaming service will be low-mid-level budget. “Almost every movie the studio makes is a $100 million-plus movie, and we’re not looking to make movies at that level for the service,” he said.

But, the likes of Avengers: Endgame and Star Wars: Episode IX will end up on there.

What does this mean for Netflix’s Marvel shows?

The launch of the service will coincide with the expiration of a deal between Marvel and Netflix.

We’ve seen a culling of Netflix’s Marvel TV series in recent months, which may be related to Disney’s own streaming agenda. Iron Fist, Daredevil and Luke Cage have all been cancelled, with the future of Jessica Jones and The Punisher currently unknown (beyond the already slated third season of Jessica Jones, and the imminent second season of The Punisher).

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