Disney+: Everything We Know About Disney’s Streaming Service

If you’re anything like us then you probably spend half of your time scrolling through the library of your favorite streaming service on the hunt for some fresh binge-worthy content to watch and then proceed to spend the other half of your time becoming¬†too¬†emotionally invested in the lives of fictional characters as you fall down the “just one more episode” rabbit hole.

For die-hard Disney fans, this perpetual cycle is set to swell significantly more so this year, as we continue our count down towards the much-anticipated launch of Disney+, a brand new subscription-based streaming service that Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger has repeatedly labelled “the biggest priority” of 2019 for the House of Mouse.

The door to the Disney vault is set to be unlocked with the company’s direct-to-consumer platform, which will house an extensive catalogue of animated classics and live-action blockbusters, as well as a selection of original programming based on some of their most popular properties, including exclusive content from their Star Wars, Marvel,¬†and Pixar universes.

So will the Disney+ streaming service be something worth paying for? Read on for all of the latest news about subscriptions, pricing and programming following the recent the Disney Investor Day event.

When will Disney+ launch?

From the outset we knew that Disney’s streaming service was expected to launch later this year, but it has now been confirmed that Disney+ will be available in the United States from November 12, 2019. 

Over the next two years, Disney plans to implement an international rollout of the service, launching the platform in each major region of the world. 

Disney Direct-to-Consumer and International Division President Kevin Mayer previously confirmed in an interview with French magazine¬†Capital that the platform would be available “a little later in Europe.” It is possible that some local content may need to be added to the mix to comply with European Union rules, though this has not been confirmed at this time.

How much will Disney+ cost?

Disney+ will be joining an increasingly crowded marketplace with streaming competition from the likes of Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix, therefore pricing for their service needs to be competitive in order to encourage consumers to sign up on day one.

The good news is that Disney CEO Bob Iger previously indicated to¬†Variety that the subscription price would launch “substantially below” Netflix’s current pricing structure, and it has now been announced that the service will cost $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year.

Disney’s lower price tag will reportedly reflect the lighter content load on the platform, as the volume of movies and TV shows will be slightly more limited to begin with, but they will continue adding to the roster as time goes on.

How will Disney+ work?

The company will have a wide platform footprint, giving subscribers the ability to access the service across a range of different devices with streaming available through Smart TVs, web browsers, mobile devices, and gaming consoles, with the capacity to adjust to the best possible high-definition viewing experience, supporting up to 4K HDR video playback.

Another very exciting feature is that the entire Disney+ library will reportedly be free to download on to subscribers devices, without restrictions or limitations, so all content from the service can be accessed and viewed while not connected to the internet.

At this stage, it is believed that Disney+ will take a more traditional approach with their programming compared to other subscription platforms. Instead of releasing everything on the platform at once, Disney will wait until their usual slate of movies have debuted in theaters and left the physical media sales window before adding them to the service.

Disney also plans to keep their space family-friendly by diverting R-rated content to a separate library on Hulu.

What will Disney+ look like?

At the Disney Investor Day event on April 11, the company shared a first look at the interface of its new ad-free service.

The homepage features a carousel showcasing Disney+ originals, movies and television series alongside branded boxes that are populated with various franchises, including Disney’s own movies and TV shows, Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and National Geographic.

The company has reimagined the current streaming service model into a grid that is straightforward to navigate and operate with separate content hubs on the service that will be customized with a bespoke look and distinctive features to create unique user experiences in alignment with each universe. Users will also be able to design their own profile and build a custom avatar with their favorite characters from the Disney library.

“There’ll be an elegance to it, and an ease of use,” Bob Iger told¬†Vulture when Disney+ was originally announced, suggesting that the company would try to streamline the experience to avoid repeating some of the user issues that have apparently been present on competitors platforms at one time or another.

What can you watch on Disney+?

One thing is for sure, subscribers won’t be short on options for entertainment when Disney+ finally lands.

The premium streaming service will have¬†a variety of original programming as a further expansion of some of their existing popular franchises. This collection of exclusive content includes, but is not limited to,¬†The Mandalorian, a live-action Star Wars series directed by Jon Favreau, and a second original Star Wars series focused on Rogue One’s Cassian Andor, as well as a Marvel spin-off show centered on fan-favorite character Loki, starring¬†Tom Hiddleston. Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany will star as Wanda Maximoff and The Vision in WandaVision, a new series that will reportedly begin filming this fall. Elsewhere, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan are teaming up for Falcon and Winter Soldier, another Marvel series that is expected to premiere within the first year.

As for the movies, there are a number of notable projects currently in the works, including live-action remakes of the animated classics The Lady and The Tramp, Peter Pan, and The Sword in the Stone, along with rumored reboots of live-action comedies, such as Three Men and a Baby, Father of the Bride, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, and The Parent Trap.

Interestingly, there have also been a considerable amount of book-to-movie adaptations confirmed, with Don Quixote based on the 1605 novel by Miguel de Cervantes making the list, together with Timmy Failure, The Paper Magician, Stargirl, and Flora and Ulysses. Family comedy Magic Camp, directed by Mark Waters and written by Dan Gregor and Doug Mand, from a story by Steve Martin, has reportedly completed production, so might be amongst the first to drop on the service.

However, since the majority of these releases will be staggered on the service, Disney+ will launch with an incredible amount of content from their back catalogue to accommodate fans of all ages, with everything from Disney’s beloved animated classics to their live-action movies, as well as a number of entries from the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the ever-expanding Star Wars galaxy.

Last month, Disney closed the deal with 21st Century¬†Fox¬†for $71 billion, which means that a selection of Fox content will also be available on the platform, including all 30 seasons of The Simpsons, TV’s longest-running primetime scripted series.

Other exclusive content includes a brand new documentary titled Into the Unknown: Making Frozen II, which will take audiences behind-the-scenes of the highly anticipated sequel to 2013’s Frozen, due in¬†theaters on November 22.

On the animation front, all Pixar movies and their associated theatrical shorts will be loaded on to Disney+ within the first year of launch. There will also be a chance to get to know Toy Story’s newest star in Forky Asks A Question, a series of Pixar shorts, available on day one. Disney will debut another short film centered on Bo Peep, titled Lamp Life, but not immediately at launch.

For a complete change of scene, subscribers will be given the opportunity to explore the wonders of the world with more than 250 hours of content from National Geographic, including Academy Award winner Free Solo and a new docuseries called The World According to Jeff Goldblum, premiering at launch.

In total, in year one, subscribers will be able to rediscover more than 7,500 episodes of Disney TV fare and 500 movies from the Disney library on the streaming service, which CEO Bob Iger described at the presentation as a “bold step forward in an exciting new era” for the company.

So that’s a wrap on everything we know about Disney+ so far! With many months still to go until the official launch of Disney+, the service is likely to evolve rapidly with fresh developments coming at us thick and fast.

In the meantime, add some magic to your collection with our Disney collectibles then, let us know: Do you plan to sign up when it launches? Keep the conversation going over at side.show/geekgroup, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!