Disney+ Membership Review – How is it Compared to Netflix and is it Worth it?

After much anticipation, Disney+ (aka “Disney Plus”) made its debut in November 2019 and quickly earned 50 million+ subscribers. Disney fans were thrilled about the release, of course. But the new streaming service brought in even those who don’t call themselves ‘Disney fanatics’ too.

Disney+ offers so much more than Disney content despite its name. It’s a combination of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. There’s something for everyone, but it especially caters to Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel fans.

You’ve likely heard people raving about The Mandalorian or falling in love with ‘The Child,’ but there’s even more where that came from. 

But is it worth it?

At just $6.99 a month (increasing to $8 in March 2021), it’s easy to say ‘sure why not,’ but before you subscribe to yet another streaming service, we’ve reviewed Disney+ for you.

Disney+ – Opening the Disney Vault

If you’re a Disney fan, you know and probably detest the ‘Disney Vault.’ Disney locked up many of their classic movies for many years only to release them for purchase on DVD (or VHS, remember those?) for a short time. If you didn’t buy the movies you had to wait years before they were released again.

Those days are over for most movies.  Disney+ has many of the Disney classics available all the time. This ended an era of waiting not so patiently for your favorite Disney movies, but it may take the excitement out of it for some. There’s something special about waiting for the special date when your favorite movies are re-released.

The release of classics is nice, but don’t be fooled, Disney+ isn’t just old Disney movies. Disney bought 20th Century Fox and has rights to Star Wars, Marvel, and the Simpsons too. Disney+ capitalized on the fandom of each classic, bringing more than just ‘Disney fans’ to its platform.

Don’t worry, Disney+ isn’t all classics and nostalgia. They have many new releases including Frozen 2 and Mulan Live Action, and plenty of Marvel and Star Wars movies for the comic and superhero fans in your life too.

What can you Watch?

Besides Disney Classics, Disney+ has a great line up including:

  • Disney Channel favorites like Jesse and Girl Meets World
  • Live action Lady and the Tramp
  • The Mandalorian
  • Monsters University
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
  • All the Star Wars movies
  • Avatar
  • The Sound of Music
  • DisneyNature
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • High School Musical – The Musical Series
  • Wandavision

Plus many Disney shorts which Disney fans love, especially Forky Asks a Question, the beloved character from Toy Story 4 and National Geographic documentaries.

Disney+ Original Content – How Does it Compare to Netflix?

Disney+ entered the industry under fierce competition. Netflix already cornered the market in original content, but that didn’t leave Disney from trying.

Sadly, most of their original content hasn’t met with the same viral following shows like Orange is the New Black and Cobra Kai found, but The Mandalorian and the High School Musical reboot are top favorites and have quite a following.

I think perhaps Disney should stick with its tried and true favorites. There are plenty of those to go around and plenty of Disney, Marvel, and Simpsons fans that love binge-watching their favorite shows too. Trying to reinvent exclusive content isn’t working with most Disney fans. They prefer the ‘old stuff’ anyway and that’s really where the value of Disney+ lies.

Honestly, Simpsons fans are elated at the chance to binge-watch 30 episodes of the Simpsons and who wouldn’t love watching their Pixar favorites by day with the kiddos and binge-watch their favorite Star Wars shows at night?

As for the original content – most people can take it or leave it unless you’re talking about the exclusive airing of Hamilton, which got many of us through quarantine, the rest of the ‘original content’ leaves a lot to be desired.

Disney+ Pricing – How Does it Compare?

I already mentioned Disney+ is just $6.99 a month or $69.99 for the year. If you’re a Disney fanatic, or you fell in love with ‘The Child’ in the Mandalorian, $6.99 is well worth it each month.

But for $6.99 a month, all you get is Disney+. You don’t get movies from other networks or your favorite series. You’ll still need your cable subscription or at least another streaming service.

But, Disney+ offers a sweet bundle.

You can also get Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ for just $12.99 a month. This is great news for people who want the latest network releases (you get access the next day) and sports fans.

It’s not all good news, though. The Hulu subscription is ad-supported, so you’re paying for TV with commercials – not something anyone binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy fans wants. But, if you just need that little extra something for the occasional show or sports broadcast, the bundle may be worth it for you.

How does this compare to Netflix?

Netflix has three plans versus the one plan Disney+ offers. But each Netflix plan offers fewer features:

  • Basic Plan – Stream on one device or download on one device for $8.99/month
  • Standard Plan – Stream on up to two devices, get HD programing, and download on two devices for $13.99/month
  • Premium Plan – Stream on up to four devices, download on four devices, and get Ultra HD programming for $17.99 month

The Netflix Premium Plan is the only plan offering what Disney+ offers but at an $11.99 difference.

More about Netflix can be found in our article – Is A Netflix Subscription Worth It?

The Disney+ Standout Features

  • You can host a virtual movie night with GroupWatch, a Disney+ app that allows you to stream a movie with up to 6 friends in their own home
  • All your favorite movies and shows from Disney, Marvel, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox are all in one place
  • Stream on up to 4 devices at a time
  • Download your favorite movies and shows to watch later
  • There aren’t any commercials
  • Cancel at any time
  • Stream in 4K HDR with Dolby Vision

The Downsides of Disney+

  • The Disney+ library is limited to Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and the Simpsons shows or movies
  • Disney doesn’t provide access to every movie or show, instead, they offer new releases each month
  • Not all 20th Century Fox content is on Disney+
  • There aren’t any rated ‘R’ movies on Disney+

Disney+ FAQs

How much is Disney+?

Disney+ is $6.99 a month or $69.99 if you prepay for a year. As of March 2021, the price will increase to $8 per month.

How do you cancel Disney+?

Log into your Disney+ account and select your profile. Under your account, click on ‘Cancel Subscription’ and follow the steps to cancel your subscription at any time.

How long is Hamilton on Disney+?

The Hamilton release on Disney+ got millions of people through quarantine and is one of the most popularly watched movies on Disney+. Fortunately, Disney doesn’t have plans to remove it from the streaming service soon.

Is Netflix or Disney+ better?

Netflix and Disney+ cater to different audiences. If you’re a Disney fanatic, you’ll favor Disney+. If you aren’t into Disney or it’s just ‘okay’ to you, Netflix offers much more of what you likely watch. Many people use Disney+ as an add-on to another service, like Netflix.

Is Disney+ better than Amazon Prime?

It’s a matter of preference when looking at Disney+ vs Amazon Prime, but you’ll find the larger variety on Amazon Prime. If you have young kids, Disney+ may be all you need, but if you want mainstream movies and shows or love Amazon Prime exclusives, you’ll enjoy Amazon Prime more. For example, if you love renting movies but want to do it from the comfort of your own home, you can rent movies right on Amazon Prime that aren’t part of its regular content.

Where you can Watch Disney+?

Disney+ is available on most smart TVs, computers, Android and Apple tablets, and game consoles including Xbox and PS4, and PS5.

How many devices can you stream at once with Disney+?

Disney allows up to four simultaneous streams, which is much more than most other services. Hulu offers two simultaneous streams and Netflix only offers four simultaneous streams with its more expensive service at Netflix Premium, which is $17.99 a month.

Is Disney+ Worth It?

The bottom line everyone wants to know, is Disney+ worth it?

It depends.

If you rent movies occasionally or have a passion for all things Disney, Pixar, and Marvel, then it’s a cheap way to entertain the family. If you’re looking for something with more original content or series you can binge-watch like Schitt’s Creek or Orange is the New Black, you won’t find it here. You’ll find very little adult content on Disney+ except for the classic favorites. If you’re the type that likes to binge-watch a cringy or juicy show at the end of a long day Disney+ won’t do it for you.

Even though it’s only $6.99 a month, think about how often you’ll use it to see if it’s worth it because chances are you’ll supplement with another streaming service to fill in the gaps of what Disney+ doesn’t offer.

If you love movies and/or have kids – it’s safe to say it’s a good investment, even if it only entertains the kids for a few hours a week.

Kim Pinnelli is a personal finance freelance writer and koopy.com contributor. She lives in the Chicago suburbs, writing from home for the last 13 years. Kim enjoys helping people understand personal finances and writes on topics about saving money, investing, planning for retirement, and ways to increase income. In her free time, Kim enjoys hanging out with her 3 children, reading, crocheting, and spending time outdoors.

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