What’s new on Disney Plus UK?
If you’ve already seen Soul, don’t worry, there are plenty of other new series and films to choose from.
From February 23, Disney+ subscribers will have access to Star, a new channel home to a vast range of films and TV series from Disney’s creative studios including Disney Television Studios, FX, 20th Century Studios and more. This more than doubles the amount of content on the app.
Star won’t require an additional charge — it will automatically be available to existing subscribers, sitting alongside the existing Disney+ channels (Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic).
As Star will feature more “mature content” that wouldn’t fit in the family-friendly Disney hub, it will offer parental controls to set age limits and PIN protect shows.
Star will launch with new original series (such as Big Sky, a thriller from the team behind Big Little Lies), small-screen classics (Desperate Housewives, Lost and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to name a few) and a fresh catalogue of movies across every genre.
From the beginning of 2021, the hotly anticipated Marvel spin-off series WandaVision was the latest and greatest on Disney+, with new episodes dropping weekly until the beginning of March. What’s not to love?
Read more: The best movies and TV shows on Disney+ UK
What is Premier Access?
The live-action remake of Mulan was the first film Disney+ launched to ‘Premier Access’ subscribers this year.
Though the movie was made available to all subscribers from December 4, ‘Premier Access’ required a single additional fee of £19.99 to watch Mulan in the UK, and $29.99 in the US.
Following a backlash from cinemas awaiting the release, Disney sent a letter to British cinemas apologising for the decision, which it said was one that was “not taken lightly.”
It read: “Given that COVID-19 has disrupted large parts of the content pipeline and markets are in vastly different situations right now, and after delaying the global theatrical debut multiple times, we are subsequently taking a tailored approach to this release.”
For now, no other films are scheduled for release under ‘Premier Access’.
How can I watch films and TV shows on Disney Plus?
Subscribers can stream all of the platform’s content through the Disney+ app (Android and iOS compatible, including tablets), most smart TVs, Roku, Chromecast, and gaming consoles (PS4 and Xbox), with the notable exception of the Nintendo Switch (which is not compatible with streaming services).
How to watch Disney+ with friends using the GroupWatch feature
The new Disney+ function, GroupWatch, is a real-time shared viewing experience that means you can watch the entire Disney+ library together with your friends and family, wherever they may be.
To host a live stream, all you have to do is select the GroupWatch icon (which looks like three people), select the “Invite” button, and share the invite link with up to six people.
Is The Simpsons on Disney Plus UK?
Many would-be Disney+ customers spent months debating whether The Simpsons would be available to UK subscribers, as it is in the US, because the UK’s promotional activity had been noticeably Simpsons-free.
Thankfully, both Sky and Disney+ confirmed The Simpsons would be available on Disney+ UK right before the new service launched. The Simpsons will remain on Sky, “co-exclusively” for new seasons, but its back catalogue is now available on Disney+ UK. You can watch and download every episode from season one to thirty today.
Disney+ UK also signed an exclusive deal to sell the streaming service through Sky Q set-top boxes.
Read more: The 25 best Simpsons episodes to watch on Disney+
Can you still get a Disney+ free trial?
Free trials for Disney+ have been a ‘once upon a time’ thing since late June 2020, despite a massive push for seven-day trials when the streaming service launched.
They were taken away just before the release of Hamilton, in fact, suggesting the company will steer clear of offering free trials around major released, if they ever do again.
What happened to DisneyLife?
Though it has had something of a lukewarm uptake over the last couple of years, Disney already had an active subscription service in the UK before Disney+.
The service, DisneyLife, charged £4.99 per month for access to hundreds of Disney movies including the original Beauty and the Beast, Jungle Book, and Lion King, but little to excite binge-watchers. Kind of like a Disney+ Lite. In November 2019, Disney confirmed plans to rebrand DisneyLife into Disney+ to coincide with the new service’s launch.
Will Disney TV shows and movies still be available on Netflix?
It is unlikely we’ll see much from Disney on Netflix anymore. As the company began to put its streaming service in motion last year, Disney decided against renewing its deal with Netflix.
The choice marked a great win for the future of Disney+ and an undeniable loss for Netflix — the top movies of 2016, 2017 and 2018 were all Disney films, and Netflix gained a lot of subscribers as the vehicle to stream them.
But licensing is complicated and rumours have already begun to circulate that Netflix may get a few films back, albeit temporarily. One license, which affects movies released between January 2016 and December 2018, suggests some films would be removed from Disney+ and returned to Netflix in 2026.
The films affected include Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Finding Dory, Captain America: Civil War, Coco, The Incredibles 2, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther, the live-action Beauty and The Beat, The Last Jedi, Avengers: Infinity War, and Moana.
Sign up to Disney+ for £5.99 a month, £59.99 for 12 months or buy a gift subscription here