Everything you need to know about the upcoming Disney streaming service, Disney+

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Disney announced well over a year ago that the company plans to launch its own streaming service for its many movie and TV properties. It would compete directly with services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video and upcoming ventures like Apple’s streaming TV launch. Now we know what the Disney streaming service will be called: Disney+. As you can see with its official logo, the company is trying to show that Disney+ will link up organically with the rest of its properties.

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Disney is wasting no time in creating new content for the streaming service. Disney+ will be the home for lots of exclusive movies and TV series, and that includes new Pixar, Marvel Studios and Star Wars content. We will go over everything we know about the Disney streaming service, and will update this post with new information as it is revealed.

What is Disney+?

disney plus includes pixar marvel star wars national geographic

As mentioned, Disney+ is the official name for the Disney streaming service that was first announced in August 2017. It will be the home for people of all ages to watch movies and TV shows across all of Disney’s brands. That includes its main Disney brand, its Pixar animated movies, and its Marvel Studios and Star Wars properties.

At the service’s placeholder website, it also shows it will have content from National Geographic when it launches. That’s a bit interesting since 21st Century Fox currently owns the majority of the National Geographic cable TV channel. In December 2017, Disney announced its plan to acquire most of Fox’s content, including its majority control of the NatGeo TV channel. When Disney+ actually launches, it will have content from that channel as well, since the deal to acquire Fox is expected to close sometime in the first half of 2019.

Disney+ launch date, price, and availability

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At the moment, Disney is not revealing exactly when Disney+ will launch, other than a vague “late 2019” timeframe. No specific monthly price has been mentioned for the service. However, Disney CEO Bob Iger did tell Variety in August 2018 that he expects the cost to be lower than Netflix, as the Disney streaming service won’t have as much content as its biggest competitor at launch. Currently, Netflix charges $7.99 a month for its SD streaming content and $10.99 a month for its HD content.

Disney has also confirmed that Disney+ will launch first in the United States, although presumably, it would expand to other territories around the world if it has a successful U.S. launch. Disney does plan to reveal a lot more about its Disney+ launch plans during an investor event on April 11, 2019. That includes a first look at the interface for Disney+ plus previews of the first original shows and movies on the service.

What older movies and TV shows will Disney+ have?

mickey mouse first cartoon

When it does launch in late 2019, Disney will have access to hundreds of movies and TV shows from its 90 years of content. As we mentioned, that will include all those great animated films and live action movies from the Disney brand, from Mickey Mouse to Snow White to Beauty and the Beast to Frozen and everything in between. It will also include content that it has acquired over the years, such as the Pixar animated movies like Toy Story and The Incredibles. It will also include all of the Marvel Studios superhero movies and some of its Star Wars content. Finally, it will include TV shows from the National Geographic Channel.

See also: The best movies available now on Netflix

Because of a current contract with Netflix, the most recent films from the studio, such as Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time, have made their streaming debuts on that service. Disney’s contract with Netflix ends in 2019. The New York Times reports that the first upcoming Disney movie that will make its streaming debut on Disney+ will be Captain Marvel. The Marvel Studios superhero film is currently scheduled to make its debut in movie theaters in March 2019., which means that it’s likely that it will be available on Disney+ as soon as it launches.

One big and important chunk of library content that may not show up on Disney+ anytime soon are the highly popular Star Wars live-action feature films. In 2016, Disney made a deal with WarnerMedia’s Turner cable TV networks to run all of the classic and current Star Wars films on its TBS, TNT, and TCM channels until 2024. This deal was made well before the idea of a Disney streaming service was given a green light. Bloomberg reports Disney has quietly tried to buy back those rights from Turner so it can show those Star Wars films on its service, but it appears that Turner has no interest in giving back those rights until the contract expires in six years.

What original movies and TV shows will Disney+ have?

anna kendrick cosplay disney Variety

In addition to its tons of library content, Disney seems to be going all out to develop original and exclusive TV shows and films for Disney+. Indeed, Deadline reports that the budgets for the exclusive movies could be as high as $35 million and that budgets for a 10-hour TV show could be as high as $100 million. Disney decided to pull a few of its upcoming films that were supposed to launch in theaters first, and now they will make their worldwide debut on the Disney streaming service.

Here’s a quick look at the original films and TV shows that are either in production now or have been completed ahead of the Disney+ launch

Disney+ original films

  • Noelle – a Christmas movie starring Anna Kendrick as the daughter of Santa Claus
  • Magic Camp – a family comedy centering on a summer camp for magicians
  • Timmy Failure – a movie based on the popular children’s book series of the same name
  • Lady and the Tramp – a live action-CGI remake of the classic Disney animated film
  • Stargirl – a movie based on the young adult novel of the same name
  • Togo – a movie based on the real-life story of a sled dog, Togo, and his master who have to transport a diphtheria serum to Nome, Alaska in 1925

In addition, Disney is in early development for a ton of other movies for the streaming service, including remakes of many of its live-action comedies, such as Three Men and a Baby, Father of the Bride, Honey I Shrunk The Kids, and The Parent Trap. Also, live-action remakes of other classic Disney animated films are in development for Disney+, including The Sword in the Stone and Peter Pan.

Disney+ original TV shows

star wards disney tv show

Here’s a look at the TV shows that have been confirmed as being in development for Disney+:

  • The Mandalorian – A 10-episode live-action TV series based in the Star Wars universe and centering on an unnamed Mandalorian
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars – A continuation and conclusion to the cult-favorite animated TV series set in between Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
  • Untitled Star Wars: Rogue One prequel series – a TV show that centers on rebel spy Cassian Andor, played by Diego Luna, before the events of Rogue One
  • Untitled Loki series – A TV show based on Loki, the popular Marvel Studios supervillain. Actor Tom Hiddleston will reprise that role for the series.
  • High School Musical – A reboot of the popular Disney Channel movie series
  • Monsters Inc – A TV show based on the universe of Pixar’s Monsters Inc and Monsters University animated films
  • Ink & Paint – A documentary TV series that will tell the story of the women who worked on Disney’s classic animated films
  • Diary of a Female President – A show about a 12-year old Cuban-American girl who is destined to become the President of the United States. This show will actually be made by CBS Studios, rather than by Disney.

In addition, unconfirmed reports claim that many more TV shows are in the early stages of development for Disney+, including two more Marvel Studios-based shows; one based on The Scarlet Witch and the other centering on The Winter Soldier and The Falcon. Other shows rumored to be in development include a female-centric remake of High Fidelity, a reboot of The Mighty Ducks, and a new Muppets TV show.

What about all of that Fox content and Hulu?

disney+ fox combination availability

As mentioned, Disney is planning to acquire much of the content of 21st Century Fox, with the deal to close sometime in the first half of 2019. That means Disney will have the movie and TV rights to franchises like Aliens, Predator, Avatar, Planet of the Apes, and the X-Men-Deadpool Marvel Comics characters. However, Disney+ will launch for a family audience, which means that much of Fox’s franchises, which are made for an older audience, won’t show up on the Disney streaming service.

hulu

The good news for Disney is that after the Fox deal is completed, it will also own 60 percent of Hulu, the streaming service that currently has about 20 million subscribers. Disney has indicated that it could offer content of the properties that it will acquire in the Fox deal on Hulu, rather than on Disney+.

That’s all we currently know about Disney+. What do you think of the Disney streaming service as it now stands, and do you plan to sign up for it when it launches?

Read more: The best streaming media devices

10 best Disney apps for Android!

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Disney is quite the large media property these days. They own ABC, ESPN, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and, soon, Fox. That means there are a bunch of ways to interact with Disney stuff. However, we think that people looking for Disney apps want the more classic Disney characters and experiences. We can definitely help with that. Disney is, again, massive. They have movies, TV shows, and music across plenty of genres. We can help you find what you’re looking for. Here are the best Disney apps for Android!


DisneyNow

Price: Free (with TV provider login)
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DisneyNow is Disney’s current streaming service. You log into the service with your existing TV cable provider info and gain access to a bunch of Disney TV content. That includes kids shows, cartoons and live action stuff, classic and new Disney characters, and even Radio Disney. This is, admittedly, kind of holding the slot here until Disney+ comes out sometime in 2019. That will definitely be the streaming app to get from Disney. Until then, as long as you have cable, DisneyNow should be good enough to stream current shows to your smartphone. The app itself is otherwise free.
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DisneyNow

Fandom by Wikia Disney apps

Price: Free (with ads, usually)
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Fandom by Wikia is a community of enthusiasts that create these little wiki pages for various media properties. You can find Fandom apps for Disney (linked at the button), Star Wars, Marvel, and tons of other stuff as well. They generally provide information about characters, movies, TV shows, and even some games. It’s a neat way to learn some trivia about basically any Disney movie, show, or character. Of course, it’s a bit of a niche product. Not everybody wants to read about Aladdin, they want to watch Aladdin. We’ll cover that shortly, but trivia buffs should definitely start with the Fandom Disney apps.
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Fandom by Wikia Disney apps

Giphy

Price: Free
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Giphy might seem like a weird pick for Disney apps, but hear us out. Disney has a GIF app with a bunch of reaction GIFs. It’s a fun little app, but it lacks some really basic features and it makes the app hard to use. Thus, we recommend Giphy instead. It has a great search, tons of Disney GIFs, and the app is very easy to use. It’s much better than Disney’s GIF app. Other than that, there isn’t much else to talk about. You simply search for the reaction GIF you need and the app finds it. It has non-Disney stuff too in case you want that. It’s otherwise completely free to use.
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Giphy

iHeartRadio Family

Price: Free / $9.99 per month
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There are a few different versions of iHeartRadio. However, for Disney stuff, we recommend iHeartRadio Family. It has 80 stations of family-friendly music from a bunch of popular kids’ shows and movies. Of course, that includes plenty of Disney content. You can go with a station dedicated to Disney princess songs or just hit up the standard Radio Disney for a big mix of music from Disney. Of course, the full version has all of these stations as well so current fans of iHeartRadio just need to hit up the search button to find these stations. The premium version adds unlimited skips and a bunch of other features as well.
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iHeartRadio Family

Internet TV (Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV, etc)

Price: Free / $7.99-$39.99 per month
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It’s easier (and cheaper) to watch TV than ever before. TV services like Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now all have a bunch of excellent child-friendly content. Consequently, they also all have access to the Disney Channel along with a bunch of back-logged Disney content. For instance, on Hulu, if you subscribe to the live TV service, you get the Disney Channel, but also access to movies like Pocahontas. The amount of Disney content per streaming service varies, but you can at least get the actual channel on all of them. Honestly, this is probably better than cable for Disney stuff because you do get those on-demand titles as long as you’re subscribed to the live TV service. You can go with whatever one you want. We simply linked Hulu because Disney owns 30% of it.
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Internet TV (Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV, etc)


Movies Anywhere

Price: Free
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Movies Anywhere is probably the best app for movies on Google Play. It isn’t its own standalone streaming service. It’s actually a collection of other movie streaming services. You sign in with your iTunes, Amazon, Vudu, or Google Play. All of the movies you purchased on all of those services are now available in one spot. The service boasts over 7,500 movies and that, of course, includes tons of Disney movies along with basically every Marvel and Star Wars movie as well. Disney is likely going to have all of those movies on Disney+ when it comes out. Until then, though, this is probably the best place to actually buy a Disney movie and watch it. The app is occasionally buggy, but it’s otherwise quite good. It also comes with Chromecast support.
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Movies Anywhere

My Disney Experience / Disneyland

Price: Free
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Disneyland and Disney World are two of the most popular vacation spots in the world. They also both have official apps. The My Disney Experience app focuses primarily on Disney World. You can use it to plan your vacation, as an interactive map of the park, and you can even buy your tickets and merch there. The Disneyland app is much the same way. The app shows you information like estimated wait times, browser restaurant menus, and interact with the park’s map. There are apps for all of Disney’s parks individually, including the ones in Paris, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. Those headed to Disney World or Disneyland should definitely have these apps on hand.
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My Disney Experience / Disneyland

Reddit

Price: Free / $5.99 per month
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Reddit is good for a lot of fan bases and Disney fans are no exception. The site has dozens of subreddits for Marvel properties, Star Wars movies, and, of course, classic Disney properties as well. You can talk to other people who like the stuff that you like and post stuff that you care about. The Reddit app keeps everything under moderate control, although people who haven’t used Reddit before may have a tough time acclimating at first. In any case, this is a great way to read up on news about Star Wars, Marvel, or other Disney properties and discuss those things with other fans. The premium subscription removes advertising and gives you some additional features as well.
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Reddit

Official apps for Disney media

Price: Free (usually)
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We’ve said it over and over again that Disney is a huge company. As it turns out, there are a variety of official Disney apps for most of those properties. Some examples include the official Star Wars app, the official Marvel app, the ESPN app, ABC’s official app, and the list goes on and on. These official apps are among the best ways to interact with Disney’s massive list of media companies. For instance, you can watch ABC’s programming on the ABC app or read about the latest Star Wars news in the Star Wars app. You can even read old Marvel comics in the Marvel app. It really depends on what kind of content each property makes, but it’s all still Disney.
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YouTube

Price: Free / $12.99 per month
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YouTube is an excellent, albeit obvious, choice for a great Disney app. You can find basically any Disney song ever made there along with a ton of clips and memes from various movies and TV shows. That’s also the place to see trailers for upcoming movies or shows, reviews of various toys or games, and basically anything else you can think of. Disney has an official VEVO channel with over 11 million subscribers. But, again, you probably already knew all of this so this part of the list is really just some confirmation bias. Yes, YouTube is among the best apps for Disney fans. You can optionally pay $12.99 per month to remove ads, download videos for offline use, and you get a few other features.
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YouTube

If we missed any great Disney apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!