Disney Plus Australia Review
Disney Plus has worked out the kinks since launch and added a healthy lineup of quality original series and fast-tracked theatrical releases to the service.
Production issues could stunt the service’s already sparse release schedule and Disney recently removed its 7-day free trial program but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t making use of the wealthy bank of Disney classics, like Aladdin and The Simpsons.
- Top-quality originals on weekly release schedule
- Classics that were built for bingeing (e.g. The Simpsons)
- Original series are few and far between
- No free trial
Disney Plus Quick Look
- Price: $8.99 per month or $89.99 per year
- Free Trial: None
- Released 19 November 2019
- Offline viewing: Yes
- 4K video: Yes
- TV shows: 7000+ episodes
- Movies: 500+ movies
Disney has brought a budget to the small screen that would make Scrooge McDuck blush; evidenced by the high-quality originals we’ve watched so far.
Then there are the Disney classics: Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King all come to mind but more recent Pixar fare such as Frozen 2 and Onward are an on-demand godsend for parents across the world.
Disney’s high-profile acquisitions, such as 20th Century Fox, mean you can find more compelling classics, like The Simpsons and the animated X-Men series. The content offered from Fox makes up some of the service’s best TV shows and best movies and help strengthen the case for streaming service.
The Disney Plus app has also improved significantly since launch, so we’ve decided to re-evaluate the app’s worth in an increasingly competitive market.
Disney Plus Australia Price
How’s does it stack up?
Disney Plus launched at $8.99 per month in Australia. There’s also the option to subscribe for a full year of Disney Plus for $89.99, saving $17.89 (nearly two months of access) for committing to the full year.
That’s a competitive subscription price when compared with Netflix, Stan, Foxtel Now and Binge. Though, if we’ve learned anything from Netflix’s time in Australia, pricing and plans can change quite frequently.
Here’s how the Disney Plus launch price compares with other Australian streaming services:
At $8.99 per month, Disney Plus is one of the cheapest streaming services available in Australia, with Prime Video and Apple TV+ coming in a little cheaper at $6.99 and $7.99 per month, respectively. It’s worth noting that Apple TV+ has an incredibly small library at launch, so it’s a tough sell even at that price. Prime Video, on the other hand, has improved significantly since launch, thanks mostly to its growing stable of top-shelf original productions (like The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, Undone and The Man in the High Castle) and still clocks in at just $6.99 per month.
If you decide to commit to a year of Disney Plus, it will set you back $89.99 upfront, working out at an equivalent of $7.49 per month (making it cheaper than Apple TV+). Prime Video also offers a yearly subscription at $59.99 annually (equivalent to $4.99 per month).
|Service||Monthly price||Max. Video Resolution||Devices||Free trial|
|$8.99||4K||4||No free trial|
|$10 – $18||HD||1 – 4||2 weeks|
|$9.99 – $19.99||4K||1 – 4||No free trial|
|$10 – $17||4K||1 – 4||30 days|
|$25 – $104||HD||2||10 days|
|$25 – $35||HD||2 – 3||2 weeks|
Should you subscribe to an entire year of Disney Plus?
There are benefits to subscribing for an entire year. There’s the overall saving of $17.89, then there’s the simple convenience of not paying every single month but one of the biggest benefits to paying annually will be safeguarding against pricing increases. As we’ve seen from Netflix Australia, pricing and plans are subject to change regularly as content is added and appeal for the service grows.
The main reason you wouldn’t subscribe to a full year at this point is that we just don’t know enough about what the service might look like a year down the track. There’s plenty of original content in the works but whether or not that’s enough to keep you coming back to the service night after night is anyone’s guess and once you’re locked in for a year, getting your money back could prove difficult.
Disney Plus app UX and features
What’s the user experience like?
Navigating the app has been snappy on every device we’ve tested on and we’ve only experienced a couple of insignificant hitches when it comes to stream quality, buffering and connection issues. However, Netflix is still the undefeated champ when it comes to streaming technology, UX and accessibility.
There are some fantastic navigational options you don’t get on most services. A-Z movies and series lists, lists of 4K/UHD content. That sort of thing. The A-Z list has come in handy a few times because the Disney Plus search function just isn’t very advanced. For example, if I want to search for Christmas movies, running a search will bring up a handful of titles. Mostly titles with ‘Christmas’ in the name or description. But then you have a few edge cases, like Iron Man 3 (which is set at Christmas) or The Chronicles of Narnia because… I don’t know? Snow?
I’ve also been seeing different results in categories depending on the device I’m viewing on. For example, if I’m browsing the 4K/HDR list on my computer, I get a completely different list if I’m viewing on my laptop than if I’m browsing on my phone or PlayStation 4.
Disney Plus accessibility features
Disney Plus is touting a robust set of accessibility features, such as descriptive audio, closed captioning, and audio navigation.
The descriptive audio is the star of the show here. It’s clear, concise and does a bang-up job of describing every scene for the titles we’ve managed to test it on. However, the audio navigation and closed captioning could use a little work.
Disney Plus is simply compatible with screen readers for text-to-speech audio navigation. Which is fine, that’s how most services handle audio navigation. But when Disney Plus boasted ‘audio navigation’ as a feature, we were expecting something baked-in for all devices.
Subtitles and closed captions
Some folks have been able to access closed caption customisation (e.g. font style, size, colour and background) on several devices. However, we’ve not been able to access this feature on iOS, PlayStation 4 or Chromecast.
On top of that, many users reported some significant closed captioning glitches on certain devices, such as subtitles only showing at the top of the screen, slow or delayed subtitles, and some cases where only half of the text would appear.
Disney Plus Australia Free Trial
Disney Plus no longer offers a free trial
At launch, Disney Plus offered a 7-day free trial promotion but in the lead-up to the release of its exclusive Hamilton movie, the offer was removed. New subscribers are now billed the $8.99 subscription free from the moment they sign up. This move echoed Netflix’s decision to remove its free trial just a few months before.
Disney Plus Australia launch date
When did Disney Plus launch in Australia?
Disney Plus launched 19 November 2019 in Australia and New Zealand, only one week after the service debuted in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands on 12 November 2019.
It’s quite rare for Australia and New Zealand to get early access to these global entertainment services (or movies and television in general) so while the week wait felt like an eternity for Star Wars fans looking to avoid The Mandalorian spoilers, we still had it better than many other countries, such as the UK, Germany, France and Italy, who had to wait until 31 March 2020.
Disney Plus Australia content
What content is available in Australia?
Over the last couple of years, Disney has been slowly herding all of its franchises and properties back into its own stable. Buying back distribution rights across the world to launch Disney Plus with all the usual suspects.
Eventually, Disney Plus and Hulu will become the on-demand home for every major Star Wars, Marvel Cinematic Universe and 20th Century Fox TV show and movie but there’s still a ways to go.
In an incredibly rare turn of events, Australia actually received more of Disney’s major movies than the U.S at launch.
The rights to Marvel films, for example, are currently licensed to a variety of streaming platforms in the U.S., meaning they weren’t all available. Same goes for the Star Wars movies. At launch, only the Force Awakens and Rogue One were available to stream. The Last Jedi arrived early 2020 and Rise of the Skywalker came later in 2020.
Disney Plus Australia TV shows
Disney Plus claimed there were over 7,000 TV episodes available at launch. Looking at the complete lineup, that doesn’t surprise us.
You can find the complete list of shows and movies here but we’ve also picked out some of the best Disney Plus TV shows available in Australia, including Gargoyles, Lizzie McGuire and Star Wars: Rebels, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Simpsons, just to name a few.
TV shows at launch were a skewed to a younger crowd but its slate of original series, such as The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, WandaVision and the Cassian Andor series, will all cater to a much broader audience.
There’s also a huge selection of National Geographic documentaries to stream.
Disney Plus Australia movies
The movies available in Australia much broader appeal, ranging from the musical babysitter Frozen to Brie Larson’s badass Captain Marvel, to forgotten classics like The Rocketeer.
There aren’t as many original Disney Plus movies in production as there are TV shows, but there’s a small handful of original movies such as the Lady and the Tramp adaptation, Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader’s Christmas flick, Noelle and… wait for it, a new Phineas and Ferb movie on the way. I mean, what more could you want.
We’ve dug through the entire list of movies available and have put together a solid binge list of the very best movies on Disney Plus.
Disney Plus Device Compatiblity
What devices can you watch Disney Plus on?
If you’re looking to stream Disney Plus, there’s a healthy lineup of compatible devices available (and more than likely, a device you already own). There are the usual mobile and tablet suspects (iPhone and Android), then there are set-top boxes such as Apple TV, streaming media devices like Chromecast and Fire TV Stick, gaming consoles like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and Samsung, LG, Sony and TCL Smart TVs.
If you don’t have a compatible device, you can always stream Disney Plus via your web browser on PC or Mac.
Disney Plus will also be available on Roku in the U.S. so we may see Telstra TV box support in the future.
Here’s the list of Disney Plus compatible devices:
- Android Smartphones/Tablets
- Apple TV
- Google Chromecast
- Fire TV Stick
- PlayStation 4
- Xbox One
- Sony Smart TV
- TCL Smart TV
- Samsung Smart TV
- LG Smart TV
- PC and Mac via Web Browser
Disney Plus Australia FAQs
Here are the questions people are asking about Disney Plus in Australia.
Disney Plus AU vs US TV shows and movies
Unlike the Netflix Australia launch, which saw a fraction of the library migrated to our shores, the Australian Disney Plus library actually has more of the major Marvel, Star Wars and Pixar movies than the U.S.
Disney Plus login: Where do I sign up for an account?
That’d be over at the official website, disneyplus.com/au/.
Disney Plus no longer offers a free trial, so you will best faced with two subscription options: $8.99 per month or $89.99 per year. If you already have an account, elect “Log In” and enter the email address and password you chose when you first signed up.
Can I download title from Disney Plus for offline viewing?
Yes. Disney Plus allows subscribers to download TV shows and movies for offline viewing. In our time with the app, we haven’t noticed any restrictions on content that’s available for download (as is the case for Netflix and Stan).
Your data cap will also be thanking Disney because not only can you download TV shows and movies on your home WiFi network, you can also select Standard, Medium or High for the download file size and quality. So if you’re running low on data, you can opt for the lower quality download.
Does Disney Plus support 4K/UHD, HDR and Dolby Vision?
It sure does. Unlike most streaming services, Disney Plus offers support for 4K/UHD resolution, HDR10 and Dolby Vision on its standard subscription tier. Disney Plus also doesn’t make you go searching for it; it has a dedicated category for 4K/UHD/HDR titles that’s accessible directly from the navigation menu.
All you need is a subscription and an eligible 4K television (here are our picks for the best 4K TVs available).
Does Disney Plus offer accessibility features like closed captioning and subtitles?
Yes. Not only will Disney Plus offer typical closed captioning and subtitles but it will also offer descriptive audio support and audio navigation assistance as an option for users. That’s a decent range of accessibility features straight out of the box.
How much data does Disney Plus use?
Disney hasn’t disclosed any particular details about the service’s expected data usage but we’ve ran a few tests streaming in HD and data saver mode to get an idea of how much data Disney Plus uses.
On average, we found that the Disney Plus app used 2.2GB per hour for HD streaming and 1.5GB per hour using the app’s data saving mode.
If those figures are giving you excess data shell-shock, we might suggest upgrading to an unlimited broadband plan.