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Disney Plus review: Is it any good?

It was the most-anticipated launch in the New Zealand streaming TV space for years, but is it any good? Read our Disney Plus review to find out.

When it launched in the United States, Disney Plus found 10 million subscribers in the first 24 hours and no shortage of server issues. A week later, the highly anticipated streaming TV service landed in New Zealand, where it found similar success. The issues were smoothed out and the content library kept growing, making Disney Plus a worthy competitor in the streaming wars.

As a company, Disney needs no introduction. It’s huge – like Dumbo’s ears, Donald’s temper, Han Solo’s ego, Hulk’s biceps and Homer’s love of donuts.

You know the brands. Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, Mickey Mouse, The Simpsons, National Geographic, Toy Story… we could go on. And on. And on. Before Disney Plus, they were spread out across the gamut of Kiwi TV streaming services. You could find them on Netflix for a while. Then they would rotate providers and then rotate back.

Now, these brands and countless others have a place to call home.

The pros and cons of Disney Plus


  • The price is right at $14.99/month or $149.99 per year
  • A single price tier for all features
  • 4K, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision supported
  • A healthy library of TV shows and movies
  • Family-focused content is suitable for everyone
  • Separate channel for content targeted to adults
  • It actively makes the content libraries of competing services worse
  • Plenty of great-looking exclusives into 2022
  • Excellent device support


  • Light on weekly premieres
  • You have seen the vast majority of the library before
  • Further dilution of streaming TV service adds another subscription to your list

Sign up to Disney Plus to stream thousands of movies and shows

Watch new and classic TV and movies from Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel, National Geographic, 21st Century Fox, Hulu, ESPN and more from 1 streaming service.

Disney Plus meets, but does not evolve, expectations

Turning on Disney Plus for the first time won’t blow your mind. Disney Plus is a by-the-numbers Netflix clone. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but some innovation would have been nice.

Some featured content boxes interrupt line after line of horizontal EPGs broken out into genres and “trending search” filters. You can jump straight into Kids mode, or select from the major Disney pillars: Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, National Geographic, Pixar and Star. You can download anything you want for offline use too.

In fact, Disney ticks almost all the expected boxes in terms of features. As well as offline viewing, there’s 4K, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision support for selected films and TV. Naturally, this is mostly true of recent productions, but there were some older-school surprises in the 4K Disney Plus list, including Star Wars.

Family sharing for up to 7 accounts and 4 simultaneous streams rounds out the key features. The only noticeable failing at launch was the lack of a “continue watching” service. Quite the oversight, but it was among the first fixes. Disney Plus also allows you to add content to a watchlist and use the GroupWatch feature to watch content with family or friends.

Disney Plus is the right price

Disney Plus offers everything for $14.99/month, which helps it really stand out against Netflix’s 4K premium plan, which is $24.99 per month.

If you’re confident you will love the service, you can get Disney Plus for $149.99 per year, effectively bringing the cost down to $10.83 per month.

Props must also be given to the range of compatible devices. You can watch Disney Plus on Mac/PC, iOS, Android, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, LG and Samsung smart TVs, as well as game consoles (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X). Well done.

Disney Plus content review

For sheer size and international significance, Disney Plus feels like the first genuine competitor to Netflix in the streaming TV space. But that was not always the case. At launch, Disney was a family-focused affair heavily leaning on legacy experiences. A paradise for children, with just enough cross-demographic content to keep parents and fanboys (or girls) tethered.

In fact, Disney Plus only had the single stand-out launch exclusive. A good one: the rather excellent live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian. It’s essential viewing for any Star Wars fans and a fun entry point for those who managed to live in a Wookiee-free bubble for the past 40 years.

However, that all changed with the launch of the Star channel in February 2021. It made Disney Plus not just a family-focused streaming solution – it’s now got hundreds of movies and TV shows targeted for an adult audience. This includes Star Originals found exclusively through Disney Plus, such as Dopesick and Only Murders in the Building. Plus, you can (re)watch fan favourite series such as Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Lost, Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Disney Plus started adding more content every month, from new big exclusives movies such as Soul, Luca, Hamilton and The One and Only Ivan, to TV and documentary content. Marvel fans got 5 fresh TV series over the course of 2021 alone, The Book of Boba Fett arrived in late 2021 and kid-friendly shows like Muppets Now kept young viewers glued to the screen.

Finally, recent and future movies – both cinematic and straight-to-TV – will be Disney Plus streaming exclusives. Given the usual high standard we see from Disney’s big pillar content, it means that the Disney Plus content library will continue to define and distance itself from the competition into the future.

The verdict on Disney Plus

Perhaps the biggest question hanging over Disney Plus is how your broadband will hold up to the strain. Only you know the answer to that question. How’s your connection? If you find yourself already struggling in peak periods to get Netflix, Neon TV, Amazon Prime or even just YouTube working as desired, Disney Plus will join that list of lemons. You’re looking at basically the same data and bandwidth demand.

Here’s a guide on how to check on your home’s Internet congestion.

If you pass this potential issue, Disney Plus is a competitively priced, perfectly functional portal into the library of Disney content. Its library of classics dates back to the 1930s and is evolving with the addition of new exclusives. There’s still not enough brand new exclusive content appearing on Disney Plus, at least not compared with Netflix or Amazon Prime. But it’s getting better. And the legacy content is so good, it’s not hard to watch it again – even if it’s for the 10th time.

You’ll get your value for money with Disney Plus, but it all comes down to your entertainment needs. All in all, Disney Plus is a solid option for the entire family.

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