How to Stream On Disney+

Everything you need to know about the Disney streaming service

A mother prepares to watch Disney+ on a laptop with her child.

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Disney+ is an on-demand streaming service from Disney that offers a selection of titles from Disney's massive catalog of movies and television series. In addition to fan favorite movies and shows, the service also features original content based on massively popular franchises like Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Disney+ service is subscription-based, and allows subscribers to stream on-demand movies and shows through a website on computers and laptops, or an app on phones, tablets, and streaming devices. There is no connection between Disney+ and the Disney Channel, so you don't need a cable subscription to access this service. Disney also owns ESPN and Hulu and offers an option to bundle all three services together for one monthly fee.

What is Disney+?

Disney+ is Disney plus Pixar plus Marvel plus Star Wars plus National Geographic, which basically just means that it's a streaming service built to house all of Disney's media properties. It's essentially Disney's answer to Netflix, is very similar to Netflix in terms of functionality and content, and it serves as the official streaming home to all of the Disney properties that used to be available through Netflix.

The Disney+ service displayed on a television.
Disney

The main difference between Disney+ and Netflix is that the Netflix streaming catalog of movies and television shows is much more extensive. The other big difference is that Netflix is more expensive. Even the cheapest Netflix plan is more expensive than Disney+.

While the Disney+ streaming library is smaller, it's also more focused. If you're a fan of Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars, then Disney+ is the only place you'll find those titles.

Disney+ also differs from services like Netflix in that they hew closer to the old television-style content release strategy. Instead of releasing entire seasons at once like Netflix, Disney+ follows a weekly release schedule for their original programming. Viewers who have grown used to binge-watching on Netflix may find this return to weekly episodic releases a little frustrating.

How to Sign Up For Disney+

You can sign up for Disney+ through the website or the app. Here's how to sign up through the website:

  1. Navigate to disneyplus.com and click Start Free Trial.

    A screenshot of Disney+

    Click Buy Now if you want to bundle Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN+. There is no free trial for the bundle, so you will be charged immediately.

  2. Enter your email address, and click agree & continue.

    A screenshot of the Disney+ sign up process.
  3. Choose a password, and click continue.

    A screenshot of the Disney+ sign up process.
  4. Choose a subscription type, enter your credit card information, and click agree & subscribe.

    A screenshot of the Disney+ billing information page.

    You need to enter billing information to receive the free Disney+ trial, but you won't be charged immediately. You will be charged if you don't cancel before the end of the trial period.

  5. Click start streaming Disney+ to get started.

    A screenshot of Disney+

Verifying Your Disney+ Account

When you first sign up for Disney+, you may be greeted by a blank screen and an error message. If that happens to you, it means you need to verify your Disney+ account before you can start streaming.

Here's how to verify your Disney+ account:

  1. If Disney+ displays a blank screen, click the account icon in the upper right corner.

    A screenshot of Disney+ pre-verification.

    If you haven't set up any profiles, the icon will look like Mickey Mouse.

  2. Click Account.

    A screenshot of the Disney+ account verification process.
  3. Click Verify Account.

    The Disney+ account page.
  4. Check your email for a verification code from Disney+. Once it arrives, enter it on the Disney+ verification page and click continue.

    A screenshot of the Disney+ verification page.
  5. You are now ready to start streaming.

What Content Can You Watch on Disney+?

Disney+ is the streaming home to movies and TV shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. It also has content from National Geographic. While R-rated films and some original material, like Marvel's Runaways, will still appear on Hulu, the majority of the content from those five sources will be exclusively available on Disney+.

A screenshot of Disney+ showing some of the available content.
Disney

If you enjoy watching the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe or Star Wars movies on Netflix, you may want to consider switching to Disney+. The last Disney movie to appear on Netflix was Ant-Man and the Wasp. Disney+ will be the exclusive streaming home to all future Disney, Marvel, Pixar and Lucasfilm movies.

In addition to movies, Disney+ also has a lot of original content. The service has original Star Wars series like The Mandalorian, original series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, original National Geographic documentaries, and more.

All of the content on Disney+ is available on-demand, and there is no pay-per-view mechanism. That means your subscription provides you with access to the entire streaming library, and there is no option to pay extra to rent movies.

Is Disney+ Connected to ESPN+ or Hulu?

Disney owns ESPN (and ESPN+) and Hulu, but they are each separate services that you can sign up for separately. Fans of all three services also have the option of signing up for a bundle of Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu for a low monthly fee.

When you bundle Hulu with Disney+, you get the version of Hulu that includes commercials. If you want the commercial-free version of Hulu, or Hulu With Live TV, you need to sign up for each service separately.

How to Watch Disney+

The primary way to watch Disney+ is through the Disney+ website, which includes a streaming video player that works in most modern browsers.

A screenshot of the Disney+ interface.
Disney

Disney+ looks a lot like other streaming services, like Netflix and Hulu. The streaming library has a few categories, including movies, series, and originals, and there is also a search function that you can use to locate specific titles.

The service also includes a watchlist that works like the watchlists included with services like Hulu and Netflix. Users can save movies, television shows, and originals to watch at a later date.

How Many Shows Can You Watch at Once On Disney+?

Streaming services place a limit on how many streams you can watch at once using a single account. Even if a service allows you to create multiple profiles, that doesn't mean you'll be able to use all of the profiles at the same time.

Disney+ allows you to stream to four devices simultaneously. That means you can watch The Mandalorian on your smart TV while your kids all watch cartoons and movies on some combination of three smartphones, tablets, game consoles, or other compatible streaming devices.

If you try to stream to more than four devices at once, you'll see Error Code 75. To clear this code, stop streaming on one of your devices.

How to Use the Disney+ Watchlist

  1. Navigate to disneyplus.com or open the Disney+ app, and select a show or movie you want to save for later.

    A screenshot of Disney+
  2. On the series or movie landing page, click or tap the + symbol.

    A screenshot of The Mandalorian on Disney+

    This is a good way to keep track of original shows like The Mandalorian that have new episodes released on a weekly basis.

  3. To watch the show or movie later, click or tap WATCHLIST.

    A screenshot of a show on Disney+ added to the watchlist.
  4. With the watchlist open, click or tap the show or movie you want to watch.

    A screenshot of the Disney+ Watchlist.

Can You Watch Disney+ On Mobile Devices and Televisions?

In addition to watching on your computer, you can download an app to stream Disney+ on a variety of other devices.

Disney+ displayed on a tablet.
Disney

The Disney+ app is compatible with smartphones, tablets, and some streaming devices, including Roku. It's also compatible with some smart televisions, and there is a version that works with PS4.

Here's where you can get the Disney+ app:

One benefit of the Disney+ app is that it allows you to stream without being tied to your computer, but it also has some additional functionality. For example, the streaming device, smart TV, and game console versions all allow you to stream directly to your television.

The tablet version of the app also allows you to download shows and movies straight to your device so that you can watch them later without an internet connection.