I have just spent the last few minutes signing up for Disney + and downloading apps for iOS, Android and Apple TV. I then spent a few minutes, several actually, streaming titles such as Avengers Infinity War, Star Wars The Last Jedi, Unbelievable 2, Snowwhite and the Seven Dwarfsand Free solo. No, I am not a decorated general who is fighting at the front of the streaming wars, I am just a guy who happens to live in the Netherlands, where the Disney + service went live as part of a free pilot that runs until November 12, after that it costs € 6.99 / month.
I have to agree with my colleague Julia Alexander, who described the Disney + experience as & # 39; empty but elegant & # 39 ;. Compared to Netflix, there is not much content here. However, compared to Apple TV +, there is a ton and it is very easy to find. With a selection in the top row you can quickly Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Warsor National Geographic titles. Those inviting boxes are directly under a full-length carousel with the promoted hits from each section. More than once I caught myself saying that:oh yeah, that's a Disney movie " while I was scrolling through hundreds of titles.
It was previously reported that only four Marvel films would be available at launch on November 12: Captain Marvel, Thor: The Dark World, Iron Manand Iron Man 3; with Avengers: Endgame available later in December. The Dutch pilot – perhaps due to various licensing agreements – has 18 Marvel titles, but this is currently missing Endgame and Captain Marvel:
- Avengers: Age of Ultron
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Iron Man
- Iron Man 2
- Iron Man 3
- protectors of the universe
- Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2
- Black Panther
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- Captain America: The First Avenger
- Captain America: Civil War
- Thor: The Dark World
- Thor: Rangnarok
- Ant-Man and the wasp
- Doctor Strange
The pilot also has the whole Star Wars franchise is available for streaming, from episode I to IX, inclusive Star Wars specials, series and Lego shorts. Unfortunately there is no sign of the The Mandalorian yet.
The homepage of Disney + conveniently sorts content for all Disney + sections into a number of useful categories such as Hit Movies, Out of the Vault classics, Musicals and Documentaries. A 4K and HDR section contains 17 Ultra HD titles, including some of the Avenger and Star Wars sagas.
Of course you can skip all the compiled lists and pages and go straight to search, where you can find things by title, character or genre. Via the search screen you can also click in a number of Disney collections or browse through each film or series in the service.
Some other comments:
- I could create a maximum of seven viewer profiles.
- Profiles can be assigned the Kids status to limit the content to the less scary things.
- AirPlay works from my iPhone to Apple TV.
- Chromecast works from my Android device.
- Downloading movies to my phones for offline playback works as expected.
- Disney + is also accessible via a web browser. It went great in Safari and Chrome on my MacBook.
- Disney + interface looks great on Apple TV as you would expect with its sleek layout. I would expect the same from Roku.
- I was able to watch a movie on Apple TV and then switch to both my Android device and iPhone where the same movie was queued and was ready to watch at the same time. However, there is no such & # 39; n transfer to the web browsers.
- At one point I had five Disney + streams – three devices, two web browsers – running simultaneously, although the limit would be four. Two were in browsers, so get emoji.
- There is a Prince and Fairy Tales section with every Disney princess film I can think of, from classics such as Cinderella to modern takes such Moana. My daughter will love this.
For a pilot, the entire experience was free of bugs. No craziness in the apps, no unexpected buffering, nothing to take away from an otherwise strong first show from Disney & # 39; s streaming service.
Of course my impressions come from a pilot who is running in a small country – let's see how it comes on November 12.