The day finally came that longtime Disney fans had been hoping for: the release of the company’s very own streaming service. Years of anticipating the next rerelease from the Disney vault and searching for the DVDs and digital versions of older television shows led to a worldwide thirst for easy access to Disney’s ever-expanding catalog. The call was answered in the form of Disney+, a streaming service that houses much of Disney’s content.
Consistent quality of content alone is enough to allow Disney+ to stand against other streaming giants, with budgets high enough to ensure that original content has a place to thrive. This is perhaps where Disney+ is strongest, as there is no shortage of new content and varying genres, an enormous benefit to those who are looking to make Disney+ their primary streaming service. Almost all of Disney’s new content is excellent and well-suited for any age range, with The Madalorian, The Imagineering Story, The World According to Jeff Goldblum and High School Musical The Musical: The Series as early highlights. It is remarkable how upon the service’s launch, such a large volume of series were a necessity to view, as every one of its new shows and movies felt substantial.
New episodes of series release every Friday, rather than taking the binge-centric approach of releasing the entirety of a new season at once. The usefulness of the feature comes down to user preference, and while it allows Disney to better spread its content out over time to keep the audience interested for longer, it’s a great incentive for the audience to check out multiple different pieces of original content. More so than there just simply being enough diversity in content that everyone can find something to participate, Disney+ creates a system of discovery and wonderment.
That sense of discovery is propelled by Disney+’s older content, as the service’s catalog of Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic and Simpsons content dates all the way back to the original: Steamboat Willie. There is a handful of Walt’s original cartoons and films, along with the Disney vault’s fabled collection, a slew of Disney Channel original movies, Disney channel television shows, documentaries and more. At times I found myself so excited to watch the bounty of content that I switched between series after just a single episode of each.There is a tangible excitement to discovering a show I was not sure if I would ever see again, puling up memories from the earliest days of my childhood. The amount of desirable content is overwhelming in the best possible way, and it looks to continue, as Disney has several films listed that are yet to be available on the service while including the day they will be made ready to watch, It is a welcome feature to streaming services, as there is a certain comfort in knowing that a series of films will eventually all be available in the same place, and there is no need to leave the app to research it.
Disney+ shines in its features the same way it does its content. The service allows seven separate user profiles, four concurrent streams and downloads across 10 mobile devices and limitless others for offline viewing. Though there is a limit to number of mobile devices, the only limit to the amount of content that can be downloaded is what each device’s storage can hold. It is an expansive list of features that is only added to by the availability of 4K and HDR at no additional cost, an impressive feat on its own. Children seven and under can have a kid-specific profile that sorts content by character, which is also where Disney+ refines the user experience for all profiles. Searching for a specific piece of content has never been so easy, as every user can search by title, character or genre.
That ease of use permeates every layer of Disney+, as Disney further sorts content across its clean and easily navigable interface by release date, franchise and character. There is just as expansive a number of ways to view content as there is a volume of content to watch, and though, despite its impressiveness, Disney+’s initially smaller catalog that other streaming services always makes it feel like there’s something new to watch. Watchlists are just as standard a practice in Disney+ everywhere else, and make their presence on Disney+ as well. At launch, Disney+ also had a list of shows I was watching and included my progress in them, though it got removed presumably due to a few small technical issues on the first day. I also found a number of animated shows to list episodes out of chronological order, a small grievance that is not consistent with every series. Out of all my hours of usage, these two issues were the only I ever experienced, and they were not in the realm of hindering all of the endless positive moments.While nothing can be said for certain, it seems logical that those minor discrepancies will be cleared over time, leaving Disney+ without hiccup whatsoever. Aside from the few server issues that can be expected at the launch of any new online-based service, Disney+ has run flawlessly for me, streaming in full-quality with rarely an interruption. It is refreshing to have everything work so well so early, giving me the ability to flip between the shows I still cannot decide on what to commit to at will.
Disney+ already eels like a complete package, and only seems like the warmup when considering the content the company says is planned for the future. While it remains to be seen what Disney does with the service in the next several years, the service’s launch indicates that our favorite content is in good hands. I have never been so excited about the prospect of a streaming service’s future, and what Disney+ already offers is warrant enough to buy in. It is quickly becoming my preferred streaming service, and at its most expensive, without any package deals, at $6.99 a month, makes signing up now a no-brainer.