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How To Best Use Disney+: 9 Tips To Get The Most Out Of The Streaming Service

Carl and Ellie in the opening scene of Pixar's Up
(Image credit: Pixar)

To the surprise of no one, Disney+ has taken over the world ever since its November 2019 debut. With content from across Disney's different franchises and properties, including Star Wars and Marvel, there's literally something for everyone in the family. And with so many great original movies, television series, and documentaries at our fingertips, sometimes it can be too much to handle. Only if there were some tips and tricks to get the most out of Disney+.

Well, have I got some good news for you. With an easy to navigate user interface on the multitude of devices that support Disney+, getting the most out of streaming service from the "House of Mouse" is easier than anyone would have ever thought.

Here are some tips to get the most out of your Disney+ subscription (or how to get signed up if you've been on the fence).

Scrooge swimming in coin bath in chip n dale: rescue rangers

(Image credit: Disney+)

The Price Options For Disney+ 

To sign up for Disney+ by itself, you have two options. You can pay the monthly fee of $7.99 per month, or you can opt for the annual subscription, which costs $79.99 for a full year of Disney+ access. But there will soon be an even cheaper option as Disney has confirmed an ad-supported model will be added at some point in late 2022. This is becoming the standard as of late with services like HBO Max, Hulu, Peacock, and others offering multiple price-tiers.

A monthly or annual membership gets you access to all of Disney+'s content, with the exception of the Premier Access program, which was first introduced in 2020. For  a one-time fee (per title) of $29.99 Disney+ subscribers are able to watch select movies while they are still in theaters. However, this option hasn't been used since Jungle Cruise in July 2021.

You Can Get Six Months Of Disney+ For Free With Select Verizon Plans

Select Verizon customers can get six months of Disney+ included with select Unlimited plans. (Get more information on that at Verizon's page (opens in new tab).)

Elisabeth Moss in The Handmaid's Tale.

(Image credit: Hulu)

You Can Bundle With Hulu And ESPN+

Disney's decision to launch Disney+ and ESPN+ when the company already had a stake in one of the premier platforms (Hulu) was a little hard to take initially, but everything started to make sense once the media giant announced that it could better serve consumers by splitting up the three options. Fans of all three streaming platforms, however, aren't out of luck as there is a bundle that includes Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu all for one low price.

The Disney+ bundle that includes ESPN+ and Hulu costs $13.99 per month (with the ad-supported Hulu subscription), or $19.99 per month (with ad-free Hulu). And with that price comes countless hours of great original movies, shows, and live sports.

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Sign up for the Disney+ bundle that includes Hulu and ESPN+:  $13.99/month (opens in new tab)

Woody and Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story

(Image credit: Pixar)

Don't Forget To Use The Watchlist Feature To Create Playlists

With the abundance of animated films, live action movies, original television series, and a growing list of documentaries, it's safe to say there's an enormous amount of content to get through on Disney+. And just so you don't forget those titles while browsing, make sure to use the "Watchlist" feature to create playlists of your favorite programming.

To add a movie or show to your "Watchlist" simply go to the title's page and click the "+" sign. After that, move on and add another title to the list. Just don't forget about the ones you added months earlier.

Mirabel with Bruno's green fortune in Encanto

(Image credit: Disney Animation)

Download Movies And TV Shows For Offline Viewing

Anyone with kids knows that sometimes you need to just load up your phone or tablet with hours of children's programs to get through long road trips or extended periods of time without the most reliable internet service. Don't worry, you can download a large portion of the Disney+ library on your mobile devices for offline viewing.

To do this, simply go to whichever movie or show you want to watch later and then click on the download button. After the download is completed, the title will pop up in the download section on the phone or tablet version of the streaming service. Now your family can watch Encanto and sing about Bruno anywhere and everywhere without using up all your mobile data or slowing down your internet.

Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan Kenobi in Disney+ series

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Explore Different Franchise Collections In The Search Menu

One of the best features of Disney+ is the sheer volume of content that is available for streaming. Never in my life did I think I would be able to watch all the Star Wars movies and shows in order without having to buy all those DVDs and Blu-rays. Same goes with all the best Marvel movies and every other property owned by Disney.. 

There are two ways of exploring the content from the likes of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic titles on the service. First, you can click on the individual collections on the Disney+ front page. Then there's the option where you can explore different collections that are based around specific franchises. This includes everything from the Toy Story collection to the Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga and everything in between. This is always a good way to find some of the hidden gems on the service.

the Eternals gather post-battle in Eternals

(Image credit: Marvel Studios)

Don't Forget To Check Out The Extras For The Movies You Love (Commentary Tracks)

One of my favorite things to do when I buy a new DVD or Blu-ray is to spend hours going through all the special features. This could include anything from director and actor commentary tracks, a cool behind-the-scenes featurette, and even early drafts of animated films. For me, the omission of these features has always been a drawback from most streaming platforms. Disney+, however, fixes that problem.

For many of the big movies on the platform, in addition to the feature film, you can watch most, if not all, the special features that are available on the physical releases. This is huge! When I first streamed Avengers: Endgame, I was blown away to find a commentary track with directors Anthony and Joe Russo and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. I'd never seen anything like that on a streaming service before.

Anyone who loves a good director's commentary should really explore Disney+ to see if their favorite movie has one. It's worth it, especially if you love to hear what went down during production or how your favorite scene came to life.

Another great addition is the IMAX-Enhanced section on Disney+ that features some of the biggest Marvel movies in the expanded 1.90:1 ratio as seen in theaters.

Check out the IMAX-Enhanced titles. (opens in new tab)

Mei drawing in notebook in Turning Red

(Image credit: Pixar Animation)

Create Profiles For Your Children

For all the parents out there, especially with young kids, it is so nice to have the ability to create a profile for each of your children. My daughter (Frozen, princesses) and son (Cars, Star Wars) have completely different interests, so it's nice for each of them to have their own place to watch their favorite movies, shows, and even create their own watchlist of titles to watch later.

Another great thing about children's profiles is the amazing collections that populate the front page of the homepage. Your kids can watch all the classic Mickey Mouse cartoons or see what's new on Disney Junior if you’re trying to break their CoComelon habit. Maybe this is one of the reasons young viewers are responsible for the platform's success.

charlie cox daredevil netflix

(Image credit: Marvel)

Disney+ Now Offers More Parental Controls

Parental controls have always been a part of Disney+, but in March 2022, the platform introduced another layer of protection for younger viewers along with the arrival of the Netflix Marvel series like Daredevil, which remain TV-MA and are not edited or toned down in any way. 

These new settings, which pop up the first time you log into your account after March 16, 2022, allow the account holder to select content ratings restrictions for each profile as well as to allow them to lock each of them with a custom PIN. This extra level of protection can prevent your five-year-old from watching any of the more violent moments from The Punisher. These controls can also be changed at any time in your account settings. 

Glenn Close in 101 Dalmatians

(Image credit: Disney)

Request Movies And Shows Missing From The Collection

Sometimes you're going to run into the issue where your favorite Disney movie or series isn't available to stream on Disney+. Fear not, as you can simply request a film or show by going to the help settings where you'll click on the feedback tab. When asked "What would you like to do?" simply click on the "Request a film or show" dropdown menu and add up to three suggestions.

Hopefully all of this makes your experience far more enjoyable in the future. If you are looking for information on any of the new shows coming to Disney+ in the coming months, check out CinemaBlend’s 2022 TV schedule for all the latest on Ms. Marvel, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and everything else.

Philip Sledge
Philip Sledge

Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.