A parent guide to Disney+
31 May, 2024
3 minute read

A parent guide to Disney+

In March 2020, Disney made its long-awaited foray into the UK streaming landscape with Disney+. Since then, it has maintained its popularity among parents and children alike. 

So what does it offer, and is it safe for children? Here's everything you need to know. 


What is Disney+?

Disney’s subscription-based service gives users access to most of the entertainment company’s library of films and shows, from classics such as Snow White and Bambi to newer additions including Coco and Moana.

Although we tend to associate the Disney name with timeless cartoons and cutesy animations, Disney+ also features all of the content under the company’s expansive umbrella, including the Star Wars films, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the entire Simpsons back catalogue and a host of National Geographic documentaries.

With one Disney+ subscription you can create up to seven profiles and four people can stream at the same time. The service is very accessible, as it’s available on a range of different devices including laptops, smartphones, smart TVs and games consoles.

All titles can be downloaded to your devices, so you don't need to be connected to Wi-Fi to be able to watch your favourite films or shows.

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Why is it so popular?

Netflix remains the undisputed champion of streaming services but Disney+ has stolen the hearts of many families. 

Its main selling point is that it includes some of the best-loved family-friendly films and franchises of all time. 

That doesn’t mean there’s nothing new on there, though: taking inspiration from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ has also started producing its own original films and series.

Another bonus is that it’s priced just below many of its competitors, at £7.99 per month (or a slightly cheaper £79.90 for a 12-month subscription).

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What do parents need to be aware of?

Kid’s profiles

Disney offers a ‘Kid’s profile’ option, which restricts all content intended for those older than seven years and also makes the interface easier for children to navigate. For each profile, you also have the option to set specific profiles to different content age ratings. 

As of 2022, Disney+ has implemented more safety features and controls than were present when the service first launched.

For example, 'Content Ratings' can now be used to restrict shows and movies with high age ratings, profile PINs can be used to prevent children from accessing adult Disney+ profiles, and an 'exit challenge' similarly stops users of a 'Kid's Profile' from navigating outside of child-friendly content. 

Controversial content

Ahead of its launch, there was a lot of debate over what content should be included on the new streaming platform. Disney’s roster of animations stretches back to the late 1920s and some of its content has been criticised for including outdated and offensive racial stereotypes.

Although the worst offenders, such as Song of the South, have deliberately not been included on the platform, some of the older films contain characters which would be considered insensitive by today’s standards, for instance, the Native Americans in Peter Pan and the Jim Crow character in Dumbo.

Disney has added disclaimers to the films this applies to, which parents might want to look out for when choosing what to watch on the service.

Spot something that doesn't look quite right? You can email librarian@parentzone.org.uk to submit comments and feedback.

This article was last updated on 02/10/23.


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