apple tv and disney plus

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How to watch Disney+ on Apple TV

This easy guide will have you watching in no time.


Colette Bennett


As the launch of Disney+  glues us to our living room sofas for the foreseeable long haul, you just might be wondering about Disney Plus device compatibility —and if it will work with your Apple TV. The short answer is yes, but there are a few caveats, so bear with me as I explain.

Disney Plus works on just about all the major devices people have in their homes these days, and Apple TV is one of them, but what model you have does matter. To use the service, you’ll need to have a fourth-generation or later Apple TV as these are the devices that allow users to install apps (this includes Apple TV HD 32 GB, or the 4K 32 or 64GB). There is no app store available on earlier models, so in order to use Disney+ with it you would need to upgrade… or, you could try a workaround using AirPlay: You can install and use the app on a laptop, tablet, or phone and stream it to the Apple TV thanks to AirPlay. Technology is neat like that sometimes.

One major appeal of Disney+ is that (unlike competitors like Netflix), 4K, UHD, and HDR streaming come built-in and cost nothing extra. You’ll need a 4K TV and an Apple TV 4K to take advantage of it, as well as a handy set of HDMI 2.1 cables. If you happen to have all that on hand, get ready to see every pore in Elsa’s face as she sings “Let It Go” for the 26,653,386th time.

How to install Disney Plus on your Apple TV

Doing the signup for Disney+ is easy as pie. First, click here to go to the Disney+ homepage and sign up (and remember that you get a free one-week trial!). Pick which option suits you best: either the regular Disney+ package for $6.99, or the bundle with Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99.

Next, you’ll want to open the App Store on your Apple TV and find the Disney+ app. Install that sucker, open it up, and you’re ready to start streaming. If you’re sharing the account with family members or friends, remember you can make your own profile too. Just click “profile” up on the top right, and you even get to select an avatar from all of Disney’s famous faces.

Another cool tidbit is the way the app works if you already have it downloaded on your phone. Instead of having to log in every time you turn on your Apple TV, the app will recognize it’s you and log you right in. Yeah, Apple owns our souls, but at least it makes our lives easy.

What if I have Hulu/ESPN+ already and I want the bundle?

Easy-peasy—just sign up for Disney+ with the same email address you use for either or both of the services mentioned above. According to the terms of service, you’ll get a credit from Disney+ in the amount of the difference (that being $5.99 if you have Hulu, or $4.99 if you have ESPN). It is a bit of back and forth on your credit statement, but in the end, you’ll still get the promised price. One important point to know before you go for the bundle, though: The version of Hulu you get in it is the ad-supported version. If you hate ads and wish them all dead, the bundle won’t really serve your needs. But if you don’t mind them and you enjoy sports too, you’re basically getting ESPN for one cent. Who’d have thought a penny could buy anything these days?

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