Disney+ has removed the ability to test out the streaming service for free ahead of the launch of two of the most anticipated launches of the year – Frozen II and the Broadway recording of the original award-winning Hamilton production. At launch, Disney+ allowed users to access its complete library of content for seven days without paying a penny.
That meant you’d be able to binge every animated Walt Disney classic from your childhood, the live-action remakes of those classics which have dominated multiplexes over recent years, award-winning documentaries from National Geographic, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel Cinematic Universe films and thousands of hours of television series – for free.
But Disney has (quietly) dropped this feature. So, if you’re hoping to watch Frozen II or Hamilton – or any of the hundreds of other films – on Disney+ this weekend, you’ll need to pay the cost of at least one-month subscription.
That will set you back £5.99. Given that renting Frozen II in Ultra HD quality for a 48-hour window costs roughly the same as unlimited access to the entire Walt Disney catalogue for the entire month, it’s a pretty amazing deal. But of course, it’s not quite as amazing as being able to tune-in for free for a week.
Netflix dropped its month-long trial period at the end of last year. However, rivals like Amazon Prime and Apple TV+ continue to offer pretty generous trial periods to stream without committing to a monthly subscription straight out of the gate.
The timing of the removal of the free trial from Disney+ cannot possibly be a coincidence. Friday, July 3 sees the arrival of the biggest animated film of all time – Frozen II. This will be available to all subscribers from midnight and is likely to prove immensely popular with families across the UK.
One of the most anticipated sequels, Frozen II was a blockbuster behemoth, bringing in an eye-watering $1.32 billion at multiplexes worldwide following its release in November 2019. While it has been available to rent digitally for a few weeks, July 3 is the first time Frozen II has been available on a video on-demand subscription service.
With the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad, Frozen II reunites the Academy Award-winning team of directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck as well as songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, which put together the first Frozen film.
As well as Frozen II, Disney+ will host a number of extras, including Into The Unknown: Making Frozen 2, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, Frozen Fever and Lego’ Disney Frozen – Northern Lights. And of course, the first film in the series, Frozen.
And that’s not the only blockbuster arrival on July 3, 2020. Broadway sensation Hamilton, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana, Mary Poppins Returns), has enthralled audiences in New York, London, Chicago and Puerto Rico where tickets have been akin to gold dust. Now, the 11-time- Tony Award, GRAMMY Award, Olivier Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning stage musical will be streamed on Disney+.
The Walt Disney company paid a wince-inducing $75 million for the rights to broadcast the recording of the original Broadway cast, including Lin-Manuel Miranda himself, setting records. Originally scheduled to arrive on Disney+ on October 15, 2021, the streaming service brought the release date forward by more than a year as millions shelter at home amid the ongoing global public health crisis.
There aren’t many services that don’t support Disney+. Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast – as well as Android TV, which includes the likes of Nvidia Shield TV, Sony TVs, Hisense, and more. Amazon Fire TV also supports the streaming app, regardless of which generation of the streaming stick, box (or cube) you own, you should be able to start watching right now on the big screen.
Just search the relevant app store, or ask whatever voice assistant is built into the box for “Disney+” to find the app on your preferred streaming device.