Last week, a new streaming service came on the market. Most of you have heard of it by now. I’m talking about Disney Plus, of course. As any of you who regularly read me know by now, I am an enormous Disney fangirl, so it is surely no surprise that I’ve been anticipating this one for awhile. I had that app downloaded the moment it became available – that was about seven in the morning, for me. Thank goodness it dropped on a day that I wasn’t working.
But is it any good? And is it accessible?
Let’s answer that second one first. The short answer is yes. The longer answer? Mostly. Now, let me be clear that my experience is only with the IOS app. I don’t have any other devices, nor have I tried to stream anything from my laptop’s web browser, so I can’t speak for anything else. The app isn’t perfect, but it’s close. Nearly all buttons are labelled, which means that Voice Over (that’s the iphone’s text to speech native app) can read them. The interface is just a tiny bit clunky from the perspective of a blind user, but it does work. If the app has a fault, it is that the control interface vanishes during playback. In some other streaming apps, it doesn’t vanish if the app notices you using Voice Over. But it is a minor inconvenience only, and easy to bring up the controls with a split or double tap.
Much of the content has audio description, too. Now, look, it’s only been a week, and the library is enormous, so I can’t verify that a majority of things have it, but every bit of original programming I’ve watched has it, all modern movies with cinematic releases had it, and the oldest thing I’ve watched (Robin Hood, released in 1973) had it. What didn’t have it is anything from the Disney Channel. But I barely skimmed the surface of that particular well spring.
So yes, I deem it accessible. This fails to surprise me. Disney has audio description for many of its’ park rides, it clearly knows that blind people are part of the market.
Now. Is it any good?
Oh, my Disney, yes. The library is immense. Every Disney movie you can think of. No, really, I mean it. Every. Disney movie. Well, except Song Of The South, which will never again see the light of day, thank goodness. It has Avengers End Game. It has Davey Crockett. It has The Shaggy Dog. It has Mr. Boogity, which I’m not sure anyone but myself remembers fondly. It has Duck Tales. It has Gargoyles (ahem, this may have been the first thing I watched.) No matter how old you are, Disney Plus has something to hit the nostalgia button for you.
It also has new stuff. Now, granted, the original content for opening day was limited, but it was mostly all really good. The Mandalorian is a Star Wars universe live action show, but you could enjoy this if your knowledge of SW doesn’t extend much beyond Yoda, exploding Death Stars and dudes with light-up sword things. Not that any of the light up swords have shown up. There is also a documentary series called The Imagineering Story which follows the history and creation of Disney parks, which you know I’m going to be watching. Encore is like ahigh school reunion meets musical theatre… getting together the cast of past high school productions years later and getting them to do it again. It’s… interesting. Those are the ones I’ve seen, though there are a few more. Interestingly, Disney is veering away from the binge viewing model, and releasing episodes weekly.
More new stuff will be coming in the future, includeing a lot of Marvel original content. Some of it I am excited for, some not.
As for the price? It’s competitive. Less expensive than Netflix, certainly, at just under nine bucks a month. There is also a week’s free trial, if you’re just not sure.
So, put together great old content that you might not find anywhere else, fascinating new things to be excited about, competitive pricing and pretty good accessibility, and you have a streaming service I’ll be sticking with.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’m going to go watch The Great Mouse Detective.
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