After looking at all of my entertainment subscriptions in October, I had come to the painful conclusion that Disney+ was going to have to be cut loose. “I’ll just wait until this season of The Mandalorian is done,” I announced to my family, “and then I’m canceling Disney+.” I was fully expecting some pushback, especially from my two teenage children, but my decision was met with an uncharacteristic shrug of the shoulders, and so Disney+ was slated for cancellation. I had already moved us from annual to monthly billing in anticipation of hitting the cancel button.
Then, without any warning, Disney announced so many new shows and movies at a shareholder event that it should have been dubbed DisneyCon. Over the next three years, Disney plans no less than 10 new Marvel series, 10 new Star Wars series, and 15 shows from Pixar and its Disney animation and Disney live-action units. And that doesn’t include any of the Marvel and Star Wars movies, some of which, like Black Widow, will get a theatrical run before heading to the streaming service. Or the many series already set to debut on Disney+, like The Falcon and The Winter Soldier , which just dropped its first official trailer.
It’s all coming (eventually) to Disney+. And now I find myself in a quandary.
See, even though my job clearly requires me to be on top of as many streaming services and devices as I can, there’s still a limit to how much money I’m prepared to pay every month. And I pay a lot. Netflix Premium, Amazon Prime Video, a full cable package including premium movie channels, a service called Crave that we Canadians are forced to buy if we ever want to watch HBO content (long story). I also pay for a family music streaming service. And, as of a year ago, Disney+ got added to the mix.
Like millions of others, I had a blast revisiting so many favorites from the Star Wars saga — many of which I got to see in 4K, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos for the first time. Our 2019 Christmas time off was spent happily rewatching all of the Iron Man and Avengers movies, as well as classic Pixar fare like Toy Story and A Bug’s Life. When The Mandalorian debuted, we happily consumed that, too, and looked forward to the second season, which is still underway.
But once we had had our fill of Star Wars, Marvel, and Pixar nostalgia, we lost interest in Disney+. Not that the service wasn’t trying. Every week, Disney+ added new content, but most of it just wasn’t as interesting to us as what we were finding on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Really great series like The Crown, Peaky Blinders, The Expanse, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, or Fleabag were just so compelling that no amount of Disney love could tear us away once we started down those binge-worthy paths.
Losing access to Marvel and Star Wars movies would sting a bit, for sure, but I figured if I ever missed them that much, I would simply sign up again. The news of an upcoming price increase only makes it easier to cancel. So, goodbye for now, Disney+!
But then Disney dropped the mother of all content announcements, and I still haven’t entirely recovered. Granted, the bulk of the shows that are interesting to our family won’t hit until mid-2021, but Disney is a shrewd company. There’s just enough content between now and then, like WandaVision, to make me reconsider my post-Mandalorian plans.
I suspect that even with the promised onslaught of new shows from Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, and more, we’ll still spend more time with our other streaming options. But Disney+ has just earned itself a temporary stay of execution, and possibly a permanent home.