Review: DisneyLife

DisneyLife always sounded like a great idea to me: lots of Disney films and programmes in one place, but we have Sky+ so at nearly £10 a month I didn’t think it was worth getting. Most of the films and programmes M is interested in are available from Sky+ instantly or can be recorded from Disney Junior on series link. When we had the opportunity to try DisneyLife for free for 3 months I discovered that there was more to it than I first thought.

We have DisneyLife installed on our iPad and my iPhone. Once logged in M can browse around and find what she wants to watch. Her favourite programmes are Jake and the Neverland Pirates, Sofia the First and Henry Hugglemonster, but she is exploring more programmes as well, and of course films. While there isn’t every Disney film available on DisneyLife it is a struggle to think of one’s which aren’t. As well as the classics my daughter has seen they have the spin offs which means she can explore more about her favourite characters. Searching for a film is a great way to find out what else is available.

Screenshot of DisneyLife search for Snow White taken on my iPhone

10 reasons DisneyLife is worth getting even if you have subscription TV

  • Once logged in M can explore and find what she wants to watch. It is intuitive enough that a 4 year old can use it on her own. She can explore via the pictures. Sky (or Virgin) need the user to understand the remote control and some level of reading.
  • The app has everything available to watch with less than a minutes wait, no having to wait to record programmes which are on at a later time.
  • The app has a selection of books including ones which read themselves out loud and early reading books.
  • DisneyLife has lots of music albums so to break up the screen time we have a dance or singalong to our favourite songs.
  • You can set up different profiles with different parental controls. This allows you to limit to 12, PG or U material as well as the times of day (start and end time) that they can use the app.
  • You get 10% off at the Disney store so you would only need to spend £100 in the store a month to make your subscription back. Ok, lets face it that isn’t realistic, but it is nice addition.
  • Any of the content can be downloaded so it’s available offline. This is limited by the amount of space on the device obviously, but is really handy for long car journeys and holidays. Being able to easily download films is probably my favourite thing about the app.
  • You can download a free Disney app each month. It’s not the greatest selection, but they have entertained M for a while. 
  • You can have multiple different profiles and install on up to 10 different devices. If you have multiple children they can even use on (up to 4) different devices at the same time.
  • They are acting on feedback and working to improve the app. When I started using DisneyLife 3 months ago the negative feedback I gave was:
  • I had to log in each time, meaning M couldn’t access the app without knowing the email address/ password or having an adult do it for her. This has now changed and it only occasionally asks for me to log in again (I’m not sure what the trigger is though).
  • That sometimes the films/ programmes took a while to download and you were just presented with a buffering circle. This has now changed so that it shows the percentage downloaded. It also seems to be faster.
  • It would be nice to watch things occasionally on the TV, but the app means films/ programmes are only on the devices. In the latest update they have made the app work with Chromecast so you can watch the content on your TV. Currently this is only available with Android devices, but hopefully it will be available for iOS soon.
Screenshot of some of the results on DisneyLife search for Lion King taken on an iPhone

So for £9.99 a month is it worth it?

If your children love Disney and you don’t have access to the films and programmes via subscription television DisneyLife is a must have. Paying for DisneyLife on top of a TV subscription is still worth it if enough time will be spent watching it. They offer a month’s free trial so you can try it out. You can also gift the subscription so you might be able to persuade a generous grandparent to pay £119.50 for a year's access as a present.

I will be starting to pay for DisneyLife from next month and will review monthly on whether to keep the subscription based on how much it’s used, and how well behaved M is.

***Disclosure: I was given access to DisneyLife for the purposes of providing feedback which I gave in January. I was under no obligation to write this post.***

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