The Disney Plus (or Disney+) streaming service is finally live in the United States and elsewhere. Most of the Disney Plus content is appropriate for everyone in your family, but not everything. Unfortunately, the parental controls at launch have a lot to be desired, as you’ll see below.
What’s a Disney+ User?
When creating a profile for the first time, you can designate it as a “Kids Profile.” Otherwise, it’s not, and there are no restrictions. Those with a Kids Profile can only see and watch content rated G, TV-Y, TV-Y7/Y7-FV, or TV-G. The setting carries across all devices where Disney Plus is installed.
To create a Kids Profile on Disney+ you must have already created a regular profile. Once that’s done:
- Tap on the current profile name.
- Select Edit Profiles.
- Choose Add Profile.
- Next, select an image for the new profile.
- Type in the Profile Name.
- Toggle Kids Profile.
- Choose Save.
Comparing the Profiles
Regular and kids profiles on Disney Plus look different right on the first login. Where a regular account shows links to the service’s main sections, including Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, an account for kids mostly highlights only Disney content. You can still look for non-Disney content using the service’s search engine, however. If it’s rated G, TV-Y, TV-Y7/Y7-FV, or TV-G, it will show up.
Here’s a look at the Home screen of a Kids Profile:
And here is a look at a regular profile:
The Biggest Drawback is Huge
Unlike services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon’s Prime Video, Disney Plus does not currently have a lock, password, or PIN system that protects a regular account from others. Therefore, all someone with a kids account needs to do to access other content is to change to a regular user account or adjust their profile type. In other words, there’s no protection.
Early Days, of Course
Disney Plus doesn’t offer adult content such as HBO’s “Game of Thrones” or Netflix’s “The End of the F***ing World,” so there’s no chance someone switching from a kid’s account is going to see excessive gore and nudity or hear inappropriate words. But by being able to switch accounts on their own, your 5-year-old could end up watching something they shouldn’t nonetheless. Hopefully, Disney changes this sooner or later. When they do, we’ll let you know.
Update: Parental Controls Have Expanded Features!
Starting February 23rd 2021 Disney has expanded its Parental Controls. According to the Disney announcement: “Disney+ has added new parental controls, including the ability to set limits on access to content for specific profiles based on content ratings and the ability to add a PIN to lock profiles with access to mature content.”
Go to the Edit Profile section of the app. Under the “Parental Controls” section, select Content Rating.
There you can choose between different age ranges for content. Now the controls will feature different age tiers including settings for 9+, 12+, 14+, 16+, and 18+.
Check out the announcement from Disney demonstrating the new Parental Control Settings in Disney Plus.
Join the Fun
As a reminder, Disney Plus is $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year. There’s also a Disney Plus bundle that includes ESPN Plus and Hulu for $13 per month. You’ll save $5 per month off the price of buying the three services separately. You can also buy a gift subscription for friends or family which is also a nice perk of the service.
Disney Plus is accessible on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android mobile devices and Android TV, web browsers, and Amazon devices like Fire TV and Fire HD. Disney Plus is also on Chromecast, Chromebook, Samsung and LG smart televisions, Roku devices, PlayStation4, Xbox One, and Windows 10. In other words, it’s available wherever streaming services reside.
Featuring closed captioning and descriptive audio, some Disney Plus content is available in English, Spanish, Dutch, French, and additional languages. It also streams in resolutions up to 4K Ultra HD in Dolby Vision and HDR 10. Where available, it also supports Dolby Atmos sound.