The new streaming service from Disney has more than a thousand shows and movies to watch—here’s what to watch first.

By Lauren Phillips
November 13, 2019
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In case you’ve stayed completely away from the news lately, you should know: Disney has just launched its own streaming service, called Disney+ (pronounced Disney plus), and it’s about to be one of your new go-tos for shows and movies. If you’ve already signed up for an account, you may not need to be told what to expect. If you haven’t yet but want to, here are the Disney+ bundle options and sign-up. And if you’re still on the fence, this list of top Disney+ shows and movies might convince you to start paying that $6.99 per month.

Sure, you probably already have a Netflix account and are hooked on all the good shows on Netflix and new Netflix Originals (not to mention those Christmas movies on Netflix), but Disney+ offers a ton of shows you can’t get on Netflix, plus original shows you won’t be able to see anywhere else. Essentially, Disney+ combines the archives of Disney (including The Disney Channel), Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic, all in one streaming service. The list of available shows and movies available at launch or within the first year adds up to more than 1,000 things to watch—and unless you have a hugely varied taste in content and endless amounts of time, you likely can’t watch all of it.

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With that in mind—and knowing that the holidays, aka peak binge-watching season, are coming up—we’ve put together a list of top shows and movies to watch on Disney+. With so many options, a list of the full Disney+ lineup might be overwhelming, but you can rest assured that your most beloved 1990s DCOM (Disney Channel Original Movie, of course) or favorite obscure Disney film is likely on the service, if it’s currently owned by Disney. If you just want to know the top shows and movies, though, or you’re curious if it’s worth making an account, read on for Real Simple’s picks for Disney+ shows and movies available now, or within the first year of Disney+’s launch.

Top Disney+ shows and movies

10 Things I Hate About You

There’s so much to love about this 1999 adaptation of Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, picking just one feature to highlight is near-impossible: Combine Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and more 90s stars in a high school drama, and you’ve got a recipe for streaming success. A movie from the late 90s isn’t always easy to find, so Disney+ might be one of the very few places you can enjoy this masterpiece.

Marvel Cinematic Universe and Disney+ Marvel Shows

Almost all the Avengers movies, many of the movies following the individual superheros, and a few television series are available now on Disney+, with more to be added throughout its first year. For the first time, you can watch almost every Marvel movie in one convenient spot: Disney+ has (or will have) the second, third, and fourth Avengers films (Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame); both Ant-Man films; Black Panther; the second and third Captain America movies (Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War); Captain Marvel; all three Iron Man films; the second and third Thor movies (Thor: The Dark World and Thor: Ragnarok); and the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie. The only movies notably missing are the Spider-Man films; Doctor Strange; the first Avengers, Thor, and Captain America films; and the second Guardians of the Galaxy.

That’s pretty good, considering that until Disney+ you’d have to search high and low to watch all the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Disney+ has still more to offer, though, with the release of original Marvel shows on the streaming service in the years to come.

Pixar movies

Disney+ has (or will have) every single Pixar movie, excluding Toy Story 4, which was just released this year. You can plan a real marathon—this beloved set of movies is worth watching in its entirety, though maybe not in one sitting. The list includes Brave; The Incredibles and The Incredibles 2; Cars 1, 2, and 3; Inside Out; Ratatouille; Toy Story 1, 2, and 3; WALL-E; Finding Nemo and Finding Dory; A Bug’s Life; Monsters, Inc. and Monsters University; Up; The Good Dinosaur; and Coco.

Beloved Disney princess movies

They’re almost all here, so you (and the kids) can enjoy these classic movies on-demand, even if you lost the DVDs or got rid of your collection of VHS tapes years ago. The list includes most of the original films, plus many of their sequels or spin-offs, such as Cinderella; The Little Mermaid; Pocahontas; The Princess and the Frog; Tangled; Frozen; Sleeping Beauty; Snow White; Beauty and the Beast; Aladdin; and Mulan.

Classic Disney films

Beyond the princess films, a slew of Disney classics will be available on Disney+, and most are already available as of launch. You can stream Hercules, The Emperor’s New Groove, The Aristocats, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, The Black Cauldron, The Lion King, Peter Pan, Robin Hood, and Tarzan, all in one convenient spot.

Disney Original Series

If you grew up watching The Disney Channel, you likely will recognize a lot of these shows, many of which have been nearly impossible to watch since they went off the air. Fortunately for those who watched these 90s and early 2000s shows, the complete series are available on Disney+: Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, Even Stevens, Kim Possible, Boy Meets World, Phil of the Future, That’s So Raven, and The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Did anyone order childhood nostalgia?

High School Musical

You might love to hate it, but this iconic Disney movie (and the start of Zac Efron's and Vanessa Hudgens’ careers) is always worth a re-watch, especially if you have a child or other person in your life who has never experienced the joy of the soundtrack. Disney+ has the original Disney Channel Original Movie, the second and third movie, and, most exciting, an exclusive new show inspired by the movies. If you never stopped loving HSM, Disney+ is the place to get your fill.

Star Wars

Star Wars fans, rejoice: Disney+ is going to be the place to keep up with all the movies and spin-off series. Even better, almost everything is currently available, with just two currently released movies (Solo: A Star Wars Story and The Last Jedi) set to be added within the year. Disney+ is also the home of The Mandalorian, a brand-new, original, live-action series. (The first episode is already out.) Beyond those, subscribers can currently watch the complete original trilogy, the prequel trilogy, and the first movie (The Force Awakens) of the latest trilogy. The Rogue One film is also available, as are the Star Wars Rebels, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and The New Yoda Chronicles shows.

Pirates of the Caribbean

If you can’t get enough of this mid-2000s hit, all four movies (The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man’s Chest, At World’s End, and On Stranger Tides) in the series are now streaming on Disney+.

The Princess Diaries

Catch Anne Hathaway in one of her first major roles in these two movies, The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement.

Remember the Titans

This heartbreaking movie about a small-town football team addresses some major cultural and racial issues, and even almost 20 years after its premiere, it’s still worth a watch (and a re-watch).

Miracle

Get motivated on-demand with this 2004 depiction of the 1980 Men’s U.S. Olympic hockey team.

Disney Channel Original Movies

The late 90s and early- to mid-2000s were a sweet spot for The Disney Channel, which launched several DCOMs that become cultural phenomena, especially among millennials. Almost all of the great DCOMs are available on Disney+, including Stuck in the Suburbs, Starstruck, Go Figure, both The Cheetah Girls movies, Camp Rock, all three Zenon movies, Cadet Kelly, Luck of the Irish, Smart House, and both Twitches.

Halloween family favorites

Halloween may have come and gone, but if you’re open to a little spookiness all year long, Disney+ has some favorite movies, including The Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown (plus its sequels), and The Haunted Mansion.

Winnie the Pooh

The beloved children’s book character gets the movie star treatment on Disney+, with several series (including the 1980s’ New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh) and movies new and old. If Pooh was your favorite character as a child or you’re trying to introduce him to your little one, it’s all available on the new streaming service.

National Treasure

These films are, arguably, national treasures themselves. Both National Treasure and National Treasure: Book of Secrets will be available within the first year of Disney+’s launch, with Book of Secrets available now. Watch for an action-packed history lesson whenever, wherever.

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