Free streaming shows, app, how to sign up

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  • DisneyNow is a streaming platform for kids with shows from Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior.
  • The service hosts many episodes for free, and cable subscribers can unlock new releases and live TV.
  • DisneyNow operates independently from Disney Plus, but Disney Plus hosts nearly all of the same shows

While Disney Plus has received a lot of attention thanks to big Marvel and “Star Wars” premieres, Disney is also operating a


app called DisneyNow which offers free ad-supported shows for young children, without requiring an account.

DisneyNow compiles shows from three different Disney networks: The Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior. As the name suggests, Disney Junior focuses on content for kids five and under, like “Doc McStuffins” and “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.” Disney Channel is home to original series such as “Big City Greens” and “Raven’s Home.” Disney XD offers adventure series like “DuckTales” and action shows based on Marvel superheroes like “Big Hero 6.”

By contrast, Disney Plus ($8/month) expands beyond those channels to offer a huge collection of classic Disney shows, animated movies, and some content for older viewers. To help you decide if DisneyNow is right for your family, we’ve broken down all the main features of the service, as well as the key differences between DisneyNow and Disney Plus.

What is DisneyNow?

Raven Symoné and the cast of Raven's Home

Raven Symoné and the cast of “Raven’s Home”.

Disney/Kelsey McNeal Channel

DisneyNow is a companion streaming service for the Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior networks, focusing exclusively on those channels’ children’s entertainment. The DisneyNow app also offers a set of simple, kid-friendly video games based on Disney Channel shows.

The service lets kids stream dozens of shows with ads for free, and also hosts the newest episodes of Disney Channel Originals like “Raven’s Home” and “This Duckburg Life.” That said, the newer episodes require a pay-TV subscription to watch.

If you have a supported cable or satellite plan with access to Disney TV networks, you can simply sign in with your pay TV account to unlock all content on the service. TV subscribers can also use the DisneyNow app to live stream Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior.

DisneyNow operates independently from Disney Plus, the streaming service that hosts classic Disney animated movies and new movie releases from Disney studios like Pixar and Marvel.

How do I get the DisneyNow app?

Disney Now app

disney now

The DisneyNow app is available on most streaming devices including Apple, Android,

Amazon FireTV

, Kindle, Roku and Samsung Smart TVs. Streaming is also available through the DisneyNow website.

An account is not required to watch free episodes on the app, but you can create a profile to track frequently watched shows and track viewing history. Unlike Disney Plus, the DisneyNow app does not support offline downloads.

Is Disney Now free?

Disney Now Free Content

Some of the free shows and movies available on DisneyNow.

disney now

DisneyNow offers a selection of shows to watch for free with ads. That said, to unlock all of the service’s content and access live streaming support for Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior, you must have an existing pay-TV plan with access to those channels.

You can find a complete list of supported pay-TV cable and satellite providers on the DisneyNow website. You can also access locked episodes if you subscribe to Disney TV channels through live streaming services like Sling TV, FuboTV, Hulu + Live TV, or YouTube TV.

DisneyNow doesn’t have a standalone subscription option, so a pay-TV account is the only way to unlock the service’s full library of shows and movies.

Is DisneyNow the same as Disney Plus?

DisneyNow is an ad-supported streaming app specific to the Disney Channel, Disney XD, and Disney Junior networks, while Disney Plus is an ad-free streaming service that covers everything from classic movies to new Marvel shows.

DisneyNow offers free episodes with ads and the ability to unlock more entertainment with a pay TV provider account. Disney Plus, however, is a standalone subscription service that requires an $8 monthly fee.

Disney Plus includes almost everything in the DisneyNow library, while adding tons of animated movies from Disney and Pixar, as well as original programs that are more aimed at older viewers.

That said, DisneyNow has an edge over Disney Plus when it comes to new original shows from Disney’s TV networks. If you have an authenticated pay-TV account, new episodes of the Disney Channel Original Series are available to stream on DisneyNow ahead of their arrival on Disney Plus.

DisneyNow also allows pay-TV members to stream live streams from Disney’s television networks. Meanwhile, Disney Plus only offers on-demand streaming.

Can I bundle DisneyNow with Disney Plus?

DisneyNow cannot be linked with Disney Plus and your accounts cannot be linked between the services. If you already pay for Disney Plus, it includes almost everything on DisneyNow, so you can watch the same shows and movies there for $8 a month.

What’s better for kids – DisneyNow or Disney Plus?

Doc McStuffins

Disney Jr.

DisneyNow is a safer choice for kids under seven, as it’s all about kid-friendly content from channels they’re likely familiar with. DisneyNow also has a handful of free browser games for kids to play online if they’re interested in something a little more interactive than just watching a show.

Meanwhile, kids over the age of seven would likely be better served with Disney Plus, as it offers more variety and shows with more developed characters and stories. Disney Plus has more mature content from franchises like Marvel and “Star Wars,” but you can set up parental controls to prevent young children from watching anything inappropriate.

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