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I Tested Disney Plus With Ads, But There’s a Catch

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I Tested Disney Plus With Ads, But There's a Catch

(CTN News) – When Disney Plus launched three years ago, it offered four simultaneous streams with no commercials.

For $8 a month, you get access to Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and the legendary Disney vault. Despite missing some major titles at launch for US customers, the streaming service has become one of the most popular in the country.

The Disney Plus Basic plan, which costs $8 per month, includes ads but no downloads. The Ad-free version is now $11. In addition, you can choose from three Disney bundles. Since Disney owns a majority stake in Hulu, you may wonder if Disney Plus ads function similarly to Hulu ads.

I checked it out, and it’s a completely different experience from Hulu. I will note, however, that sometimes during a scene, commercials interrupt what you’re watching.

Paying $11 per month to stream without ads may be worth it for you and your family. My observations while testing the updated subscription plan are outlined below.

Ads appear in some Disney Plus kids’ content, but not all

Netflix had no commercials on kids’ titles when I tried it with ads, and Disney Plus seems to do that with some children’s titles.

Bluey episodes were free of commercials, unlike the animated Diary of a Wimpy Kid film, Rodrick Rules. In contrast, Charm had three commercial breaks and a pre-roll advertisement. On an adult profile, I streamed all three.

Disney Plus reduces the titles available to children whose profiles are set to “Junior Mode.” All subscription plans are affected. Streaming animated films on this profile type is limited to 26 titles, including Encanto, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Lightyear, and even the 1950 animated Cinderella (which is rated G).

Even though Junior Mode offers a limited number of ad-free TV series and movies, you may want to adjust the parental controls so your kids can watch more.

Change the content rating on the child profile so it lets you watch more titles, like PG-13 and TV-14. The Nightmare Before Christmas and Coco will also be restored. Watching Encanto, The Descendants, Finding Dory and more will involve a few commercial breaks. There’s a trade-off that could make or break this subscription option.

Ads sometimes don’t play 

Some shows didn’t play all the ads. It usually plays a 30- or 45-second preroll ad before a show or movie starts, and then there are additional ad breaks on the progress bar.

As I watched the most recent Rodrick Rules movie, I noticed two commercial breaks set up in the middle. I only watched the first commercial. For some reason, the second break skipped about 30 minutes into the movie.

Finding Dory had three commercial breaks, but the second and third were skipped. Since I fast-forwarded through the film a few times, I’m not sure if that affected commercial playback.

Ad frequency varies

Disney Plus movies and TV shows have a lot of commercial breaks, but they’re typically one minute long. The progress bar shows how many ads are coming up. It ran for 1 hour, 44 minutes with three ad breaks. All three lasted a minute. After the pre-roll, Black Panther had a 60-second commercial. During its first break, Rodrick Rules ran 60 second commercials.

After its preshow set of ads, Charm had three, one-minute commercial breaks. Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special had two ad breaks after the pre-roll. I didn’t pause or fast-forward this movie, and one played for 20 seconds and another didn’t.

Two 60-second ads broke up a 54-minute episode of Willow. Each episode of The Simpsons lasts 23 minutes. Each episode began with a 30-second commercial and ended with two one-minute ad breaks. There were two 60-second commercial breaks in the other episode.

Zootopia Plus, a new animated Disney Plus series, had no ads during its nine-minute episode. It’s PG because of alcohol, implied language, and kidnapping? Bluey had no commercials, but PJ Masks did.

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