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Disney Plus Star channel coming to UK — with a price hike

Disney Plus
(Image credit: Future)

Your Disney Plus subscription is about to get a higher price and a lot more content, as the House of Mouse expands its UK library with a host of new content. This change will almost double the streaming service's current size.

This is all because Disney owns a lot of stuff that isn’t typically "Disney" thanks to its merger with Fox, and all of this content is coming in the new Disney Plus Star channel, on February 23.

We first heard about this news during Disney’s 2020 investor call, and it marks a big chapter in Disney Plus’s lifespan. Originally Disney maintained that its streaming service wouldn’t include content rated higher than PG-13 (equivalent to 12 in the UK), but things change.

The Star channel, named after the India media company Disney also acquired from Fox, is going to join the other Disney Plus channels you will have seen already: namely Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, Pixar, and traditional Disney content. And it’s set to become the home of mature content. What Americans call R rated, or what Brits will recognise as 15 or 18 rated.

Before the worst you’d see on Disney Plus is The Mandalorian using a door to slice someone in half off screen, or some raunchier episodes of The Simpsons. But from February 23 it’s going to get a lot less kid-friendly. 

The Star launch line-up includes the shows 24, Lost, Desperate Housewives, Atlanta, How I Met Your Mother, The X-Files, Prison Break, Black-ish, and “a selection” of Die Hard movies. It’s not clear which ones, but the announcement trailer on Twitter includes clips from Die Hard 3 and 5. 

There’s more to be announced before launch day, however, and since the trailer includes clips of Family Guy, we can safely assume that will be available as well.

Star will also be home to new original content, and at launch there will be two shows. Big Sky, is described as “an intense thriller that follows private detectives Cassie Dewell and Cody Hoyt as they join forces with his estranged wife and ex-cop, Jenny Hoyt, to search for two sisters who have been kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote highway in Montana.” But they realise more women have been taken and have to race against the clock to find them.

Also coming is “Love Victor”, set in the universe of 2018’s “Love Simon” and “follows Victor, a new student at Creekwood High School on his own journey of self-discovery, facing challenges at home, adjusting to a new city, and struggling with his sexual orientation. When it all seems too much, he reaches out to Simon to help him navigate the ups and downs of high school.”

Of course being mature content, the launch of Star will also come with new parental controls to keep kids out of content they shouldn’t be watching. The “kid-time” setting will keep everything family friendly, while “me-time” unlocks everything Disney Plus will have to offer. A PIN system will also keep kids from accessing mature content.

Disney Plus price hike

The downside is that your Disney Plus subscription is about to go up. Until February 23 it’ll be available for £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year as it has since the launch of the service last March. But on that day it goes up to £7.99 a month or £79.90 a year. That’s a big jump, but we’re getting a lot of new content in return. Plus, it’s still cheaper than Netflix’s standard subscription.