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Streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video and the NEW Disney Plus can be a great resource for parents, especially during a long road trip or flight with fidgety kids. Use this comprehensive look at each service and a breakdown of pricing and content library to help you choose the right one for your family!
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Why Streaming Services are a Traveling Parent’s Best Friend
When we prepare to travel with kids, parents all have a list of things we don’t want to forget. I recommend adding a streaming service to your list! Whether you’re trying to entertain kids on a plane or on a 15-hour car ride, having their favorite movies and TV shows at your fingertips can be a real lifesaver. There are so many options out there. You might be asking yourself which streaming service is best for your family. We’ve done a breakdown of each streaming service for you to choose the one that’s right for you.
We are thrilled about the Disney streaming service that’s scheduled to launch on November 12, 2019, in the US, Canada and the Netherlands, and November 19 in Australia and New Zealand. Disney Plus will be a parent’s best friend on the road and at home. Disney has produced some of the best movies and TV series. Now they’ll be available in one place. Stream or download Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, National Geographic, and Marvel movies and series. Teenagers can watch their favorite superheroes from Marvel Cinematic Universe while younger kids can watch classics like Toy Story and Bambi.
Verizon Wireless Customer? Your Disney+ May Be FREE for 1 Year
If you have Verizon Unlimited or switch to Fios Home Internet your Disney+ subscription might be FREE for the first year. Have you already signed up for a Disney+ paid account? Don’t worry. You can still take advantage of Verizon’s free offer for the first year and pause your paid subscription until your free year is up. Check your status here.
Photo Credit: Disney+
Disney+ NEW Original Series
Disney Plus has also announced several new original series and movies that will premiere on the streaming service.
The Mandalorian – The first-ever live-action “Star Wars” series (available November 12th)
Loki – Tom Hiddleston will reprise his role as Loki in the new Marvel Studios series (available in year two of Disney Plus)
Forky Asks a Question – Forky from “Toy Story 4” has important questions about how the world work. He will ask questions such as: What is love? What is time? And of course, the deepest question of all, What is cheese? He explores all of these questions and more in a series of 10 shorts. (available November 12)
Monsters at Work – This series picks up six months after the events of “Monsters, Inc.” (available first year of Disney Plus)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Emmy award-winning animated series will be returning with 12 all-new episodes exclusively on Disney+. (available first year of Disney Plus)
Untitled Cassian Andor Series – Diego Luna will reprise his role of rebel spy Cassian Andor in this series set during the formative years of the Rebellion prior to the events of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” (available in year two of Disney Plus)
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series – The 10-episode scripted series is set at the real-life East High, where the original movie was filmed. It follows a group of students as they count down to opening night of their school’s first-ever production of “High School Musical.” (available November 12th)
Into the Unknown: Making Frozen 2 – Walt Disney Animation Studios is opening its doors, allowing cameras to capture in intimate detail how the voice cast, directors, and team of artists come together to create “Frozen 2.” (available first year of Disney Plus)
WandaVision – Elizabeth Olsen will return as Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany will reprise his role as The Vision in the new Marvel Studios series. (available year two of Disney Plus)
Marvel’s What If…? – Marvel Studios’ first animated series, taking inspiration from the comic books of the same name. (available first year of Disney Plus)
Disney+ NEW Original Movies
Lady and the Tramp – A timeless re-telling of the 1955 animated classic. (available November 12th)
Togo – Based on a true-life adventure in the Alaskan tundra, this story takes place in 1925, when an epidemic of diphtheria breaks out in a remote Alaskan town, causing countless children to fall gravely ill. (available first year of Disney Plus)
Secret Society of Second Born Royals – “Secret Society of Second Born Royals” introduces Sam (Peyton Lee), a rebellious princess second in line to the throne of the kingdom of Illyria. (available first year of Disney Plus)
What Movies Can We Watch on Disney+?
In addition to all the new movies and series, Disney’s streaming service will have a large collection of Disney movies that we already love. Here are some of the movies you can expect to see when Disney Plus launches:
- Captain Marvel
- Avengers: Endgame
- Toy Story 4
- The Lion King
- Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
- Frozen 2
- Star Wars: The Rise of SkyWalker
- 101 Dalmations
- A Bug’s Life
- A Goofy Movie
- Big Hero 6
- Finding Nemo
- Finding Dory
- Mary Poppins
- Iron Man
- Inside Out
- Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
- Free Solo
- Lady and the Tramp
- The Princess Diaries
- Remember the Titans
- Sleeping Beauty
- Monsters University
- Pirates of the Caribbean
You’ll also get the chance to watch your favorite television series over again such as “Boy Meets World,” “Brain Games,” “One Strange Rock,” “The Simpsons,” “Kim Possible,” “Amazing Planet,” “Goof Troop,” Marvel shows and so much more!
How Much Does It Cost? Disney Plus will cost $6.99/month or $69.99/year.
The Other Streaming Services
So, what does the advent of Disney+ mean for access to all things Disney on the streaming services where you have been watching them? Ultimately, all of the Disney content will move to Disney+. But, for now at least, some Disney shows and movies will continue to be available on other streaming services. Once Disney’s contracts with those other companies ends, however, the content will be moved exclusively to Disney+, a Disney spokeswoman says.
Hulu is a great streaming service if you’ve decided to cut the cable. This streaming service has the newest TV shows available 24 hours after they air. I can still enjoy my favorite shows while they are currently running! Hulu offers several different plans and upgrades, you can sign up for Hulu Live, which allows you to stream live TV right through the streaming service. In addition to the latest movies and TV shows, Hulu has a library of older videos. It does seem to me that Hulu is geared more towards adults. There are some kid/family content but it’s not as focused on kids as much as Netflix or Prime Video is.
How Much Does It Cost? $5.99/month (with ads), $11.99/month (no ads), Hulu + Live TV: $44.99/month
Can you stream from Hulu while outside of the U.S? No, you cannot access Hulu when traveling outside of the U.S.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Netflix is the best known of all the streaming services. Remember the days when we had to order a Netflix DVD and wait for it to arrive in the mail? Those days are long gone. My favorite feature of Netflix is the different user profiles. You can create a profile for your kids that will only show kid-friendly content to them and you can even choose their age-range to have age-appropriate videos shown to them. Netflix offers a range of movies, TV series, and original content. The library is always growing and Netflix has produced some of the top-performing original content.
How Much Does It Cost? There are three different plans; Basic $8.99/month (1 screen), Standard $12.99/month (2 screens), Premium $15.99/month (3 screens)
Can you stream from Netflix while outside of the U.S? The short answer is yes, however, there are some things you need to know. Netflix has streaming services in more than 190 countries around the world (see the full list here). If you are accessing Netflix outside of the U.S Netflix will notify you in the app of changes you may experience such as movie and tv show selections and parental control changes.
Prime Video is an added bonus that came with my Prime Membership. My favorite thing about our Prime Video streaming service: It offers some older classics that other streaming services don’t. My kids have recently enjoyed watching the “Little House on the Prarie” TV series.
How Much Does It Cost? Prime Video requires that you have an Amazon Prime membership which is $119/year or $59/year for students. You can also choose a monthly membership rate which is $12.99/month or $6.49/month for students. Click here for a 30-day FREE trial of Amazon Prime.
Can you stream from Prime Video while outside of the U.S? Yes but only the “Amazon Originals” will be available. Prime Video will display a “Watch While Abroad” carousel in the app. Those are the only titles you will be able to access while outside of the U.S.
TravelingMom Tip: Before you leave the US, download the movies and TV shows you want to be able to watch overseas. That way they will be on your device and ready for viewing while you’re away, including during the long plane ride there.
How to Access These Streaming Services
You can access these streaming services through your devices — tablets, phones, game consoles (Xbox One, PlayStation 4), Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, and Smart TVs. You can download the streaming service directly to your phone and tablets for an easy way to access them while traveling. Be sure to download the movies and TV shows you want ahead of time to have access to them offline. This is especially valuable when traveling by plane or car where you won’t have access to Wifi for streaming.
Our favorite way to access these streaming services all in one place is by using our Roku. We use the Roku Streaming Stick so that we can take it with us when we travel. The stick easily plugs into an HDMI port on the TV and once it’s connected to WiFi you have access to all your favorite streaming services. You can also use the Roku to stream from other sources such as ESPN and FOX. You can also use a Chromecast and/or an Amazon Fire Stick to access some of your streaming services including Disney+.
TravelingMom Tip: Each one of these streaming services come with parental controls so you can limit what your content your children have access to.
For more on tech and travel check out: How New Car Tech Can Keep Older Drivers Safe on the Road and at Home and 16 Of The Best Car Accessories Every Traveling Mom Should Have