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Disney Plus UK will launch on time but with reduced video quality − France launch pushed back

Disney Plus UK subscribers won’t be able to tune in at maximum video quality when the service launches tomorrow.

The House of Mouse has decided to follow in the footsteps of Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime by reducing the quality of streams by at least 25% in all of the markets that Disney Plus is due to launch in on March 24, so as not to overwhelm broadband networks with so many people being told to work from home for the foreseeable future.

These markets are:

  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

France had been on that list, but Disney has pushed the launch of Disney Plus France back by two weeks, at the request of the French government (via Variety).

Related: How to find 4K content on Disney Plus

“In line with Disney’s longstanding commitment to act responsibly, we are responding to the request of European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton to work together to ensure the smooth functioning of the broadband infrastructure,” said Kevin Mayer, Disney’s chairman of direct-to-consumer and international.

“In anticipation of high consumer demand for Disney+, we are proactively instituting measures to lower our overall bandwidth utilization by at least 25 percent in all of the markets launching Disney+ on March 24th. In the coming days, we will be monitoring Internet congestion and working closely with internet service providers to further reduce bit rates as necessary to ensure they are not overwhelmed by consumer demand.”

He added: “To our French fans, the Disney+ service is coming, but at the request of the French government, we have agreed to postpone the launch until Tuesday, 7 April 2020.”

If you sign up to Disney Plus UK today, you’ll pay £49.99 for a 12-month subscription, rather than the standard price of £59.99 − a tasty £10 discount. The firm launched the offer in February, and it will come to an end tonight.

Leave it for tomorrow instead, and you’ll have to pay either £5.99 per month (which adds up to £71.88 over the course of a year) or £59.99 for 12 months (which is the equivalent of £4.99 every month).

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Disney+ offer

Disney+ (7-day free trial)

Dive into Disney's brand new streaming service and watch shows likes The Mandalorian, The Simpsons and more, completely free for the first seven days of your subscription.

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Better still, if you sign up to Disney Plus now you’ll probably be able to access it and all of its content − including, of course, The Mandalorian − with the aid of a VPN.

Related: Top 5 VPNs for streaming Disney Plus in the UK right now

We’ve tried our luck with 10 VPNs (both free and paid), and they all worked. But we think some are better than others − here are our top three recommendations:

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

Best VPNs for Disney Plus

Windscribe

If you're looking for the best for your buck when it comes to a streaming VPN, Windscribe is the one for you. With a generous 10GB free tier, it'll cost you as little as £3.18 per month thereafter.

ExpressVPN

One of the most trusted VPNs on the market, ExpressVPN gives you unrestricted access to Netflix, HBO and iPlayer. Get 49% off the one-year subscription and receive a further three months completely free.

ProtonVPN Plus Plan

Gain better control of your online life with Proton VPN. This Plus Plan costs less than £7 a month, and allows you to stream securely on up to five devices.

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