When Disney doesn't show a UK release date on Disney Plus during the streaming service's opening in 2019, many of us worried that we'd be waiting a very long time for it to launch.
And, well, we were right.
В Disney Twitter eventually revealed the release date for the service in the UK and Ireland - March 31, 2020. Now, however, that date changed to March 24, a week earlier than originally planned.
We also know now the price too: £5.99 per month or £59.99 per year. Subscribers in the UK-only service, Disney Life, will presumably be moved to Disney Plus, but Disney hasn't said anything about it yet.
Still, that should mean the UK and other countries picking up the Disney bumper plus originals when the service comes here, as there's no reason to roll out shows like The Mandalorian on a weekly basis.
Below, we'll talk to you through everything we know about the Disney Plus launch in the UK.
Disney Plus UK Release Date: It Changed
Disney Plus has a new UK release date of March 24th, a week earlier than originally scheduled. It launches in Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland at the same time.
It's been a long wait for Disney Plus to arrive in the UK, but it's getting close.
As you might expect, people weren't happy about getting the streaming service -- and shows like The Mandalorian and movies like Lady and the Tramp -- four months after everyone else. If you've been trying to avoid The Mandalorian spoilers in the past few months, you'll know it was Hell on Earth.
That said, while many Disney fans in Europe may have felt a bit of a staggered launch, Disney fans in South America and Asia will be doubly disappointed as they still have Disney Plus release date service for Brazil, Japan, Argentina and dozens of other Disney peace-loving countries.
It seems that the delay in the rollout of the service has made piracy Disney plus the worst enemy, even knowing the exact date on the horizon for many European countries.
We saw a UK release date for Rick and Morty season 4 pushed back after fan backlash for the delay, but doing so for an entire platform such as Disney Plus was probably too much of a task. After all, a lot of Disney movies were still in heaven over the holidays, including most of the Star Wars movies.
Latency seems to be more programming related than anything else. Still hoping the delay means all episodes of The Mandalorian will arrive on the same day instead of rolling out weekly like they have in the US.
Disney plus: price and plans explained
Disney has confirmed that Disney Plus will cost £59,99 for an annual subscription, or £5.99 per month. These two levels are available and you can cancel at any time. Unlike the US where it's bundled with ESPN and Hulu, in the UK Disney has so far only been advertised as a standalone service.
Disney Plus UK: Expansion Takes Time, We Guess
The best point to compare these release dates to other global streaming services that are providing reeled releases outside of the US.
Netflix, for example, first launched in the US in 1998 as a DVD rental. It wasn't until many years later - and it wasn't until 2010 that the platform was able to expand beyond US borders that the transition to live streaming took place.
The first international territory was next door to us, Canada – which launched in 2010 with a lower subscription cost and a much more limited library of titles given the difficulty and cost of obtaining streaming rights overseas. It's hard to say how much this factor will affect Disney Plus. In Australia, for example, Disney has launched more Star Wars than the US.
2011 also saw Netflix roll out to South America as well as the Caribbean. It wasn't until 2012 that Netflix came to Europe, launching in the UK and Ireland as well as Scandinavia. Now, of course, Netflix streams across vast swathes of the planet, supporting 23 languages in more than 190 countries.
Disney Plus still has a head start considering it jumps right into the streaming platform. He clearly has his sights set on European expansion, with amphibious service in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain in March 2020.
It was surprising though to see the UK delayed the same number given English audiences don't require the same extensive localization as most of Europe or Asia, but again, this is most likely due to the content available.
Disney Plus UK: Our Initial Release Predictions
Disney has said it plans to bring its platform to "all major markets within the first two years" of platform life (via ScreenRant).
Our initial forecast was early or mid 2020, which was confirmed by the official March 31, 2020 start date.
Naturally, Disney doesn't actively want to miss out on UK revenue, and those issues are more complex than flipping a switch for different regions - but a delay won't be good for English-speaking fans, or those who want to prevent piracy around one of this year's most anticipated series.
- We couldn't wait: our hands are on Disney plus comment