The new Disney+ streaming service has launched to great fanfare in the United States, Canada and the Netherlands. But what if you’re not located in one of those countries? There are ways to stream Disney Plus outside the United States, whether you’re traveling or you just want early access. Here’s how to do it.
In our shrinking global economy, it’s hard to understand why Disney would decide to delay rollout of the Disney+ service to Europe and the rest of the world. Currently, Disney+ is only available to those currently residing in:
- United States
In a few days, that list will also include Australia, New Zealand and Puerto Rico…but we’re still missing quite a few countries here! What about the rest of Europe? Asia? South America?
Right now, Disney is geoblocking their Disney+ content in all these other countries. Even if you’re a US or Canadian citizen living abroad, you can’t easily access Disney+ anywhere in the world.
So what are your options? The simple solution is a location-spoofing service like NordVPN, but before we jump into that, let me explain what’s happening and why it’s worth the investment.
Note: Some of the links within this article are affiliate links, which means that at no extra cost to you, I will be compensated if you choose to use these services. I only write about and recommend what I personally use, however, and I’m happy to say my family is enjoying Disney+ from here in Thailand 🙂
Understanding GeoBlocking to Access Disney+
Let’s say you’re physically located in the United Kingdom. If you wanted to watch Disney+ in the UK, you might try to visit their website. Unfortunately, you’d be met with this frustrating landing page:
You see, technically the Disney+ service doesn’t launch in the United Kingdom and much of Europe until late March of 2020.
Disney does this via a technology known as geoblocking. I won’t bore you with a technical explanation here. Instead, what you need to know is that Disney determines your location based on an address known as an “IP Address” that your computer is assigned when you get on the internet.
This similar process is happening if you want to, say, stream Netflix in China, which Netflix blocks. If the IP address shows as being inside the United States, Disney allows you to stream Disney+ movies and shows.
If this IP address is located in a country where Disney+ hasn’t yet launched…you get that fun little “Keep Me Updated” message.
So what if there was a way that you could trick Disney into thinking that you are located in the United States, even if you’re actually in the United Kingdom? There is a way…and it’s called a Virtual Private Network, or “VPN” for short.
Using a VPN to Watch Disney+ Around the World
I’ve been using a VPN to watch Disney+ in Thailand and it’s been working great.
It’s a very simple process. I log into my VPN of choice, which in this case is NordVPN, and I find a VPN server located in the United States. As you can see in the screenshot below, there are plenty of cities I could choose from if I wanted to.
Once I’m connected to the US server, when I log on to the Disney Plus website, Disney sees my “address” as being in the United States, even though I’m physically not there.
To be clear, I’m still paying for my Disney+ subscription. A VPN doesn’t give me free access. There’s more details to what a VPN is, but in this case it’s a means of virtually transporting you to any location in the world to beat geoblocking.
Now when I log in to watch Disney+ internationally, I’m greeted with this welcome screen:
I have to remain connected to the VPN while watching Disney+ internationally, but thankfully it’s a set-it-and-forget-it type of software.
Is it Legal to Stream Disney+ Where It Hasn’t Launched?
Some of you may be asking whether all of this is legal or not. I completely understand where you’re coming from.
It’s worth stating this again – you’re still paying for the Disney+ service. I’m not showing you some hack to get Disney+ free.
No, the important question isn’t whether using a VPN is legal or not. There’s another interesting question to consider:
Is it legal for Disney to discriminate against a paying customer based on their physical location?
We’re wading into a lot of legal grey area here. Disney has every right to suspend your account if they determine that you’re deceiving the system. But they won’t…because you’re a paying customer.
Why wait until Disney+ is launched in your country when you could start streaming it today?
Final Thoughts | Watch Disney+ Anywhere
In order to watch Disney+ anywhere in the world, you’re going to need to find a way to bypass geoblocking. In other words, you need to trick Disney into believing that you’re located in the United States, Canada or the Netherlands.
A VPN is cheap, it’s simple to use, and best of all, its function goes beyond just defeating geoblocking. A VPN also encrypts your data and keeps you secure when you’re accessing the internet on an unsecured public network.
Now, go enjoy a great movie or TV show as you stream Disney+ anywhere in the world!