How Disney+ Lured Me Into a Subscription

Like many others, I grew up with Disney playing on both big and small screens. As a little girl, I don’t remember ever being a huge fan of the princes or princesses who reigned supreme at the time. Actually, I was a diehard horse girl from ages six to twelve, so unless we were talking about our four-legged friends, I wasn’t interested. Dreamworks arguably had a larger impact on my childhood, with Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (big surprise), The Road to El Dorado and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. I do have a precious few Disney memories of which I'm very fond though, like four-year-old me wearing a tiny wedding dress and being swayed back and forth by my dad to “You’ll Be in My Heart” from Tarzan, or making my little brother cry during our first trip to Disney World by pointing a dinosaur plushie at him.

By 2006, the launch of Disney Channel for South African TV was a game changer for my day to day entertainment as a kid. From then on, I watched the company grow into a total powerhouse in the entertainment industry. Despite being a big fan of many of Disney’s franchises today, I can’t help but feel disenchanted by this giant conglomerate that seems to be sticking its fingers into all the media and entertainment pies. That’s why I wasn’t really impressed with the launch of Disney+. I already have a multitude of streaming services that I’m honestly too broke to pay for in the first place, so I was content in my decision not to add Disney’s new venture to the list.

But, in the end, there came a night when I couldn’t settle for watching the same Netflix sitcom for the fourth time, and all of my resolve crumbled. I thought I’d just look at what Disney+ has to offer with its free trial, as I punched in my payment information and loaded the app on to my TV.  At first, I’ll admit, having access to many of my childhood favorites — some of which I had even forgotten about — was nostalgic and exciting. Throughout that week, I binge-watched Dinosaur, Treasure Planet and old Disney Channel classics like The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and I had a great time.

After the initial hype fades away though, you’re left with… not much, really. Disney+ has a finite number of movies and TV shows available to stream, even with the list of Marvel and Pixar titles that I’m not keen on rewatching any time soon, and Star Wars I-VI, which I already own. After I had my fill of childhood favorites, I was decidedly uninterested in everything else the service had to offer. I was ready to cancel my subscription before my free trial ended… until I finally got around to watching The Mandalorian. Impressive CGI, beautiful pastoral shots and thrilling action sequences aside, I was pleasantly surprised by the show’s humor, lovable characters and what feels like a fresh glimpse into the Star Wars universe. I fell for the show, hook, line and sinker.

Disney, being the evil genius that it is, is releasing episodes of the show weekly (to deter people like me from binging and then ghosting the service, I’m sure). The Mandalorian stirred my old obsession with the franchise though, and there’s absolutely no going back now. Yes, my love for baby Yoda burns with the power of a thousand blazing suns, and yes — not to sound like a repressed Victorian maiden, but — if I see so much as a sliver of Mando’s skin, I will scream. What can I say? I’m a simple woman.

Suffice to say, Disney+ has cunningly carved out a space in my streaming service repertoire, and I can’t even be that mad about it.

You win this round, Disney, at least until the show ends.