Want to watch 'Black Widow'? Here's what you need to know about Disney+ Premier Access
Here's how to watch the streamer's latest titles.
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Theaters are reopening across the United States, but that doesn't necessarily mean that streaming services are shifting away from digital models. Of the many different streaming services available to viewers, Disney+ adapted perhaps the quickest to realign its model for COVID restrictions and a lack of moviegoing, offering more new movies on its site and allowing certain new feature films to be made available digitally through Premier Access. But what is Premier Access, and how does it differ from your regular Disney+ costs and services? We've done a deep dive into the ins and outs of Premier Access so you can make sure you're getting value for your money.
What is Disney Plus Premier Access?
Disney+ Premier Access allows subscribers to access and rewatch brand new movies at an additional cost of $29.99, before the films are made available to all Disney+ subscribers. You can also pre-order films using Premier Access, and watch them when they become available in theaters and through the Premier Access program.
It's likely that the model will continue to be useful even as theaters reopen, given that the model requires a premium price that is roughly equivalent to the price of theater tickets for a household of four, depending on where you live. It should be noted that you cannot use Disney+ Subscription Cards for Premier Access orders. We also wouldn't recommend using Premier Access with GroupWatch, since all participants in GroupWatch would be required to have unlocked Premier Access for the title you want to view.
Can you pre-order with Disney Plus Premier Access?
You can pre-order films that will be available on Disney Plus Premier Access for several weeks before the film goes live. Pre-ordering a film with Premier Access allows subscribers to access the movie on the release date "before its release to all Disney+ subscribers," according to the site. It's unclear how much earlier pre-orders can access Premier Access films, but it seems to be a matter of hours, not days. If you feel strongly about seeing Premier Access movies the second they drop, pre-ordering may be the way to go. If you don't mind logging on later and watching the film that evening, pre-ordering is not necessary.
How can you activate Premier Access?
In order to activate Premier Access, you can login to Disney+ through your account, select the title you wish to view or preorder, and confirm the purchase using your stored information (or a new payment method). Once the payment is accepted, you'll have access to the film and can select "Play" to begin watching.
What has been released with Premier Access?
Titles like Mulan (2020), Raya and the Last Dragon (2021), and Cruella (2021), and upcoming films like Black Widow and Jungle Cruise have all been or will be released through Premier Access. Cruella is still only accessible through Premier Access, and upcoming films will debut on the platform on the same day that they release in theaters.
Black Widow starring Florence Pugh, Scarlett Johansen, Rachel Weisz, and David Harbour will premiere in theaters on July 9, 2021, but you can also watch it starting July 9 on Disney+ through Premier Access. Similarly, you can watch Jungle Cruise starring Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson in theaters on July 30, 2021, but you can also watch it on the same day on Disney+ through Premier Access.
How long do movies stay on Premier Access?
Just like movie theaters, films released through Disney Plus Premier Access do not stay on the platform forever. Black Widow will be available on Premier Access for about three months until it becomes available for all Disney Plus subscribers on October 6, 2021. When Mulan premiered in fall 2020, it was similarly available on Premier Access for about three months, while Cruella will be available for all Disney Plus subscribers on August 27, 2021, three months after its premiere date.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.