Disney Plus suffers technical glitches during launch

Potential streaming giant Disney plus went live Tuesday after months of promotion, speculation, and advertisement, but not without hiccups. Only hours after its launch, customers across the United States and Canada were reporting technical difficulties, and “unable to connect” error messages when trying to play shows from the library.

Taking to Twitter, account DisneyPlusHelp confirmed the glitches, simply stating that demand for the service “exceeded [their] high expectations.” 

Outage website Down Detector found most issues were focused in eastern Canada and United States, with Toronto and Montreal being some of the largest reported areas. Many Canadian users tweeted about trouble accessing the service — showing error messages that included Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Wreck-It Ralph — or complained of excessively long wait times when trying to contact help services. 

Other users in several regions of Canada say they received error messages which blocked them from the service, telling them they lived outside the countries where Disney Plus was available.

Disney vaults opened up

Disney’s streaming service comes stacked with an extensive library of Disney titles, which range from animated classics The Lion King to Disney TV movies from decades past. There’s also a number of selections from the 20th Century Fox film library the company acquired earlier this year, including Never Been KissedThe Sound of Music and Home Alone.

The new Star Wars spinoff TV series The Mandalorian is among the most anticipated titles on Disney Plus, and it too encountered hiccups on its debut.

Some viewers say they were initially unable to play the episode when they pulled it up, while others could hear the audio from the show, but the image was pixelated.

At a cost of $8.99 a month, or $89.99 a year, Disney is heavily invested in the service’s appeal as the “streaming wars” heat up. Apple TV Plus, Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and more are all competing for audiences, while services like Crave and CBC Gem crowd the field in Canada. 

In addition to technical difficulties, Disney Plus also faced some debate over how it is handling its library of shows, some of which contain outdated, and sometimes racist, character depictions. Despite earlier speculation that some movies — such as Dumbo, Peter Pan, or Lady and the Tramp — might be censored or altered to avoid controversy, they arrived in their original format in the service on Tuesday.

Disney Plus’s launch included nearly all major mobile and connected TV devices, giving viewers an opportunity to sign up whether they use Apple, Google, Microsoft, Roku or Sony products. Karen Hobson, a spokesperson for Disney, stated they are currently working to resolve their technical issues.

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