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Disney Plus GroupWatch

Disney Plus GroupWatch information and personal review


During these uncertain times of being at home we are all missing hanging out with our friends and family.  Watching movies has always been a great way to bring people together.  Disney Plus, a Disney online streaming subscription service, launched a new feature called GroupWatch.  GroupWatch is a way you and your friends can both watch the same movie together without being physically at the same location.

What is GroupWatch?

GroupWatch is a new feature within the Disney Plus streaming service to watch your favorite Disney movies and shows with up to 6 other friends or family members at the same time.

How does it work?

(My Recommendation is to do this step from your mobile phone or tablet)

After logging into your account and deciding which Disney movie to watch, click on the icon next to the movie title that looks like a group of people.  You will then be asked if you want to invite friends to watch with you.  You can invite up to 6 people to watch with you via a link or social media.  One downside is anyone you invite must be a current Disney Plus paid subscriber.

Once you got it set up on your phone it is very easy to switch over to a bigger screen.  For example, I logged into my Disney Plus account on my smart tv.  After logging in, a pop up showed asking me if I wanted to join the GroupWatch.

Who Controls the Movie?

After the initial set up by the Host all members in the GroupWatch have control to pause, play, stop, fast forward, rewind or even switch movies.  So if one person pauses the movie it pauses it for everyone, so choose your group wisely.  You can also leave the GroupWatch at any time.  On the screen it will say who paused the movie so there is no way to trick your friends!

Are there any fun features?

At the time of the launch there isn't a chat option but there are emojis you can use during the movie.  The selection is slim, there are only 6 to choose from.  These emojis are a fun way to interact with the different scenes of the movie without interfering with the movie itself.  The emojis do not block the viewing and the pop up in the bottom of the screen and then disappear a second later.

One thing I did was I used my phone or iPad to send my emojis while watching the movie on my smart tv.  I wasn't able to send emojis via my smart tv.

Are there any restrictions?

* Required paid subscription to join the GroupWatch.  

* Some movie titles that are not available to GroupWatch. 

(for example, at the time of the launch the separate paid Premiere of Mulan is not an option for GroupWatch.)

* Including the Host only 7 people total can be part of a GroupWatch.

* GroupWatch is not available in all countries at this time.

* If you are logged into a kids profile, you will not be able to be part of a GroupWatch.

* If the GroupWatch stream has ended, you won't be able to join.

*You are limited to 4 GroupWatch streams at a time per account.

As I was trying out the new feature I did experience a few hiccups.  I tried to be the host and after I invited my friend, she was unable to join.  We tested it out a second time with my friend hosting and inviting me but I kept getting error issues.  I am not sure if it was just a glitch being that it was only a few days into the new service.  After trying multiple times over a 15 minute time frame I somehow was finally able to get it to work and join the stream with my friends.

Overall, the new GroupWatch feature on Disney Plus is a fun way to bring your friends and family together without being at the same location.  In my personal opinion, while I like the concept of GroupWatch it does have a few negative drawbacks.  The things that I found disappointing were the limitations of how many can join, must have a paid subscription to participate and that there is no chat option.  Even with the drawbacks, I am still going to continue use the GroupWatch with my friends.  Hopefully in the future Disney Plus will continue to expand on this new feature and make it more of an interactive experience for those in the GroupWatch.