Disney Plus has quickly become one of the most popular streaming services since its launch in 2019. With an extensive library of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic content, Disney Plus appeals to viewers of all ages. As more households cut cable in favor of streaming, Disney Plus provides a convenient way to access high-quality movies and shows online.
With the rise of streaming across various devices, many are wondering – can you get Disney Plus on Nintendo Wii U?
Is Disney Plus Available on Wii U?
Unfortunately, Disney Plus is not currently available on the Nintendo Wii U.
The Wii U is Nintendo’s home video game console that launched in 2012. While innovative at the time, the Wii U has since been discontinued in favor of Nintendo’s newer Switch console.
Disney Plus requires certain technical capabilities that the aging Wii U hardware does not support. Without an official Disney Plus app optimized for the Wii U, there is no direct way to access Disney Plus on that device.
This does not mean Wii U owners are entirely out of luck. There are some alternative options to consider for streaming video on the Wii U, even without access to Disney Plus.
Streaming Options Available on Wii U
While the Wii U does not support Disney Plus, owners can access other popular streaming apps like:
- Netflix – Watch Netflix originals, movies, and TV shows.
- Hulu – Stream shows, movies, Hulu Originals, and more.
- YouTube – View YouTube videos and channels.
- Amazon Prime Video – Access Amazon Prime movies, shows, and exclusives.
- Crunchyroll – Watch anime, Asian dramas, and more.
These apps can help Wii U owners get streaming entertainment, even without Disney Plus. To download these apps:
- Connect the Wii U to a stable Wi-Fi network – Streaming will require a strong, high-speed wifi connection.
- Launch the Wii U Shop Channel – Access the shop channel from the Wii U home menu.
- Search for and select the desired apps – Each app can be purchased and downloaded individually.
- Log in with your accounts – You’ll need to sign up and log in with accounts for each streaming service.
With the above steps, Wii U owners can gain access to leading entertainment apps and start streaming movies, shows, and other content.
Why Isn’t Disney Plus Available on Wii U?
Disney Plus utilizes certain technical capabilities and DRM (digital rights management) protocols that the Wii U hardware unfortunately lacks.
Some key reasons Disney Plus is not supported include:
Limited Processing Power
The Wii U runs on relatively outdated hardware that lacks the processing power needed to smoothly run the Disney Plus app and stream high-quality video.
Modern streaming relies on devices with strong chipsets. The Wii U CPU and GPU fall below specifications required for Disney Plus.
Missing DRM Support
Disney Plus uses digital rights management (DRM) called Widevine Level 1 to protect its copyrighted content.
The Wii U does not support Widevine Level 1, the highest grade of security. This prevents Disney Plus from being able to reliably protect its media on the Wii U.
No Developer Support
Disney has focused its developer resources on supporting devices and platforms with large active user bases.
With the Wii U discontinued, there is little incentive for Disney to allocate resources to port Disney Plus to the Wii U.
The costs would likely outweigh the low potential subscriber gains. Without app support directly from Disney, the Wii U is unlikely to ever get Disney Plus.
Outdated Apps and OS
Even if Disney Plus could technically function on Wii U hardware, the console’s outdated operating system and application framework pose additional barriers.
The Wii U OS is based on an old customized version of Android. Running the latest Disney Plus app would require significant OS and firmware updates.
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Alternative Options for Disney Plus
While the Wii U is out of luck, thankfully there are plenty of other ways to access Disney Plus. If you own a Wii U but want to watch Disney Plus, consider these alternative options:
Stream on Game Consoles
Modern game consoles like the PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch all support the Disney Plus app.
You can download and log into the Disney Plus app on those consoles and stream movies and shows directly to your TV via the console. This is the simplest way to get Disney Plus on your TV if you own one of these newer systems.
Use Streaming Media Players
Affordable streaming media players like Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, Apple TV and others also offer full Disney Plus access.
These devices plug directly into your TV’s HDMI port so you can install the Disney Plus app and stream from the comfort of your couch.
Watch on Smart TVs
Many current model smart TVs from brands like Samsung, LG, Sony, VIZIO and more come with the Disney Plus app pre-installed or available to download.
If you purchased a smart TV recently, check if Disney Plus is available as an app directly on the TV. Opening the app lets you sign in and start streaming instantly.
Use Smartphones or Tablets
You can install the Disney Plus app on a smartphone or tablet running iOS or Android to download and watch movies and shows on the go.
Tablets provide a nice middle ground for viewing on a larger screen when home. Downloading on a smartphone also lets you stream anywhere.
Use Disney Plus Website
As long as you have a decent laptop or desktop computer, you can simply visit DisneyPlus.com in any modern web browser to start streaming Disney Plus.
The website works on Mac, Windows, Chromebooks, and other devices with an up-to-date browser and stable internet connection.
Cast to Your TV
If you can’t directly install Disney Plus on your TV, you can cast or mirror Disney Plus from another compatible device like a smartphone.
Options like Google Chromecast and AirPlay (for Apple users) let you cast Disney Plus from your phone or computer to stream on your TV.
Unfortunately, Nintendo’s Wii U does not support Disney Plus streaming natively due to hardware and software limitations of the aging, discontinued console.
However, Wii U owners still have options like downloading other streaming apps from the Wii Shop or accessing Disney Plus through another compatible device.
Modern game consoles, streaming sticks, smartphones, computers and more all allow you to enjoy Disney Plus, as long as you have a stable internet connection.
While it would be nice to have direct Disney Plus access on Wii U, switching to any of the many other Disney Plus platforms provides a simple workaround to start streaming your favorite Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic content.