If you’re looking to start a viewing party on Disney Plus, the streaming service has GroupWatch available in select markets around the world.
This allows friends and family to watch streams simultaneously and control playback by pausing, rewinding, and fast-forwarding the stream for the whole group.
If you’re looking to do it yourself, we have step-by-step instructions below. Also, if the service isn’t available in your market yet, we have a guide on how to use GroupWatch on Disney+ from abroad.
Disney has also now revealed that users with an iPhone or iPad can stream Disney+ with friends via SharePlay. We have instructions on how to do this below.
You can check out our other guide to watching Disney Plus in 4K.
How to start GroupWatch on Disney+
First, everyone you want to watch Disney+ with must sign up for a streaming service and sign in to it on the device they’re using. You can sign up on the Disney+ website for £7.99 / US$7.99 per month or £79.90 / $79.99 per year.
Once done, here’s all you need to do:
- On the Disney+ website or mobile app, select the movie/series you want to watch and click the group icon
- After you visit the GroupWatch page, click the plus icon to invite people
- Copy the link and send it to the people you want to join your watch party. You can invite up to six different people
- When all members are on the same GroupWatch page, click ‘Start Stream’
Additionally, GroupWatch can only be activated from the Disney+ website or mobile app. Once in a group, however, you can switch to a smart TV or streaming device by clicking the group icon again on the series or movie you’re watching.
How to use SharePlay with Disney+
SharePlay is a feature available on iOS 15 that allows users to Facetime with each other and share videos, music, and photos directly as they video chat along with content.
Up to 32 users can join the call at once and choose their preferred audio/subtitles to suit their preferences.
You must have an iPhone or iPad running iOS 15.1 (or iPadOS 15.1) as well as the latest version of the Disney+ iOS app.
Giving you that, here’s what you need to do to start a SharePlay call with Disney+.
- Tap the SharePlay icon on the FaceTime call toolbar (the one farthest to the right).
- Tap ‘Share my screen’.
- Ask the other person on the call to tap ‘Open’ on the ‘Join Screen Sharing’ banner that appears during the call.
- When Screen Sharing is started, your incoming notifications will be hidden and the FaceTime toolbar will also disappear. You can tap the purple icon in the upper right corner to restore the FaceTime controls
- Open the Disney+ app and select what you want to watch
Content can also be synced for viewing on Apple TV, if users want a larger screen to watch while on a call. The TV must be running on tvOS 15.1 for Disney + SharePlay to work.
How to use GroupWatch on Disney+ from abroad
If you live in a country that doesn’t offer GroupWatch, you can access it through the help of a VPN.
A VPN (virtual private network) allows users to reroute their IP addresses, which means you can browse the internet as if you were in another country. There are many options on the market, but in our experience the most reliable, trustworthy and affordable VPNs are NordVPN and ExpressVPN.
To access Disney+ GroupWatch from abroad, simply follow these steps:
- Connect to a server in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia or New Zealand on your VPN
- Open Disney+ and log in normally with your UK-based account
- You’ll now be able to access another country’s version of Disney Plus – including GroupWatch
For more information, see our picks for the best VPNs for Disney Plus.
How to chat using GroupWatch on Disney +
Unfortunately, Disney+ doesn’t offer a built-in chat service alongside GroupWatch. Viewers can react to content with six different emojis on Disney+, but that’s the point.
If you want to chat freely – or start an audio/video chat – then you will have to use third-party software. There are several options to choose from – Discord, Google Meet, Messenger, WhatsApp or Skype. If you’re using a PC, you can do this by simply opening it in your browser and running along the stream. On mobile devices, the app version will run well alongside Disney+.
Host a Disney+ viewing party using Teleparty
If you want an integrated chat box with the people you’re streaming with, there’s another way to host a viewing party on Disney+. Teleparty is a brand new Netflix Party, a third-party software for Chrome and Microsoft Edge users that allows viewers to watch TV series and movies at the same time while controlling playback and having a text chat window. side version.
If you want to start Teleparty on Disney+, here are the basic instructions you need to know:
- Go to netflixparty.com and select ‘Teleparty Settings’
- This will take you to the browser extensions page – select ‘Add to Chrome/Microsoft Edge’
- You should now see a red TP in your extensions list – pin the extension to your dock
- Go to Disney+ and click on the extension
- Start the party and choose whether you want sole control over the playback controls
- Copy the URL and send it to the people you want to join the group to see. They should click on the link and choose the red ‘TP’ extension to join
- You will now see your friends in the chat window for the viewing party
Teleparty is also available on Netflix, HBO Max, and Hulu – although like Disney+ GroupWatch, all users must have an account with the streaming service. Also, this extension is not available on mobile phones or tablets.
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