It is not uncommon for users to have problems accessing the Disney Plus streaming service specifically when trying to do so through a VPN connection. Virtual Private Networks can be great for allowing access to streaming platforms from different locations, but sometimes there can be problems connecting via VPN servers.
Here’s a number of ways this problem can show up:
- The Disney Plus site just doesn’t load at all, instead displaying a blank or black screen when trying to access it.
- You get a specific location or content availability error code (11, 22, 31, 35, 36, 73 are common here).
- You get a message saying “Disney Plus is not available in your region” or similar.
- You get a message saying “there was a problem accessing the service” or similar.
- If you’re using the app, it just doesn’t load at all (this may be a different problem though – see last section).
Most times when this happens when using a VPN, it will be the VPN connection that’s causing the problem. We’ll run through some simple steps you can take to try and resolve the problem and regain access to Disney+, and we’ll also cover alternative troubleshooting steps to take, plus different VPN options if your current provider isn’t providing reliable access with it’s servers.
Let’s get started with some potential fixes!
1. Don’t Use Free VPNs
This is the first point to make – if you’re trying to access Disney+ with a free VPN, then be aware that in almost all cases, this won’t work.
Free VPNs generally lack the sophistication and obfuscation of servers necessary to fool streaming services like Disney Plus. Therefore to stream content, you almost always need a Premium VPN. We’ll cover some good streaming VPNs in a section further below.
2. Select The Correct Server Location
Streaming services restrict access based on the detected IP location of the user, so make sure you are using the correct server location with your VPN.
More specifically, make sure you are connecting to a VPN server that’s also located in the country that your Disney+ account is located in. For example, if your Disney Plus account is based in the UK, make sure you connect a UK VPN server, not somewhere else.
Many VPNs will automatically connect to the nearest server by default unless you configure them otherwise, which may not be the correct server to access the service, so be sure to manually select a suitable server location.
Also be aware that Disney Plus is still not available in all countries, so be sure not select a server location that based in one of these countries:
- All countries in central Africa (South and northern Africa are covered)
- Most of Asia (except India)
However, in fairness, Disney Plus is available in, or coming soon to, most countries globally now. See here for a useful map of coverage and availability of the service worldwide.
3. Try Changing Servers
Once you’ve selected the correct server location, another option is to try different servers and locations within that correct country, as long as the VPN offers multiple options.
Try using different server numbers or city locations if they are available (eg. If the New York server doesn’t work, try the Chicago or New Jersey one instead. USA users are in luck because VPNs always have lots of different locations within the country to try if one server location doesn’t seem to work in accessing Disney+)
Unfortunately, streaming services are blocking VPN server use more aggressively recently, and there’s a cat-and-mouse game between the VPN providers and the streaming platforms as the VPNs keep issuing new IP addresses, which keep getting detected and blocked.
Nevertheless, trying different servers and locations (as long as located in the correct country for your Disney+ account) can sometimes work.
4. Change The VPN Protocol
Sometimes another way to fix this issue is to try a different VPN connection protocol. Most Premium VPNs do offer several different connections types, such as :
- Propietary protocols – some VPNs also have their own branded protocol, designed to circumvent attempts to block their use. For example, VyprVPN have a Chameleon protocol, PIA have a Shadowsocks protocol, and so on.
Go to the Settings and Protocol/Connection menu of your VPN and switch to a different protocol than the one you’re currently using, and see if that allows you to access Disney+ instead.
In my experience, switching from the older OpenVPN or IPsec protocols to the newer Wireguard protocol has sometimes unblocked streaming services that were previously restricted using the others.
5. Try Clearing Browser Cookies/Cache
This is another good to combine especially when changing server locations and/or protocols, since streaming providers may still be able to detect it’s the same device using the platform via the cookies it’s got on your browser.
Here are the general steps to do this for major browsers:
- Firefox – Click the 3 lines burger icon on the far top right of the screen, then click Options…..Privacy & Security and move down to Cookies & Site Data. Click Clear Data, check the Cached Web Content box and click Clear. Then refresh page and see if video loads. See here.
- Chrome – Click the 3 dots More icon at the top right, then click More Tools…..Clear Browsing Data. Choose a time range. Make sure the “cached images and files” box is checked and click Clear data. See here
The general process is very similar for most other browsers. “Ctrl + H” is a common shortcut to bring history up right away.
6. Try Another VPN
If all else fails with the VPN you’re currently using, you can also try switching to another VPN. It is true that some VPNs are better and more reliable at unblocking streaming services than others.
Here’s a selection of VPNs that currently work widely with the Disney Plus service (links are affiliate links):
|Provider||Price (12 months paid in advance)||Number of servers/countries||Works With Disney+?||30 day money back guarantee?|
|Private Internet Access||$3.33/month||10,000/84||Yes (try changing protocols)||Yes|
|ProtonVPN||$4-8/month||1700+/63||Yes (USA, UK, Canada, Australia, EU)||Yes|
Bottom line – although it does cost the most, ExpressVPN is generally regarded as one the very best and most reliable VPNs for accessing streaming services, with fast, reliable servers in almost 100 countries. However, ProtonVPN also have excellent Disney Plus coverage, currently successfully unblocking the German, Indian, Australian, UK, French, Swiss, Italian, Canadian, Japanese, and US versions of Disney+. AtlasVPN also works with the service currently, plus they also have a free version you can try out, though success with the free offering is unlikely. Surfshark also currently has an good reputation currently for unblocking Disney+ in major countries.
Steps For Testing VPNs With Disney Plus
It is true that VPNs will not always work right away when trying to access streaming services like Disney Plus, but can sometimes be made to work after tweaking a few settings.
Here’s a quick rundown of all the things to try when using a new VPN to try and access Disney+ or another streaming platform:
- Select one of the VPNs we covered above. I’ve tried to include options that have been specifically tested and reviewed to work with Disney Plus at the time of writing, and/or confirm on their own websites that they unlock Disney Plus in at least some countries. Longer term plans are better value pro-rata, but you can try most out on a month-to-month tariff if you like just to be sure.
- Try all the steps we mentioned above, including trying different server locations and protocols from the Settings menu. Also make sure you’ve cleared your cache, and especially try moving away from older protocols like OpenVPN, which are more easily detected, and towards newer ones like Wireguard, which are more successful in unlocking streaming platforms.
- If none of these steps work, open up a live chat or support ticket with your VPN provider (they all offer 24/7 support) and see if you can get any other tips to try and make it work.
- Finally, if you’re not getting any luck streaming Disney Plus after all these steps, claim your money back within the first month, as almost all VPNs offer that now, and try another service.
Some Other Solutions For Disney Plus Not Connecting
In rare cases, especially if it isn’t a specific VPN/location error code you get when trying to connect, it may not actually be the VPN that’s causing the connection difficulty.
Sometimes, it might be something else that’s preventing you connecting to Disney Plus.
Here’s a list of other things to “check off”, to make sure they’re not causing the issue:
- Check that Disney+ isn’t down on social media.
- Make sure Disney Plus is actually available in the location you are using/appearing to be from.
- Try quick resetting and updating your devices, app and routers.
- Try deleting and re-installing the app
- Check your device and browser is compatible with Disney+
- Make sure you aren’t using it with too many devices
- Make sure that your account isn’t locked.
- Check your connection and switch to wired if possible.
See our full guide on fixing Disney Plus connection errors for more detailed information on all of these steps.
However, if you get one of the specific location errors (Errors 11, 22, 31, 35, 36, 73), or a “service unavailable in your location” error, or just a black screen, you can be pretty sure it’s a VPN/location issue, and refer to the sections above.