I think we can all admit that, for most parents, the iPad or tablet is a bit of a lifesaver.
It helps some of us get a few extra minutes in bed, or get a few chores done, it helps us on flights, on long car journeys, or even surviving a sick day, which is what most parents dread as there’s really no time for sleeping it off.
I also love that it teaches Bill a hell of a lot too. We have chats with Siri. We Google stuff. We watch YouTube videos. And recently, we’ve been indulging in our Disney obsession a little bit too.
Now, when I was a little girl, my brother and I had pretty much every Disney film you could think of. Except they were all VHS. So fast-forward several years and we can’t really watch them anymore. Our parents would frequently get us the latest release for our birthdays or Christmas, and we loved growing our collection and watching them over and over again. Learning the songs, and picking our favourites.
I think my mum still has our collection in a storage box under the bed in the spare bedroom. It’s a big part of our childhood and I expect she doesn’t want to throw them away.
Obviously, now the mum of a Disney-loving almost-four year-old, I have a bit of a collection going myself. On DVD this time. But I wonder if, one day, the same thing might happen to those.
And even then, we’re always resigned to watching in our living room, as that’s the only place we can watch.
We’ve actually been trialling DisneyLife, which is Disney’s new app, where you can subscribe and watch all of Disney’s movies, but also box-sets, eBooks, audiobooks and music.
It’s probably my dream come true. And Bill loves it too.
All content is available both to watch, read or listen to online – so whether that’s through the Apple and Android apps, or via your desktop. You can also download for offline use. Which makes it ideal for travelling too – we found our iPad essential when we went on holiday last year, as it kept Bill happy and we could have a bit of a breather on the plane, or even while we got ready in the evenings.
You can register up to ten devices with one account, and you can also set-up up to six profiles. So we have one for me, and Bill. And I like that any member of the family can pick-up where they left-off, say if it’s time for dinner, and not have to worry about someone else using it and losing their place.
There’s also effective parental controls if you worry about what your little one might be watching too.
I’ve loved having a library of all of my old favourites to reminisce along with – I love the old classics with the songs. They are always going to be my favourite. Bill, on the other hand, is pretty much obsessed with all things The Lion King. We’ve been watching and singing along to The Lion Guard and he knows pretty much all of the words to most of the songs.
I get a lot of joy out of this, more than you’d think, as I feel like I’m watching parts of my childhood live on in him. I’m seeing him get excited. Pick his favourite characters. Learn the lyrics. And enjoy the magic that is Disney. To experience that as a child myself, and then as a mother, is pretty brilliant.
Obviously an app like this comes at a price, where you subscribe, similarly to Netflix or Spotify. DisneyLife costs £9.99 a month, and your first month is free. There is no contracted period you are locked into, so you can cancel your subscription at any time if you need to, which I think is a plus, as you never know what the future holds and some subscriptions are really intimidating.
I think this is a good deal as you wouldn’t need to buy all of the DVDs, which come at a price, and you can watch or stream Disney’s collection anywhere in the house. Which is pretty handy when you have another half who has a football match that he really wants to watch. Not naming names, but we have one of those sometimes.
All-in-all, it’s become a bit of a staple in our house and we can’t recommend it enough. Especially if you’re a Disney fan like me. My favourite’s Beauty and the Beast if you were wondering.