A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn about popular Disney stories and characters. They can stretch their imagination as they explore the virtual story realms, and practice reading with the story text. Mini-games touch lightly on educational concepts such as memory, spelling, reaction time and hand-eye coordination, and attention to detail.
Ease of Play
Navigation and gameplay are easy, though moving characters around takes getting used to. The main menu includes some confusing icons whose purpose is not clear.
Violence & Scariness
Stories come straight from Disney movies and include their typical levels of conflict. Descriptions of fights, peril for the main characters, parents who die in a sea storm, and so on.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mild themes of romance, kissing, true love.
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Products & Purchases
All content connected to Disney characters and stories. Free download includes just a small taste of app content. To continue interacting, kids must make multiple in-app purchases, which are blocked by a parent gate.
Parents Need to Know
Is It Any Good?
Beautiful graphics and jaunty music create magical and familiar worlds that, unfortunately, don't end up delivering on substance. With blockbuster stories like Frozen and Toy Story, kids will likely be drawn to yet another Disney-branded product. And since Disney Story Realms does a great job of delivering the magic of Disney, some kids may be satisfied with the ability to wander around their favorite setting, see their favorite characters, and read their favorite stories. But there's disappointingly little to actually do in the app. In the realms, kids simply wander around. Interactive elements are limited to the handful of mini-games embedded in the realm. The games are typical for an app that wants to call itself educational but doesn't want to invest in creating something inspired or unique. It's not clear why it's set up so that kids need to play games to read, though that feature can be turned off. The text in the stories will feel familiar to those who know the plot but isn't always clear enough for someone who doesn't. And the in-app purchase model can feel sneaky because there are no actual prices, and it's not clear that pretty much all content is available only through purchase until you tap on what you want and run into a parent gate. Ultimately, Disney Story Realms is visually appealing and delivers on letting kids imagine they are their favorite characters, but more meaningful activities and a pricing model that's friendlier for kids would make it more worth your while.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.