So many childhood memories are rooted with Disney Channel – whether it’s one of their hilarious television shows or inspiring films, most of us have a favorite memory which stems from a classic Disney Channel hit. More than that though, we also have our favorite characters that we can reminisce about for hours on end. Without further ado, take a walk down memory lane with us as we’ve compiled a list of the biggest Disney Channel stars and what they’re up to now. Let the nostalgia begin!
Miley Cyrus – Hannah Montana
Why wouldn’t we kick off this list with our very own Hannah Montana?! At the age of 11, Miley Cyrus waltzed into the audition room for Hannah Montana to try out for the role of the title character’s best friend, however she was cast as the lead instead – and the rest, as they say, is history. With her “Nashville twang” and sparkling personality, Cyrus has gone on to earn countless awards and nominations.
Brenda Song – The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody
For Brenda Song, it all kicked off when she signed a contract with Disney Channel in 2002. Starring in films and shows alike, we’ve watched Song on Get a Clue, Stuck in the Suburbs, and of course her signature character of London Tipton in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and The Suite Life on Deck. Currently she’s focused on mainstream television and film work, watch her now on Real Life and Changeland.
Danielle Panabaker – Stuck in the Suburbs & Read It and Weep
29 year old Danielle Panabaker started acting as a teenager and came to prominence in Disney films like Stuck in the Suburbs, Sky High, and Read It and Weep, and of course in the HBO miniseries Empire Falls alongside her little sis, Kay. Currently you can catch her on The CW series The Flash as Dr. Caitlin Snow slash Killer Frost.
Dylan Sprouse – The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody
Heartthrob number one: Dylan Sprouse began acting when he was just six months old and still acts to this day! Residing currently in NYC after receiving his bachelors from NYU. Apart from acting, Dylan also owns a meadery and bar in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where he’s master brewer. From 2005 to 2008, Dylan starred on The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody, duh.
Cole Sprouse – The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody
Heartthrob number two: currently resides in Los Angeles and is also an active travel and fashion photographer. Shortly after graduating from New York University, Cole landed the role of Jughead Jones in The CW series Riverdale. Do we really need to point out that he starred alongside his twin brother on The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody and The Suite Life on Deck? Didn’t think so!
Madison Pettis – Cory in the House
To many of us, Madison Pettis will always be Sophie Martinez from the Disney Channel series Cory in the House. Heck, some of us may even remember from Barney & Friends! Her latest role was on the Disney Channel series and film The Lion Guard.
Shia LaBeouf – Even Stevens
We’ve reached Louis Stevens, folks! ‘Bout time, kidding. Let’s move on, Shia LaBeouf’s role in the Disney Channel series Even Stevens earned him a Young Artist Award nomination in 2001 and also a Daytime Emmy Award in 2003. Since then, LaBeouf has gone to become a critically acclaimed actor, performance artist, and filmmaker.
Aly Michalka – Phil Of The Future
Actress and recording artist Aly Michalka is up next! Back in 2004, she was cast as Keely Teslow on Disney Channel’s Phil of the Future and that was the beginning of it all. Afterwards she also starred in the Disney Channel original movie Now You See It…, Cow Belles, and Hellcats. No doubt you remember that Michalka and her sister, AJ, formed the amazing musical duo: Aly & AJ. Finally after many years off the radar, the sisters have released a new single, “Take Me”, which you need to listen to ASAP.
Raven-Symoné – That’s So Raven
During the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, we watched Raven-Symoné on The Cosby Show but then from 2003 to 2007, we were all blessed with the Disney Channel series, That’s So Raven – where Symoné played Raven Baxter, a psychic teenager who tried to keep her psychic powers hush-hush. Of course we all also watched her on Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century and The Cheetah Girls , furthermore if she wasn’t on our TV screens then no doubt we were jammin’ out to her many singles and albums. Recently, Raven-Symoné joined the cast of Empire, was co-host on The View, and most importantly, Raven’s Home, a spin-off of That’s So Raven, just premiered!
Hilary Duff – Lizzie McGuire
How do I put this lightly…hmm, I can’t so let me just come out with it: Hilary Duff IS MUH GIRL. Like many teenage girls, I watched Lizzie McGuire religiously and then came Cadet Kelly, Agent Cody Banks, Cheaper by the Dozen, A Cinderella Story, and so on. Of course there’s also the Lizzie McGuire film (I still own the VHS version) and her subsequent five studio albums, with her latest released in 2015 titled Breathe In. Breathe Out. Currently she stars on the TV show Younger.
Emily Osment – Hannah Montana
For Emily Osment, fame came when she starred in Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams and Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over. Then fame quickly spiraled into full-blown success with her role in Hannah Montana. Since then she has starred in a few Disney Channel films and her debut album, Fight or Flight, was released in 2010. Currently she stars in the series Young & Hungry.
Christy Carlson Romano – Even Stevens
Everybody remembers Christy Carlson Romano for her roles as Ren Stevens in the Disney Channel’s Even Stevens, and also as the voice of crime-fighter Kim in the animated series Kim Possible. As a teenager and in her 20’s, Romano starred in countless ABC Family and Disney Channel films. Aside from acting, Romano is also a singer, songwriter, and author.
Demi Lovato – Sonny with a Chance
Around the globe, Demi Lovato, the pop, pop rock, and R&B artist is known and adored. Little do most know but Lovato actually made her debut as a child on Barney & Friends! Although her rise to prominence was back in 2008 after she starred on the Disney Channel TV film Camp Rock and series Sonny with a Chance. From there, the rest is history but the chapters have yet to be written – we can’t wait to see what she does next!
Selena Gomez – Wizards of Waverly Place
Oh look, from one superstar to another. Furthermore, like Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez also appeared as a child on Barney & Friends! Not long after and Gomez’s fame skyrocketed after she landed the lead role of Alex Russo on the Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place. Throughout the years, Gomez has earned numerous awards and nominations as an actress and singer, including an ALMA Award, a Billboard Women in Music award, an MTV Video Music Award, an American Music Award, a People’s Choice Award, and 15 Teen Choice Awards. Get it, girl.
Sterling Knight – Sonny with a Chance
28 year old Sterling Knight is known best for his roles as Alex in 17 Again, Chad Dylan Cooper in the Disney Channel series Sonny with a Chance and its spinoff So Random!, and as Christopher Wilde in the Disney Channel movie Starstruck. Knight is still making music and acting with a recent role in the NBC television show Crowded.
Maiara Walsh – Cory in the House
Brazilian American actress and singer Maiara Walsh is up next. Maybe you know her as Ana Solis from Desperate Housewives or as Meena Paroom from the Disney Channel series Cory in the House. Regardless of, you should know that Walsh is an avid philanthropist who spends a lot of her time volunteering and coordinating community projects.
Adrienne Bailon – The Cheetah Girls
So Adrienne Bailon first became known everywhere once she founded and sang in both 3LW and Disney’s The Cheetah Girls. Of course as you should know, she helped to develop The Cheetah Girls films, which hold a special place for most of us Cheetahs! Moreover she also starred in a few Disney Channel shows such as That’s So Raven and The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. Yes, the 33 year old is still making music and she is also the host of the talk show The Real.
Ashley Tisdale – The Suite Life of Zack & Cody
During Ashley Tisdale’s childhood, she appeared in tons of advertisements with minor roles in television and theatre. But it wasn’t until 2005 rolled around and Tisdale is cast as Maddie Fitzpatrick in the Disney Channel series The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, that her fame exploded into greatness. Moreover her success only increased once she starred as Sharpay Evans in the High School Musical franchise. Recently Tisdale announced that she’s working on her third studio album while serving as the executive producer of ABC Family’s TV series Young & Hungry.
Vanessa Hudgens – High School Musical
Since Vanessa Hudgens was eight years old, she’s been performing in musical theater as a singer. Then in 2005, everything changed when Hudgens was cast as Gabriella Montez in the Disney Channel movie High School Musical. From that point on, her career soared, even when she took a step back from singing to focus on her acting career. However since 2015, Hudgens has been starring on Broadway, with the title role in Gigi and as Rizzo in Grease: Live.
Zac Efron – High School Musical
Early 2000’s and Zac Efron begins his acting career – however his career reaches a huge turning point with High School Musical in 2006. Ever since, Efron has been seriously pursuing his acting career. In fact, his most recent film, Baywatch, earned Efron a Teen Choice Award.
Lalaine Vergara-Paras – Lizzie McGuire
As a child, Lalaine Vergara-Paras began pursuing a career in music so when she appeared in the Broadway production of Les Miserables at nine years old, she was well on her way to achieving something special. Although to most of us she’ll always be Miranda, Lizzie’s best friend on the Disney Channel show Lizzie McGuire – reportedly she left the show and wasn’t in the film as she wanted to further pursue her music career.
Adam Lamberg – Lizzie McGuire
Surely every single one of us remembers David “Gordo” Gordon, Lizzie’s rather sarcastic, yet practical dorky best friend. We could constantly watch him and his goofiness on Lizzie McGuire and The Lizzie McGuire Movie, however Lamberg is no longer acting. His last role was in 2008 with the flick Beautiful Loser. 2008 is also the year Lamberg earned his Bachelor’s in geography from the University of California, Berkeley. Currently he works as a development officer at the Irish Arts Center in NYC.
Olivia Holt – Kickin’ It
20 year old Olivia Holt got her big break on the Disney XD series Kickin’ It, the Disney Channel movie Girl vs. Monster, and the Disney Channel series I Didn’t Do It. Safe to say that the Disney Channel has been good for Holt! Her debut EP, Olivia, was released on July 2016.
Kiely Williams – The Cheetah Girls
Former member of the girl groups 3LW and The Cheetah Girls, Kiely Williams, everyone! Ever since The Cheetah Girls, Williams has been pursuing a solo career with a touching of acting. Williams and Sabrina Bryan are currently working on a web series together.
Sabrina Bryan – The Cheetah Girls
Speaking of, Sabrina Bryan is up next. Before she appeared in the girl group The Cheetah Girls and the subsequent films, Bryan was a dancer who studied at the Hart Academy of Dance. Like the rest of the Cheetahs, Bryan pursued a solo career, acted in many TV shows, and was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars.
Lindsay Lohan – Get A Clue
Yes, really or did you forget how it all began for Lindsay Lohan? Lohan appeared in many commercials as a child, then there were the brilliant films The Parent Trap, Life-Size, and the Disney Channel flick Get A Clue; and the rest, well surely you already know.
Tahj Mowry – Hounded
Let’s see Tahj Mowry starred on Disney Channel movies like Hounded and The Poof Point. Although before this, we know him best from Smart Guy and Full House. Furthermore he also had a guest role on the Disney Channel show, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. To finish, his most recent role was on Freeform’s hit comedy show Baby Daddy.
Joe Jonas – Camp Rock
We probably don’t need to tell you that Joe Jonas’s claim to fame was alongside his brothers in the pop-rock band Jonas Brothers. Surely we also don’t need to tell you that the band became HUGE once they became involved with the Disney Channel and their film debut in 2008 with Camp Rock. With the success that followed the trio, things were looking good, very good in fact. However in 2011, the band broke up and Joe formed a new band, DNCE.
Evan Peters – Phil of the Future
First of all, Evan Peters got his start starring in various commercials for brands like Kelloggs, Papa John’s Pizza, and Playstation. Although to most of us he’ll always be the goofy kid from Phil of the Future. Peters big breakthrough was in 2011 with a starring role in the FX anthology series American Horror Story.
Ben Foster – Flash Forward
At 16, Ben Foster began pursuing an acting career and thank goodness he did! Between 1996 and 1997, he appeared in the Disney Channel series Flash Forward, Get Over It, and Six Feet Under. Meanwhile, his film career has been exceptional thanks to flicks like The Punisher, 3:10 to Yuma, and Hell or High Water.
Kay Panabaker – Phil of the Future
Wrap your head around this: Kay Panabaker graduated from high school at 13 and she was the valedictorian. Oh yeah, before she turned 18, she graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts in history. Mindboggling! Yet incredibly impressive. Anyways, she starred in plenty of TV dramas and soap operas before she landed roles with the Disney Channel. Her last role was in 2012 and she went on to study zoology at UCLA, currently she works as a zookeeper at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Emmy Rossum – Genius
Sometimes we forget the brilliant Emmy Rossum got her start in the 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie Genius – a role she was nominated for a Young Artist Award for! Since then, her career has only exploded and our favorite role of Emmy’s is as Fiona Gallagher in the TV series Shameless, of course.
Raviv Ullman – Phil of the Future
June 2004 introduced us to Disney Channel’s Phil of the Future where Raviv Ullman portrayed Phil Diffy, a teenager from the year 2121. Now if Phil Diffy wasn’t one of your teen crushes, well then we just can’t be friends. Raviv is an Israeli-American actor in film, TV, and Broadway and is also a musician. Currently, Raviv is in the band Reputante on Julian Casablancas’ Cult Records.
Erik von Detten – Brink!
From one teen crush to another! Erik von Detten – Brink. So Weird. Toy Story. The Princess Diaries. Just some of the brilliant films we watched our crush star in. And as far as crushes go, Erik von Detten is all the rage, what with his hair, jokes, and skater-surfer vibe. Didn’t matter if we were watching him on TV or film, he still holds a special place in our hearts. However Erik retired from acting, it seems, in 2010 and is currently working for Rosland Capital as a broker.
Kaley Cuoco – Alley Cats Strike
Hard to imagine that Kaley Cuoco once starred in a Disney Channel film, but everyone has to start somewhere. Technically, Cuoco’s first performance was in Virtuosity in 1995 and from there, she landed roles in 8 Simple Rules, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, Charmed. Since 2007, we’ve been watching Cuoco on The Big Bang Theory, where she’s earned Satellite, Critics’ Choice, and People’s Choice Awards.