Abby Weiss, Story Editor
Warning: this article will make you feel old
I would be lying if I said I didn’t spend my Saturdays as a kid plopped in front of the tv watching reruns of Disney Channel. Back then, during the Golden Age of Disney, it wasn’t just something I watched, it was my childhood. I grew up with the characters, slept in a High School Musical nightgown with a Zac Efron Poster above my bed, attended five different Hannah Montana birthday parties, cheered during the Disney Channel Games, related to Alex Russo on a spiritual level, belted the Phineas and Ferb theme song, and argued with my sister who got to be Zach and who got to be Cody. What blows my mind is that these wonderful times occurred a decade ago. While I still try to accept this and make my nostalgia worse, let’s bring back some shows that debuted exactly ten years ago.
It would be very disappointing if you didn’t know this show or any music from it. It revolves around Miley Stewart, her older brother Jackson, her songwriter father, Billy Ray, and her best friend Lilly. Miley lives a double life as a superstar and high school student.
What we loved about it: Basically, everything. The music was unforgettable, whether you were seven or seventeen, ‘Nobody’s Perfect’ and ‘Best of Both Worlds’ was your jam. The storyline never got old and the characters were hilarious. I remember looking forward to all the guest stars such as the Jonas Brothers. That episode was the highlight of my year.
The cast 10 years later:
Miley, as herself, is currently pursuing the pop star career with her latest album, Younger now, and a coach on The Voice.
Emily Osment, Lily, got her own tv show, Young and Hungry, and released many singles.
Mitchel Musso, Oliver, is living a tranquil life after starring in Pair of Kings and Phineas and Ferb.
Jason Earles, Jackson, starred in Kickin It and got married earlier this year.
Wizards of Waverly Place
Another favorite. This show is about a family that comes from a long line of wizards. Three kids, Alex, Justin and Max must master their powers or lose them forever. While their parents don’t have magical powers, the kids are still taught how to handle the life of a wizard. This combines magic with typical teen challenges such as school and social life.
What we loved about it: Alex is and always will be my spirit animal. I also loved the character dynamics especially the relationship between the siblings. I consider this one of the most creative shows because the plot line got better by adding more monsters and romance (Mason and Alex was my first ship).
The cast ten years later:
Selena Gomez, Alex, is doing well considering she has sold over 7 million albums and 22 singles worldwide, won numerous awards such as American Music Award and People’s Choice, and as of September 2017, she’s the most followed person on Instagram.
David Henrie, Justin, got married in April and has starred in numerous movies such as Reagan and Grown Ups 2.
Jake T. Austin, Max, starred in the Fosters, numerous movies, and works for many charities.
Suite Life on Deck
This is a spin-off of Suite Life of Zack and Cody where instead of the Tipton Hotel, they are on the S.S Tipton. They make new friends and gain new adventures on the boat.
What we loved about it: Personally, as a twin, I liked seeing the twin’s relationship and comparing it to my own. Seeing how different they are and also the new characters that weren’t on the original show, even though they weren’t as funny as the original characters they kept such as London. Plot lines
The cast ten years later:
Cole Sprouse, Cody, went to NYU, now plays the beautiful Jughead in Riverdale, and is the best person to follow on Twitter.
Dylan Sprouse, Zack, also went to NYU with his brother, is the youngest Master Brewer in the US, and is also pretty funny on social media.
Brenda Song, London, has been a recurring character in different shows and has appeared in many tv pilots on CBS and NBC.
Debby Ryan, Bailey, starred in Jessie and is now on Daytime Divas.
Phil Lewis, Mr. Moseby, made appearances in many tv shows, some Disney channel, and is now focusing on being a Dad.
Phineas and Ferb
Phineas and his stepbrother Ferb are trying to make the most out of their 104-day summer vacation, so they build things and go on adventures. Their pet Platypus is a secret agent who battles the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Their sister Candace always tattles on them, but can never catch them in the act, leaving you to wonder why she never gives up.
What we loved about it: The theme song, tell me you don’t know all the words. We also looked forward to the different adventures they went on. This type of fantasy is something I could relate to as a kid where I imagined what I would build and where I’d travel to.
The cast ten years later:
Vincent Martella, Phineas, appeared in the Walking Dead and in Milo Murphy’s Law.
Thomas Sangster, Ferb, starred in Maze Runner, Star Wars, and Godless.
Ashley Tisdale, Candace, was the executive producer of Young and Hungry, launched her own makeup brand, and is working on third studio album
As the Bell Rings
This short-series aired during commercial breaks. It takes place in between classes at a high school hence ‘As the Bell Rings.’ It followed the stories of six high school students and featured Demi Lovato and Tony Oller who you had no idea who they were at the time.
What we loved about it: I loved all the characters especially Skipper. It was also something to look forward to during commercial breaks because there were definitely plenty of those.
Why we miss the old Disney:
I don’t think kids in the future will feel as much nostalgia as we do about Disney. It’s hard to imagine them saying they miss Dog with a Blog or Bizaardvark. It is very evident that no one in this generation of Disney will be as successful as Miley, Selena, and Demi are. They were a major success even before they left their shows. There’s also a huge difference when it comes to owning their characters. The characters in the old Disney have more original yet genuine personalities, but not in the new. The stories are also flat compared to the old Disney. Barely any of them have fantasy, it’s mostly just high schoolers without much of a story. The old Disney also had creative ideas such as Disney Channel Games and more movies as opposed to now where there isn’t as much to go off of. While Disney will continue to influence many childhoods, it is hard to imagine that anyone would want to go back as much as our generation does.