“Ferb, I know what we’re going to do today! Create a master list of the top Disney Channel shows that we can now watch on Disney+!”
Ahh, Phineas and Ferb. Such a classic. I mean, how often do you get to follow the story of a secret-agent-platypus on a mission to save the world?
Everything about this animation is sheer genius. Each character shines in their roles, as this show encourages both the young, and young at heart, to explore the world of imagination and creative ingenuity.
With each new episode of this seemingly endless summer vacation, Phineas and Ferb tackle a massive project, as their pet platypus sneaks off to save the Tri-State-Area from sudden doom!
If you've never seen Phineas and Ferb, stop what you're doing RIGHT NOW and go give it a shot! You're sure to fall in love with Doctor Doofenshmirt's "not-so-evil, evil" heart, and laugh at his tragically hilarious backstory.
You'll find yourself cheering for Candace as she desperately tries to "bust", her little brothers, and laughing at her antics around hunky Jeremy who works at the slushy stand.
You'll be motivated and inspired by the "we-can-do-it!" Fireside Club girls (okay, maybe not, but they are cute, and sometimes helpful!) and deeply astounded by Ferb's wise words.
He doesn't talk much. But when he does, it's profound.
Here's to 100 more days of summer vacation!
When Alexandria and I first discussed the idea of creating this list, I was pretty confident that Jonas wouldn’t make the cut. Prior to its arrival on DIsney+, I hadn’t seen the show in years.
The last time I’d seen it, I was a hardcore Jonas fan. Of course I loved it back then. Why wouldn’t I? I was incredibly biased. The immensely popular boy band could’ve starred out their windows and watched grass grow for all I cared, and I still would’ve watched it. (Sad, I know.)
I’m going to be completely honest with you guys. I avoided re-watching this show for as long as I could. I didn’t want to destroy all my happy memories. As an adult, I was bound to think the show was purely awful, right?
Well, finally, one fateful day, I decided to click on it. And the first episode was just cringy as I imagined it might be...
But it was ALSO hilarious!
So yes, Jonas is just as cheesy as cringe-worthy "Pizza Girl" song. (I mean, they live in a firehouse for goodness sake! You've gotta expect teh cheese. I’m really not sure if the show was intended for 3 year old boys who dream of being firemen, or fainty-teen-girls who swoon over everything that comes out of a Jonas mouth, BUT I can tell you this much: they don't make shows like this anymore.)
The entire show radiates such an innocent, carefree, throwback to the 1970’s. It feels like you’re watching The Brady Bunch, or The Partridge Family.
Wait no, scratch that. Jonas is even more squeaky clean than THOSE shows. I’m talking throwing it waaayyy back, all the way to the 1950’s! This is like, Leave it to Beaver material!
So, if you’re looking for a sweet, cheesy, musical comedy removed far, far, FAR from the harsh realities of 2020, Jonas is just the ticket.
This classic 90’s sitcom was a big part of my childhood. Our family used to gather out in the living room and pop-popcorn every Friday night, as Boy Meets World was part of the ABC’s TGIF lineup.
The lively Cory Matthews and his “too-cool-for-school” best friend Shawn lived through year after year of shenanigans, driving their teacher (and later Principle) Mr. Feeny up the wall!
As a child, some of the “not-so-classy” inappropriate content flew right over my head. I would definitely advise asking a parent about viewing if you’ve never seen it before, as there are some episodes and scenes that you may want to skip. Some entire seasons are more wholesome than others, and I have a theory as to why that may be, but I won't get into it right now.
With that being said, I can confidently state that Boy Meets World is one of my favorite comedies from the late 90’s/early 2000’s era!
Sadly, they don’t write comedies quite like these anymore. Some of the jokes are truly brilliant, the characters are endearing, and some of the plots are deep and thoughtful. (Others are just straight up ridiculous, but we love those too, haha!)
“Here I am in your life, here you are in miinnnneee, yes we have the suite life, most of the tiiimmmeee!”
Ahmm. Sorry. Couldn’t stop myself from bursting out into the theme song. Anyway…
Ahh, the sweet life. Such solid memories, you guys. Here in the Tipton Hotel, standing behind the candy counter, the world was introduced to Ashely Tisdale for the first time! (You know, the bubbly blonde who later went on to star as the legendary Sharpay Evans in High School Musical.)
The Sprouse twins themselves weren’t the best actors when they started, but as the show continued to stretch on season after season (and then morph into a spin off, The Suite Life on Deck), their skills improved with each new year. I got lots of great laughs from this show, and even though some of the plots were utterly ridiculous, I still enjoy watching an occasional episode of The Suite Life even as an adult.
After all. “London TIpton’s really great, really great, really great! London Tipton’s really great, and deserves the opposite of hate, which is love!”
Girl Meets World, is without a doubt, one of the best-written shows I’ve seen on Disney Channel in years.
There. I said it!
All of my friends know how much I appreciated and respected the writers of this show. They dared to push beyond the usual laugh track and introduce some heavy topics. And while it could be debated whether or not it’s healthy to be using language like “the universe is watching out for you”, while interchanging “God” and “the universe” during discussions of faith, it was still absolutely jaw-dropping to me that the show as given permission to discuss topics such as the existence of God, prayer, divorce, abandonment issues, finding your identity, and so forth. Much like it’s parent show, Boy Meets World, the writers didn’t shy away from tough topics.
The series revolves around Cory and Topenga’s children and their friends. In an episode called Girl Meets Commonism, they discussed the topic of individuality and why everyone should be blessed and rewarded for the hard work they do, rather than being handed everything for free, which was a shockingly conservitive swing for such a liberal channel!
Not surprisingly, the network canceled the show shortly after. Such a disappointment. I knew the writers were purposefully building season upon season, getting ready to reveal some big truths in Season 4, and sadly, we were never able to come to those final conclusions.
On a brighter note, Girl Meets World will make you giggle just as much as Boy Meets World did, as you fall in love with these endearing characters.
Let’s rewind to 2007.
A world where Hannah Montana was reigning pop-queen of the Disney Channel. Miley Cyrus had become a household name, and her face was everywhere.
We’re talking the toy department in Wal-Mart, posters in the mall, and music all over the radio. Her sold out arena tours mirrored the very life she portrayed in the sitcom that started it all, Hannah Montana.
As an adult rewatching this show, Hannah Montana doesn’t quite hold the same charm and whimsy it did as a child. Perhaps it’s because it’s nearly impossible to watch without being keenly aware of how this was the very platform that damaged the life of a child-star.
When returning to these old episodes, it’s best to divorce your mind from the reality of where Miss Cyrus is today, and pretend you’re living in the simple days of 2007 yet again!
For my twelve-year-old-self, nothing compared to the magic of laughter that came from this heartwarming show. All of the side characters shone on camera, filling out this colorful cast, including her Father “Robby Ray” who brought continual callbacks to life in the country with Uncle Earl!
Disney provided much to laugh, smile, and sing along to throughout this series. To this day, it’s still impossible for me to hear The Best of Both Worlds, and not break into song!
Wait, another musical-themed show about hidden talents and navigating through Hollywood as a teen?
Why yes, yes it is! Shows like these used to be Disney’s bread and butter!
Though the concept might be a little cliche, the script is both heartwarming and giggle-worthy, while delivering that classic DC, laugh-track comedy we've all come to expect.
Austin and Ally ran a successful 4 seasons, skyrocketing it’s stars to fame. Ross Lynch (Austin) went on to tour in a family band, R5, and starred in Teen Beach Movie 1 and 2, alongside Maia Mitchell.
If you enjoy stories with a very strong High-School-Musical-esque vibe strung throughout, you’ll enjoy this cute little series about wide-eyed, hopeful teenagers pursuing their dreams.
“Meet a boy named Phil and his family, on vacation from the 22nd century!”
Oh that catchy, catchy theme song. I can’t hear the first note without crooning, “Phil, Phil, Phil of the future!”
The idea of traveling with your family from the future and getting trapped in the year 2004 is classic. Raviv Ullman (Phil) was a newcomer at the House of Mouse, and I honestly feel like he was one of Disney’s most under-rated stars! Sure his acting was a little rough around the edges, but when we compare it to the likes of Hilliary Duff, it was pretty par-for-the-course for that day. It’s not like he was expected to be a Golden Globes winner.
Aly Michalka was also adorable and 100% my favorite character on the show. I was pretty young when it premiered, and I totally remember putting pencils in my hair so I could have hair like Keely!
With classic characters like uptight Debbie Berwick, and troublemaking Pim, how can you not love this show?
Also, the cliff-hanger from Season 2 has me hoping that Disney+ might bring this back with a conclusion to Phil’s story!
Debby Ryan was just eighteen years old when Disney approached her about developing a new series.
After several years starring on The Suite Life on Deck and a handful of DCOM’s, she’d experienced a crash course in comedy, writing, acting, and production. She was excited to put her skills to work as a producer on Jessie. She was highly involved in the creation of the show, from concept, to scripts, to casting, to production. She wore many hats during her years on Jessie, and it’s so fun to look back and see her fingerprints all over it!
Even though Jessie aired on Disney Channel a little after my time, I enjoyed following Debby and her story, and how she continued to pour herself into this creative work. Her passion and high-level of involvement with so many details on this show was clearly seen through the screen.
Lab Rats was a bit after my time, but I was first introduced to the show by my male cousins. They were excited to have more of a “dude” show, something high action and still laced with those classic DC comedy vibes.
The concept of the show is pretty fun. Who wouldn’t love to explore the idea of being a bionic, super-powered teen?
I’ve only seen a few episodes, but I enjoyed it, nonetheless!
The show ran for an impressive 4 seasons, then morphed into a spin off series.
Come mid 2013, Disney Channel was in desperate need of another star emerging.
Enter Dove Cameron, star of Parent-Trap-spin-off (okay not exactly, but twins played by the same actress, let’s just call it what it is, alright?) Liv and Maddie.
Cameron played two different, cookie-cutter, polar-opposite characters, one in love with all things sporty, the other in love with all things girly. (Oh wait, maybe I’m describing Mary Kate and Ashley’s classic show Two of a Kind. Now THAT’S a show I’d like to see come back! Disney+ can you acquire it, pretty please?)
I feel like both the acting and plots improved as the show continued, and even though it’s not my all-time-favorite Disney show, I feel like it deserved a shout out on this list when it comes to the newer generation of shows.
Let’s be honest. After the Jonas-Cyrus-Lovato-Gomez era, Disney experienced a bit of dry spell when it comes to cranking out hit TV shows.
Their immediate response to Hannah Montana going off the air was to replace it with Shake it Off, which did great as far as viewership, but it wasn’t a personal favorite of mine.
I was already aging out of the DC viewership target age range, so that may be why Shake it Off didn’t strike a chord with me.
Anyway, the show managed to create some mega stars, per-Disney-style. Zendaya (Spider Man, The Greatest Showmen, etc.) then went on to co-produce and star on “K.C. Undercover” (2015).
This show gives some fun Sister Sister vibes, and really gave Zendaya a great place for her star power to shine. The concept of being a “part-time-undercover agent” along with the rest of your family, brings plenty of fun plots to explore, and I feel like this show did a good job with it.
Okay, so maybe this offering isn’t on Disney+, but it can be viewed for free on YouTube! The Disney Channel Games are a major blast to the past! It’s like a pre-school version of The Olympic Games, starring all your favorite Disney peeps.
It really is quite the ride going back in time, watching Zac Efron and Corbin Blu (High School Musical) battle it out on an obstacle course! If you’re looking for a fun ticket-to-yesterday, spend an afternoon re-living the glory days of Disney Channel!
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