What 25 Former Disney Channel Stars Look Like, Then and Now

What 25 Former Disney Channel Stars Look Like, Then and Now
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If you grew up in the ’90s or 2000s, Disney Channel was a big thing in your childhood. It was what established the careers of now-astronomically famous stars such as Selena Gomez, Zac Efron, and Raven-Symoné—not to mention, consumed the after-school hours of many millennials who were supposed to be doing homework. And though we grew up with Disney Channel stars, our memory, like everyone, becomes a little foggy, which is why it’s sometimes a little hard to remember what they looked like when they were squeaky-clean teenagers getting into trouble on-screen.

MORE: What 15 Celebrity Kids Look Like Then and Now

To show you the epic glow-up of actors from Disney Channel classics including “Lizzie McGuire,” “High School Musical,” and more, we’re looking back at what your favorite childhood celebrities looked like then, and what they look like now. Like all of us in our awkward preteen phases, they’ve had some jaw-dropping transformations. See the epic evolutions ahead.

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Hilary Duff
2001: Hilary Duff, Age 13

In 2001, Duff was a fresh-faced preteen who was unsure if her new Disney Channel show, "Lizzie McGuire," in which she played a clumsy, boy-obsessed middle-schooler, would even be picked up for a second season. (Side note: Look at that bling.)

Photo: Getty Images
Hilary Duff
2017: Hilary Duff, Age 30

It's been 17 years since Duff was first introduced to audiences as Lizzie McGuire. Since then, she's made her return to television on TVLand's "Younger," in which she plays an ambitious, sex-positive literary agent. Duff has also released four albums, one of which came out in 2015.

Photo: Getty Images
Zac Efron
2004: Zac Efron, Age 16

In 2004, two years before Efron became a household heartthrob in the "High School Musical" franchise, he was starring in the short-lived CW series "Summerland" (gap-toothed and all).

Photo: Getty Images
Zac Efron
2018: Zac Efron, Age 30

This year marks 12 years since Efron first infatuated audiences with his singing, dancing, and basketball moves on "High School Musical." He's become a bona fide leading man since then, with movies such as "Baywatch" and Golden Globe–nominated "The Greatest Showman."

Photo: Getty Images
Ashley Tisdale
2003: Ashley Tisdale, 17

Though Tisdale had dabbled in acting as a kid, she didn't find her big break until 2005 when she starred as Maddie Fitzpatrick, a blunt, dry-humored hotel employee, in "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody." A year later, her fame exponentially grew when she starred as Sharpay Evans, a type-A theater fanatic, in "High School Musical."

Photo: Getty Images
Ashley Tisdale
2018: Ashley Tisdale, Age 32

While Tisdale still acts, most of her efforts are concentrated on her YouTube channel, where she performs covers and provides fans with makeup and skin-care tips. On the acting side, Tisdale has done stints on shows such as "Sons of Anarchy" and "Family Guy" and starred in the short-lived CW series "Hellcats."

Photo: Getty Images
Raven-Symone
2001: Raven-Symoné, Age 15

By 2001, Symoné was already an established child star, with scene-stealing roles in "The Cosby Show" and "Dr. Doolittle." But her big break didn't happen until 2003 when she played a sassy psychic in "That's So Raven." Her fame grew that year when she starred in the fan-favorite Disney Channel movie "The Cheetah Girls."

Photo: Getty Images
Raven-Symone
2017: Raven-Symoné, Age 31

After exploring paths outside of acting, with a stint as an opinionated panelist on "The View," Symoné returned to her roots with 2017's "That's So Raven" spin-off, "Raven's Home."

Photo: Getty Images
Shia Labeouf
2003: Shia Labeouf, Age 16

Labeouf became a household name in 2000 as Louis, the immature younger brother in a family of five, in "Even Stevens," which also led to a movie. He even won an Emmy for it. The actor continued his Disney time with the movie "Holes."

Photo: Getty Images
Shia Labeouf
2017: Shia Labeouf, 31

Fourteen years after the end of "Even Stevens" in 2003, Labeouf has built a respectable acting career, with films such as "Transformers" and "Disturbia." He can be seen next in 2018's "The Peanut Butter Falcon" opposite Dakota Johnson.

Photo: Getty Images
Cole and Dylan Sprouse
1998: Cole and Dylan Sprouse, Age 6

Cole and Dylan became instant fan favorites when they starred as troublemaking twins in "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody" in 2005. The series became so popular that it birthed a spin-off, "The Suite Life on Deck," in 2008, which ran for three years.

Photo: Getty Images
Cole and Dylan Sprouse
2016: Cole and Dylan Sprouse, Age 23

After taking a break from acting to attend New York University, the twins returned to their roots. Cole currently stars as fan-favorite Jughead on CW's "Riverdale," while Dylan is planning his acting return with the indie film "Carte Blanche."

Photo: Getty Images
Vanessa Hudgens
2004: Vanessa Hudgens, Age 15

Audiences were first introduced to Hudgens in 2006 when she played Gabriella Montez, a  book-smart high-schooler with a crystal-clear singing voice, in "High School Musical."

Photo: Getty Images
Vanessa Hudgens
2018: Vanessa Hudgens, Age 29

Since "High School Musical," Hudgens has returned to her theater roots with roles in Broadway's "Gigi" and FOX's "Grease: Live." The actress has also starred in cult-favorite films such as "Spring Breakers" and "Sucker Punch."

Photo: Getty Images
Emily Osment
2003: Emily Osment, Age 11

Osment found fame in 2006 when she starred as Miley's clumsy bestie, Lily, in Disney Channel's instant favorite, "Hannah Montana."

Photo: Getty Images
Emily Osment
2017: Emily Osment, Age 25

Since "Hannah Montana" ended in 2011, Osment has returned to TV with a leading role in Freeform's "Young & Hungry," where she plays a headstrong ambitious chef.

Photo: Getty Images
Miley Cyrus
2006: Miley Cyrus, Age 13

As a kid, Cyrus was relatively known because of her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, but she didn't become a household name until she starred as a pop singer with a double life on "Hannah Montana" in 2006.

Photo: Getty Images
Miley Cyrus
2018: Miley Cyrus, Age 25

Since the end of "Hannah Montana," Cyrus has taken a break from acting. Instead, she's concentrated on music, with six albums and a Grammy nomination under her belt.

Photo: Getty Images
The Jonas Brothers
2006: Nick Jonas (13), Joe Jonas (16), Kevin Jonas (18)

The Jonas Brothers were first introduced to audiences as a boy band in 2006. Their fame led to Disney Channel projects, such as their own show, "Jonas," and a film, "Camp Rock."

Photo: Getty Images
The Jonas Brothers
2018: Nick Jonas (25) Joe Jonas (28) Kevin Jonas (30)

The Jonas Brothers have since disbanded, and each brother has gone on to live their own professional lives. Nick and Joe are working musicians (Joe is the lead singer of the pop-rock band DNCE), while Kevin is married and now runs a construction business, JonasWerner Homes.

Photo: Getty Images
Demi Lovato
2008: Demi Lovato, Age 16

Lovato was first introduced to audiences as the lead of 2008's "Camp Rock." Her fame led to her own Disney Channel show, "Sonny with a Chance," in 2009.

Photo: Getty Images
Demi Lovato
2017: Demi Lovato, Age 25

Since her Disney Channel days, Lovato has taken a step back from acting and has concentrated on music. She's released six albums (including one that has hit number one on the Billboard 200) and has earned a Grammy nomination.

Photo: Getty Images
Selena Gomez
2007: Selena Gomez, Age 15

Gomez dabbled in guest-starring roles on a few Disney Channel projects, but she didn't find her big break until she played the daughter of a family of wizards in "Wizards of Waverly Place" in 2007.

Photo: Getty Images
Selena Gomez
2018: Selena Gomez, Age 25

Like her Disney Channel peers, Gomez has taken a break from acting and concentrated on music. She's racked up several radio hits, including 2015's "Good for You" and 2017's "Fetish," and has released three solo albums so far.

Photo: Getty Images
Zendaya
2010: Zendaya, Age 13

Zendaya found her big break on the Disney Channel in 2010 as aspiring dancer Rocky in "Shake It Up." The role led to a second Disney Channel show, "K.C. Undercover," in 2015.

Photo: Getty Images
Zendaya
2018: Zendaya, Age 21

Zendaya recently ended her time on Disney Channel with the finale of "K.C. Undercover" in February 2018, but she's already been making a mark in Hollywood. In 2017, Zendaya starred in Marvel's "Spider-Man: Homecoming," as well as the Golden Globe–nominated "The Greatest Showman."

Photo: Getty Images
Bella Thorne
2008: Bella Thorne, Age 10

Thorne was a working child actor, but she didn't find lasting fame until she starred as CeCe in "Shake It Up," opposite Zendaya.

Photo: Getty Images
Bella Thorne
2018: Bella Thorne, Age 20

Unlike Zendaya, Thorne didn't return to Disney Channel after the end of "Shake It Up" in 2013. Instead, she's been pursuing her own acting career. Currently, she has her own show on Freeform, "Famous in Love," and has an already-buzzy movie, "Assassination Nation," in the pipeline.

Photo: Getty Images
Christy Carlson Romano
2000: Christy Carlson Romano, Age 15

Romano became a Disney Channel favorite in 2000 when she played the strict older sister of Labeouf in "Even Stevens." The actress also has a special place in many '90s kids hearts as the voice behind "Kim Possible."

Photo: Getty Images
Christy Carlson Romano
2017: Christy Carlson Romano, Age 33

Since her run on Disney Channel, Romano has dabbled in acting, with guest parts on shows such as "Family Guy." She's also spent a significant time on stage, starring in Broadway musicals including "Beauty and the Beast" and "Avenue Q." But right now, we're gonna guess she's concentrating on being a mom. She welcomed her first child in 2016.

Photo: Getty Images
Brenda Song
2002: Brenda Song, Age 14

Song captured audiences' hearts and laughs as the spoiled hotel heiress London Tipton in 2005's "The Suite Life of Zack & Cody." She reprised the role for its spin-off in 2008.

Photo: Getty Images
Brenda Song
2017: Brenda Song, 29

Song has had a few notable acting projects since her end on Disney Channel. In 2010, she starred in the Oscar-nominated "The Social Network," and she's also played recurring characters on "New Girl" and "Scandal."

Photo: Getty Images
Aly Michalka
2004: Aly Michalka, Age 15

During her time on Disney Channel, Michalka was one half of the pop-rock duo, Aly & AJ, with her sister, Amanda. She also starred on the network's fan-favorite show "Phil of the Future" for two years.

Photo: Getty Images
Aly Michalka
2018: Aly Michalka, Age 28

After dabbling in acting for a little bit, with a stint on The CW's "Hellcats," Michalka is concentrating on music with her sister. Aly & AJ, known briefly as 78Violet, released their fourth album, Ten Years, in 2017, nodding to the 10-year gap between their last musical release.

Photo: Getty Images
Debby Ryan
2008: Debby Ryan, 15

Ryan found Disney Channel fame in 2010 as Bailey on "The Suite Life on Deck." Her charm and charisma led the network to cast her in her own show, "Jessie," a year later.

Photo: Getty Images
Debby Ryan
2018: Debby Ryan, 24

Since her time on Disney Channel, Ryan has been awaiting her return to TV. Currently, she's set to play the lead in Netflix's anticipated dark comedy "Insatiable," about a disgruntled-teenager-turned-beauty-queen.

Photo: Getty Images
Bridgit Mendler
2009: Bridgit Mendler, Age 16

After a stint on "Wizards of Waverly Place," Mendler became a Disney Channel staple in her own show, "Good Luck Charlie," in 2010. The show, which also led to Mendler's Disney Channel film, "Lemonade Mouth," ended after four years.

Photo: Getty Images
Bridgit Mendler
2016: Bridgit Mendler, 24

Like some of the Disney Channel stars before her, Mendler has been concentrating on music. So far, she's released one album, "Hello My Name Is...," to critical acclaim, and is working on her second.

Photo: Getty Images

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These Are the Coolest High-Tops to Shop Now

These Are the Coolest
High-Tops to Shop Now
  • Hilary Duff
  • Hilary Duff
  • Zac Efron
  • Zac Efron
  • Ashley Tisdale
  • Ashley Tisdale
  • Raven-Symone
  • Raven-Symone
  • Shia Labeouf
  • Shia Labeouf
  • Cole and Dylan Sprouse
  • Cole and Dylan Sprouse
  • Vanessa Hudgens
  • Vanessa Hudgens
  • Emily Osment
  • Emily Osment
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Miley Cyrus
  • The Jonas Brothers
  • The Jonas Brothers
  • Demi Lovato
  • Demi Lovato
  • Selena Gomez
  • Selena Gomez
  • Zendaya
  • Zendaya
  • Bella Thorne
  • Bella Thorne
  • Christy Carlson Romano
  • Christy Carlson Romano
  • Brenda Song
  • Brenda Song
  • Aly Michalka
  • Aly Michalka
  • Debby Ryan
  • Debby Ryan
  • Bridgit Mendler
  • Bridgit Mendler
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