15 Young Celebs Who Started Their Careers On Disney Channel (And Where They Are Now)

As kids in the '00s, a lot of us grew up watching Disney Channel shows like Lizzie McGuire, Hannah Montana, and That's So Raven. The stars of those shows went on to become some of the biggest millennial celebs.

Screenshot from "Hannah Montana"
Screenshot from "Hannah Montana"

Disney Channel / Via giphy.com

You may think the "Golden Age" of Disney Channel ended when your favorite childhood shows did, but you'd be surprised how many up-and-coming celebs you're familiar with were once Disney Channel stars.

Here are 15 Gen Z stars who got their start on Disney Channel, then went on to have big careers:

1.Jenna Ortega's first leading role was Harley Diaz on Stuck in the Middle. She also voiced Princess Isabel on Elena of Avalor and had a guest role on Bizaardvark.

"If my family was a week, I'd be Wednesday!"
Disney Channel / Via youtube.com

In 2022, she began playing her second leading TV role as Wednesday Addams on the hit Netflix series Wednesday.

Screenshot from "Wednesday"
Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

2.Coco Jones was only 12 when she competed in Radio Disney's Next Big Thing. She went on to sign with Disney's Hollywood Records, guest star on So Random! and Good Luck Charlie, and star in Let It Shine alongside Tyler James Williams.

Screenshot from "Let It Shine"
Matt Petit / Disney Channel via Getty Images

After several years as an independent artist, she signed a new record deal with Def Jam Recordings in 2022. She also began playing Hilary Banks on Bel-Air.

Coco Jones
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

3.Noah Cyrus played several different small roles in Hannah Montana, which starred her older sister, Miley Cyrus. She also had a minor voice role on an episode of The Emperor's New School. However, her biggest role was voicing the titular character in the English dub of Ponyo, which was released by Walt Disney Pictures in the US. She also recorded "Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea," a duet with Frankie Jonas, to promote the film.

Young Noah Cyrus
Disney Channel / Via youtube.com

She dropped her debut single, "Make Me (Cry)," in 2016. Since then, she's released four EPs and an album, and she was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2021 Grammy Awards.

Closeup of Noah Cyrus
Marc Piasecki / WireImage / Via Getty

4.When Mckenna Grace was 7, she played the recurring character Jasmine on Crash & Bernstein, a DisneyXD show. She also had guest roles on K.C. Undercover, Dog with a Blog, Elena of Avalor, Mickey and the Roadster Racers, and Bizaardvark.

Young Mckenna Grace
Randy Holmes / Disney XD via Getty Images

Now, she's widely known for playing the younger versions of older blonde actors (for example, Margot Robbie in I, Tonya and Kiernan Shipka in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina). In 2021, she started her music career with the single "Haunted House," which made it onto the Ghostbusters: Afterlife soundtrack. The same year, she was nominated for an Emmy Award for her work on The Handmaid’s Tale.

Mckenna Grace
Steve Granitz / FilmMagic / Via Getty

5.Sabrina Carpenter's breakout role was Maya Hart on Girl Meets World, which she also sang the theme song for. She also starred in the DCOM Adventures in Babysitting and voiced a main character on Milo Murphy's Law.

Sabrina Carpenter
Ron Tom/©Disney Channel / courtesy Everett Collection

After her Disney days, she moved on to key roles in movies like The Hate U Give and Tall Girl. She also signed with Island Records and released Emails I Can't Send, her fifth album but her label debut, in 2022. Her subsequent headlining tour sold out in less than a day.

Sabrina Carpenter onstage
Gilbert Flores / Billboard via Getty Images

6.Olivia Rodrigo starred in two Disney series — Bizaardvark and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

Olivia Rodrigo
Fred Hayes / ©Disney+ / courtesy Everett Collection

She, of course, went on to release her smash hit debut single, "Drivers License," in 2021 after signing with Interscope Records. Then, she won three Grammys for her debut album Sour.

Olivia Rodrigo holding her Grammys
David Becker / Getty Images for The Recording Academy

7.The first major part Josie Totah played was Stuart, Zuri's frenemy, on Jessie. She also had a guest role on Liv and Maddie: Cali Style and appeared in the Disney+ movie Magic Camp.

Josie Totah
Jon Kopaloff / FilmMagic / Via Getty

She starred as Lexi Haddad-DeFabrizio on the 2020 Saved by the Bell revival. Next, she's set to lead the upcoming Apple TV+ period drama The Buccaneers.

Josie Totah
Peacock / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

8.Natalia Dyer's very first role was Clarissa Granger in Hannah Montana: The Movie.

Young Natalia Dyer
Walt Disney Pictures / Via Disney+

Now, she's known for playing Nancy Wheeler on Stranger Things.

Screenshot from "Stranger Things"
Netflix / courtesy Everett Collection

9.Rowan Blanchard starred as Riley Matthews on Girl Meets World. She also played the lead in the DCOM Invisible Sister.

Screenshot from "Girl Meets World"
Ron Tom / Disney Channel via Getty Images

After recurring roles on The Goldbergs and Splitting Up Together, she went on to play Alexandra Cavill in the TV series Snowpiercer. Most recently, she starred in the Hulu rom-com Crush.

Rowan Blanchard
Brett Roedel / © Hulu / courtesy Everett Collection

10.Austin North starred on the series I Didn't Do It. He also guest-starred on Jessie and A.N.T. Farm.

Austin North
Tony Rivetti / Disney Channel via Getty Images

Now, he's known for playing Topper on Netflix's Outer Banks.

Screenshot from "Outer Banks"
Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

11.After rising to prominence in the ABC series American Housewife, Meg Donnelly played the lead in the Disney Channel musical trilogy Zombies. She also guest starred on the series Bunk'd and HSMTMTS.

Meg Donnelly in a scene
John Medland / ©Disney Channel / Courtesy: Everett Collection

In 2022, she began starring as Mary Campbell on the Supernatural prequel series The Winchesters.

Meg Donnelly in "The Winchesters"
Matt Miller / ©The CW / Courtesy Everett Collection

12.Olivia Holt starred in the Disney Channel series I Didn't Do It, the Disney XD series Kickin' It, and the DCOM Girl vs. Monster. She also guest-starred on Dog with a Blog and Shake It Up.

Screenshot from a Disney series
Ron Tom/©Disney Channel / courtesy Everett Collection

She went on to star in two Freeform series — Cloak & Dagger and Cruel Summer.

Olivia Holt in a show
Bill Matlock / ©Freeform / Courtesy Everett Collection

13.Bailee Madison first rose to prominence in the Disney movie Bridge to Terabithia. A few years later, she played the memorable recurring character Maxine Russo on Wizards of Waverly Place.

Bailee Madison in "Wizards of Waverly Place"
Craig Sjodin / Disney Channel via Getty Images

She went on to play key roles on series like The Fosters and Good Witch. Currently, she stars as Imogen Adams on Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin.

Bailee Madison
Image Group La / Freeform via Getty Images

14.Peyton List rose to prominence as Emma Ross on Jessie and the spin-off Bunk'd. She also starred in the DCOM The Swap.

Peyton List in "Jessie"
Eric McCandless / © Disney Channel / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Now, she stars on the Netflix series Cobra Kai as Tory Nichols.

Peyton List in "Cobra Kai"
Steve Dietl / ©YouTube / Courtesy Everett Collection

15.And finally, Zendaya starred in two Disney Channel series — Shake It Up and K.C. Undercover. She also starred in the DCOMs Frenemies and Zapped.

Bob D'amico / Disney Channel via Getty Images

She went on to play key roles in two big franchises — Spider-Man and Dune — and star in the HBO Max series Euphoria, which earned her two Emmy Awards. She's also known, of course, as a fashion icon.

HBO Max / Via youtube.com