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Disney Channel Celebrates 40 Years!

Disney Channel
Disney Channel

The Walt Disney Company is celebrating many anniversaries! The Disney brand is turning 100, the Animal Kingdom theme Park in Florida celebrates 25 years, and Tokyo Disneyland is 40. Another Disney staple is celebrating its 40th anniversary – Disney Channel!

Disney Channel has been on since April 1983 and served as many viewers’ introduction to the Disney brand. Not everyone could manage to vacation at the theme parks and only interacted with Disney when they went to the movie theater. Disney Channel brought Disney right into people’s homes and started making magic for the small screen.

Brenda Song Disney Channel

Disney Channel

Tons of top stars got their start on Disney Channel. High School Musical (2006) propelled the careers of Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens and followed up with three sequels, one on the big screen! Camp Rock (2008) starred Demi Lovato and The Jonas Brothers. The Sprouse twins popularized The Suite Life of Zack & Cody (2005).

Singer Miley Cyrus is a household name because of her arc on the wildly popular Disney Channel show Hannah Montana (2006). Selena Gomez rose to fame on Wizards of Waverly Place (2007) and started a successful music career, now acting in a Hulu show called Only Murders in the Building (). Raven Simone starred in That’s So Raven, and Hillary Duff was Lizzie McGuire.

High School Musical

Disney

Some original Disney content first airing on television would blow up and find its way into the ParksHigh School Musical had a whole show and parade at Hollywood Studios, and Phineas and Ferb (2007) was such a hit that characters came to do meet and greets as well! While rare, Kim Possible and Ron Stoppable are also known to meet occasionally.

RELATED: How Disneyland’s ‘Not-So-Evil’ Queen Befriended A Guest With Autism

Phineas and Ferb

Disney Parks

Statement from Ayo Davis (President, Disney Branded Television):

For four decades, Disney Channel has been home to some of the most iconic and beloved stories in the Disney portfolio. We are thrilled to celebrate this momentous anniversary with our incredible talent past and present, our gifted creative partners, and most importantly, with you—our passionate and loyal fans around the world.

Statement from Debra OConnell (President, Networks & Television Business Operations, Disney Entertainment):

When Disney Channel launched, it brought the magic of Disney storytelling into people’s homes for the first time on a daily basis, and over the years it served as the most easily accessible and constant cultural touchpoint into the Disney brand. Before they ever went to a Disney movie or hugged a beloved character at the Parks, many generations of people met their heroes for the first time on Disney Channel. That is a relationship that we cherish across the company today and is still unparalleled across the industry.

Check out this video Disney Channel shared to celebrate:

About Lana Porter

Lana has never lost a Disney Trivia night. Maybe it’s the hundreds of times she’s been to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, her love for Disney’s ’90’s era hand-animated musicals, or the fact that she’s often likened to cartoon characters, but Disney and its magic have a special place in her heart. Her favorite Disney experiences include the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, eating Mickey Bars on the PeopleMover, and crying during the Magic Kingdom fireworks show. One day she hopes to be chosen as the rebel spy on Star Tours. When Lana isn’t Park Hopping, she’s at home reading books of all topics, watching her favs on Disney+, or snuggling her two cats, which she swears are not named after Disney characters. She loves surprising people with her knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but admits she is still catching up with Star Wars. She is happy to combine her excitement for writing with her love for Disney-style storytelling and share what she can with the world!