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Disney Stars of the Early-2000s: Where Are They Now?!

Published: 05-09-2019
by Jordan Cioppa
If your early-2000s childhood was anything like mine, it probably consisted of a LOT of Disney Channel. I have seen pretty much every show during that era, including the popular ones like "That’s So Raven" and "Hannah Montana", all the way to the more random ones like "Life with Derek" and "Naturally Sadie". And we can’t forget about the iconic Disney Channel Original Movies. Between the shows and movies, there were a lot of different actors who frequented the channel and were pretty well-known names among our generation. I often find myself wondering what happened to them... Now, of course, we have the Selens, the Mileys, and the Hilarys who are just as big, or even bigger, than their child-star days, but many of the stars they shared the Disney Channel limelight with seem to have chosen a much more low-key life. So where are they now?
Aly and AJ
Aly Michalka made a name for herself when she starred as Keely in the show "Phil of the Future" (#neverforget). She was then joined by her young sister AJ on the Disney Channel stage when they both starred in a movie called Cow Belles together. The girls were great on their own, but together they were the blonde sister duo we all became obsessed with known as Aly and AJ. It wasn’t long after that they gave us a BOP called "Potential Breakup Song". So where are they now? Aly (now 30) and AJ (now 28) are living their best lives! The sisters are still making music and have a newly released EP out called Sanctuary. As for acting, Aly has a role in "iZombie" which will be airing its final season next month, and AJ is starring in her own comedy called "Schooled", which is a spinoff of the ABC series "The Goldbergs". Aly and AJ are actual goals. They seem to have an amazing relationship, and they have matching Instagram names (@iamaly, @iamaj). Love them!
Danielle Panabaker
This Disney Channel star made some pretty great appearances in the early-2000s. She starred in Stuck in the Suburbs, Sky High, and Read It and Weep (which also starred her sister Kay). TBH, these movies probably haven’t crossed your mind in a long time, but now that they have, you’re probably wondering how you forgot about them in the first place! Danielle (now 31) was a true DCOM sweetheart for sure! But don’t worry, her acting days didn’t end when her Disney Channel days did. She is currently killing it on the CW’s "The Flash" as Killer Frost. As far as her personal life goes, Danielle is happily married to Hayes Robbins and they even share an adorable furbaby together named Elliot. So cute!
Christy Carlson Romano
Christy Carlson Romano had a great run on Disney Channel! She starred as Ren on the hit show "Even Stevens", acted alongside Hilary Duff in Cadet Kelly, and even voiced one of Disney’s most popular animated characters, Kim Possible! We cannot forget about major role on Broadway as Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast! So, what is she up to now? Christy (now 35) is definitely keeping busy but in a much different way. She and her husband of 5 years, Brendan Rooney, have 2 beautiful kids together, including their latest little addition, Baby Sophia. If you haven’t already, please creep on her Instagram… I am obsessed with her life!
Kirsten Storms
You probably remember Kirsten Storms as Zenon, the young girl who lived in outer space on a space station and gave us two of the best DCOMs ever. So, what is the Girl of the 21st Century actually doing in the 21st Century? Kirsten (now 35) is still a very well-known actor but has gone down a different route. The soap opera route, to be exact. Kirsten played Belle Black on "Days of Our Lives" and currently plays Maxie Jones on "General Hospital". Kirsten and her ex-hubby, Brandon Barash, have a beautiful daughter together named Harper, who just turned 5! Another Disney Channel lady doing great!
Jason Earles
I cannot finish this article without giving a shout-out to one of the most iconic Disney Channel stars ever, Jason Earles, AKA Jackson Rod Stewart (I can hear Billy Ray saying this in my head), older brother to Miley Stewart in "Hannah Montana". I will still, to this day, credit Jackson with being one of the best Disney Channel characters ever. Jackson had so many funny moments on the show, including his freakouts where he would drop his most iconic line ever: “Good day…I SAID GOOD DAY DADDY!” What do Jason Earle’s days look like now? According to IMDb, he is set to take part in a show that is currently in post-production called "Mood Swings". I really hope he channels some of Jackson’s mood swings in this. Jason (now 41) is married to Katie Drysen and has a daughter from a previous marriage named Noah. His Instagram is worth taking a look at because it includes some "Hannah Montana" cast reunions that we all need.
And there you have it! Those are just a few of the many Disney Channel stars we haven’t forgotten about. All of their paths look different, but one thing is for sure, life after Disney Channel stardom looks great on them all!
- Jordan Cioppa, YH Contributing Writer