Former Disney Stars Who Grew Up To Be Stunning

Which former Disney stars grew up to be stunning? No matter how old you are now, there was probably a time in your life when watching the Disney Channel was part of your daily routine. Whether you watched Hannah Montana or Even Stevens or anything else, the network had a ton of great shows for everyone, filled with great actors.

And no matter how much time goes by, one thing seems to remain the same and it's that there's never really been such a thing as an ugly Disney star. Seriously, everyone who's ever appeared on the network has always been stunning, but as they've grown up they've really come more into their looks, and their careers. Indeed, there are more than a few former Disney stars who have grown up to be seriously gorgeous, and many of them have gone further than you might have thought possible back in the day. From the Disney stars of the '90s and beyond, these former Disney stars grew up to be stunning.

Former Disney star Hilary Duff's career has really taken off

Oh, Lizzie McGuire. If you grew up in the '90s or early 2000s, then there's a good chance you were a huge fan of the Hilary Duff series. The show was relatable to most youngsters back in the day, but especially young girls who were going through the same dramas that Lizzie was, just without a nifty animated sidekick always hanging around.

But after Lizzie McGuire ended and Duff's time at Disney was over, that wasn't the end of her time on screen. In fact, the former Disney star's career only got hotter. Not only did Duff totally transform her looks, but she also landed a pretty sweet gig on TV Land's Younger, a series she really shined in as Kelsey, the ambitious millennial editor-turned-publisher who learns a twisted secret about her new friend and coworker, Liza. 

Duff's role on Younger is so beloved that there have even been rumors the actor will star in a spin-off of the series after it comes to an end (via The Hollywood Reporter). Clearly, Duff has only gotten better with age.

Former Disney star Demi Lovato has dominated headlines and gotten political

Demi Lovato really took the Disney Channel by storm when she arrived. Not only did she land the titular role on Sonny With a Chance, but she also starred in the Disney Channel Original Movies Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2. Lovato acted, sang, and danced her way across the Disney Channel, and unfortunately faced some rocky roads after she left. In fact, in 2010, Lovato entered rehab for the first time, having to cut her tour with the Jonas Brothers short (via TMZ).

Since then, Lovato has come a long way with her addiction issues (after surviving an overdose in 2018, as noted by TMZ), and hasn't shied away from sharing her struggles with her fans. Additionally, Lovato has made her career even more interesting by merging politics with music, and not being afraid to take a stand for what she believes in. Her support of President Joe Biden and strong condemnation of former president Donald Trump speak for themselves, and Lovato isn't going anywhere as people love her passion.

Former Disney star Cole Sprouse is still a teen heartthrob

Much like Hannah Montana, there was another show on the Disney Channel that really dominated for a while during the 2000s, and it featured two adorable twin boys. The Suite Life of Zack and Cody was huge for the network, and Dylan and Cole Sprouse's careers would never be the same after it. "It was the golden ticket," Sprouse told Variety in an interview. He and his brother were definitely pre-teen girl eye candy at the time, and that was just the start.

Still, after his time on the Disney Channel came to an end, both Sprouse brothers went to college and took some time off from acting. But when Cole got a call from his agent about a new show, everything change again, though he wasn't too excited about it at first. "I gave her my word that if I did book something, I'd see it through," the former Disney star continued. "I booked Riverdale, and it ended up tugging me back." Once again, Sprouse is a total heartthrob on television, but this time with a much older audience.

Former Disney star Brenda Song has transitioned to adult roles

Most anyone who watched the Disney Channel growing up would easily be able to recognize former Disney star Brenda Song. The actor who played Londton Tipton on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody was already a full-on teenager when she landed the show, but she still struggled trying to break out of the Disney mold after her time on the program was done. Still, she's definitely transformed over the years. As she told Teen Vogue, Song found herself "breaking into this adult world but still able to play my age and do things that I felt comfortable doing."

But since leaving the Disney Channel, Song has landed roles in made-for-TV movies, Netflix originals, and even a Hulu original series that really took off, Dollface. And with that, Song has truly blossomed. "It's taken me almost 10 years from Disney to really feel like I found a niche for myself," she continued. "At 31 I finally feel like I know what my strengths are, and I'm trying to steer into that." As an adult, playing adult roles, Song has found exactly where she's meant to be, and she's crushing it.

Former Disney star Bella Thorne has made quite the splash

Disney Channel's Shake It Up really launched the careers of two impressive former Disney stars, Zendaya (who's coming up, don't worry) and Bella Thorne. The show featured the two besties who land their dream job on a dance show, but off-screen, Thorne in particular was already growing into a powerful young woman. 

Eventually, Thorne would shed her Disney layers, and make a splash when she created a profile on the sex-positive website, OnlyFans. "Remove the stigma behind sex, sex work, and the negativity that surrounds the word SEX itself by bringing a mainstream face to it, that's what I was trying to do," Thorne wrote on Twitter after her OnlyFans account went viral, and not for a good reason: people accused Thorne of stealing money from actual sex workers on the site, something she acknowledged on social media. "I wanted to bring attention to the site, the more people on the site the more likely of a chance to normalize the stigmas," she continued.  In any case, Thorne has made it clear she's no longer that little girl on Disney Channel, and she's definitely changed a lot.

Former Disney star Zendaya is a total movie-star now

Much like her costar, Bella Thorne, Zendaya didn't take her time on Shake It Up lightly. The Disney Channel original series really helped the former Disney star see just how far she could go with acting, and since it ended, she's become a full-blown movie star.

In an interview with Variety, Zendaya explained how her career took off because of her time on the Disney Channel. "I had just been doing Disney Channel for so long. I started when I was 13 years old," she recalled. "By the time I was 17, I had a better understanding and focus of what I wanted." Specifically, Zendaya sought more roles behind the camera. "I wanted the title of a producer when I was younger because I wanted to learn what it was like to do all that stuff behind the scenes," she added. 

And she got what she wanted. Since Shake It Up, Zendaya has produced several television shows, and starred in films like Spiderman: Homecoming and Malcom & Marie. To say that Zendaya is a total A-lister now would be a massive understatement.

Former Disney star Nick Jonas has become a spokesperson for an important cause

Nick Jonas wasn't just a Disney Channel star. Thanks to his boy-band, The Jonas Brothers, he was also a radio Disney star. Basically, Jonas was the very definition of a teenage dream for just about anyone who watched Disney Channel while he was on it. And even after his time on Disney Channel came to an end, Jonas has managed to get married, continue his music career, and still remain a dreamy celeb.

Throughout his career, though, Jonas has also been outspoken about his battle with diabetes, and has tried to bring awareness to the disease. In an interview with Adweek, Jonas explained his reasoning for starring in a Super Bowl commercial for a new blood sugar test technology. "I try to be transparent because I feel like I've got a really special opportunity to be a recognizable face for both young people and older people who live with this disease and show that it is possible to live a normal life," he revealed. 

From becoming a husband, a bona-fide rockstar, and a voice for diabetes, Jonas is truly on top of the world.

Former Disney star Zac Efron has hosted his own show

Though he really only starred in the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical (and it's two sequels), Former Disney star Zac Efron did make some guest appearances on other shows on the network, such as The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. Efron was adorable during his time at Disney, but afterwards he really grew up and people noticed.

In fact, Efron got in some trouble when he was in his twenties for getting into a fight with a homeless man in Los Angeles, something he regrets but also admits had to do with his youth. "When you have success young, and you accept the good things, you have to accept all of it," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "You have to accept the moments of glory but also a great responsibility. And that responsibility, to some degree, involves being a role model." 

The pressure of younger people looking up to him was stressful, Efron admitted. "I'm a human being, and I've made a lot of mistakes," he added. Then in 2020, Efron hosted his own Netflix series, Down to Earth, making it clear that he's a man of many talents.

Former Disney star Vanessa Hudgens is now a Netflix Christmas star

Along with Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens was a huge Disney star who only appeared in the High School Musical films for the most part. Still, Hudgens was beloved by fans of the network, and she even launched a solo singing career shortly after finishing up her time on High School Musical. Remember Sneakernight, anyone? But music isn't the only talent Hudgens has, and as she's gotten older, she's become a staple on one streaming service.

Over the years, Hudgens has become a Netflix Christmas star, something she's come to love. "I was really excited by the idea of being a staple in people's homes for the holidays," Hudgens told Refinery29 in an interview. Though Hudgens' movies are a little cheesy, she's still proud of them. "If I can be a part of bringing families together at a time that can be difficult and allowing a little escapism or inspiration, I think that's wonderful and beautiful," she continued. Hey, Hudgens has become a Netflix queen, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Former Disney star Ashley Tisdale is a glowing mom

Whether you recognize Ashley Tisdale from her shining role in High School Musical as Sharpay Evans or her time on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody as brainiac Maddie Fitzpatrick, Tisdale was a staple on Disney Channel for many years. But since then she's done quite well for herself, too. Tisdale has had roles on Hellcats, Young & Hungry (which she also produced), and the Netflix original Merry Happy Whatever. But perhaps the biggest change Tisdale has gone through since her Disney days has been becoming a mother.

In an interview with People, the former Disney star explained that becoming a mother felt totally natural to her, and that she was so excited to be having a little girl. Additionally, Tisdale explained how important nontoxic living was to her, especially now that she's becoming a parent. "My choices in everything from the materials the baby wears to cribs to diapers is really on the nontoxic journey," Tisdale said. Despite all the ways Tisdale has changed since she was on Disney Channel, she has remained quite stunning.

Former Disney star Selena Gomez is now an aspiring chef

The Disney Channel original series Wizards of Waverly Place saw a young Selena Gomez master the art of wizardry and grow up all at the same time. The series was captivating for many reasons, one of which was Gomez herself. The former Disney star went on to appear in a few movies and other shows, and even produced the Netflix original 13 Reasons Why. But that's not all the ways she's transformed.

Not only has Gomez released more of her own music and reclaimed her voice with her songwriting, but she also landed her own original show on HBO Max. The series, Selena + Chef, followed Gomez as she tried to master the art of cooking up a storm. Gomez would video chat with all kinds of different chefs, and fans got to see her both nail and totally mess up plenty of recipes. The show was entertaining and charming, just like Gomez herself, and has only been the next, natural step in the upward climb of her career.

Former Disney star Skai Jackson has taken the dance world by storm

One of the most adorable actors to ever appear on Disney Channel is definitely Skai Jackson, who had a ton of roles on the Disney Channel. She made small guest appearances in everything from K.C. Undercover to Austin & Ally, and starred in the long-running series Jessie as well. What's interesting about Jackson is that she started her career on Disney super young, so it's pretty shocking to see how much she's grown up in just a short period of time.

Perhaps the most notable thing Jackson has done since leaving Disney and creating her own career has been her time on Dancing With The Stars, in which she performed quite well, though she got eliminated in a double-elimination just before the finals. In addition to her stunning performances on the reality dance series, the former Disney star has become quite popular on social media, where she often takes a stand for racial justice. Jackson also reportedly has quite a few more projects in the works, so she's not going anywhere anytime soon.

Former Disney star Kirsten Storms has come a long way in her on-screen career

If there was one iconic Disney Channel Original Movie from the late '90s and early 2000s that everyone was obsessed with it was Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, plus the sequels, Zenon: The Zequal and Zenon: Z3. Former Disney star Kirsten Storms starred in all the films, as well as a few other Disney Channel shows and movies like Kim Possible and That's So Raven.

Clearly, Storms got her start on Disney Channel, but since then she's come a long way. After she left the Disney Channel, Storms kind of became a soap opera star; she starred in Days of our Lives from 1999 to 2004 and then in General Hospital from 2005 to 2021. 

Storms has had an extremely long and successful career on daytime television, that's for sure, but she's also become a mother over the years, which according to her Instagram looks to be her biggest and best role yet. From Zenon to soap operas to motherhood, Storms has done it all.

Former Disney star Kimberly J. Brown was a Disney queen and knows it

Just like the Disney Channel aired plenty of Christmas and other holiday-themed movies, the network was also kind of known for its Halloween feature films. Specifically, the Halloweentown franchise on Disney Channel is kind of a cult classic still to this day. And the star of those films, Kimberly J. Brown, was like the queen of Disney Channel back in the day.

In an interview with Vulture, Brown explained that acting was in her DNA. "There's really no wonder as to why I took to acting so quickly when I was young. Any opportunity for me to become a different character, I was all over it," she revealed. 

Brown has definitely stuck to acting as her career. Though she's no longer as involved as she was during her Halloweentown days, she's still landed some impressive roles. More than that, though, it's clear that Brown loved her time on the Disney Channel, and for as much as she's grown and changed over the years, it will always be a part of her.