Disney Channel is Not Just for Kids

Disney Channel gets a bad rep that it is meant for little kids, but for me, Disney Channel is more than the shows, it is the feeling that the content they create makes me feel.


by Tess Jones, Social Media Editor

I sit in my 9th-period class, on the last day of the spring semester before finals, “What Time Is It” from “High School Musical 2” plays in my head. I get flashbacks to my fourth-grade class failed flashmob recreation of the dance from the movie. I think of how confident 10 year old Tess was, and I think about how Disney Channel Original Movies and shows affected Gen Z’er’s. Like most Gen Z’er’s my love for the shows and movies produced by Disney Channel was one that taught me great lessons while also bringing me great joy. 

When I was younger I loved watching “Wizards of Waverly Place” or having a movie night and bingeing all three “High School Musicals.” Yet my love for these shows slowly disappeared as I entered the older side of my grade school. 

When I was in grade school I suppressed my love of these shows and movies because I thought it would make me cooler if I liked “teen” shows like “Pretty Little Liars.” Coming to STA I learned that being a little weird is normal and that there is no need to hide it (no matter how cliché it sounds).  For me, it helped me realize that my love for Disney Channel, however childish it seemed, it, was something that I needed to fully accept. 

Over the summer I learned how to accept my love for Disney when I found friends who also love blaring Disney Channel Original movie soundtracks. We would acapella sing Nick Jonas’ “Introducing Me” from “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam” and then talk about how we loved how the director of “Camp Rock” and “Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam” always included the fourth Jonas brother Frankie. These friends who were obsessed with DCOM (Disney Channel Original Movie) soundtracks helped me to see that the music DCOM’s made was actually insanely good. Thus began my three-month span of only listening to DCOM’s and memorizing almost every word to every song in “Descendants,” “High School Musical (1,2&3),” “Camp Rock,” “Camp Rock 2: Final Jam” and “Teen Beach Movie 1 and 2.”

Listening to these songs brought me joy and when school came along and I didn’t want to be rolling up in the parking lot blaring “High School Musicals” “Gotta Go My Own Way, I started to fade away from obsessively listening to it. But my love and obsession have stuck with me this semester and in fact, has helped me get through some of the toughest times of the year. 

Whenever I am stressed about a test at school or even just need to distract myself from my stress I get in my car and turn on my DCOM’s playlist and drive for hours screaming the words to Austin Moon’s “On My Own” or “Did I Mention” from “Descendants.” Listening to these songs and watching the movies and shows, I am taken outside of my junior self and it’s like I am back in grade school Brookside hangouts where my only worry was if I would get asked to say who I liked in truth or dare and my crush was in the circle.  For me listening to Disney Channel music has become my coping mechanism for when everything is going wrong.

Being a junior in high school and still being obsessed with Disney Channel, (I’m not going to lie is a little weird), isn’t because I think the music is good (which it is) or the acting is Oscar-worthy. It is because it takes the stress out of the world, and reminds me of the care-free days of watching the shows live.