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13 Reasons The 2000s Were Peak Disney Channel

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    In my mind, there is no denying it — the 2000s were the halcyon days of the Disney Channel. As a kid — especially one with younger siblings — it was always on at our house. The Jonas Brothers were the it-band, Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana were the same girl, and High School Musical's Troy and Gabriella were the ultimate couple to ship. A lot of those ‘00s Disney stars are still super famous today — Demi Lovato, Zac Efron, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, and Nick Jonas, to name a few.

    Now, obviously, I’m not sitting around watching Disney as much as I did as a child (I wish). But even if I did, there simply isn’t as much hype around modern-day Disney. In the golden age of the 2000s, every Disney Channel star had a show and an album. Does anyone not know what Lizzie McGuire is? Final bonus: They were all best friends, so the fandoms were endlessly interconnected.

    Ahead, 13 shows, Disney Channel Original movies, and miscellaneous moments that made the 2000s an unforgettable era of the Disney Channel.

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    High School Musical (2006)

    Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Hudgens) and Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) make their way through high-school drama, relationship drama, and actual onstage drama over the course of three movies, two of which were Disney Channel Original movies.

    Guilty secret: I didn’t like High School Musical when it came out — I was lying to myself. There is no denying that these movies are low-key great, and some of the the best Disney Channel Originals ever. Even 10 years later, they make me laugh, cry, and deal with major waves of nostalgia. Plus, they gave us Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, the most iconic Disney couple since Britney and Justin.

    Once a wildcat, always a wildcat.

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    Camp Rock (2008)

    The Jonas Brothers play a boy band whose lead singer, Shane Gray (Joe Jonas), is being sent off to camp to reel in his diva tendencies. There, he meets Mitchie Torres (Demi Lovato), and is fascinated by her incredible voice. The rest is (drama-filled) history.

    As a huge Jonas Brothers fan, this was truly a peak moment. Plus, it thrust Demi Lovato into the spotlight, a major step up from As The Bell Rings (remember that?).

    Was the acting Oscar-worthy? No. Was the plot predictable? Totally. Was it still great? 100%.

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    Hannah Montana (2006-2011)

    Where do I even begin? Hannah Montana was truly incredible. Miley Cryus (Hannah Montana) is living life as a normal girl, Miley Stewart, but secretly moonlights as a pop star with a little help from a transformative wig.

    From the 98 episodes to the tours, the merch, and the guest stars, it truly was a phenomenon. And if you go back and watch episodes now, it’s almost guaranteed to still crack you up. Oh, sweet niblets. (Bonus reference: Remember the cheese jerky song?)

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    Sonny With A Chance (2009-2011)

    Sonny Munroe (Demi Lovato) joins live comedy show So Random!, and the show skips between her on-screen work and her behind-the-scenes life, including some flirty drama with fellow actor Chad Dylan Cooper (Sterling Knight).

    This was a short-lived wonder, but Demi Lovato was a true star in it. It’s no wonder she’s still such a force today. Plus, I totally had a crush on Chad Dylan Cooper (who you might recognize from 17 Again).

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    Wizards Of Waverly Place (2007-2012)

    Alex Russo (Selena Gomez) and her siblings Justin (David Henrie) and Max (Jake T. Austin) are teen wizards whose family also runs a deli in New York. Enough said.

    This show was genuinely funny, involved teen wizards (an instant winner with any child of the Harry Potter era), and brought Selena Gomez onto our screens. I still think of it every time I pass Waverly Place in New York.