Disney Channel has lost it’s magic


Holly McDonald, News Editor

Disney, the place where magic sparked. With hit shows and movies, Disney has been a common household name for decades. Kids would anxiously await the next episode release of their favorite show. But, is it the same today?

In its prime, Disney featured shows such as Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly place and movies such as High School Musical. It is a popular opinion that Disney Channel has gotten worse since those days. Is this because students have outgrown their days of Disney, or has the network’s programming gotten worse? Disney Channel has lost its magic.

Today, Disney is attempting to hit all ages with shows such as Andi Mack. With a story line that tackles the troubles of growing up, it is currently Disney’s biggest show with an average of just over one million views per episode. Although its a current Disney hit, the ratings just don’t compare to Disney ten years ago. 

When Hannah Montana premiered in 2006, it had 5.4 million views on the pilot episode which was the highest ratings in Disney history. Hannah Montana is a show about a teenage girl who is living a double life as a famous pop star and a normal teenage student. This show applied to all ages, whether it inspired little girls to become a singer or a place where high schoolers could relate to the plot. 

Disney Channel is also known for their cable movies. With hit movies such as Camp Rock, Lemonade Mouth, Teen Beach Movie, and High School Musical, Disney made its name in cable tv movies. Of the top seven most-watched cable movies in history, Disney holds six out of seven spots. Disney’s most-watched cable tv movie was High School Musical 2, which aired in 2007, with more than 17 million views. The #2 spot is held by Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, which had 13.5 million views. 

 When Descendants aired in 2015, it became Disney’s fifth most-watched cable tv movie with more than 12 million views. Since then, no Disney movie has ranked amongst the rest. Although Descendants is fairly recent, it has been four years since Disney has come out with an original movie. In 2018, the Disney movie, Zombies, only got 2.5 million views on its premiere. 

Disney Channel is losing subscribers in big amounts. In 2017, Disney lost 13 million subscribers across Disney owned channels such as Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, and Freeform. As cable tv viewers across the country drop their subscriptions and switch to streaming services, Disney is forced to keep up.

In hopes to regain their subscribers, Disney released its streaming service called Disney+. The streaming service has content from Disney including TV and movies. The launch of Disney+ was on November 12. Those who subscribe will pay $6.99 a month or $69.99 a year.  

Overall, Disney Channel has gotten worse over time. The loss of ratings has had a big impact on the channel, resulting in a loss of subscribers. Disney Channel is missing their “wow” factor that they used to have and is currently lacking the magic that allowed them to become so popular years ago. Disney today is not the same Disney many generations grew up with.