Where Are They Now: Disney Channel Original Movie Stars

Where Are They Now: Disney Channel Original Movie Stars

The early 2000s were one of the best times to be a kid! We rode Razor scooters, collected Beanie Babies and had the very first iPods. We also enjoyed some of the greatest TV Movies Disney has yet to produce.

1. Wish Upon a Star (1996)

After wishing on a shooting star Hayley Wheaton (Danielle Harris) switches places with her older sister, Alexia Wheaton (Katherine Heigl). They spend the next few days trying to sabotage the other's reputation but eventually grow to respect each other. 


Danielle Harris went on to voice Debbie Thornberry in The Wild Thornberrys (1998-2004) TV series. She now stars in many horror films including Halloween II (2009) and See No Evil 2 (2014). 

Katherine Heigl continues to have a very successful career. She is best known for her role on Grey's Anatomy (2005-2010) as Dr. Izzie Stevens. She will be starring in NBC's new show State of Affairs which is scheduled to air November 17, 2014. 

2. Brink! (1998)

Andy Brinker (Erik von Detten) and his team of "Soul-Skaters" skate for fun, the opposite of Team X-Bladz, a sponsored team in town. Brink discovers his family is in financial trouble and joins Team X-Bladz forcing him to live a double life.  


Erik von Detten was EVERY girl's crush in the early 2000s! Detten went on to star as Josh Bryant in The Princess Diaries (2001) and was the voice of Sid, Andy's evil neighbor in the Toy Story films. Detten hasn't starred in anything for some time but I know we would love to see this heartthrob make a comeback! 

3. Halloweentown (1998)

On Halloween, Marnie Piper (Kimberly J Brown) and her siblings discover their grandmother, Aggie, is a witch and that they have magic powers as well. Aggie needs their help to save Halloweentown from a dark and evil magic. 

Kimberly J. Brown went on to star in the next two Halloweentown movies, as well as the Disney Channel Original Movie, Quints (2000). Recently, Brown starred in the TV series, Low Winter Sun (2013) as Shana Taylor. Brown enjoys crafting and currently sells painted signs on Etsy which feature her favorite quotes and a personalized note on the back. 

4. Johnny Tsunami (1999)

Johnny Kapahala (Brandon Baker), a young hawaiian surfer who is forced to take his skills to the slopes when his family moves to Vermont.

In his youth, Brandon Baker starred in a number of Disney movies and television shows including The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story (1998), Even Stevens (2000-2003) and The Proud Family (2005). In April 2014, Baker starred in the raunchy comedy The Formula

5. The Thirteenth Year (1999)

Cody Griffin (Chez Starbuck), an adopted teen, learns his birth mother is a mermaid on his thirteenth birthday when he starts to grow fins. 

Starbuck went on to star in the movies, You're Invited to Mary-Kate and Ashley's School Dance (2000) and Recipe for Disaster (2003). Starbuck now lives in Austin, TX with his family, where he focuses on painting. His paintings are for sale online through the site Fine Art America under the name Caesaray Starbuck. 

6. Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century (1999)

Zenon Kar (Kirsten Storms) lives with her family in an orbiting space station, until she gets in trouble with the station's commander and is forced to live on Earth with her Aunt. 

Kirsten Storms went on to star in the next two Zenon sequels and voiced Bonnie Rockwaller in the Disney series Kim Possible (2002-2007). Away from Disney, Storms has had a strong presence on TV starring as Belle Black on Days of Our Lives (2000-2004) and as Maxie Jones on General Hospital (2005-2014)

7. Rip Girls (2000)

Sydney Miller (Camilla Belle) moves back to Hawaii with her father, where she discovers more about herself, her mother and the Island. 


Camilla Belle most recently starred in When a Stranger Calls (2006), 10,000 BC (2008) and a number of short films. Belle received a lot of media attention for her relationship with Joe Jonas and her feud with Taylor Swift. 

8. Life Size (2000)

Casey Stuart (Lindsay Lohan) brings her doll to life, when she tries to cast a spell to bring her mother back to life. 


Over the years, Lindsey Lohan has battled her fair share of demons but has managed to remain in a number of films including, Mean Girls (2004), Liz & Dick (2012), and InAPPropriate Comedy (2013). Lohan has also guest starred on many TV shows such as Eastbound & Down (2013) and 2 Broke Girls (2014). 

9. Model Behavior (2000)

Alex Burroughs (Maggie Lawson), a shy teenager meets a famous teenage model at her fathers business party. When the two girls realize they look similar, they switch places. 

Maggie Lawson has starred in the sitcoms Crumbs (2006), Rules of Engagement (2007), and It's All Relative (2003-2004). She is best known for her role as Detective Juliet O'Hara on Psych (2006-2014)

10. Phantom of the Megaplex (2000)

Pete Riley (Taylor Handley) is the manager of the local movie theatre. They are problems at the movie theatre like title changes and tornados. Pete must find the source of the problem while keeping the theatre running.

Tyler Handley continues to be an actor and producer. He starred in television shows like The OC (2003-2004), Southland (2009-2010) and Vegas (2012-2013). He has also starred in many films such as, Channeling (2013), Chasing Mavericks (2012) and is best known for his role as Dean in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006).

11. The Luck of the Irish (2001)

When Kyle Johnson (Ryan Merriman) has his lucky coin stolen, he learns about his family's history of being leprechauns. It is up to Kyle to track down the leprechauns that stole his family's luck.


Ryan Merriman also starred in another great Disney Channel Original Movie, Smart House (1999). Away from Disney, Merriman starred in the films The Ring Two (2005), Final Destination 3 (2006) and 42 (2013). He also played the role of Ian Thomas in Pretty Little Liars (2010-2014).

12. Motocrossed (2001)

Andrea 'Andi' Carson (Alana Austin) poses as her brother Andrew Carson (Trevor O'Brien) to win the big race when he breaks his leg. 

Trevor O'Brien went on to star in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004), Gridiron Gang (2006) and Grey's Anatomy (2012). He continues to act and produce.

Alana Austin starred in the film Popstar (2005) with Aaron Carter and in the series Cold Case (2005).

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13 Of London's Greatest Eats

What you should eat during your travels.

London's food scene is definitely up and coming. Although they have a reputation for awful food there are definitely a few places that rival food from back home in NYC.

1. Wagamama

I know this is a chain, but it's one of the places I'm probably the most excited to eat at. I know this is a huge favorite of Londoners so it's bound to be good.

2. Homeslice

I know that I will miss pizza while I am abroad and Homeslice is the most acclaimed pizza in London. I don't know that it will be comparable, but it's worth a shot.

3. Poppies

Poppies is one of the most highly rated fish and chips restaurants in London. As London's most notable cuisine better go big or go home and get a dish from a 5-star restaurant.

4. Grill My Cheese

Grilled cheese (or cheese toasties as they call it in England) are never bad, so how could you go wrong. Grill My Cheese does it right making creative sandwiches with well-sourced ingredients.

5. Fortnum & Mason

The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon at Fortnum & Mason is known as the best and most classic afternoon tea experience. Even the queen has gone to Fortnum & Mason.

6. Bao

Famous for its steamed buns and drinks, Bao's simple menu is filled with foods that are sure to be good. Everything is made in-house daily keeping everything fresh and delicious. Be warned, each location boasts a different menu, meaning you'll have to hit them all.

7. Patisserie Sainte-Anne

The owners of this cafe are straight from Paris, they brought their bakery to Lonon in 2014 after over a decade of success in France. Their £ 3.70 breakfast deal and £6.60 lunch deal is sure to leave you full and happy.

8. Smack Deli

Who doesn't love lobster? Smack deli has a menu of creative lobster rolls different from anything else in the city.

9. The Great Exhibition

Known for its £25 bottomless brunch, The Great Exhibition is a pub with real food. The brunch includes a meal, bottomless mimosas or bloody marys and unlimited toast with jam as well as tea and coffee.

10. Nandos

Another well known English favorite, Nandos is a name known around the world. This is a stop you should be sure to make during your trip.

11. Bob Bob Ricard

Famous for having a "Press for Champagne" button at every table, it is arguable that Bob Bob Ricard serves more champagne than any other restaurant in the city. They take bookings three months in advance, so this is probably not a spur of the moment kinda place.

12. Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings

Also known for its brunch, Bourne & Hollingsworth has unforgettable decor as well. It's an experience you're certain to remember.

13. Borough Market

Borough Market is probably the most iconic market in London, not to mention its filled with good eats. Check out the Prosecco Bar for drinks, they look delicious. The market is also filled with delicious pastries, jams, and fresh fruit.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Fanfiction Is Just As Important To The Writing Community As Novels And Stories

Why we need to stop being ashamed of what gets us to write.

Starting with a definition, fanfiction is when a fan of a particular popular media (books, shows, movies, more recently celebrities themselves, etc.) writes a story that writes a different version of the established canon. There are several sorts of receptions to the idea of fanfiction, and it is largely frowned upon in society, and as a writer, I want to tell people that this needs to stop. And here's why:

Fanfiction is just as important to the writing community as E-Journals or blogs are in a several ways. It provides a supporting structure and established world for a writer to practice character building, as well as provides for challenges in fitting into a world, fulfilling plot points, and establishing character dynamics. There is also a 'stress-free' environment for a writer to practice their craft by writing about something they really enjoy.

In creating this safe environment for a writer to practice, and challenge themselves in their craft, we are given practice with critical thinking, problem-solving, and more all within a provided structure. This helps to learn what an author is good at, what they need to work on, as well as emulate authors that they enjoy.

Another reason for this is that fanfiction is everywhere. We see it on TV show adaptions that vary from books, from book series like "The Shadowhunter Pages," and "Fifty Shades of Gray." Some of these even get fanfiction of their own, which adds to the cycle of creativity and brings more and more stories.

Yes, this will add to the argument that there are no original ideas in the world. However, all stories follow a basic arch, there are only so many stories to tell.

The difference is how we get from point A to point B, and what elements of craft get you there. Writing in any medium is important, and if starting with your fanfiction is how you get your name out there, then all the power to you, my friends. Because at the end of the day, you are writing for you, and people should be honored that you are sharing it, to begin with.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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