Disney holds a special place in our hearts. For many of us, Disney stars have been in our lives for as long as we’ve been watching TV. The shows might have changed but the stars we watched were always present in our lives in some way or another Not only do we recognize the fact that they’ve been around for as long as we can remember, but we also want to recognize the fact that they’ve grown up beside us.
In many cases these Disney stars started out on television around the same age that we started watching them. Over the years we’ve seen them grow from adorable kids, to awkward teens, to jaw dropping adults. Many of these folks we haven’t even thought about in the last couple years. Seeing them now, though, we can’t help but wonder when it’s our turn to glow up!
20 Vanessa Hudgens
The darling of the High School Musical series, Vanessa Hudgens has recently jumped back into the public eye thanks to some excellent performances in real, non-Disney movies. Her career is going strong, and we’re personally really pleased to see her back. Especially if this happens to be the new look that she’s rocking!
19 Peyton List
Going from awkward pre-teen to confident 20-something has given Peyton List a kind of glow. We’re not sure where it exactly came from, but we do know that she’s been slowly but steadily building a post-Disney career, just like those stars that came before her. It’s always hard to make the transition, but we believe Peyton List can do it.
18 Selena Gomez
Is it possible that she got more magical after starring on the Wizards of Waverly Place? Based on some of the more recent photos we’ve seen, yes. We believe that she did get more magical, as it’s only through magic that she could have gotten this stunning. Plus, we’re grateful she made the switch into music. Her pop beats are just too good.
17 Bella Thorne
Bella Thorne really is the belle of the grown up Disney stars. She took a similar approach that Miley Cyrus did, although Thorne decided to stick with acting rather than taking the musical approach, but we still think that she ended up doing well. She’s been having a lot of success, and her grown up persona might be part of the reason.
16 Demi Lovato
Despite Demi Lovato’s health rollercoaster she’s still around and bringing light into our lives. We personally really love the way that she stays open and honest about what’s going on with her, as it gives us hope. The only thing we could say is that we wish much more happiness for her. She totally deserves it.
15 Olivia Holt
Certain Disney stars seemed like superheroes when we were kids, but Olivia Holt actually turned into one after she left the Disney family. Cosmopolitan says that she ended up getting cast in a show called Cloak & Dagger, which has ties to the Marvel franchise. While we’re not sure which part she plays, we know that she’s absolutely stunning in it.
14 Dove Cameron
This sweet Disney star has recently been moving away from the Disney world, and things are going very well for her. Not only does she have quite a bit of acting success under her belt, but she also is running a super successful social media influencer business. We definitely support it; with this kind of prowess in front of a camera, she could certainly influence us!
13 Tiffany Thornton
Sonny With A Chance was one of the quintessential Disney shows we used to watch, and actress Tiffany Thornton was part of the reason that it was so special. Cosmopolitan tells us that, after the show wrapped, she’s slowly but surely stepped out of the spotlight. Which is maybe the most jaw dropping thing of all: the fact that not all Disney stars want to keep riding that stardom.
12 Zac Efron
One of the Disney guys who basically made High School Musical as good as it was, Zac Efron is a difficult guy to not fall for. Is that why they cast him in that Ted Bundy movie? We’re not sure, but we do think that him being given darker roles is a good sign that his career has finally shifted out of the Disney phase.
11 Aly Michalka
Here’s a Disney star who was a little more niche than Miley Cyrus or Hilary Duff. Aly Michalka was one of the co-stars on Phil of the Future, as Cosmopolitan reminds us. Her career really took off post-Disney as well, with her working alongside Emma Stone and starring in the show iZombie!
10 Debby Ryan
This bubbly redhead could easily play Emma Stone’s sister, in our opinion. Not only does she have that comedic timing down, but they’re just so similar. Debby Ryan’s career is still in the stage of launching out of that Disney space, and we’re excited for her to appear in more and more things.
9 Brenda Song
Anyone who watched The Suite Life of Zack and Cody will remember everyone’s best friend, London Tipton. Just kidding about the best friend part, even though the character tried her best. Song in real life is actually really lovely and sweet, and she definitely deserves all the work that’s been coming her way recently.
Just look at her! No one can deny that Zendaya is absolutely amazing. She’s honest on her social media and she likes to keep her style fun and fresh. She’s definitely grown up from that grinning, awkward kid she was when she first started on the Disney channel! Consider our jaws dropped.
7 Adrienne Bailon
Remember the Cheetah Girls? We certainly do. For many of our friends it’s impossible to forget that girl group. They were like a new Spice Girls, in a time when the world needed more Spice Girls. Adrienne Bailon was fairly young back then, but she’s definitely grown into an incredible person (and talk show host).
6 Raven Symone
She’s a little more incendiary than some of the other Disney stars, but then again, she’s always been outspoken. That’s So Raven was definitely one of the most outspoken shows we remember watching and loving. Not to mention the fact that her style has really morphed into something artistic and unique.
5 Rowan Blanchard
This proud woman is representing a younger, more outspoken generation, and we are here for it. Not only has she proven that we can all be articulate and intelligent no matter how young we are, but she’s also grown up to perfectly fulfill that quirky-but-mysterious niche. What’s not to love about Blanchard?
4 Shia LaBeouf
This guy is a character even when he’s not in front of a camera. Not only does he have a history of weird art projects under his belt now, but he’s also got a unique style. Full disclosure: we think it’s pretty attractive, even if we can’t imagine being with him. All in all, Shia LaBeouf is thoroughly jaw dropping.
3 Skai Jackson
With curls always on point, it’s no surprise that Skai Jackson has become such a brilliant and bright personality. Through vlogging and content creation Skai Jackson is giving her all to the world. She’s come a long way from her role on Jessie and her other Disney work. It’s very well-deserved, in our opinion.
2 The Sprouse Twins
Honestly, we just had to get them out of the way. Nobody is allowed to write a list about grown up Disney stars without including the twins who are arguably the most popular. Cole Sprouse has totally changed from his childhood form, dying his hair black for his role in Riverdale. Dylan Sprouse has just turned into a jaw dropping guy, regardless of his hair choices.
1 Miley Cyrus
In the same way that we couldn’t do this without the Sprouse twins, we also couldn’t talk about grown up Disney stars without talking about Miley Cyrus. She’s one of those artists who’s been so consistently working throughout her life that nearly everyone knows her name. And now? We’d say that she’s jaw dropping in many ways.
Sources: biography.com, cosmopolitan.com