For more than 30 years, the Disney Channel has been broadcasting programming the whole family can enjoy. They’ve got a mixture of animated and live action series and movies. The network airs sitcoms as well as dramas, and loves genre shows as much as it loves coming of age stories.
When checking out the dozens of Disney Channel series on the Internet Movie Database, there’s a wide range of ratings. Some of the most popular series to ever air on the network, like Hannah Montana, don’t make it into the list of its best shows! What we do find is that families and critics alike seem to love the Disney Channel’s animation even more than their live action.
For the purpose of seeing just what is the best of Disney, this list examines only content created originally for the Disney Channel, and only fictional content. So fans won’t find any of their documentary style series, like Bug Juice, on the list. All of the top 10 rank at a 7.5 stars out of 10 or higher.
10 Flash Forward (7.5)
It’s fitting that Flash Forward leads off the top 10 rated Disney Channel series. The series was the very first one developed for the Disney Channel. Prior to Flash Forward’s debut on the network, all of the series previously aired on other networks or came from other studios.
The series followed Becca and Tucker on their journey through middle school. Becca and Tucker, friends since birth, found themselves learning about growing up, but never growing apart. The two friends dealt with emerging hormones and getting themselves out of trouble on a regular basis.
9 Milo Murphy’s Law (7.6)
Technically, Milo Murphy’s Law made its television debut on Disney XD. Though developed for the Disney Channel, the animated series proved to be a good fit for the other network, one that focused on action and adventure. It made its Disney Channel debut a few years after its Disney XD debut.
The series is set in the same universe as popular animated series Phineas & Ferb, but it follows a whole new character. The title character is the descendent of the namesake of Murphy’s Law - anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Featuring time travel agents, aliens, and a whole lot of comedy, it’s definitely a fan favorite show.
8 Even Stevens (7.6)
A more classic Disney Channel series, Even Stevens aired on the network before the channel focused on pop stars and magic to sell its sitcoms. The series focused on the Stevens family as they just tried to make it through a normal life.
Maintaining a normal life was difficult when the youngest child in the family, Louis Stevens, was a magnet for trouble. His perfection obsessed older sister Ren frequently butted heads with him, providing much of the comedy for the show.
The special episode Influenza remains one of the most creative musical hours for the network.
7 Amphibia (7.9)
The newest of the Disney Channel original series to land amongst the top ten, Amphibia is an animated series starring the voice talent of Brenda Song.
Song voices a teenage girl who finds herself stuck in a whole new world. After her friend convinces her to steal and open a magical music box, Anne finds herself in Amphibia. In this new world, people look like frogs and small animals appear oversized - like giant insects. Though the residents initially thought of Anne as a monster, she saved the small town she landed in, and began helping them with problems while settling in with a local family.
Disney must have anticipated how much the audience would enjoy the series; the network renewed the series for season two before season one even aired.
6 Phineas & Ferb (7.9)
Like many of the animated series that land in the top ten, Phineas & Ferb was developed for Disney Channel, but has made its way to other networks for the studio. The series also spun off into movies and specials for the network.
It began with a simple premise: how brothers Phineas and Ferb spent their summer. Without school to occupy their time, the duo built roller coasters, traveled the world, and had a series of adventures. They did it with the help of their friends and in spite of their big sister, who wanted to “bust them.”
For fans who haven’t had enough of them, they’re making a return with a movie for Disney+ as well.
5 Star Vs. The Forces Of Evil (8.1)
Star Vs. The Forces Of Evil got its start on the Disney Channel before moving to Disney XD, then back to the Disney Channel. It’s only the third Disney Television Animation property created by a woman - Daron Nefcy. After years of developing and pitching the series to other outlets, like Cartoon Network, Nefcy finally got the go ahead from Disney, and had a hit on her hands.
The series saw the title character Star travel to Earth from another dimension. She was royalty, and magical, but she had a lot to learn. Earth was supposed to be a place where she could learn to use her power properly. There, she lived with a human family and fought plenty of battles that forced her to learn more about her magic very quickly.
4 DuckTales (8.2)
No, this isn’t the 1987 series of the same name. Instead, this is the 2017 version. Like nearly all of the animated series here, DuckTales aired on both the Disney Channel and Disney XD when it began. It’s been renewed for a third season.
The series follows the adventures of Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Donald Duck’s nephews, they spend time with their great uncle Scrooge McDuck. Spending time with the ducklings makes Scrooge realize how much adventure he’s been missing out on while he sits at home with all of his money. The family battles villains and investigate the disappearance of Della Duck, the ducklings’ mother and Scrooge’s niece.
3 In A Heartbeat (8.2)
One of the few dramas to air on the Disney Channel, In A Heartbeat took a page from real life. It followed a group of teenagers who volunteered as paramedics - mostly by choice, but some by community service.
The series featured Lauren Collins before she became famous for Degrassi: The Next Generation, Reagan Pasternak before she worked on just about every TV series filmed in Canada, and Shawn Ashmore before he became an X-Man. In A Heartbeat balanced high school drama with the high stakes of emergency calls as the teens all had to work together to perform life saving acts - even when they might not have liked one another.
2 So Weird (8.5)
Also making it into the top three shows is another Disney Channel drama. So Weird, however, was more than just a drama; it was also one of the first genre shows for the network. It combined fantasy and sci-fi elements into a series about a family on the road for a concert tour.
Main character Fi was fascinated by the paranormal, but her mother, a musician, just wanted her to live a normal life instead of obsessing about things like BigFoot. When Fi left the series after season two, the final season featured family friend Annie on the road, investigating the paranormal in her own way. Music and the paranormal was a winning combination for the network.
1 Gravity Falls (8.9)
Clearly, Disney Channel fans love a strange mystery. The top rated show for the network, like So Weird, involved kids investigating strange happenings. This time around, however, the series was animated, and the kids were a pair of siblings staying with their great uncle.
Dipper and Mabel stayed with their uncle in Gravity Falls, helping him run a tourist attraction called the Mystery Shack. While they did their fair share of investigating the mysteries around town. The series was so popular it got a graphic novel to continue the adventures of the characters two years after it went off the air.