Whatever Happened to the Disney Channel Games?
Whatever happened to the Disney Channel Games? In fact, does anyone even remember the Disney Channel Games?
If you grew up watching the Disney Channel in the mid- to late 2000s, chances are you may have once or twice stumbled upon the televised event, which was an athletic competition between Disney Channel stars. Held at Disney World's Wide World of Sports complex, the show aired between 2006 and 2008, and was hosted by The Suite Life of Zack & Cody's very own Brian Stepanek, who played the beloved janitor, Arwin. (Phil Lewis, who portrayed hotel manager Mr. Moseby on the show, co-hosted the 2006 and 2007 games.)
The contestants were divided into four teams: blue, green, red and yellow. Some of the content aired as a standalone special on the Disney Channel, while other mini-games aired as commercials in between Disney Channel's regular programming.
So, who participated in the Disney Channel Games?
Both Radio Disney musicians and Disney Channel actors competed. Artists such as Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, the Cheetah Girls, Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato were all participants at one point. Other contestants included the cast of hit shows and films including The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, High School Musical, Camp Rock and Hannah Montana, among others. A handful of international Disney Channel celebrities were also added to the roster.
Some of the most memorable moments took place when contestants would get too competitive. At one point, Vanessa Hudgens and Cyrus played an intense round of rock, paper, scissors, while Zac Efron totally conquered the dunk tank.
Unfortunately, the third Disney Channel Games special, which aired in 2008, would be the last.
In February 2009, a spokesperson for the network told that the Disney Channel would be focusing on a new initiative for the next year. The same year, Disney did release a similar event, Disney's Friends for Change Games, which focused on philanthropy—the first and last of its kind.
Thankfully, the Disney Channel Games will forever live on in nostalgic video footage, such as this recently unearthed cellphone footage of Lovato, Brenda Song, Kiely Williams and other Y2K Disney Channel icons getting ready for the event in the girls bathroom.