Disney Channel made 2016 a personal time machine for fans, re-airing (almost) every classic DCOM and finding new and exciting ways to make the past come alive again.
With the success of these nostalgic endeavors, it only makes sense for the network to continue them in the coming year. Disney’s already starting 2017 off with a bang via a marathon of show pilots on January 1, but there’s more work to be done. Here are 11 ways Disney can make the other 364 days of the year just as sentimental.
- Give us a Wizards of Waverly Place reunion, or at least a mega marathon
Selena Gomez’s magical show turns 10 in October, but from the looks of a cryptic tweet from showrunner Todd J. Greenwald, something exciting is brewing in the distance. A request: please don’t toy with our emotions. If a reunion is simply not possible due to scheduling conflicts or what have you, we’d settle for a mega marathon à la Hannah Montana.
- Revive the Disney Channel Games
From 2006 to 2008, our faves duked it out in various competitions, and 2007’s games featured stars from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior, and Cory in the House, as well as The Jonas Brothers, Corbin Bleu, and Miley Cyrus. Disney should either re-air the old-school games for posterity or create new ones with both past and present stars so the new generation of Disney Channel fans can experience the magic.
- Do something Jonas Brothers–related
OK, I know the JoBros broke up, and what’s done is done, but they’re still tight with each other these days. A reunion event could work. Though the Camp Rock DCOMs and their TV series aired after 2007, the trio guest-starred on Hannah Montana 10 years ago this August — and that was a major milestone for the JoBros and Disney that should be honored accordingly.
- Incorporate Cory in the House characters into the That’s So Raven spin-off series
Though the Raven spin-off doesn’t currently have a premiere date, it’s possible we could see it sometime in 2017. That would be perfect timing for some Cory characters, who reside in the same world, to make some cameos. Basically, I want to see Madison Pettis, a.k.a. “America’s Angel,” hanging out with Cory and Victor Baxter again. It could be a two-in-one reunion!
- Complete the Johnny Tsunami trilogy
We got a taste of more Tsunami this summer with star Brandon Baker’s mini–web series “Johnny on the Job,” but we didn’t get to see him reunite with co-star Jake T. Austin. Johnny Kapahala: Back on Board first aired in June 2006, and a decade is a long enough wait before another adventure with the extreme sports duo. (And while you’re at it, Disney, please complete the Horse Sense/Jumping Ship trilogy, too, which all three Lawrence brothers told MTV News they want to complete.)
- Address a formal apology to everyone for changing the animation style in the middle of American Dragon: Jake Long
Behind the scenes of this series, which premiered in 2007, the animation style changed halfway through its run, and no one was happy with it. It’s not entirely clear why it occurred, though rumors persist of money issues and different opinions about art style. Side note: The Season 2 theme song was sung by The Jonas Brothers (which is fine) but Season 1 was sung by Mavin, which featured Twitty from Even Stevens.
- Release the unaired pilot of the Suite Life of Zack and Cody spin-off, Arwin!
Clips from the show, which aired its pilot a decade ago and which was also known as Housebroken, have surfaced on YouTube, but Disney has never released any high-quality footage. It stars bb Selena Gomez and Brian Stepanek (Arwin) getting into shenanigans, which basically sums up 2007, right?
- Reunite the entire High School Musical 2 cast
Disney did an A-plus job on the big High School Musical 10th anniversary reunion, except that someone wasn’t in attendance. Since HSM2 turns 10 in August (and is the most-watched DCOM premiere of all time, with 17.2 million viewers), reuniting all six main Wildcats seems like a no-brainer. Let’s even step it up this year by including other Wildcats, such as Ms. Darbus (Alyson Reed) and Coach Bolton (Bart Johnson). Keep your head in the game this time, Zac.
- Make Phil of the Future available on the Disney app
For free, if possible, like Disney did with The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. All other Disney live-action shows are on some kind of streaming service, so why no love for Phil Diffy? (While the show ended in 2006, it still ran in syndication in 2007, so it counts here.) Oh, and while we’re at it, Disney could release the unaired pilot of the show — and give us a more satisfying series finale. We need closure.
- Bring classic Disney Channel games back to the website
Games like “Cory’s Money Maze” and “Zack & Cody’s Tipton Trouble” can still be played online, but I’d rather not have to go to sketchy sites to relive my childhood. It’d be much easier to just play all the games on one hub — and this time around, I wouldn’t need to ask my parents’ permission before going online.
- Air the finales of all Disney shows on December 31
Given the marathon of Disney pilots scheduled for January 1, it only seems appropriate to close out the year with a nostalgia overload. It’ll be good to ugly cry all over again as each show’s characters sign off for the last time.