Disney stars often grow up in front of a worldwide audience. They become well-known entertainers and start experiencing fame from a young age. Many stars become associated with the wholesome Disney image. They become major celebrities to a certain age group but eventually would like to gain wider recognition. Some have greatly struggled with breaking free from that clean-cut image. Transitioning from a Disney star to a grownup entertainer can be very difficult. A few can make the transition with relative ease and gain that wider recognition. Many Disney stars seem to struggle with fame as adults and tend to display self-destructive behavior. Their careers are negatively impacted and many become difficult to work with. Numerous Disney stars have gone on to become some of the most famous actors, actresses, and musicians. Other Disney stars become infamously known for their partying lifestyle, wild antics, and out-of-control behavior.
Many Disney stars have become spectacular trainwrecks while some have turned out great. There are a few that seemed like they were en route to becoming another fallen Disney star. However, they managed to work through their issues and eventually turned out great. Of course, there are several that ended up becoming yet another Disney star stirring up controversy. Some celebs just can’t avoid trouble. Here is a look at 8 Disney Trainwrecks and 7 That Turned Out Great.
15 Mischa Barton (Trainwreck)
Mischa Barton started her career as a child star performing in several stage plays. She later landed the starring role in the Disney TV movie A Ring of Endless Light. However, she is best known for her portrayal of Marissa Cooper in the immensely popular teen drama The O.C. She quickly became a major teen star and shot to fame. However, she soon imploded and faced many personal demons. In 2007, She was arrested and charged with a DUI. She took full responsibility for the incident and her actions. In 2009, she was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric ward. She claimed it was because she got into a fight with a nurse after refusing a needle. In 2017, she was found screaming in her backyard and had her mental health evaluated. She later said that her time in Cedars-Sinai was because of her hectic work schedule.
14 Vanessa Hudgens (Turned Out Great)
Vanessa Hudgens became a household name after her starring role as Gabriella Montez in the High School Musical series. She successfully transitioned from a popular child star to a major Hollywood actress and singer. As a singer, she released the albums V and Identified. She later debuted a more mature image with the controversial and risqué film Spring Breakers. She’s had a fairly squeaky clean image but has been able to develop a more mature persona. However, she did face a difficult situation at one time. In 2007, Vanessa’s private pics were leaked online. In some of the pics, she was wearing lingerie and in others, she was completely nude. However, she was able to get through that period of her life. She was also involved in a relationship with Zac Efron. She continues to keep busy and has found a great deal of success in Broadway musicals. Additionally, She starred in the short-lived sitcom Powerless.
13 Dutch Whitlock (Trainwreck)
Dutch Whitlock is best known for uttering the line, “I play the cello.” From there, his career should have skyrocketed but ended in a spectacular trainwreck instead. He’s best known for his minor but memorable role in the Disney TV movie High School Musical. However, unlike a majority of the cast, his career never took off. He essentially quit acting in 2007 and resumed a more ordinary life. Well, that was until he decided to rob a pizza restaurant. The most perplexing part of the robbery is that he robbed the very restaurant he once worked at. In fact, his co-workers easily recognized him and were in complete shock over the incident. His co-worker said, “We talked on a friendly level, like everything was like pretty good and all of the sudden, something like this happens. He worked hard and stuff, and then just all of the sudden like what.” There are certainly multiple trains involved in this wreck.
12 Matt Prokop (Trainwreck)
At one time, Matt Prokop was a star on the rise and was dating one of the most beautiful actresses in Hollywood. Like many trainwrecks, it all came to an explosive end. Matt Prokop is best known for his role as Jimmie “The Rocket Man” Zara in Disney’s High School Musical 3: Senior Year. However, he’s also known for his volatile relationship with actress Sarah Hyland. They started dating after meeting on the set of Disney’s Geek Charming. They dated for roughly four years but it ended badly. Matt was both physically and verbally abusive while dating Sarah. She was forced to get a restraining order against him after he threatened to burn down one of her homes and harm her dog. That didn’t stop Matt as he continued to send her upsetting text messages and phone calls. That was one trainwreck that just couldn’t be avoided.
11 Zac Efron (Turned Out Great)
Some Disney stars have a quick rise to the top and an even faster fall back to the bottom. Some are able to pick themselves up and eventually turn out great. Zac Efron is one of the Disney stars that had to make a rebound. Efron first rose to prominence with his role as Troy Bolton in Disney’s High School Musical. He went on to star in 17 Again, Neighbors, and Baywatch. He was involved in a highly publicized relationship with his High School Musical co-star Vanessa Hudgens. He struggled with several personal issues including substance abuse and alcoholism. He even served a stint in rehab. It seemed that he was on his way to being another Disney trainwreck. However, he’s been able to get his life back on track with relative ease. He’s quickly becoming one of the most in-demand celebrities. He stars in the upcoming films The Disaster Artist and The Greatest Showman.
10 Jake T. Austin (Trainwreck)
From time to time, Jake T. Austin has found himself in some hot water. He’s on his way to being a trainwreck but might just be able to avoid it. Austin gained fame for his portrayal of Max Russo in Disney's series Wizards of Waverley Place. Additionally, he played Jesus Foster in the ABC series The Fosters. However, he’s run into some trouble outside of his TV career. In 2013, at the age of 18, he was arrested and charged with driving under the influence. He failed a sobriety test but that was just the beginning of his problems. It was reported that the same vehicle he was arrested in was also involved with a hit-and-run with four cars earlier that morning. He’s attempting to work things out and might turn out great in the end. He was recently a contestant on the reality competition series Dancing with the Stars.
9 Selena Gomez (Turned Out Great)
Selena Gomez is best known for her role as Alex Russo in Disney's Wizards of Waverly Place. She went on to successfully transition from a kids star to a more mature celebrity. She established that more edgy and mature image with her role in the risqué film Spring Breakers. She’s also found success as a singer and released the albums Stars Dance and Revival. As she gained fame, she had some personal issues that came to the forefront. In 2013, she cancelled her Stars Dance Tour and entered a treatment center. In 2016, she cancelled her Revival Tour to deal with her mental health. She struggled with anxiety and depression. However, she’s been able to deal with her struggles and has since bounced back. She’s the executive producer for the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and continues to make music. She did date Justin Bieber, but she’s been forgiven for that.
8 Miley Cyrus (Trainwreck)
Miley Cyrus is known for her provocative and risqué image. She’s infamously known for her love of twerking, cannabis, and creating controversy. However, that’s not how it started for Miley. In fact, Miley was once a beloved child star and teen idol. She gained wide recognition for her role in Disney’s Hannah Montana and released several albums under the Hannah name. However, over time, she shed the squeaky clean image and adopted a more mature look. She evolved into the wild Miley we know today with the album Bangerz. Specifically, she had everyone buzzing with her hit single “Wrecking Ball.” She made headlines with her adult-rated performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards where she danced seductively with Robin Thicke. Additionally, she’s known for her intense partying lifestyle and wild personality. She might be a trainwreck but she’s clearly one fun trainwreck.
7 Demi Lovato (Turned Out Great)
Demi Lovato wisely avoided becoming a trainwreck and has turned out pretty great. Demi first gained attention for her role in the Disney TV movie Camp Rock and its sequel, Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam. She’s released several successful albums, including Don’t Forget, Here We Go Again, and Demi. She later starred in the Disney series Sonny with a Chance. However, the series was cut short due to Demi dealing with personal issues. She’s openly discussed her struggles with depression, bulimia, and self-harm as well has her bipolar disorder. She entered into a treatment facility to deal with substance abuse after punching a backup dancer. However, she’s managed to deal with her issues and has become an inspiration to others. She’s been praised for her work as a mentor with those also dealing with mental health issues.
6 Britney Spears (Trainwreck)
In the late ‘90s, Britney Spears became an international phenomenon and teen idol. She had everyone dancing and falling in love with her. She became the Princess of Pop and one of the best-selling artists of all time. However, she soon started to struggle in her personal life, and her behavior became highly erratic. She shocked everyone when she cut her gorgeous hair and shaved her head bald. She gained attention for her intense relationship with Kevin Federline. She displayed questionable parenting skills, such as the time she held her infant son on her lap and drove with one hand on the wheel. She admitted to her mistake and said that it was because she was scared off by the paparazzi. She later had several stints in rehab and was committed to a psychiatric ward. She’s dealt with several obstacles and personal struggles throughout her career but has always managed to bounce back.
5 Keri Russell (Turned Out Great)
Several cast members of The Mickey Mouse Club went on to gain enormous success and others struggled with fame. Keri Russell transitioned easily from teen star to a major celebrity. She had her first taste of fame as a cast member of Disney’s The Mickey Mouse Club. She’s gone on to have a very successful career with next to no controversy at all. She gained wide fame for her starring role in Felicity. The most controversial thing she did was changing her unique haircut in-between seasons. Some do credit that with Felicity’s falling ratings. She’s starred in several films, such as Mission Impossible III and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. She received universal praise for her role in the film Waitress. She continues to find great success in her career. She currently stars as Russian spy Elizabeth Jennings in the critically acclaimed series The Americans.
4 Lindsay Lohan (Trainwreck)
Lindsay Lohan went from being a child star to one of the hottest and most famous celebs in the world. However, as an adult, she struggled to deal with personal issues and fame. Lindsay was universally praised for her performances in the Disney films The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday. She had her big breakthrough with her role in the critically and commercially acclaimed film Mean Girls. In 2007, Lindsay started to find herself at the center of controversy and became known for her wild partying lifestyle. She struggled with substance abuse and was arrested for driving under the influence. She’s had several stints in rehab to deal with her addiction. She also became difficult to deal with on set and began to show up late on numerous occasions. During the filming of Georgia Rule, a studio executive called her “irresponsible and unprofessional” in a letter.
3 Hilary Duff (Turned Out Great)
Hilary Duff is one of the few Disney stars that has been lucky enough to avoid any major scandals. She has been praised for her smooth transition from Disney star to major celebrity. Duff gained wide recognition for her starring role in the Disney series Lizzie McGuire. She later transitioned to a music career and released the albums Metamorphosis, Hilary Duff, and Dignity. She’s been able to maintain a wholesome image while still developing a mature presence. She’s noted that she doesn’t want to alienate her young fanbase. Her relationships with Aaron Carter and Mike Comrie received significant media attention. In particular, she found herself in a highly publicized love triangle with Carter and Lindsay Lohan. Regardless, Hilary has rarely stirred up any controversy. Several critics have noted the positive evolution of Duff. One Critic said, “(Duff) has managed to maintain her sweet persona.”
2 Shia LaBeouf (Trainwreck)
At one time, Shia LaBeouf was on his way to becoming one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Instead, he’s become one of Disney’s most notorious trainwrecks. Shia first became known for his role as Louis Stevens in the Disney series Even Stevens. He gained wider recognition with his role in the Transformers franchise. Additionally, he starred in numerous memorable films, such as Disturbia, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Nymphomaniac. He’s been praised for several of his performances but that has been overshadowed by his wild antics and erratic behavior. He was arrested for threatening his neighbor with a kitchen knife and has had several physical altercations that landed him in hot water. He’s struggled with alcoholism and has been arrested for public intoxication. Recently, he was arrested for being drunk in public and created controversy for making several racial remarks towards the officers, for which he later apologized.
1 Justin Timberlake (Turned Out Great)
Grammy Award-winner Justin Timberlake went from being a Disney child star to a beloved singer and actor. In the early ‘90s, Justin was a member of The New Mickey Mouse Club cast along with several other future stars. Later, he gained worldwide fame as a member of the boy band N'Sync. They released numerous chart-topping albums. However, Justin was able to break away from his teen idol success to a more mature image. He released several universally praised albums, such as Justified, FutureSex/LoveSounds, and The 20/20 Experience. He’s also had a successful movie career and appeared in Alpha Dog and The Social Network. Additionally, he’s had quite the dating life and has dated Britney Spears and Cameron Diaz. In 2007, Justin married the incredibly beautiful Jessica Biel and started a family. Things have clearly worked out great for this former Disney star.