Coinciding with Disney Channel's 15th anniversary, Toon Disney launched on April 18, 1998 as a spinoff of Disney Channel. Originally, the channel's programming consisted of older Disney animated series, including those from The Disney Afternoon. It has also shown some other cartoons, most of them produced by DiC Entertainment, which was Disney owned at the time the network was launched. For the channel's first year on air, a block of programs seen on Toon Disney would air on Sunday evenings on Disney Channel as a "sneak preview" of the channel for interested subscribers.
In the 2000s, Toon Disney gained a variety of new programming expanding the vast collection of Disney animation. Many programs from One Saturday Morning/ABC Kids joined the lineup, mostly without the expense of other programs. In 2004 with the addition of Jetix, and the more animated programs from Disney Channel, many of the older programs on Toon Disney vanished, as it happens with other TV networks over the years.
Like most other Disney-owned cable channels, starting in 2008, Toon Disney began airing in High-Definition (the only ones which didn't were ESPN Classic & SOAPnet). Toon Disney, at launch, was commercial-free until April 1, 2002. This was when the network reached two years of "critical mass" in subscribers of over 15 million. Originally Toon Disney had progrmming from The Disney Afternoon and One Saturday Morning/ABC Kids.
Two months and five days shy of its eleventh year on air, Toon Disney ceased broadcast on February 13, 2009 and was replaced with Disney XD. The final program on the channel was The Incredible Hulk, as part of Jetix. The first program on Disney XD was Phineas and Ferb. Most of the programs now air on Disney XD.
Although the majority of the network's programming was animation, live-action programming had become a part of Toon Disney during its final years. Live children were featured in bumpers aired from 1998 to 2002, and fan-made animations done in live-action were aired in these bumpers. The Jetix block aired the show Power Rangers. Toon Disney has also aired Muppet movies, including Muppets from Space, one Muppet movie that Disney does not own.
During the network's existence, Toon Disney aired the Disney Channel Original Movies: Jett Jackson: The Movie, and Up, Up, and Away, both of which had minimal exposure on Disney Channel around their Toon Disney airtimes. The theatrical films Max Keeble's Big Move, Snow Dogs and Herbie: Fully Loaded also aired toward the network's closure. Toon Disney contained more than 10 short segments includes video/slideshow format. The short series Check This Kid Out aired randomly during the commercial breaks between July 7, 2008 and February 13, 2009. On September 7, 2008, one of Disney's only live-action short films Frankenweenie aired on Toon Disney. The Suite Life of Zack and Cody aired on the network in late 2008, but this was likely part of the transition to Disney XD as the announcement had already been made.
Toon Disney frequently aired groups of series in blocks; over the course of Toon Disney's broadcast history, it had several programming blocks that featured at least two of their shows.
- 12 Days Of Christmas (1998–2008): Aired around Christmas, showing Christmas-themed programming.
- Screaming Meanies (1998–2003): Aired around Halloween and showed Halloween-themed episodes of shows.
- Chillin' With The Villains (2000–2004): Two-hour marathon of a certain show presented on Sunday afternoons, focusing on a certain villain from the featured series.
- The Princess Power Hour (2000–2007): One-hour block featuring episodes of Aladdin and The Little Mermaid. The block ended up airing only on weekend afternoons, and was replaced by The Great Toon Weekend Getaway.
- Toons In The House (2000–2002): Four-hour weekday-afternoon block similar to The Disney Afternoon.
- Magical World Of Toons (2000–2003): Four-hour nightly block that aired from Sunday to Thursday, consisting of three-hour marathons of certain shows like 101 Dalmatians, TaleSpin, Timon & Pumbaa, Toon Disney Doodles, Bonkers, Goof Troop, Quack Pack, Darkwing Duck, and Aladdin. It was replaced by The Power Pack in 2003.
- Double Feature Movie Show (2001–2004): Featured back-to-back movies that aired every Friday and repeated on Saturday.
- Hangin' With The Heroes (2001–2004): Aired on weekends, later on weekdays,and featured Aladdin, Gargoyles, and Hercules: The Animated Series.
- @Toon (2001–2004): Before each first commercial break for most of the shows, the block featured some viewer submissions and game high scores from the official website.
- The New For You Show! (2003–2004): Featured new episodes of Lloyd in Space, House of Mouse, The Weekenders, Teamo Supremo, and Fillmore! every Friday and Saturday night.
- After Class Laughs And After Class Laugh Track (2004–2006): Two-hour block of "The Most Funny Shows" on Toon Disney, such as Lilo and Stitch: The Series, American Dragon: Jake Long, Disney's Recess, and Kim Possible. It was later replaced by Mega Jam.
- Weekday Bonus Stacks And Superstar Bonus Stacks (2004–2006): Three two-hour marathons of three different shows. Everyday there were three shows different from the previous day, though many of these programs were already airing in other time slots. In September 2005, it was renamed Superstar Bonus Stacks, this time airing seven different shows for an hour each and on a more regular schedule. It went back to Bonus Stacks that October before being replaced by Play it Again, Jam!
- The Big Movie Show (2004–2009): Daily showing of films, usually animated Disney films, but rarely movies produced by another studio. It was often the subject of theme weeks, which usually heralded in the initial Toon Disney broadcast of a given film.
- Jetix (2004–2009): Fourteen-hour block on weekdays and a seventeen hour block on weekends. It featured action shows, some of which were originally on Fox before Disney bought its children's shows. This block was what Fox Kids eventually became in 2004; during its first two years on ABC Family, it was called ABC Family Action Block. Originally the network's nightly block, it eventually took up more than half of the network's schedule.
- Play It Again Jam! (2006–2007): Replaced Bonus Stacks and featured three episodes of a given show in a row. Its name is a pun to the phrase, "Play it again, Sam!". It was replaced by Mega Jam.
- Super Stacked Weekdays (2007–2009): Consisted of a mini-marathon each weekday. On Friday, a show that wasn't aired often was broadcast. It started as Mega Movie Jam, later Mega Jam, then Toon Disney Treasure Cove, before its final renaming of Super Stacked Weekdays to coincide with Super Stacked Weekends.
- Super Stacks And Super Stacked Weekends (2007–2009): Three-hour weekend marathon of two random programs, one Saturday, and one Sunday.
- Toon Disney Wild Card Stack (2007–2009): Showed classic Disney cartoon series multiple times.
- The Great Toon Weekend Getaway (2007–2008): Five-hour weekend block featuring shows based on Disney movies, such as Aladdin, Timon and Pumbaa, The Little Mermaid, The Emperor's New School, and Lilo and Stitch: The Series.
- The Brother Hood (2008–2009): One-hour block which aired two times a day. It showed The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and Phineas and Ferb. The block still airs on Disney XD, but bumpers aren't used for it.
- Pumbaa Bowl (1999-2009): All-day marathon of Timon & Pumbaa that aired on Super Bowl Sunday each year.