When the channel launched in 1998, most of the programs were shown previously on the syndicated Disney block, The Disney Afternoon (which aired from 1990 until 1997), cartoons that Disney would syndicate on Saturday mornings before acquiring ABC, and other shows were acquired from DiC Entertainment. In 2002, most of the shows were carried over from ABC's One Saturday Morning (as the block had ended at the time). This did not affect any other programs on the block. In 2004, the evening block, JETIX, was introduced, and aired action-oriented shows targeted to boys aged 9 to 11. The block effected many shows on the network and were cancelled in favor of JETIX shows. Outside the U.S., JETIX was its own channel. 2004 also removed most DiC programs on the channel, due to their license expiring.
In 2007, most of the shows not from JETIX or Disney Channel had been removed from the lineup. The only shows from The Disney Afternoon still airing were Talespin and Chip `n Dale: Rescue Rangers, the only syndicated Saturday morning programs still airing were The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Aladdin, and Timon and Pumbaa, and the only One Saturday Morning shows still airing were Recess, House of Mouse, and The Weekenders. By 2008, only the shows from One Saturday Morning were still airing, with the rest of the channel airing more JETIX shows, and by late 2008, Recess was the last show that was not a Disney Channel Original Series or JETIX program on the network. These shows would mainly air on weekends, early in the morning, or while the target audience would be in school.
In early 2009, Toon Disney ceased operations and was replaced with Disney XD, which had the same target audience as JETIX. Recess was one of the few non-JETIX shows to be carried over to Disney XD for a while. All international JETIX or Toon Disney stations have become Disney XD. Recess still airs in many international markets.
Recess began airing on Toon Disney in September 1, 2003, and remained on the channel all the way until its termination in 2009. When Recess first came onto the channel, Toon Disney aired a marathon of the show from 7:00 AM to 10:30 PM.
- Recess was one of the final shows airing on the network, and the most re-run. It was also the only show not from JETIX to air as part of Toon Disney's On Demand service towards the end of the network's airtime.
- Like Disney Channel, the first episode to air on the channel was "The Experiment/The Great Jungle Gym Standoff".