In the spring of 1988, NBC decided to renew its association with the company after it cut ties to the anthology series eight years earlier; the network brought the series, now named The Magical World of Disney, to serve as the lead-in of its Sunday lineup in September 1988. As the program had done during its last season as The Disney Sunday MovieThe Magical World of Disney ran for one hour, airing at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time; Michael Eisner also returned as its presenter.

After two seasons experiencing the same lackluster ratings as it had accrued during the tail end of its initial NBC run and its subsequent runs on CBS and ABC, Disney elected to move The Magical World of Disney off of broadcast television and began airing the anthology on The Disney Channel – in the same timeslot it had been airing for the past decade – starting in September 1990, expanding back to a two-hour format. Since The Disney Channel operated as a premium channelat the time, films presented on the series were usually presented without commercial interruption. The Magical World of Disney originally aired on the cable channel as a weekly Sunday-only program for its first 5½ years; however in September 1996, as part of the first phase of a programming revamp that culminated in its formal conversion into a commercial-free basic cable channel in April 1997, The Disney Channel expanded the Magical World brand to encompass its Monday through Saturday prime-time film block, maintaining its 7:00 p.m. Eastern time slot.