Fans of Disney Channel‘s Jessie will see some familiar faces on the new show “Bunk’d” that premieres Friday, July 31st. Emma, Ravi, and Zuri Ross have all left their New York penthouse for a summer at Maine’s rustic Camp Kikiwaka.
Where is Camp Kikiwaka?
Disney Channel’s Bunk’d
Is Camp Kikiwaka real?
We sat down in the “mess hall“ (Camp Kikiwaka in real life is a production set on a block at the network’s studio in California) as the young cast of Bunk’d joined us to talk about their roles on the TV show.
For Skai Jackson (Zuri), Karan Barr (Ravi) and Peyton List (Emma), they are simply bringing their already loved Jesse characters onto the new show. Zuri, Ravi and Emma are settling into their new home away from home at Camp Kikiwaka and making new friends.
Skai told us she is enjoying the role as she transitions Zuri from their old penthouse into this bunkhouse with other Camp Kikiwaka Disney campers.
It’s a different scene for each of the Ross children with no butler or nanny around, but it’s been a fun new experience being part of the Disney Bunk’d cast.
Peyton List was filled with excitement as she talked about how much fun they have been having on the set of Disney Channel’s Bunk’d. Only 5 episodes in when we visited, she said that they already feel like they have all known each other forever.
In fact, she and Miranda May (Lou) have really clicked on the Disney Camp Kikiwaka set. Even though they really didn’t think they would get along initially, they have become great friends.
During their school hours, the Bunk’d actresses often get distracted together, help one another with schoolwork, and even get in trouble by the teacher together. Off set, they hang out and have sleepovers at least once a week.
They even celebrate the same birthday which makes it even more fun for the two of them!
But, they really are completely different people on the set. Peyton was excited to continue playing Emma but mentions that she’s not exactly the same character on Bunk’d.
She has actually been humbled since she arrive at Camp Kikiwaka and Peyton is thrilled to see this new side of Emma. Lou (Miranda May) has helped to humble her and keep her grounded in her new environment.
Now, Miranda is a country girl at heart. Growing up in Ohio as the youngest of four, she loves being able to bring some of her real life experience to the Bunk’d episodes.
She even has a prize steer at home that carries over into the Disney Channel show.
Some of the other cast of Bunk’d doesn’t think they are much like their on-screen characters. For example, Skai says that whereas Zuri loves bright colors, she doesn’t really care for them as much.
But, where they are very similar is in their sassiness. She says that is the main thing she and Zuri have in common. Nathan Arenas (Jorge) claims to be nothing like his character on Bunk’d.
Nathan prefers to read books and draw whereas Jorge likes to go to the lake and jump. Jorge is pretty messy but Nathan likes to have everything clean and in order.
And Nina Lu says her character, Tiffany, is simply an exaggerated version of herself.
One fun question we asked each of the young Disney Bunk’d actors was whether or not they had actually been to camp before. It seems their answers were pretty well divided.
Skai, Nathan and Peyton had never been to camp. Whereas the girls said they would like to one day, Nathan was honest in saying he would probably miss everyone too much (AWE!).
For now, they will have to be happy with their fictional camp – Camp Kikiwaka – on a set in Burbank, California.
Nina has actually been to a few different camps, but most were Science based. She mentioned that it was a little different experience than your basic summer camp.
She is actually looking forward to attending a summer camp now that she has been acting in Bunk’d.
Miranda had only been to day camps and never had the real overnight Bunk’d camp experience.
Karan went to camp for 3 days and fell in love with it. Although it was freezing cold in his home state of Seattle at the time, he had the best experience while away at camp.
His fellow Bunk’d star, Kevin Quinn (Xander) went to camp for 3 years, 2 weeks each time. Out of all of the cast on Bunk’d, he has the most real-life camp experience.
Kevin said it was great for teaching him independence and how to just be himself.
Karan loves the idea of meeting new people from different cultures and backgrounds. On the Disney Channel show, each of their characters bring something different to the set and they work well together.
And no matter which one of them you asked, they all mentioned that one of their favorite parts about working on Bunk’d was hanging out with the cast and crew!
These kids are awesome… and it showed through each one of their personalities. (Karan thanked us several times for taking time out of our busy lives to fly out to LA to talk with them. He knew we had to arrange childcare and leave our families and was grateful for our visit.) Seriously… class act!