Lucas Grabeel apparently pushed for Ryan to come out as gay in this film. However, being a Disney film, the prospect of an openly gay character was shot down, and instead Ryan is shown as possibly developing a romance with Kelsi.
This is the only movie in the film series in which Chad's father appears. He is played by David Reivers, the real-life father of Corbin Bleu. They have played father and son in two other TV films, Jump In! (2007) and Free Style (2008).
At the end of the movie the cast were given identical class rings. Corbin Bleu had his lost or stolen while he was out on tour and recently was given a new one by Monique Coleman to replace it during filming of the ten year anniversary special.
During the final performance of 'High School Musical', Sharpay does a jazz square while singing. In the first High School Musical movie, while Sharpay and Ryan are performing 'What I've Been Looking For', Sharpay scolded Ryan for doing an unrehearsed jazz square, to which he replies, "It's a crowd favorite; everyone loves a good jazz square."
During the credits, while the outtakes play, there's yearbook signatures from the cast one the screen. They read as follows: "Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat -Troy" "To everyone at East High, you are the music in me -Gabriella" "It's not over yet! -Sharpay" "Off on a quest for the perfect jazz square! -Ryan" "You should visit me at the Oval Office -Taylor" "What team? Wildcats! Get'cha head in the game -Chad" "Long live musicals! -Kelsi" "I did it! I really did it! -Jason" "All things sweet -Zeke" "Remember, Wildcats, BIG things are possible! Good luck! -Martha" "Game on Sharpay! -Tiara" "Now it's all on me -Jimmie" "Brava! Bravo! -Miss Darbus" "Way to go team! -Coach Bolton."
Special copies of Teen Magazine and Seventeen Magazine were made for the "I Want it All" number. They feature Ashley Tisdale on the cover (replicas of their previous releases) and have the name "Sharpay" inserted where Ashley's name was previously.
All of the original songs from the film were listed among the 49 eligible songs for nomination at the 81st Academy Awards in the Best Original Song category, with special notice towards the songs "I Want It All", "Can I Have This Dance?", "A Night to Remember" and "Scream". Ultimately, none of the songs were nominated, though "Last Chance" (which was part of the compilation song "Senior Year Spring Musical") was performed during the ceremony as a part of a tribute to songs from movie musicals.
When Sharpay Evens tells her assistant to never wear orange, she is implying that she does not like the colour. However in the first movie of the High School Musical series Sharpay is wear an orange based outfit.
Eleven original songs (including "Just Getting Started", which was in the end credits, but not on the soundtrack) were among the 49 songs eligible for an Oscar in a list released on Dec. 16, 2008 by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. None of them made the three nominees though.
This film was released theatrically because it was the most expensive of the three. Its production budget of $11 million was almost equal to those of the first two combined ($4.2 million for the first, and $7 million for the second) and was thus deemed unfeasible for a direct-to-TV movie.
Stan Carrizosa: the winner of ABC's summer reality show, High School Musical: Get in the Picture (2008) appears in a music video that is shown over the end credits of the theatrical release of the film. The show's other 11 finalists were featured in the music video as well.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
The schools each character is going to, and their major: Troy: Berkeley, Theatre (basketball scholarship) Gabriella: Stanford, Pre-law Chad: University Of Albuquerque, Undecided (basketball scholarship) Taylor: Yale, Political Science Sharpay: University of Albuquerque, Theatre Ryan: Juilliard, Choreography Kelsi: Juilliard, Music/Songwriting