- American Music Award
- Favorite Soundtrack
- Bravo Magazine Award
- Bravo Otto for TV Star – Male
- CMA Wild and Young Awards
- Best Single International
- Family Television Awards
- Best Actor
- Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards
- Fave Movie Star
- So Hot Right Now!
- Nickelodeon UK Kids' Choice Awards
- Best TV Actress
- People's Choice Awards
- Favorite Star Under 35
- Teen Choice Awards
- Choice TV: Movie
- ALMA Award
- Outstanding Director of a Made–for–TV Movie
- ASTRA Awards
- Favourite International Program
- Golden Reel Award
- Best Sound Editing – Music for Long Form Television
The first broadcast of the film on August 17, 2007 broke records, receiving 17.2 million viewers. This number made it, at the time, the most-watched basic-cable telecast in history, the most-watched made-for-cable movie ever, and the largest audience of any program on broadcast or cable in the 2007 summer television season, along with Friday nights for the past five years. Ratings for the second showing of the movie fell to 8.4 million, and the third showing fell to 7.4 million, totaling the premiere weekend to 33.04 million viewers.
In Latin America, the premiere of High School Musical 2 was seen by 3.3 million viewers in the north region. The film was the most-watched in its schedule, among all cable channels, and produced the highest rating of the channel, surpassing all original films of Disney Channel. Among other records, the premiere in Argentina surpassed the debut of High School Musical the last year, in a 107 percent, while in Brazil the sequel reached 208 percent, and Mexico did so with 61 percent. In the United Kingdom, the movie became Disney Channel UK's most viewed program ever, totaling 1.2 million viewers in its first showing.
The film received mostly positive reviews from critics, gaining a score of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes while gaining a score of 72/100 at Metacritic. USA Today's Robert Bianco awarded the film three stars out of four, saying High School Musical 2 was "sweet, smart, bursting with talent and energy, and awash in innocence". While critics enjoyed the film, they noted that the timing of the movie's premiere seemed odd, premiering just when school was about to start up again, while the movie's plot involved the gang going on summer vacation. High School Musical 2 won the "So Hot Right Now" award at the Nickelodeon Australian Kids' Choice Awards 2007, in which High School Musical castmate Zac Efron hosted with The Veronicas.