Here Are the Best Songs in the Disney+ Original, ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special’

Although season 2 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series has been delayed, fans reunited with the cast during their holiday special, released exclusively on Disney+. Here are some fan-favorite songs from High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special.

‘River’ by Olivia Rodrigo 

Fans first met Olivia Rodrigo as Nini in the first season, when this character was cast as the lead in her school’s production of High School Musical. Now, fans wonder if she’ll go transfer to a different high school, even though things with her relationship are back on track. 

For the holiday special, though Rodrigo performed a cover of “River.” This song had the actor sit behind a piano and play a heartfelt cover of this Joni Mitchell song.

The stars of the Disney+ series 'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series'
The stars of the Disney+ series ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’ | Jeff Neira/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

‘This Christmas’ by Sofia Wylie 

With a lot of talent and a lot of spunk to match, this character didn’t start out so likable. She wanted the lead and just like EJ who wanted Ricky’s part, she was willing to do whatever it took to get Nini out of the picture.

Eventually, however, Gina became close friends with Ricky and friends with Nini and the rest of the cast, even if that meant she had to move away. Not to worry, though, Ashlyn had an idea. For the holiday special, Sofia Wylie performed a version of “This Christmas,” complete with dance breaks and amazing vocals. 

‘The Perfect Gift’ an original song by Joshua Bassett

When fans met Ricky in season 1, he was still dealing with the repercussions of asking Nini to “pause” their relationship. She had a new boyfriend and the best way to win her back, Ricky thinks, is to join the high school musical. He even gets the lead.

For the holiday special, though, Joshua Bassett wrote his own holiday song, titled “The Perfect Gift.” (This wouldn’t be the first time he wrote a song for the series, as he and Rodrigo were behind a number of the season 1 originals.)

“Christmas was always much more about the quality family time for me and my family than it was about getting fancy gifts, given that I had five sisters, and so we weren’t really big on gift-giving,” he said during an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “So that really resonated with me and it made writing the song a pretty seamless process.”

‘Believe’ by Dara Reneé

She’s Nini’s best friend and also the costume designer. When Miss Jenn asked Kourtney to sing a little something into the microphone, though, the entire cast is surprised at her incredible voice. For season 2, Miss Jenn reassured this character that she has plans for her. 

What those plans are, however, is still a mystery. When it comes to the holiday special, the actor behind this character, Dara Reneé, performed “Believe,” the song popularized by the animated movie The Polar Express.

More information regarding season 2 of this mockumentary series will presumably be announced in the coming weeks. Until then, fans can stream already released episodes of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series on Disney’s streaming platform.