High School Sweethearts
08/23/2007 AT 12:00 PM EDT
Luckily, their real-life counterparts didn't have to wait so long. While they were shooting the first movie in 2005, a real-life romance quietly blossomed between teenage stars Zac Efron, 19, and Vanessa Hudgens, 18. And as they waited for a table on a busy Saturday night at Takashi restaurant in Salt Lake City, where they were filming HSM2 this spring, they were still going strong. "They were sitting on each other's laps and holding hands," says hostess Teal Gibo. "It was really cute."
Hello, Zanessa. For their millions of fans (yes, they've already given the couple a moniker), the young love between Efron and Hudgens just adds to the generation-riveting appeal of the HSM movies, the biggest thing to happen to teen love stories since Grease – minus Grease's smoking, drinking and teen pregnancy. The squeaky-clean Disney Channel movies have spawned the No. 1 album of 2006, a sold-out 42-arena concert tour, an ice showand now plans for a third installment to be released in theaters.