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The Disney Theme-Park Songs Bracket, Round Three

A world of laughter and a world of tears.
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Josh Spiegel
Jun 13 2021
4 min read
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Can you sense it, friends? We're getting closer and closer to the finale of the Disney theme-park songs bracket. (And when you find out what's coming after this one...boy, it's a doozy.) No time to dilly-dally: let's get right into my picks for this round of the bracket.

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Day 1

(1) Yo Ho, A Pirate's Life for Me vs. (5) Makin' Memories: For some of you, this may end up being a difficult decision. For me, it's just one more step for a group of marauding pirates to make their way closer to the finale. Easy vote.

(3) Golden Dream vs. (2) Baroque Hoedown: For this one, I'm going to vote for "Golden Dream". It's a close match, and part of me won't be at all disappointed to see "Baroque Hoedown" make its way to the Elite Eight. But the two caveats for that piece of music -- it wasn't written originally for the Disney theme parks, and more importantly, it doesn't have words -- are enough to set it back. But just barely.

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Day 2

(1) Grim Grinning Ghosts vs. (4) Energy (You Make the World Go Round): Here's a good, tough battle. I'm going to give it to the grim grinning ghosts, but it's a close one. I do enjoy the Robert Moline subgenre of theme-park songs a lot, and there's a welcome infusion of wistfulness and hope in "Energy (You Make the World Go Round)". But "Grim Grinning Ghosts is a top seed for a reason.

(11) I'm Walking Right Down the Middle of Main Street, U.S.A. vs. (2) One Little Spark: There's a scene in the 2003 comedy A Mighty Wind where Harry Shearer's character, one of many folk musicians reuniting for a one-night televised performance, says "We give the audience a choice. We say, you can enjoy a 'toothpaste commercial' or do you want to hear folk music?" I mention this, because whenever I hear "I'm Walking Right Down the Middle of Main Street, U.S.A.", I see Shearer mockingly saying "toothpaste commercial". Because this song...man, I don't know why it's gotten this far. Yes, I know, it was in sing-along VHS copies of your youth. It's still not a good song! Anyway. "One Little Spark". Please.

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Day 3

(1) In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room vs. (5) If You Had Wings: I'm sticking with the tiki birds on this one. As mentioned in the last round, "If You Had Wings" is a very repetitive and monotonous number if you ask me.

(6) The Best Time of Your Life vs. (2) Universe of Energy: Here, I'll stick with Bob Moline over the Shermans. "Universe of Energy" is a fun, rollicking number with a good beat. And there's another Carousel of Progress song to vote for in this round anyway.

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Day 4

(1) It's a Small World vs. (4) Listen to the Land: At a certain point in the contest, I have to be honest with myself. I like "It's a Small World". I think it's better than it sometimes gets credit for. But as we get closer and closer to the finale, I am essentially asking myself with each of these matchups, which song would I want to listen to right now, no questions asked? And right now, in this matchup, I would much rather listen to "Listen to the Land". I have a feeling it's going to lose -- more of you know "It's a Small World", simply because it transcends being a theme-park song -- but "Listen to the Land" deserves to win this one. It's got a similar tonal sensibility but without being quite so...uh...repetitive, I'll say.

(3) Fantasmic vs. (2) There's a Great, Big, Beautiful Tomorrow: I like the music to "Fantasmic" more than I like "Baroque Hoedown". That much, I'll clarify here. But if I wasn't going to vote for "Baroque Hoedown" because it doesn't have lyrics, I'm not going to vote for "Fantasmic". I'll send "There's a Great, Big, Beautiful Tomorrow" onto the Elite Eight. But this one should be close.

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