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Disney Paper Parks Online Magic for You to Color

Partners Statue at Disneyland

The Disney Parks Blog has been releasing Paper Parks during the quarantine. These templates are drawn by Disney artists. You can download them, print them, color them and then assemble them into your very own Disneyland. (Part 3 is Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland.) For Disney fans, this is an amazing opportunity to build their own parks in real life. (Disney Magic Kingdoms allows them to build one in virtual life.)

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Breathe in, Breathe out, Move on: Jimmy Buffett

Yoga is healthy and can be done alone

Jimmy Buffett’s ballad “Breathe in, Breathe Out, Move on” (affiliate link) starts with him purchasing a watch from a crazy man. The watch always told the correct time because there were no numbers on its face, just the word “Now.” How this never became a product, I have no idea. There are watches that feature the word “now,” but they also have moving hands, which would defeat the purpose of Jimmy Buffett’s watch.

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Some Days, It’s Jimmy Buffett instead of Motivation

Penny Penguin at Cheeseburger in Paradise with a California Cheeseburger

I’ve written this article, or a version of it, three times now. The other two versions were not quite positive enough to be motivational. Instead, they were trying to work through my own fears and frustrations. With coronavirus, politics, and stupid people, those anxieties are legion. Some days, there just isn’t anything for it, and those are the days that I turn to Jimmy Buffett.

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Mickey Mouse Micro-Brick Build

Mickey Mouse micro-brick figure

I’ve had a couple of people ask for the directions to building the Mickey Mouse micro-brick figure. I have photographed them and put them in a gallery. I’m in the process of moving, and I’m not able to add them to the video. Hopefully these photos will work just as well. Let me know if you make use of them. Thanks!

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Where Does Real Motivation Come from?

photo of assorted letter board quote hanged on wall; real motivation comes from within

(This article contains affiliate links. Making a purchase from one of these links won’t cost you any more than normal, and it helps fund our blog. Thank you.) I was trying to come up with a post for Monday Motivation, and everything I thought of fell flat. I could write about a motivational song like, Smash Mouth’s “All Star” or Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” or I could choose a quote attributed to some famous person, like “if you can dream it, you can do it” – not said by Walt Disney. I could tell the story of a famous person who started of bankrupt and found his or her way to fortune – Walt Disney, again. None of those feel right.

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Nabisco’s Animal Crackers: How to Sell More Cookies

Cookie Saturday Roly Poly Penguin

While the idea for animal crackers came from England, it was Stauffer’s that produced the first animal crackers in the United States in 1871. The factory was in York, PA. While Stauffer’s are the original in the U.S., Nabisco’s animal crackers may be the most famous. In 1902, Nabisco jumped into the animal cracker business. They used the Barnum name from the famous circus for their animal crackers. These snacks were put in boxes resembling train cars with animals caged in them. They featured a string across the top of the box.

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Knocked Down? Three Sayings to Help You Get Back Up

man hit by boxing glove getting knocked down

(This article uses affiliate links. If you order from the affiliate link, you pay the same amount, and our blog get s a little support. Thank you.) If you want to live a creative life, you’re going to have to face failure, rejection and hard times. With the Internet, you can have complete strangers review your work and describe it as terrible in the most graphic and demeaning ways known to man. The trolls are going to look to knock you down, especially as you become more successful. Don’t let them.

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Hall-of-Fame Rocker Neil Young and Mickey Mouse: the Surprising Connection

selective focus photo of boy standing near miniature train toys

Neil Young’s star was taking off just as Walt Disney’s was setting. Young was touring Canada as a solo artist in 1965. In 1966, he formed the “Mynah Birds” with Rick James, which was signed to Motown. The group had problems when James was arrested for being AWOL from the U.S. Military. Still, Young went to Los Angeles where he formed the highly successful Buffalo Springfield in the same year. It was also the year Walt Disney, the creator of Mickey Mouse, died.

Neil Young’s Invention

Ben Young, Neil’s son, has cerebral palsy. Growing up, Neil wanted to be able to connect with his son, so he built a 700-foot model train track. He then designed a controller that Ben could use to control the trains. In 1995, Lionel Trains was threatened with bankruptcy. Neil put together an investment group and bought the company, so he could continue his experiments with model trains. The company emerged from bankruptcy in 2008.

Mickey Mouse Hand Car

Flashback to May of 1934, and the great depression has taken the life out of the Lionel. It’s facing bankruptcy but goes into receivership. Two months later, Disney’s marketing genius Kay Kamen comes to Lionel with a plan because he believes in the company. Lionel could make and sell a windup Mickey Mouse Hand Car. They do, and by Christmas, Lionel had paid off its debts, and by January, it was out of receivership.

The Connection

While Walt Disney had a love trains in common with Neil Young, the connection Neil shares with Mickey Mouse is they both saved the same model train company from bankruptcy.

Lessons of Creativity

Neil Young is in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. His creativity comes out in his music, but that didn’t stop him from dabbling in something new. He wanted to share his love of trains with his son. He saw a need and figured out how to fill it. Neil Young was no dabbler in trains though; he had been playing with them since he was five. It was Kay Kamen’s belief in Lionel that led him to offer the company the opportunity to turn their fortunes around. The company said yes to the offer. “Yes” is often the most powerful word.

For more on creativity, follow this blog and join our Patreon. You can also get my books: “Disneyland Is Creativity,” “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity,” and “Penguinate! The Disney Company.”

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Four Ways to Improve Your Happiness

Improve your happiness with a penguin

In Mary Holm’s “Rich Enough?” (affiliate link) Holm connects the reason for investing is to be happier. There’s no point in being rich if you’re unhappy. In the research she looked at, she found that there were ways to use your money to improve your happiness even if your income doesn’t make you a millionaire.

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Celebrate Failure Like You Celebrate Success

upset little girl sitting near crop woman in classroom

Celebrating success comes easily to Americans. You see professional football players dancing in the end zone, even if their touchdown didn’t mean they won the game. You see confetti pour out of the ceiling at NBA games, even when the team is no longer in the playoff hunt. You get a bonus in your paycheck when the company has a banner year… Well, we can dream that’s what you would get if you were a part of the company’s success, and I’ve heard they do that somewhere. And by all means, celebrate your success! You earned it. However, success isn’t the only thing you should celebrate. You should also celebrate your failure.

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