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Disney Magic Kingdoms Happiness Changes for the Better

Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle

When I started playing Disney Magic Kingdoms for the second time, it still had the old “happiness” model. A child would get a thought balloon over their head. The balloon featured a character or the attraction icon. The player would click on the thought balloon and allow the child to go to the attraction or find out what action the child wanted to see a character do. If the character was free, the player could assign the character to fulfill the child’s wish. When the character was done with the action, the child’s though balloon would become a smiley face icon representing happiness. For attractions, the child had to merely board the attraction to receive the happiness icon.

The player would have to click on the happiness icon, which would disappear into the happiness meter. This meter was used to show how happy the park was overall. It granted more visitors (which has no value in the game as of yet), and it made tokens drop at a higher rate.

The fact that the child’s happiness was siphoned off, sometimes, even before an attraction had started, seemed like an unintended commentary on the parks in real life. The happiness they generate is fleeting. Players were using the happiness to increase their parks wealth; this left the children unhappy, or at least without happiness. What kind of person would take a child’s happiness for their own gain? And this wasn’t like laughter in “Monsters, Inc.” Laughter is contagious, it generates energy, and it continues beyond the life of the joke told or the energy taken from it. This happiness degraded overtime; it did not generate more happiness.

I always felt a little bad about it, but it’s only a game, so I clicked away the Disney Magic Kingdoms Happiness with the best of them.

New Disney Magic Kingdoms Happiness

A 2022 update to Disney Magic Kingdoms Happiness has the players colect9ing the happiness from the children as before. Only now, the game counts the happiness in a total that does not dissipate. The wish fulfilled goes on a scoreboard and somehow feels less predatory. It’s not like the players are taking the happiness away. It’s more like they are counting the number of wishes fulfilled. Of course, fulfilling wishes generates more kingdom token wealth, but it doesn’t increase the chances of getting something.

In terms of actual game play, this form of happiness makes it easier to understand the tangible benefits of fulfilling wishes. Instead of some vague promise that token drops are 10 percent better when players siphoned away happiness, players now know exactly what they are getting for their happiness numbers.

What is Disney Magic Kingdoms?

Disney Magic Kingdoms is a time-based, park building simulator with a story line. Players can build attractions from the parks and newly imagineered for game play. They can also collect over 300 classic Disney and Star Wars characters. Currently, the only Marvel characters in the game are from Big Hero 6. Read my first post on Disney Magic Kingdoms.

Support and Disclaimers

We use affiliate links. When a link takes you to Amazon and you buy a product, we get a finder’s fee. It doesn’t cost you anything, and it helps us write more great articles.

If you’d like more articles about Disneyland and the Disney Company, check out www.penguinate.weebly.com. I have also written books available at Amazon and on this website.

If you’d like to support us directly, my wife and I have a Patreon page. Thanks.

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Planning for Disneyland in 2022

Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle

After COVID shutdown the Happiest Place on Earth, the Disney Company had to make some changes to how people visited in order to reopen. Gone are the days when you could show up to the park like Captain EO – uninvited and unannounced. When planning for Disneyland in 2022, reservations are required along with a valid entry ticket.

Planning for Disneyland 2022

As much as I like planning things (sarcasm), I probably should have left the chore to my friend Lynn Barron at ConciEARS. Lynn is the co-host of The Sweep Spot and he worked as a custodian at Disneyland for a number of years. His co-authored book “Cleaning the Kingdom” explores the way the Disney clean-up crew worked and played at Disneyland. Lynn likely would’ve made the whole thing so much easier. He even says that using him to plan your vacation doesn’t cost you anything extra.

However, if I had gone that route, I would’ve written a different blog post and not experienced the new way of doing things at the park.

A Ticket and a Reservation

Walt may have come to Southern California with a suitcase and a dream, but that won’t get you into Disneyland. You need to purchase a ticket and then make a reservation to the park you want to visit. This takes all the spontaneity out of a trip because you have to know what park you want to visit on what day. The choice during the holiday season may seem pretty obvious if you can’t get into the night party. If Disney California Adventure closes early because of an Oogie Boogie Bash Halloween Party on Wednesday, you probably should reserve your space at Disneyland, so you can go for the entire time the park should be open, instead of having to leave at 6pm.

On the positive side, it does allow Disney to limit the number of people coming into the park, which should provide smaller crowds and better customer service. We can always wish upon a star, that it holds true.

Restaurants and Reservations

If you want to have a special dining experience, you need to reserve your spot in advance. We were unable to get into the Blue Bayou, the Carthay Circle, or the Plaza Inn for a character breakfast. I suppose something could open up on the morning of our arrival, but I’m not sure we’re going to try to get there. Other experiences that require reservations were also booked full.

Bring the Smartphone

Most people have a smartphone. It’s just assumed that everyone does. I do not. I don’t want one. I don’t like them. And you can get off my lawn! That means that I’m going to miss out on a number of things in the park. I’m decently certain you need a smartphone to take advantage of Genie Service and Lightning Lane. I also think there are games to play in the park using a smartphone. I’d like to keep my flip phone, but this trip has me rethinking my stance on technological cra(p)ck.

A Package Deal

It used to be you could find a cheap hotel and get tickets separately to make the vacation less expensive. That no longer seems to be the case. Five days at the parks is $380 per person. Two people are $760. That made the Good Neighbor Hotel a bargain to stay at.

We’ll have updates as we get closer and after our trip. (Lynn Barron and ConciEARS are not responsible for the content herein. The endorsement is based on my knowledge of him and his past work. No funds or trade was remitted for this article. The link to Sweeping the Kingdom is an Amazon affiliate link.)

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What I Would Do at D23 Expo 2022 if I Could Go?

D23 Expo 2017

By the time I shuttered Lincoln City Archery, D23 Expo 2022 tickets were sold out, which is probably just as well because at the time I didn’t think I could afford much of anything. Still, now that I know what I am doing with my finances, I could have made it to D23. (We’ll just have to settle for a trip to Disneyland.) So, what would I do if I had a ticket to D23? Here is my suggested itinerary. (Note: This was written on August 10, 2022. My ideas about what to do could change based on new announcements or flights of fancy.)

Day One

Most people will gravitate toward the Disney Legends Induction Ceremony, which is understandable. The Legends ceremony features some of the most iconic people involved with the creation of the Disney Company. Personally, I would likely head over to the Archives Stage. At 10, the panel is “Sounds Delightful.” It will focus on vintage recordings with LPs at the heart of the conversation. Music is an underrated part of the Disney experience. This is the panel I would want to be at.

If, for some reason, I couldn’t make that panel, I would head over to the Backlot Stage for an “Inside Look at the Society of Explorers and Adventurers.” I don’t even know what this is, but the description mentions books, and that’s good enough for me. (I should probably do some research; there’s a wiki for everything.)

At 11:45, the Hyperion stage features “traceback,” a look at the women and people of color that worked at the Disney studios. I suspect Floyd Norman would make an appearance, but that’s not guaranteed. This panel seems like a nice way to learn about Disney history from another point of view.

If I couldn’t make that presentation, I would hit up the “Who Has a Window on Main Street, U.S.A.?” panel back on the Archives Stage.

The next panel on the Archives Stage is about the Mickey Mouse Club from 1989. This is the version that launched the careers of Keri Russell, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling, and Britney Spears. I wasn’t a big fan of this reboot, but the star power is undeniable. It’s also not likely many of them will show up. Still, it would be a good time, especially if everyone came in mouse ears.

There is a very good chance that I would go ahead and skip anything structured at this time. Instead, I would get something to eat and spend an hour or so walking the exhibition hall. It’d be a good time to look at what the Indie Authors and other artists are selling as well as what exhibits have come from the Disney Archives themselves.

It might also give me an edge to get into the next panel at the Archives Stage: Disney Legends in Conversation. We don’t know for sure yet who is going to be inducted as a Disney Legend, but this is the panel, everyone should want to get into. There are few people left with a connection to Walt, and some of them should be on this panel. This would be the one panel of the day I wouldn’t want to miss.

The last panel of the day is a toss up between “Walt’s Plane” on the Archive Stage and “Here for the Laughs” on the Backlot Stage. I would probably opt for Walt’s Plane unless the line seemed overly long. Then I would take my time, adventure through the hall and get to “Here for the Laughs.”

Day Two

People will likely flock to the Studio Showcase in the morning. I don’t know why people like sneak previews of upcoming movies and shows; I’d rather be surprised. Opposite the Studio Showcase will be “the Making of Disney100: The Exhibition” on the Backlot Stage and “A Peek Behind the Curtain at Walt Disney Imagineering’s Illusions and Special Effects Development Lab” with a mention of Yale Gracey and the Haunted Mansion. Since I wrote “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity,” I’d headed over to the Archives Stage, and if I could, I’d likely stay all day there.

The next presentation at the Archives Stage will be “Uncovering Treasures from the Marty Sklar Collection.” Marty Sklar was an integral part of early Disneyland development and an amazing author in his own right.

After that, the Archives Stage will host “A Century of Storytelling at Walt Disney Animation Studios.” Storytelling is one of the things Disney does best; this panel is one to see to glean pointers on what it takes to be a better storyteller.

At 3:45, the Hyperion Stage will have “ABC’s On The Red Carpet’s Storytellers Spotlight,” and at 4pm, the Archives Stage will have Author Ridley Pearson. Maybe this is the time I try to grab something to eat and check out the floor for today. Either of those presentations would be good, but we got to eat at some point.

The last panel of the day will either be the Premiere Stage’s “The Santa Clauses” or the Archives Stage’s “Building Walt’s Florida Project: Walt Disney World from Dream to Reality.” I’m leaning toward the Santa Clauses, even with Tim Allen’s conservative politics. Allen might not even show up, but it’s a tough call.

Day Three

Hall of D23 is where almost everyone is going to be on Sunday – myself included – for “A Boundless Future: Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.” Disney magic isn’t just about entertainment; it’s also about moving forward. Imagineers have created more than one world changing invention. We could see a whole new world open up during this presentation. It starts at 10:30, but in all likelihood, you’re going to want to be in line early. I would miss out on the Hyperion Stage’s “Revisiting Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Disney’s Magical Mid-Century” and the Backlot Stage’s “Back to the Grid: 40 Years of Tron Presented by Enterprise.” Still, “A Boundless Future” is the place to be.

Since the preceding panel ends at noon, it may be difficult to get to the next panel, which starts at 1pm, on the Premiere Stage – “Walt Disney Imagineering: 70 Years of Making the Impossible, Possible.” This is another show stopping panel that I would love to see. Since this panel goes until 2:30, I would miss out on “100 Years of Treasures from the Walt Disney Animation Research Library” on the Backlot Stage.

At 4pm, the Archives Stage will feature “The Disney Parks Through the Decades: A Disney Ambassador Perspective.” I may end with that depending on how I felt. Three days of convention life can be pretty tiring. But there are two other presentations that could convince me to stay to the very end.

The Archives Stage has “Memories of Walt Disney World: Framing A Portrait of 50 Magical Years.” The Premiere Stage hosts “Conversations with Disney Character Voices.”

The Best Things

One of the best things about D23 Expos is the people who attend. There are amazing cosplayers, incredible Disney fans, and if you’re lucky, your family. Standing in line is amazing because you’ll meet people who have the exact same interests as you, who know more about Disney than you, and who love talking about Disney just as much as you. When you’re with your family, you can enjoy the atmosphere and the happiness of everyone who attends. It’s palpable.

This article uses affiliate links. If you click on a link and it takes you to an Amazon page, when you buy something we get a portion of the sale that comes from Amazon, not you or the author/artist.

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Word Game for Disney Fans: Kuzco and Mickeyrdle

Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle

Every once in a while, I’ll head over to Mickeyvisit.com to play their Wordle-inspired Mickeyrdle game. Like the original Wordle, you have six moves to guess the five-letter word. The twist here is that this is a word game for Disney fans, so it uses Disney characters and other related vocabulary. There is only one puzzle released every day, so it makes it a little difficult to get excited about getting one word right, especially if you get it in two or three tries. My idea was to use the Mickeyrdle as a mine for writing ideas. Sometimes, the word revealed is a little obscure.

A couple of days ago, when I wanted to try this new idea out, I started with an “o” in the second place being a right letter wrong place. No other letters were in the word. I tried “Manor,” and the “o” was still in the wrong place. In the three guesses, I had eliminated “e” and “i” leaving only the “u.” Sometimes, they get tricky and like to use double letters; still when I put the “o” in the third place, it was still wrong, and I hadn’t found any other letters. That meant the “O” was likely in the last place. “Baloo” wouldn’t work because I had already eliminated the “a.” I tried to think of some words where the “O” was the first letter, but couldn’t come up with anything. Then it hit me: “Kuzco.”

That took the wind out of my sails because I didn’t want to write about The Emperor’s New Groove. Sure, the movie has arguably one of the best casts, from a star power perspective, of any Disney animated film. David Spade, John Goodman, Patrick Warburton and the iconic Eartha Kitt are pretty amazing. Tom Jones puts in an appearance singing the theme song at the beginning of the film, and well-known voice actors, Rob Paulsen and Jess Harnell took small parts. Eartha Kitt by herself has to be considered a coup for the casting director.

But New Groove is my least favorite Disney animated feature, even counting the disaster that is “The Black Cauldron.” It might be funny, but Spade is annoying, and it’s not warm at all. Maybe, that’s how it’s supposed to be, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

Support and Disclaimers

We use affiliate links. When a link takes you to Amazon and you buy a product, we get a finder’s fee. It doesn’t cost you anything, and it helps us write more great articles.

If you’d like more articles about Disneyland and the Disney Company, check out www.penguinate.weebly.com. I have also written books available at Amazon and on this website.

If you’d like to support us directly, my wife and I have a Patreon page. Thanks.

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A New Princess Ride-Through, TBA, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle

In their press release touting the change from Snow White’s Scary Adventure to Snow White’s Enchanted Wish, one of the items noted that the attraction, which has been around since 1955, was the only one at Disneyland to feature a princess ride-through. In 2024, that will no longer be the case. Splash Mountain’s makeover will feature Tiana and her crew making her attraction the second princess ride-through at Walt’s original park. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, or TBA (Are the imagineers trolling us?), will take guests on a water-soaked tour replacing the Song of the South theme.

Disney celebrated the announcement of the new theme with “a $50,000 donation “to the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), a regional, pre-professional arts training center that offers students intensive instruction in culinary arts, dance, media arts, classical instrumental music, jazz instrumental music, classical vocal music, drama, musical theatre, theatre design, visual arts and creative writing.”

TBA follows a recent naming convention that is a little tiresome. The Indiana Jones’ Adventure, The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, and Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure all have someone’s name followed by “adventure.” (We’re giving a pass to the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh” because it took its name form the movie.)

Because Disney is no stranger to synergy, Tiana fans can look forward to a series featuring the princess in 2023. The Disney+ offering will feature Tiana in her princess role but assures fans that New Orleans will also be involved.

By removing the stigma of “Song of the South” and replacing it with Disney’s first African-American princess in Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, Disney has the ability to continue to use its developed intellectual property to form bonds between its television, streaming, movie, and theme park offerings. This will increase the company’s sales revenue for an IP that people have been supportive of.

Support and Disclaimers

We use affiliate links. When a link takes you to Amazon and you buy a product, we get a finder’s fee. It doesn’t cost you anything, and it helps us write more great articles.

If you’d like more articles about Disneyland and the Disney Company, check out www.penguinate.weebly.com. On Medium, I wrote about why Disney should reimagine Splash Mountain. I have also written books available at Amazon and on this website.

If you’d like to support us directly, my wife and I have a Patreon page. Thanks.

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Snow White’s Enchanted Wish Replaces Snow White’s Scary Adventures

Meeting Snow White at Disneyland's 25th anniversary

When Walt Disney opened Disneyland in 1955, he included the “Snow White Ride-Thru” as seen in the guidebook “The Story of Disneyland.” Guests boarded a mine car and went on Snow White’s adventures, but many guests were disappointed. They never saw Snow White in the attraction, and they wondered why. Where was Snow White?

The missing princess wasn’t the only problem parents had with the attraction, which took them and their children on a 3D ride through the 1937 movie story line. The witch shows up numerous times, threatening, changing into the old apple peddler, and the mine cars head through the castle dungeon and into the scary forest, which in the film is a figment of Snow White’s imagination. This attraction was terrifying for some of the younger audience.

According to “The Disneyland Encyclopedia,” the attraction changed to make clear what was going on. Snow White was added to the interior, and “scary was added to the official attraction name. But why wasn’t Snow White in the original plan?

“The park achieved a kind of reality. Like these virtual reality games the children are playing with. I told them we were doing this 40 years ago! Disneyland is virtual reality.” – John Hench

www.wisesayings.com/disneyland-quotes/?sm=107073#107073

The attraction developers wanted people to experience the attraction as if they were Snow White. This may be one of the earliest examples of first-person shooters if you don’t count the Frontierland and other shooting galleries themselves. It was a way for Disneyland to immerse its guests in the films they loved, but for some this proved too traumatic, and even through 2019, Snow White’s Scary Adventures were, well, scary.

When Disneyland reopened after the COVID pandemic on April 30, 2021, the Snow White attraction changed names. It is now called Snow White’s Enchanted Wish. Disneyland Resort Creative Executive for Walt Disney Imagineering Kim Irvine said:

“The Snow White attraction has such a rich history. We wanted to take into account the beautiful scenic work that has always existed and retell the story in a special way. We believe guests will enjoy this sweet story line in a stunning experience.”

https://disneylandnews.com/2021/04/27/disneyland-park-reopens-with-new-magic-at-a-classic-attraction-snow-whites-enchanted-wish-celebrates-a-timeless-fairytale-in-fantasyland/

The Snow White Ride-Thru has been a part of the park since the beginning, and like the park, it was meant to change and grow. This latest incarnation reminds us of Walt Disney’s words, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” It also shows us that scary things can become less scary when we use our imagination to create new solutions.

Support and Disclaimers

We use affiliate links. When a link takes you to Amazon and you buy a product, we get a finder’s fee. It doesn’t cost you anything, and it helps us write more great articles.

If you’d like more articles about Disneyland and the Disney Company, check out www.penguinate.weebly.com. I have also written books available at Amazon and on this website.

If you’d like to support us directly, my wife and I have a Patreon page. Thanks.

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Make Money Online with InboxDollars

shopping cart with money on top of a laptop

On May 31, 2022, I signed up to make money online with InboxDollars. On August 1, I had made $100 by doing surveys, playing (mostly) solitaire, receiving PaidEmails, using the InboxDollars search engine, and uploading some very small Magic Receipts. I took advantage of one offer to see how it worked. With my two referrals also earning money, it only took me a little over 63 days. That’s about $1.60 a day. It won’t pay the bills, but if I’m making that in my spare time, it’s not too shabby.

Referrals to Make Money Online with InboxDollars

When you sign up with my referral link, I get a 30% bonus based on your activity. If you make a dollar, I get 30 cents, and more importantly, you get your whole dollar. The money doesn’t come from your account. Obviously, I want you to make as much as possible, but even a couple cents a day goes in the pot and contributes to the $10 minimum withdrawal currently on my account. Once you’re signed up, you get your own referral link that you can send to family and friends. You’ll get a 30% bonus based on their activity. (I’ll get nothing but a percentage of what you earn through activity, at least as far as I understand it.) Referrals are obviously the easiest way to make money because once they’re signed up and working, you don’t have to do anything.

Using Offers

I’m always skeptical of offers that seem too good to be true. However, because I had a good experience so far, I thought I would try one out. One of my PaidEmails had an offer for Golden Hearts. The website has a small number of casino slots and other games to play. The offer was to donate $10 and you’d get $15 from InboxDollars. That’s Golden Heart’s shtick. The money goes to a charity of your choosing. Did I have $10 to lose? Education isn’t free, so I thought I could make it up on other activities if something went wrong, like I clicked on the wrong link. I got my $15 from InboxDollars about a week later, maybe a little longer. Even better, the coins I got from Golden Hearts had me at $10.82, which means I made my money back twice!

Golden Hearts offers its members the opportunity to spin, once every 24 hours, for more bonus coins. As long as you remember to visit the site once a day after the hour you first spun the wheel, you’ll be able to continue to play whatever casino game catches your fancy on the site and win more money. (If for some reason, you don’t want to sign up through InboxDolllars, use this referral link. But seriously, you should sign up through InboxDollars.)

Other Parts of InboxDollars

I’ve already covered a lot of the others to make money online with InboxDollars in a previous article. If you’re looking to supplement your income and have a little fun doing it, InboxDollars provides a way. In their July 2022 break down of site statistics, InboxDollars reports that the most made from surveys by one person was around $366. One member made over $2,000 through offers, and someone made $670 from referrals!

All the information I have written is true as far as my experience. This article contains referral links as explained above.

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What the Financial Experts and Almost Everybody Gets Wrong about the Lottery

hard cash on a briefcase

With Mega Millions reaching over $1 billion and people of every income level buying tickets in quantity, financial experts everywhere are decrying the lack of financial education of the common man. They talk about the near-zero chance of winning the lottery, and how that money could be better invested in the stock market. Some even go so far as suggesting that taking the lump sum over the annuity is the better option.

The Stupid Person Tax

Back in the day, someone close to me described the lottery as a tax on stupid people. There were (and are) a lot of poor people playing the lottery with the hope of striking it rich. According to a Washington Post demographic study, “Those with middle-class and lower-middle-class incomes are more likely to play the lottery than those with higher incomes. Those with low incomes are just as likely to play as the wealthy – although they presumably have less to spend.” In 2005, a Texas Lottery report found the same proportions of players amongst income levels.

The presumption of my friend, who wrongfully believed that poor people were poor because they were stupid, was ill-conceived in its origins. However, less educated people are more likely to play the lottery than those who have graduated from college. More significantly, those who are employed are more likely to play than those who are unemployed.

Rather than a tax on stupid people, because there have to be few people that actually believe they’re going to win the lottery, especially when report after report tells them that how low that possibility is, it appears that the lottery is the American Dream tax. Admittedly, there may be some who, like Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber, are thinking, “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.”

The American Dream

As much as every American would like to believe the American still exists, that the average person can still get ahead, and that working hard will allow you to retire in comfort, it’s just not the case anymore. The gig economy, freelancing, and hobby-cum-business will not be able to support a majority of workers throughout their lives and into retirement. While the jobs within these areas have grown, they just don’t provide enough income for people to afford retirement, health care, or sick days. No matter how hard a person works at doing these things, in and of themselves, they will not lead to financial security. It’s a terrible business model for the working person when their income relies on the strength of someone ordering something and them receiving a tip large enough to cover expenses.

Even if you have a steady job paying a “living” wage of $15 an hour ($600 a week, $2,400 a month, $28,800 a year before taxes) unless that job includes retirement and other benefits, most people are stuck spinning their wheels. There’s no way to get ahead at that wage level, and those wages are what the U.S. economy is built on while being supported by freelance and gig workers. The structure is precarious and untenable. It is also unlikely to change. (Check out “the Hard Truth of the Gig Economy and Freelancing” on Medium.)

The Myth of Compound Interest

Some are still preaching tuppence prudently, thriftily, frugally invested in the bank will have compounded interest that will make a difference in your later years. Hogwash. A 401K, with interest rates of three one hundredths of one percent (.0003) doesn’t work for those who have low amounts invested. With $9,500 in my retirement account, I am making about 8 pennies (.08) a month; by the end of the year, I have 96 cents – not quite a dollar. The money in a retirement account is trapped unless the person has the financial savvy and time to find out how to reinvest it elsewhere without the financial penalties of early withdraw.

Even in a bank manage Money Market savings account, where interest rates are five times higher than those of the retirement account (.0015), the compound interest on any kind of account is easily wiped out by one bank fee, a candy bar, or a single lottery ticket. Still, most people wouldn’t count $1 as a positive gain, even when inflation is lower than its current percentages.

Play the Stock Market

Most professional financial people will tell you that its better to put the money in the stock market, where returns have been between seven (7) and 15 percent. Averaged out over whatever the number of years the analyst wants to look back on. “There are three types of lies in this world: lies, damn lies and statistics.” (The quote is variously attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, Mark Twain (who may have taken it from Disraeli), and Arthur James Balfour.) The problem with this statistic is that it doesn’t represent individual performance. It might be true of the group for the time period taken into account, but it has no bearing on an individual stock or an individual year.

In 2008, I lost $1000 of invested, real money and $4000 in gains because I chose the wrong stock. At the end, I had to pay extra to the robot account manager because the stocks I had were forced to be sold at a negative number after brokerage fees. That year, not only did I not make seven to 15 percent, I also lost all of what I had invested in the stock market with no way to recuperate it. For the brokerage firm, it was still a win because they got my fees for selling worthless stock. That same year, my mom lost half of her retirement account, which meant she had to retire later than she had planned because the stock market did not recover fast enough to refund her retirement account.

The stock market takes skill, knowledge, and resources to invest in. Those who are spending $2 a week on tickets have spent $104 over the course of a year. They would have to find a place to store that money and then find a firm or program (like Robin Hood or Acorns, which didn’t exist until recently) to use for investing. Then they would have to decide what to invest in, and with all the choices and possibilities for fraud, it’s too much overload for most people.

The Lump Sum Fallacy

While the accepted statistic is a fallacy, there are several tragic stories about lottery winners who had to declare bankruptcy within a decade after they won the lottery. Presumably, they took the lump sum payout. It’s a lot of money to ignore, especially for smaller prizes. But even at a billion dollars, there are some people who would still take the lump sum, reducing their prize to less than $700 million dollars.

If you happen to be the winner of the big prize, take the annuity. This is a sum of money that pays out every year for 30 years, and each check is worth more (percentage-wise) than the last. For someone younger than 70, that’s 30 years of guaranteed income. If you mess up one year, you still have next year to bail you out.

Someone Has to Win

Some people will say, “Someone has to win, it might as well be me.” The thing is, no one has to win. In fact, the reason why the jackpot is so large is because no one has won it, yet. They didn’t win for several weeks in a row. No one has to win this time or the next. One guy spent $100,000 on the Tuesday drawing (July 26, 2022); he didn’t win. If you’re playing because you think someone has to win, you need to rethink your strategy.

The Dream

What the lottery does do, for those who have realized that their hard work is forever going to keep them where they and for those who see no way of struggling out of their own financial issues, is gives them a ray of hope to cling to. Maybe, just maybe, they’ll be able to have the financial means to live life on their terms, rather than having to constantly be at the beck and call of customers, bosses, and bills. They can hold onto this glimmer and for a few days dream about what the windfall would mean to them, what they could do with the money, how they could change their circumstances.

If you happen to fall into this category, don’t go out and act like you’ve won, but feel free to indulge in the fantasies of winning. May those uplifting thoughts release you from your burdens, even if only for a little while, and allow you to practice using your imagination. Play only what you can afford to lose, and make sure this indulgence has more meaning than just a piece of paper that will likely be only paper come Friday night.

If you don’t fall in this category, stop telling people what they can do better with their money. Most people are working hard to change their destiny, let them have this moment of lightness and dreams, especially since so many others have been crushed.

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Why ‘Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil’ Is Bad

maleficent costume

A spoiler tainted review of the Disney Film

(This article was originally published on Medium. It was my most read article on that website.) If you haven’t seen “Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil” and you want to, do not read any further. There’s no reason to spoil the film for yourself, and you might love it more than I did. Otherwise, the discussion starts after the trailer.

‘Maleficent 2’ Forgets Its Origins — Twice

In 1959, Maleficent made her screen debut in Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty.” She was the elegant, ideal version of evil. Her motives were petty — she wasn’t invited to the party. Her punishment was excessive — Aurora’s death by pricking her finger on a spinning wheel. The spell was changed so that Aurora would only awake after Prince Phillip kissed her; Maleficent would hold Prince Phillip hostage for 100 years before he’d be able to rescue the princess. She was, in her own words, “The Mistress of All Evil,” which is the phrase used in the title of the second film. The Maleficent of the second film, is clearly not the mistress of evil, not even a little bit. Disney wanted to do a different take on the character, fine, but why then harken back to Maleficent’s role in every other film and video appearance since then.

In 2014, Disney struck gold with “Maleficent,” which scored over $750 million at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo. The movie rode the coattails of the “Frozen” phenomenon by exploring the relationship and love that women can have for each other. “Frozen” addressed the love between sisters. “Maleficent” addressed the love of a mother-figure for a daughter without becoming the evil stepmother. The success of this movie was based on the idea that women can create a loving relationship and bond that supports one another. “Maleficent 2” takes that idea and stomps on it with all of the force and bravado of a long-drawn out and unnecessarily dumb battle sequence. In essence, the movie becomes Michelle Pfeiffer, the Mistress of Evil, versus Angelina Jolie, the dark fairy phoenix.

It’s Grey and Dark

All 3D movies still have an issue with dark scenes, and “Maleficent 2” suffers from it. Even the scenes at the beginning that are supposed to be colorful and show the beauty of the fairy world and the scenes in the middle that show the beauty of the dark fairies are muted. The scenes that take place in the rain, water, and dark are much harder to see and enjoy.

Alice Through the Looking Glass

It seems that Disney didn’t learn anything from “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” the ill-fated sequel to “Alice In Wonderland.” “Maleficent 2: Mistress of Evil” has some of the same issues. It’s not a sequel anyone asked for. There are pacing problems and scenes that are completely unnecessary to the plot and film. However, the worst part about this film, featuring Angelina Jolie in a role she was born to play, is that it wasn’t true to itself, it’s not true to the spirit of family, and it isn’t true to the audience that made the first one so popular. You can rent this same film under the title “Snow White and the Huntsman;” the only difference is that film is Kristen Stewart versus Charlize Theron. Or just return to “Maleficent” for a much better film experience.

Want more Disney discussion? Try my book “Penguinate! The Disney Company.” It combines Disney articles with suggestions based on researched principles to help you become more creative. You may also enjoy “Disneyland Is Creativity” and “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.”

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Disney’s ‘Tall Tale’ Exposes True Conservative Values

What mother daughter relationships in Disney films have been shown in this theater?

Disney’s “Tall Tale” centers around the relationship between a man and his son as the family farm comes under the threat of development by a robber baron from the train industry. Featuring Patrick Swayze, Roger Aaron Brown, and Oliver Platt in the roles of American legends Pecos Bill, John Henry, and Paul Bunyan, “Tall Tale” stands the test of time as more than just a piece of entertainment; it is also a commentary on the decaying of American life without it ever realizing it.

Continue reading Disney’s ‘Tall Tale’ Exposes True Conservative Values