Disney Junior NEW 8-Design Pressed Penny Set – Hollywood Studios

This past week we had some friends in town.  They are Disney Vacation Club members so this is an annual trip they look forward to each year and gives us a chance to visit and catch up while they are here.  I had asked for their schedule of which parks they would be visiting each day so I could try and book off from work and jumped on the day they were going to Hollywood Studios.  I knew they would be trying to get on the new Star Wars Rise of the Resistance ride and any chance I can get to go on that I’m there.

Disney had tested out a new process for getting a virtual queue spot to ride the attraction and you can now book it the same day in advance from anywhere.  In the past, I had to get to the park hours in advance to try and get one of those coveted queue spots and it just made for a very long day.  This time around we got the queue when it opened at 7am and I was able to more calmly head over to the park.

I had arrived a little early and decided to wander around while I waited to hear from our friends so we could meet up.  My first stop was back in the animation courtyard because I had heard from a friendly follower of this blog that a new penny machine had been spotted.

As soon as I walked through the Hollywood Studios archway into the courtyard I was greeted by Ariel and The Little Mermaid stage which is not currently open.  However, if you look closely in the above picture you can see a penny machine.

Unfortunately, when I walked closer I noticed that this was the 12-penny Heroines machine that has been available here for a few years.  To the right of this machine, you can see some security gates that are housing the In Character Shop.  Previously this machine was inside this shop and unavailable since the shop has been closed.  It was nice to see Disney decided to move this machine outside those gates so guests can pick up a set.

I was a little discouraged as I thought this may have been the machine thought to be new, but my penny machine senses were in high gear and I kept investigating the area.  Sure enough on the opposite side of the (Closed) In Character Shop, I saw another penny machine tucked away in the corner.

It turned out to be an 8-penny design touch screen machine.  The cabinet had a nice wood finish to it but other than that no special theme to it.  I feel this was a bit of a lost opportunity, can’t you see this themed after Doc McStuffins, wrapped in pink and covered in large band-aids.

The set of pennies are all themed around Disney Junion television characters like Mickey, Minnie, Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  I do wish they had included Vampirina she’s currently one of my daughter’s favorites or even the new Princess Mira.

With the pennies all pressed I headed back out in front of the Chinese Theater to meet up with our friends.  It was perfect timing as I was able to watch the Disney Junior cavalcade and I’m pretty sure Doc McStuffins waved directly at me.  We did eventually get on Rise of the Resistance and it was as fantastic as ever.  We had a great day and with our friends and of course finding new pennies to press just tops things off.

Keep on Pressing!

Aladdin NEW Pressed Penny Set – Magic Kingdom

Earlier this week I made a quick trip over to the Magic Kingdom so I could press some pennies for a friend of mine.  Other than getting these pennies I didn’t have much of an agenda which was supposed to make for a nice leisurely trip to the park.  All too often I’m rushing around the park, and you kind of forget about what a magical place you are in.  It is nice to every so often take your time and enjoy where you are.

On Main Street USA I stopped into the Starbucks for a coffee and then headed towards Adventureland.  I’m not sure why this is my preferred path, but I do find this is the direction I head more often than not.

There are quite a few great attractions in Adventureland, but one that holds a bit of sentimental value for me is The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.  This was the first ride we had taken our oldest daughter Hanna on when we first took her to the parks when she was small.  We don’t go on it very often anymore but I always look fondly on this ride every time I pass by.

Even though I was taking it easy on this visit, I still find myself visiting each penny machine just to make sure they are still there, or if any changes have been made.  In between the Swiss Family Tree House and the Magic Carpet ride is a machine that can be easily missed due to its location at the Island Supply Breezeway (restroom area).

This is a high traffic area most of the time since there are restrooms here and it’s a shortcut from Adventureland over to the Liberty Square area of the park.  But about halfway through this breezeway is where the penny machine is located.  When I walked into this area I immediately noticed the machine had been changed.  Previously this was a 3-design electronic machine with a change machine attached all in one cabinet.  That is no longer here (even the change machine is gone) and now a new 8-design machine is available.

The machine cabinet is just plain white and nothing overly special about the design or theme.  It is the newer touch screen versions we have come to know so well and are definitely becoming the new normal in the parks.

The designs on the pennies are all themed around one of my favorite animated movies Aladdin.  The images include Aladdin, Princess Jasmine, Genie, Iago, Abu, and more.  This is a really great set and I’m so glad it was released.  I think this will be a very popular machine.

After pressing the pennies I made the executive decision to jump in line and take a spin on a magic carpet.  It would have been more fun if my daughter was with me, but that’s okay it was still fun and I’ll be sure to take her on the next time we are in the parks.  Happy Collecting and Keep on Pressing!

Island Market & Export NEW Pressed Pennies – Universal’s Islands of Adventure

October over at Universal Studios Florida is full of spooky decorations and amazing haunted mazes with plenty of scare zones.  Unfortunately in 2020 with everything going on their usual Halloween Horror Nights events were not happening as usual.  But as a nice surprise, they did open two of the Mazes to regular day guests without a separate ticket required.

Throughout the month of October, I headed over to visit these mazes as often as I could and really enjoyed them.  Even though there were only two houses, no scare zones, and took place during the day.  But they still had plenty of amazing design work and scares throughout.  The first house was Revenge of the Tooth Fairy.

The second maze was The Bride of Frankenstein Lives.  One perk from this year was that the wait times were never more than 10 minutes when I visited mid-week and I was able to basically walk right into the mazes throughout the day and I loved it.

During one of these trips, I took a break from the Halloween fun and headed over to the Islands of Adventure park just to see what was going on.

After scanning my ticket and heading into the park I always cut through the Island Market & Export store just to get some cool air plus they have a couple pressed penny machines inside.  But on this trip, something about one of the machines caught my eye.

Last year you may remember I wrote about a whole bunch of machines that had stickers places on the advertising that certain penny designs were going to be retired.  Then over the next few months, the machines were updated with new designs.  One of these machines was in this store, but the strange thing was that it originally got one of those stickers.  Then after all the other machines were changed, this machine was kept the same and the retired sticker was removed.

That has finally changed.  When I walked by the machine the designs immediately stuck out to me and I was shocked to see they were new.  The cabinet of the machine is the same, and unlike the Disney machines, it still costs just 50 cents plus you can use your own penny (collectors rejoice).

Thankfully I always carry around extra pennies and quarters for just this situation.  You never know when you may come across a new machine and need to press a new set.  The designs at this machine include Kong, E.T., and a cute Hello Kitty.

I’m surprised it took this long to update, and assume that it was scheduled to change last year but maybe there was a licensing issue that delayed these from being released.  But whatever the situation was it’s done and we have a fun new set of pennies.  After collecting this set I did check on all the other machines in this park to verify if there were any other new penny designs, and it appeared this was the only new set for now.  Hopefully, we will see some more new ones in the future, but for now, it seems that Universal is done swapping out their penny designs.  Happy Collecting!

Main Street Emporium NEW 2020 Medallions – Magic Kingdom

I know a few years ago when Disney first released a collectible Medallion machine that I was at first intrigued enough to get a set but tried to convince myself I wouldn’t keep getting them.  But as time has gone on, and more and more of these machines are released I have found my medallion collection growing a bit out of control.  The Festival medallions over at Epcot are probably my favorite and I have been keeping an eye on that machine, but then out of the blue, we got a report about a new set not too far away at the Magic Kingdom.

After work, I took a quick trip over to the park to try and find these new medallions.  I always enjoy walking under the Railroad station and having Main Street USA just reveals itself.  In my mind, it’s always a fun way to be welcomed into the park.

I continued up Main Street towards the Emporium.  Just a quick note on this store, with the current situation in the park they are trying to keep everyone moving in one direction so many of the doorways here are listed as “Exit Only”.  To get into the store you do need to head about halfway up Main Street and enter near the Disney Clothiers store.

Brace yourself when you enter this store as it can be quite chaotic.  It gets worse later on when the park is closing down for the night, with people trying to get their last-minute souvenirs.  The medallion machine is tucked away near the area of the store that has a big selection of Plush toys (sorry it’s hard to be more specific).  Just around the side of one of the checkout counters.

The machine is in a pretty plain cabinet but does actually blend in well with the aesthetics of the Emporium.

The cost is the same as the other machines around the property.  $5 per medallion or you can get all 4 for $15.  This is a slight change from before, where if you were paying with a credit card it would only allow you to get 3 of the coins for $10, and then you had to come up with cash for the 4th design which was pretty inconvenient.  Now they let you get all 4 at once which is much nicer.

The designs on each medallion include Mickey & Minnie holding hands, Pluto, Donald, and Goofy.  On the front of the coin with each character are the words Magic Kingdom, and Walt Disney World.  On the back of each coin is the 2020 Cinderella Castle logo they have been using this year.

This is another great set of medallions, but wow they get expensive.  Especially since pressed pennies are now increasing to $1 each, and medallions at $5 each I may need to get a second job to keep up with my collection.  I did find it a little strange that it’s October and they are releasing another set of dated 2020 medallions but figured these were probably already in the pipeline to be released earlier this summer but got delayed due to all the shutdowns.  Guess in a few months we can look forward to seeing what 2021 designs we get.

Happy Collecting!

The Jungle Book NEW Pressed Penny Set – Animal Kingdom

It’s been a little while since we were over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park, so we had scheduled a reservation to visit this past weekend.  It seems that it was just meant to be as I was informed on the drive over to the park that there were reports of a new pressed penny machine sighting.

We did have a whole day planned at the park, but it didn’t take too long for us to find the new machine.  Just over the bridge when you first see the Tree of Life there is a pretty large gift shop on the left called the Island Mercantile.

I usually cut through these stores just for some quick Air Conditioning, but this time we were on the hunt.

The inside of the store is really beautiful with all sorts of theming and unique carvings on the walls and up in the ceiling.  Plus there is a ton of merch, but we will revisit this shortly.

After wandering around the entire inside of the store more than a couple times I headed outside, and sure enough, there was the machine.

The cabinet of this new machine was gorgeous, with some cool wood carved creatures on the front and both sides.  Plus I really liked the blue color.

I pressed a set of the new pennies and was a bit surprised to notice that they were all themed around the Disney classic animated movie The Jungle Book.  There are designs of Mowgli, Baloo, Shere Khan, Kaa, Bagheera, and more.

Now just a quick note, after getting these pennies I headed back into the store and was just curious to see what type of merchandise they would have for The Jungle Book.  I checked every shelf and display I could and the only items I found were a couple collectible pins.  It is a bit sad to know that this movie doesn’t have much available, but at least we have a nice new pressed penny set.  Keep on Pressing!

Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Pressed Penny

Joan Ruth Bader was born on March 15, 1933, in Brooklyn New York.

She earned her bachelor’s degree at Cornell University and married Martin Ginsburg in 1954.  She became a mother before starting law school at Harvard, where she was one of the few women in her class.  She transferred to Columbia Law School where she graduated join first in her class.  During the 1960s she worked with the Columbia Law School Project on International Procedure, where she learned Swedish.  Her work in Sweden influenced her thinking about gender equality.  She then became a professor at Rutgers Law School and Columbia Law School teaching civil procedure as one of the few women in her field.

She spent much of her legal career as an advocate for gender equality and women’s rights, winning many arguments before the Supreme Court.  In the 1970s she was one of the general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.  In 1980 President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where she serviced until her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in her home in Washington, D.C. on September 18th, 2020 at the age of 87 from complications of pancreatic cancer.  She was a true pioneer and trailblazer within the United States Judicial System.

To commemorate her life fellow TEC (The Elongated Collectors) member Tyler Tyson created the special pressed penny design.  The designs were made available to fellow club members as either just a single penny as pictured at the top of this article, or as a full denomination set which included the image pressed on a penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and dollar.

 

Pressed Penny Pins

A few times a year I scour the internet for anything new or unique concerning Pressed Pennies.  In the past, this has let to retired online games with pressed penny machines in them, jewelry, unique art, a porcelain statue, and on more than one occasion my searches bring me to Etsy.  Just recently I did this same search and did come across something new (which doesn’t always happen) and it then sparked a similar topic I had wanted to write about in the past but never got around to it.  So here is my attempt at merging those two together.

Many of the different Disney parks have released pressed pennies with designs celebrating their very popular Pin Trading program.  Recently my daughters have become avid pin collectors and really got into pin trading primarily with the Disney Cast members.  In one of the pin stores, one of my daughters asked if there was a pressed penny pin we could get and I told her I didn’t think those existing.

Now skip forward to my recent random search on the internet for Penny related things and came across an Etsy store: Wonderful World of Pins Co.  This really cute store had a few different pin designs available but one of them really caught my eye.  It’s a pressed penny design of Cinderella’s Castle with some fireworks, and also has 1971 at the top which is the year the Magic Kingdom opened in Florida.  The colors were really pretty and I just really liked this so I immediately purchased one.  I will also say it looks amazing in person and it now has a special spot in our pin collection, but I’ll have to make sure no one in my family tries to trade it away.

After the Castle pin had shown up it sparked a memory I had of some other pins that had been released in Disneyland California years ago.  These were a pressed penny style pin set that was envisioned by WDI (Walt Disney Imagineering).  The pins were available to Cast Members (employees) exclusively at the Mickey’s of Glendale store which is for Cast Members only.  You can find these pins on eBay but the resale cost is pretty high.  I keep an eye out for deals whenever possible, and was able to get the above set for a reasonable price.  This is actually the second group of WDI Pressed Penny Pins and was released on November 6th, 2010.

I hunted through my Disneyland pressed penny collection and found the matching pressed pennies to that pin set.  It really was a fantastic idea to recreate these penny designs in pin form and I wish they did this in Florida (and not just for Cast Members).

As of right now, there are 21 sets of these pins for a total of 74 pressed penny pins.  They range from sets of the Haunted Mansion to Wreck-It Ralph and they are all based on pressed penny designs.  The last set (#21) was released around September 10th, 2014.  That is also quite a while ago so these may not be coming back anytime soon.  I was going to add pictures of the other sets but my resource for most of these details was from the fantastic Disneyland Pressed Penny resource http://www.ParkPennies.com.  Here is a link to their page all about the WDI Pressed Penny Pins with pictures of all the sets should you be interested in more information.

Thanks for checking in and be sure to let me know in the comments if you ever come across any unique items themed around Pressed Pennies or their machines and I’ll be sure to check it out.  I’m still waiting for Lego to create a Pressed Penny machine in Lego form but so far nada.  Happy Pressing!

WDW Converting Older 3-Design Electric Penny Machines to $1

Over the past year or so we have reviewed how Walt Disney World (and some other theme parks around Central Florida) have begun converting their penny machines over to $1.  The machines being convered were the 4-design hand crank models and we were hoping it would stop there.

But unfortunately on a recent visit to the Magic Kingdom I found what a lot of collectors had been worried about.

I didn’t even make it very far into the park before noticing the very first machine over near the Newsstand looked different.

 
Old Machine                                   New Machine

Above on the left is how the machine looked only a few weeks before.  The picture on the right is how it looked after coming back.  When I noticed the credit card payment system I knew what had happened.

The marquee at the top is a bit different as well, with added information on the new increased cost and they also announce proudly that “We provide the penny”.

Here is a close up of the payment system and information on how it works.  Please note that if you chose to use a credit card or digital payment like ApplePay you will automatically be charge the full $3 and will get all 3 pennies.  You cannot use this type of payment for only one design.  For that you need to use cash and it must be exact the machine does not give change.  So make sure you have your dollar bills ready.  After you insert your dollar, the button will light up and you can chose your design to press.

Here is a picture of the penny set.  They are exactly the same as before the machine was converted.  No variances that I can see like the Frontierland Railroad Station machine we reviewed last week.  The pennies the machine supplied were not great and I’ve definitely seen better with other machines.  But I’ll try cleaning them up a bit and hopefully that will help.

I’ve mentioned this numerous times in the past that many collectors aren’t happy about not being able to use their own preferred pennies.  I do like to use my own whenever possible, but I just enjoy this hobby too much for this small detail to deter me from collecting.  It’s more about the adventure and just simple enjoyment of watching a penny get squished into a fun souvenir.

We are anticipating that since this machine has been changed over the rest of the 3-design electronic machines will soon follow.  On this most recent visit to Magic Kingdom I did check on the other machines but no others had been convered as of yet.  As always we will keep you up to date on the changes.  I don’t think I’ll review each machine individually as they are converted and may instead wait for all of them to be done and write one large article about all of them.  Let me know what you think.  Will you continue to collect these pressed pennies?

Stay safe and Keep on Pressing!

Frontierland Railroad Station NEWish Pressed Pennies – Magic Kingdom

Fresh off a couple new penny machines over at Epcot, it now was time to head back over to the Magic Kingdom for a NEW-ish machine.  What do I mean by that…well we will get to that in a little bit.

I was able to get a park reservation for a Sunday and above is a picture of the entrance to the park.  It was pretty quiet on this visit.

We headed back towards Frontierland only stopping once for a Dole Whip (I’m so weak), then back to Splash Mountain.

As you stand in front of the entrance to Splash Mountain, if you look up you will see the Frontierland Railroad Station.  Unfortunately due to the Tron Coaster construction currently underway the railroad is not running.

But that’s okay since the place we are actually heading is not up to the railroad platform.  Instead, you walk just to the right of Splash Mountain underneath the train station.

If you decide that you would rather take a trip down the Briar Patch by riding Splash Mountain first that’s no problem.  Once you exit the ride you will have to walk underneath the train station as well to get back to the park.  Which is perfect since this is where you will find the new penny machine.

Previously this location had a 3-design electronic penny machine that was removed fairly recently.  Then with the latest news that Splash Mountain will be rethemed to Princess and the Frog, I assumed this machine may not return until after that retheming.  But I was wrong.

As you can see from the image above the machine has returned but is noticeably different.  For one it is now a 4 design manual press machine.  It has also been updated to the new $1 per penny price point, and the machine supplies a shiny new zinc penny.

Here is a look at the new set of pressed pennies from this machine.  Now if you have been collecting Walt Disney World pressed pennies you may be like me and at a glad recognized these designs.  After I had pressed this set I was pretty sure these were previously retired designs that were just brought back.  But once I got home I took a closer look to compare these with the older designs I remembered.

 

First, we will look at the Br’er Vulture design.  It was originally at this very same location under the Frontierland Railroad Station.  However, when I put the two pennies together (New is on the Left, and Old is on the Right) you can see there are some differences.  There is now a notch at the top of the design that splits the dot border, and the Magic Kingdom banner is in a different location.

 

The second penny with Br’er Rabbit was also at the old machine in this same location.  The notch on the left is now splitting the dot border, Br’er Rabbit looks to be a little smaller, the Magic Kingdom banner is larger and the (c) Disney is now on the left of the design.

 

The third penny design that has Mickey and Minnie splashing in some water is STILL available at the Splashdown Photo Preview area.  This is located at the exit of Splash Mountain where there is a wall of video screens showing the ride photos.  In this same area is a sort of hidden penny machine.  That notch is splitting the border again on the new design, the Splash Mountain logo looks a little different, and Mickey & Minnie are more spread apart.

 

The last penny design used to be inside the Country Bear Jamboree waiting area but was recently removed and replaced with an 8-design touch screen machine.  That notch is again splitting the border, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad appears to be a new font, the Train and tracks look a bit more detailed, and the Magic Kingdom banner has been raised a bit and isn’t as wide.

As you can see these are technically new penny designs, but upon closer look, they are very similar to other designs just with some slight variances.  I obviously still picked up a set for my collection and many other collectors enjoy finding variant designs so I’m sure these will be popular.  However, if you remember I did mention above that Splash Mountain is going to be rethemed shortly so I do find it a bit odd that they kept some of the Splash Mountain designs.  You may want to get a set of these before this machine inevitably changed for some new Princess and the Frog designs.

Happy Collecting!!

The American Adventure NEW Pressed Pennies – EPCOT

On a recent trip to Epcot, I was primarily looking for the new Mission Space penny machine.  If you haven’t read about that trip you can check it out here.  After finding that machine the rest of our day was set aside to try some of the Food and Wine Festival food booths, and we also did a Ratatouille Scavenger Hunt.

As we made our way around the World Showcase the crowd level was higher than I had anticipated and many of the food booths had very long lines.  That mixed with the hot Florida sun made waiting in those lines seem very unappealing.

We did periodically come across a booth with either a short or no line and we took advantage of those.  Above was from the Africa booth and was the Piri Piri Skewered Shrimp with Citrus-scented Couscous.  This was really good, the shrimp were a little overcooked but the flavors were great with just a little spice to them.

A little further along our travels, we visited the Spain booth and tried a couple items.  First, we tried the Charcuterie which was a selection of imported Spanish Meats, Cheeses, and Olives with an Herb Vinaigrette.  My wife absolutely loved this one.  I did try a bit of it and the meats and cheeses were really flavorful, but olives are just not my thing.  The second item we got was the Spanish-style Paella with Chorizo and Shrimp.  This was probably my favorite so far of the festival with lots of flavors.

By this time we were getting a bit tired and in need of a break.  The American Adventure pavilion just nearby so we headed in that direction for some downtime in the shade.

While we sat under the shaded pavilion rehydrating with some much-needed water, I spied something across the patio.

I quickly headed over to investigate and sure enough, it was a brand new penny machine.

It is a newer version of the 4-design hand-crank machine.  Each design costs $1 and you can use either cash, credit card, or digital payment like ApplePay.  The machine supplies the penny to be pressed so you are not able to use your own preferred pennies, unfortunately.

Here they are the pressed penny set.  I really think this is a cute set and love the design of the Mickey-American Flag, but they are all great new designs.  I did walk around the rest of the pavilion just to check on the old machine but it was nowhere to be found and I’m going to assume it’s been retired.

We eventually finished our visit to Epcot and had a great time.  I did check the other Pavilion penny machines but didn’t see any other new ones so far.  This is an interesting change since it’s one of the first times we have seen a 3-design ($0.50 per penny) machine completely replaced by these new 4-design ($1.00 per penny) machines.  Fellow collectors have been anticipating this change and it may be finally coming to fruition.  This would be a huge overhaul of machines since most of Disney property has those older 3-design machines.  This change over could take years and I’ll be very interested to see if we get all new designs or if they will just install the old designs back into the new cabinets.  Only time will tell but I’ll be sure to document them as quickly as I can.  Keep on Pressing!!