Cast Member Exclusive 50th Anniversary Medallion

It is no secret that I appreciate all that the amazing Disney Cast Members do for us guests during our visits to the parks, resorts and every place in-between. There are more than a few Cast Members that I have run into numerous times during my trips that I would consider friends now and my family seek them out each time we are there. Disney has put in place a few different ways that guests can recognize an outstanding Cast Member with a Cast Compliment and I would highly recommend you do so as it really does go a long away. It’s easy for people to make a fuss then there is a problem, but not many go out of their way when they have a fantastic experience. What is also nice to see if that Disney as a company puts on special events just for their Cast Members as a special thank you. I’m sure there are many other things they can do better, but this is a nice gesture by putting on what they call EARidescent Evenings.

I have a neighbor that works for Walt Disney World and was nice enough to share with us some of the things that went on. There are free snacks, short lines for attractions, and plenty of characters to meet and take pictures with. But a big part of these events is just celebrating each other, and they all seem to be having the time of their lives.

At this most recent EARidescent Evenings which took place in the Magic Kingdom as Cast Members were leaving they were gifted a special 50th Anniversary Medallion.

The coin is sealed in a plastic capsule and attached to a card stating “WE are the MAGIC”. The front of the medallion has Mickey and Minnie in front of Cinderella Castle with fireworks in the sky. The reverse side of this coin is the same as all the others we have reviewed above with Mickey stating “The World’s Most Magical Celebration”.

The back of the card just has the Cast Member EARidescent Evenings logo with a few hash tags to be used when posting all their wonderful photos on social media.

There are a few more of these special Cast Member events through the summer (2022) but it is unknown whether these coins will continue to be gifted out. There are some currently available on eBay but due to their rarity the costs are pretty high so just be aware of that. Hopefully you may know a Cast Member that has an extra they don’t want so you can add this special medallion to your collection.

Now I just need to try and convince my neighbor to let me keep this beautiful coin. He certainly has earned it so it’s probably better off in his possession. Thanks for visiting and as always Keep on Collecting!


Cats in the Hat NEW Pressed Pennies | Universal’s Islands of Adventure

I visit Universal’s Islands of Adventure quite often, and one of the “islands” is Seuss Landing which more often than not I find myself just passing through. It’s very color and does indeed give the feeling of hopping right inside a Dr. Seuss book, but if certainly designed more for younger guests.

In the past I have taken my daughters here and they of course love this area of the park. My youngest prefers the carousel, while my oldest is more info the High in the Sky Seuss Trolly ride. I however am usually the only one interested in going on the Cat in the Hat ride which do enjoy more just out of nostalgia. It’s a classic dark ride that certainly is in need of some updating. The animatronics inside are a bit rough around the edges and don’t seem to work as well as they used to. I also remember a lot more spinning of the ride vehicle from past visits, but now it only spins a couple times right near the end.

When you finish your ride through the Cat in the Hat attraction you exit down a hallway towards the Cats, Hats and Things gift shop. Just before you enter the gift shop we came across a brand new pressed penny machine.

This machine cabinet is really fun, and that is something that many of the penny machines throughout Seuss Landing have in common. They all seem to have been designed by Dr. Seuss with no straight angles and some even seem to look like they shouldn’t be able to stand up straight.

The penny designs here are all themed around the Cat in the Hat story including the Cat himself, Thing one and Thing two, Fish and of course the kids whose house the Cat visits.

Now this ride is not very thrilling, other than a few spins towards the end. But if you are someone that is not interested in riding that is no issue at all you can still access the penny machine just by visiting the Cats Hats and Things gift shop.

Head straight back through the store and you will see the hallway where the ride guests are exiting and the machine is right there. The team members working in this store are always so friendly that if you have any difficulty finding the machine just ask them and they will point you in the right directly. There used to be a 3-design penny machine in this store up near the front entrance but that has been removed and assumed to be retired.

There are quite a few other penny press machines throughout Seuss Landing and most have had the same designs for quite a few years now. I’m hoping maybe this means we will see some other new machines in the near future and of course plenty of new designs. With so many great Dr. Seuss books they have plenty of characters that deserve their own penny designs. Keep on Pressing!


Pressed Penny Stickers on Etsy

As much as I love tracking down and pressing new pennies, I’m also always on the look out for any sort of unique pressed penny related items. In the past I’ve shown jewelry, art work, porcelain figures and many more. Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time perusing the online marketplace Etsy and have found some really interesting items.

First I came across the seller Vickidi Bobbidi Boo‘s store who was offering these cute little stickers designed to look like a couple pressed pennies with “The Mouse” listed on both. I think we all know who these are designed after, but obviously due to copyright concerns these have been slightly tweaked. They are a bit larger than an actual pressed penny but I thought these were a fun idea and I’m hoping they come out with some other new designs in the future.

A similar online seller named Core Memory Creations‘s offered the above sticker designed to look like those classic 3-design electric pressed penny machine. I love this one. It would have been nice if it was a little bit larger, as when it came I was surprised at how small it was. But this still makes a fun way to decorate one of your binders or booklets that contains your penny collection, or if you are like me I’ve got them stuck to my laptop that I’m currently using to write this post and edit our YouTube videos.

If you are interested in checking out either of these items I have the Etsy Shops linked above. I love to see how our little elongated coins are starting to spread out into the crafting and art worlds. Hopefully this is just the beginning and I’ll be on the look out for more of these unique items to share. If you have come across any unique items like these please let me know down in the comments below because I would love to check it out.

Keep on Pressing!


Universal Studios Store NEW Pressed Pennies

With so many theme parks here in central Florida they are always updating their offerings to complete with each other. Some guests who have been coming for many years are always the first to complain when one of their favorite attractions is replaced. Disney still has quite a few classic attractions in their parks, but Universal is one that doesn’t seem to hesitate when removing some of their most loved attractions. I remember visiting when I was young and riding taking a trip back in time with Back to the Future, or a nice leisurely boat tour on Jaws, but one of my all time favorites was Kongfrontation. Some people say this is for the best and we now have much more advanced attractions to enjoy but there is 1still that nostalgia that I do miss when thinking about those rides.

One thing Universal does do very well is have call backs to those long gone attractions either as an easter egg in their seasonal tribute store, or in the queue for the new attraction. But more than anything else they will inundate us with merchandise and most of it can be found right at the entrance to the park in the Universal Studios Store.

We have gone through this store numerous times in the past documenting new merchandise for more recent movies and attractions, to those classic oldies we loved so much.

I found this fancy button up shirt that had most of my favorites all together in quite the mashup. All it was missing was Kongfrontation and I probably would have picked it up.

Along this pathway down the middle of the store used to be the location of a couple old 3-design penny machines. These machines had designs available for some of these classic attractions. They had also been the last remaining machines to only cost $0.50 and allowed you to use your own penny. However on this recent trip as you can see in the above picture those machines are now erased from existence.

Thankfully all is not lost and Universal did replace it with a new 8-design digital touchscreen machine. I really like the wood cabinet of this machine, that fits in nicely with the nearby store fixtures and the fun little details along the bottom that remind me of an old movie theater marquee.

The penny designs available at this new machine are a mixture of old and new attractions within the Universal parks. Included is Jaws, the famous Back to the Future Delorean license plate to represent the historical park attractions, then we have E.T., MIB, Spider-man and Velocicoaster as currently available attractions. Does this mean we are getting a new Iron Man attraction soon? If Disney has anything to do with things, I highly doubt it and does seem like a strange design to include with this set. Too bad we couldn’t have a Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure design instead. Oh well maybe some day.

Thanks for tagging along as we took a quick visit into the ever changing Universal Studios Store. Like the merchandise you just never know what you may find inside. Stay tuned for some other upcoming Universal posts, there is plenty more new stuff still on the way. Have a fantastic week and as always Keep on Pressing!


Orange Bird Pressed Coins – Privately Designed

I have made it no secret that my favorite snack at Disney is the world famous Pineapple Dole whip. I love the float version that includes pineapple juice, but more recently they have been experimenting with some other flavors and you know I’ve tried them all. There has been raspberry, key lime, lemon, coconut, strawberry, watermelon, cherry, pistachio and quite a few more. All of them were great but the original pineapple is my absolute favorite.1

Sometimes however I’m in the mood for something a little different and out of all these other flavors my next top choice is the Citrus Swirl. Now first I’ll mention there are two very similar options that are sometimes mixed up. One is the Orange Cream which is Orange dole whip twisted with vanilla ice cream basically a pretty standard creamsicle flavor. The second option is the Citrus Swirl which is a frozen orange juice twisted with vanilla soft-serve, it’s much more tart and in my opinion more refreshing and amazing. Now why am I brining all this up, well first I love talking about dole whip and Disney snacks but for the main purposes of this post it has to do with a special character that has become synonymous with this citrus swirl treat.

Who is this character you may ask. Well it’s the cute little Orange Bird that you may have seen all around the Florida Disney parks. He has shown up on all sorts of merchandise but it doesn’t stop there, our friend and fellow collector Don Cade has created many fantastic elongated coins including a special Orange Bird design. But first let’s review a bit of history.

Back in 1969 Disney was looking for corporate sponsors to help pay for the construction of their new park Walt Disney World. The Florida Citrus Commission was eager to be involved and Disney encourage them to sponsor the Tropical Serenade attraction that would eventually be renamed the Enchanted Tiki Room. For $3 million dollars and a 10 year commitment they would sponsor the attraction along with a connected juice bar that would sell orange juice and there snacks. The juice bar would be called the Sunshine Tree Terrace. Once caveat the Citrus commission required was some kind of character identifier they could use, and that’s when Disney came up with the Orange Bird.

The partnership continued until 1987 when the Florida Citrus commission decided not to renew the sponsorship, and with that loss the orange bird went absent from the parks for 17 years. Then in 2004 in the Japan parks the Orange Bird made a come back with some specialized merchandise and guests loved it. Anticipation was mounting for his return to Florida and eventually in 2012 he officially came back as the icon for Sunshine Tree Terrace once again.

Now it’s location can be a bit confusion. Originally it was located next to the Enchanted Tiki Room and Aloha Isle offering the Pineapple dole whip was near the Swiss Family Treehouse. Then in 2015 these locations switched places. So if you are in the mood for a Citrus Swirl be sure to head towards the big Treehouse.

To celebrate this piece of Walt Disney World history Don Cade created these amazing pressed coins. I saw these listed online and had to reach out to get a set for my collection.

I’ve mentioned in the past about the TEC Facebook group and all it’s benefits. This is one place that Don makes his designs available to other collectors. No membership needed, but the information that all the members share and offers for custom coins like these are just too good to pass up. Stay tuned for more privately designed coin designs, there are just so many out there and I can’t wait to share them with you.


We Want You PPM #14 – Pressed Penny Mafia

In the past I’ve posted about the wonderful Facebook Group Pressed Penny Mafia – PPM which I am a card carrying member. The group is filled with many fellow collectors and share all sorts of fun knowledge about our favorite hobby elongated coin collecting. But a big perk of the group is that Boss Lady Amy is continuously creating new penny designs for the group. Not too long ago I showed off Lucky #13 which you can read about here.

It didn’t take Amy long to release the fourteenth design in her set and it is another great one, and acts as a great recruiter coin. I always look forward to these new PPM penny designs and placed my order as soon as they were available. As always a huge thank you to Amy for all she does with the Facebook group. If you are not a member I included the link to the group at the top of this post. It is completely free to join and there is just so much great information available there plus you can then contact Amy to order your own special PPM pennies.

Remember We Want You….to keep pressing plenty of elongated coins.
Stay safe and have a wonderful weekend!

Expedition Everest NEW Pressed Pennies | Disney’s Animal Kingdom

My daughter has recently become obsessed with roller coasters at Disney. I am not a big coaster fanatic so we kind of started this journey together. we started small with Goofy’s Barnstormer at the Magic Kingdom, then slowly moved up to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Big Thunder Mountain, and then Space Mountain. It was only a matter of time before we moved up to the more “advanced” coasters at Disney and after some Youtube videos she decided our next step up was Expedition Everest in the Animal Kingdom.

Once inside the park we headed towards the Asia section and could immediately see the forbidden mountains soaring high in the background. Expedition Everest is certainly one of the most popular attractions here in Animal Kingdom and the line to ride can be pretty long.

Even if you have a long queue line to wait in, the details you pass by are incredible. Plus you will learn about the mysterious Yeti that is rumored to be up in the mountains.

This was certainly one of the more intense coasters my daughter and I had experienced so far. It wasn’t unbearable, but I think no matter how many videos we watched online it was a completely different experience in person. My daughter loved it, I on the other hand was a little wobbly legged when I got off.

When you exit off the ride you of course are taken through a gift shop. For those of you that are not interested in riding the coaster, fret not you can still go in and explore the gift called called the Serka Zong Bazaar.

Inside this store the incredible details continue. It’s setup to look like a place you would load up on supplies before climbing mount Everest. Plus of course with plenty of Disney merchandise and Yeti inspired items.

In the back of the store near where you can view and purchase your on ride photo is where I came across a brand new penny press machine.

If you’ve been following my travels, not too long ago Animal Kingdom went through a phase where they were updating the penny machines to the new $1 price point. This location did have a machine before but it was only a 3-design model. That machine has been removed and replaced with this beatiful piece of art work. The wood cabinet of this machine has some gorgeous carvings, and details to it that just fits with other “hard-carved” detailing that can be found throughout the store.

Some of these penny designs we have seen before in previous machines found here at Expedition Everest but I was happy to see them return. I love the “I Conquered Expedition Everest” design and made sure to press an extra penny for my daughter as a souvenir of our riding this attraction for the first time. The rest of the designs here are all themed well for the location and I think it makes for a great semi-new set of pennies for our collection.

With one more coaster under our belts my daughter is already checking out what is next for us to try. Rockin’ Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios seems like a good option, but she is really looking at the new Guardian of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind coaster in Epcot that just recently opened. No pennies so far over there for that one, but stay tuned because as soon as some are released (fingers crossed) we will be over there to ride the attraction and press some more pennies.

Keep on Pressing!


Jurassic Outfitters NEW Pressed Pennies | Universal Islands of Adventure

Welcome to Jurassic Park!

Sorry I couldn’t help myself, and I feel like that whether you say it out loud or just in your head this saying takes place every time you walk through those large Jurassic Park gates inside Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Just the other day I was enjoying a visit to Universal with a friend of mine that really wanted to just do a bunch of rides and attractions. Many times when I’m at the park I find myself more often than not just walking around, eating snacks and searching for pressed pennies. So the thought of a ride day was almost a foreign thought. Usually with such long wait times I just prefer not to bother, but today was the day for rides only….well maybe just one new pressed penny machine. But we will get to that eventually.

We didn’t start our day inside Jurassic Park, instead we checked out the Harry Potter area for those rides first, then we found ourselves hearing strange noises coming from the nearby bushes and foliage. This was a telltale sign that we had entered the land of Dinosaurs. In a previous post I gave some details on the new Velocicoaster attraction which to this day I still have not actually experienced (maybe some day) but you can read about that ride and the special pressed penny here. One ride in this section of the park that I have ridden in the past is the River Adventure and since it was already raining outside I figured I couldn’t get any more saturated than I already was.

We hopped inside and after a short wait, we climbed aboard our tour boat. Last time I was on a tour boat like this a huge shark jumped out at me over in Universal Studios. So my fingers were crossed that this would turn out better.

Well….I won’t spoil it for you but the tour started out nice and relaxing but quickly escalated when dinos started escaping their confinement’s. Eventually our only way out was down a huge waterfall and as you can see from the above picture we did somehow get even more soaked on this rainy day.

As with all good theme park attractions we exited off our wet boat and directly into a gift shop and for this ride the store is known as Jurassic Outfitters.

By this time of day we had successfully ridden a handful of rides so I think it’s a good time to celebrate with a brand new set of pressed pennies. Thankfully we were in exactly the right place.

In among all the dino plush, t-shirts, pins and other soaking wet guests is the new machine up again one of the walls near the entrance.

Inside this shop used to be two separate 3-design electronic penny press machines. Both of those are now gone and retired. In their place is this new fancy 8-design touch screen model that certainly seems to be taking over everywhere.

The penny designs available at this machine are very similar to the ones that used to be here in those separate machines. There is a new Jurassic World logo design, and then various dinos like a T-Rex, Raptor and Indominus Rex.

Well now that I had successfully taken a bit of a break to press some new pennies, it was time to head back on our adventure to hit up some other attractions before calling it a day. Thank you for tagging along as we spent our afternoon inside Jurassic Park and tracked down a full set of dino…pennies.

Keep on Pressing!

The World’s Most Magical Celebration – WDW 50th Pressed Pennies Series 2

These new pressed penny designs are celebrating the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary. However as you can see from the below images the penny designs are of a different style that the first 53 we tracked down earlier this year and you can read all about here. This is why I’ll be referencing these new coins as Series 2 just to try and distinguish between them. Let’s dive in and I’ll show you where to find them.


Disney Springs – Pin Traders

Just as with the first Series of pennies we are back at the Pin Traders shop which can be found towards the Rainforest Cafe / Earl of Sandwich end of Disney Springs. The other two 50th penny designs are still available here, but this new design can be found in a third machine just between the rack of magic bands a section of collectible pins. This design has Mickey posing in front of a large 50 with Cinderella Castle in the back ground and “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” across the bottom.

POP Century Resort – Everything POPs Dining

If you are not staying at the POP Century Resort getting in here to press the penny can be a bit of a pain. There are pretty strict parking restrictions so most of the time I end up taking either the Skyliner or Disney Bus transportation to get into the resort. Once inside the penny machine can be found inside the Everything POPs Shopping & Dining area of the main building. Just as you past through the gift shop into the food court the machine will be on the left side. This penny design has our favorite pup Pluto, the rest of the design is the same as the others with the 50, Castle and Most Magical Celebration listed.

Port Orleans French Quarter Resort – Jackson Square

This is one of my favorite resorts. The theming is great, it has fun music everywhere and of course beignets whenever you want them. As you enter the main building, near the check-in section is the Jackson Square Gift Shop and is where you will find the next 50th Anniversary Series 2 pressed penny. The penny design at this location has Donald Duck with the rest of the design being the same as we have seen with the other pennies.

Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Bus Stop

As we head a little closer to the Magic Kingdom we needed to make a quick detour over at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa. This top tier resort always gives off the essence of elegance and glamour. To be honest sometimes I feel a bit out of place here. This resort does have a few different pressed penny machines but the one we are looking for is out front of the resort at the bus stop where you would get transportation to Disney Springs, Animal Kingdom and other locations around property. So far this is one of my favorite designs at this location with a beautiful image of Mickey and Minnie in front of the Castle with a floating 50 and some of the famous Disney Fireworks in the air.

Animal Kingdom – Discovery Trading Co.

Animal Kingdom always blows me away with all the little details the imagineers included, and it seems like every time I visit I see something new. Whether it’s the hand woven creations inside Pandora the World of Avatar, or the hand carved wooden art work back in Harambe it’s always a fun place to visit. To track down the next pressed penny we didn’t have to go too far inside the park. Right near the Tree of Life is a large gift shop called the Discovery Trading Co. Outside of this store is a beautiful sight a wall of three total pressed penny machines and one of them is where you can get your own Series 2 Chip and Dale 50th Design.

Boardwalk Inn – Lobby

Just outside of Epcot is one of my favorite places to visit during the evening hours the Disney Boardwalk. They have plenty of restaurants, stores, and even entertainment along the water. Plus the Boardwalk Inn is a fun homage to the classic Atlantic City resorts and coastal beaches. Just inside the main Lobby building near the resort gift shop is where you can find the pressed penny machine with our next 50th Series 2 penny design of Minnie Mouse.

Wilderness Lodge – Bus Stop

Our next stop was over at the Wilderness Lodge resort which is another of my favorite resorts. The log cabin vibes once inside is truly amazing and esthetically for me very eye pleasing. I’ve always had great experiences at the different restaurants and their Christmas tree during the holidays is in my option the best on Disney property. The penny machine we were tracking on this visit is a bit of a walk from the main lobby building. You need to walk outside and head towards the Bus Stop for the resort to find the machine and the special 50th penny design of Your Pal Mickey Mouse.

Magic Kingdom – Tony’s Town Square Restaurant

To finish out this Series 2 set of pressed coins we headed into the Magic Kingdom. The first new penny available can be found inside Tony’s Town Square Restaurant which is themed around Lady and the Tramp. This is also the same building where you can meet Mickey and Tinker Bell for some iconic family photos. The machine is just outside the restaurants restrooms and has our favorite Pixie Tinker Bell.

Magic Kingdom – Main Street Firehouse

On this journey we have pressed quite a few great new designs but this last one is my favorite of them all. This design can be found in the machine located inside the Main Street Firehouse. The penny machine is certainly a unique one that appears to be carved out of a historic piece of firefighting equipment. The penny design has the iconic Partners Statue located just in front of Cinderella Castle that showcases Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse holding hands.

I can’t think of a better way to finish up this second set of pressed pennies celebrating Walt Disney Worlds 50th Anniversary Celebration. If anyone has any new information on additional designs, location changes or updates please let us know in the comments below so we can help everyone acquire this great new set of coins. Keep on Pressing!

2022 TEC Member Coin

Not too long ago I received my favorite piece of mail, a small little envelope from the The Elongated Collectors Club (TEC). I’ve mentioned the club in the past many times but that’s just because it took me a long time to finally join the club and once I did I was upset with myself for not joining sooner. The most recent Quarterly Newsletter arrived in my email and I always love reading the articles from our fellow members. They run the gamut of collecting tips, personal penny smashing trips, historical information about our hobby and so much more. But then as an added perk we also receive this small envelope with some very unique elongated coins only available to members. These coins much like the newsletter articles cover a white range of topics and it’s always such a surprise to see what we get. One coin however is always expected and highly prized and that is the annual member coin.

Here is the 2022 version of this fantastic member coin. It was designed and rolled by current club President Paul Connor, and was engraved by John Gusmano. The design was rolled on nickels as is the case with most years (there was a special penny version one year). As you can see it includes a very detailed owl the TEC mascot filled with some very intricate geometric shapes. TEC listed across the top, 2022 in the middle and Member along the bottom.

If your interested in learning more about TEC please check out the website www.tecnews.org.  At the website you can find plenty of information about the club, and there is a gallery with all the previously released elongated coins. If you are ready to join you can fill out a membership form directly on the website.  Then once you are a member you can look forward to these annual member coins and so much more.  Keep on Pressing!