SeaWorld Orlando – Penny Machines Converted to $1

As with so many of the other theme parks around Central Florida, SeaWorld’s pressed penny machines have now been completely changed over to $1 per design. The machine does supply the penny for you, and initially I found them to be all nice new shiny zinc coins. However over time it seems that the machines are being loaded with circulated pennies that may be more tarnished or dirty making for a not so great final pressing. With that said most can be easily cleaned back at your home.

This conversion of their machines took a couple months and I think in total I made about 4 trips to finally document all of them. In this post I’ll review all the machines, their new locations since some were moved from their previous spots. Quick side note, this park has a bit of a unique layout so some of the locations are a bit hard to explain, in case you aren’t familiar I have put together a map of all the penny machine locations which is updated quite frequently for your visits to this park and may others in Central Florida, you can check them out here.

Following the State’s health guidelines there was a mandatory temperature check for all guests prior to entering the park.

I was able to initially visit the park on one of their very first days of reopening and it was so nice to see all the team members welcoming the guests into the park. They seemed to happy to be back to work and doing what they enjoy.

Every gift shop had plenty of “Welcome Back” merchandise which was definitely popular among guests and it was going fast.

Now let’s get down to business and start reviewing all the pressed penny machines. The first machine is in the SeaWorld Store right at the front of the park after you scan in with your park ticket.

I’ll get this out of the way now so I don’t need to revisit with each machine. There was only one machine that returned with new designs and we will get to that one shortly. But all other machines had no changes other than to their payment system and the price increase.

Around the back of this main SeaWorld Store was the second machine. This machine did return with the only set of new designs available.

Just across the courtyard is the SeaWorld Rescue store with the next machine.

I always find there are quite a few machines found right around this front area of the park. But then as you head a little further back they start to be spread out a little more.

Just to the left of the SeaWorld Rescue store is the Strollers Rental & Gift Shop. Like many other stores in this park there will be a bunch of items for sales outside as well and inside which I guess is to try and draw you in.

All they need to drawn me in is a pressed penny machine and this Strollers rental does have one just outside the gift shop door.

Now it was time to head a little further into the park, and just near the Aquarium by the Manta Coaster they had placed two penny machines together.

Here is a close up of the two machines, as I’ve mentioned the designs are the same but these were previously located in different areas of the park before this change.

Walking past the entrance to the Manta Coaster I found another penny machine which was outside the Manta Soft Service ice cream booth.

This was a fun machine to use because the Manta coaster initial lift goes right over top of you can even though that’s not my type of ride, I’m always fascinated to watch others riding it.

Before heading too far back into the park past Manta, I back tracked a bit towards the Key West section.

Outside of the Sand Castle Toys-n-Treats store was Penny Machine #23. It was also located right beside a Dippin’ dots cart so I figured it was a perfect time for a cold snack before continuing on.

Back near the Stingray Lagoon in the past you could find multiple machines, but now currently there is only one a available and you just see it to the far right side of the covered area.

Just note that this area does get very busy as touching stingrays always draws a crowd, and during feeding times it can get pretty packed. The machine is a bit off to the side so it shouldn’t be an issue accessing the machine during those busy times.

After spending some time with the Stingrays I headed back to the Dolphin viewing area and was surprised to see that the two penny machines usually found near the underwater area were both gone. I continued to the Manatee Rehabilitation area.

This machine had returned and was in the exact same spot as before the conversion.

Near the Manatee Rehabilitation area and the Turtle Trek exhibits is the Trek Treasures gift shop. I always thought this would be a perfect place for a machine, but in all my visits there has never been one here.

On this visit there still wasn’t a machine inside the shop, but right across the walkway was a newly relocated machine.

I do believe that this was one of the machine previously found at the Dolphin underwater viewing area, so it wasn’t completely removed just changed locations within the park.

By this time we were maybe about halfway through the park, it’s really amazing how large it is but we still had lots more machines to try and find.

Near the Journey to Atlantis water flume ride is where the next machine was found. Now usually the water splash from the ride won’t make it this far over the wall and I’m sure they don’t want to damage the machine by having it constantly soaked with water. But with that all said, I would still be on the lookout just in case. You never know when a rogue wave may hit.

Beyond the Journey to Atlantis ride and near the Kraken coaster we found the High seas Market which sells some grab and go drinks and small snacks like pretzels and popcorn.

You can see that there was a machine placed just to the left side of this small market, which is perfect for it with some of the designs being themed for the Kraken coaster.

This is also the area of the park where you get to enter Antarctica.

My daughters love this area just with all the fake ice and snow decorations around, plus they love penguins. The above machine is located just at the exit from the Penguin exhibit, but you don’t actually have to go through it to find the machine if you prefer to not get too cold. It’s freezing inside there. But instead you can just access the machine in this outside area near the lockers.

This was a good time of day to stop for some lunch. I always recommend trying to eat at off peak times like 11am or after 2pm to try and avoid some of the longer times and crazier crowds. I’d never eaten at the Expedition Cafe and figured it would be nice to try something a bit different.

We headed inside and there were a couple different stations with some Asian cuisine, American burgers and hot dogs, and a third with some lighter faire like salads. After ordering and picking up our food we sat outside since there was a nice breeze and it wasn’t too humid yet. Once I was done eating I headed over to get a better look at the two penny presses found just outside the Expedition Cafe’s front entrance.

After eating we were in the home stretch of finding these last few machines, and were energized after a nice lunch. We exited the Antartica section, past the Pacific wharf area and found a machine in a unique location.

If you have visited some of the Central Florida parks you may have encountered people coming up and asking if you want information on Vacation experiences or packages. I always just assume these are for a Time Share style sale, but I’ve never taken them up on this so I don’t really have much info. I will be honest, I’m always at the parks just to relax and enjoy a nice day out and don’t really want to be bothered with this type of interaction. But they have always been very nice and again in my experience when you say you aren’t interested they just leave you alone and move on. With this penny press right near their booth seems like a bit of an inconvenience when you just want to press some coins, but I wanted to mention it just so you were aware you do not need to buy or signup for anything to use the machine.

Another favorite area of ours is the Shark experience. Plus since most of it is indoors you get a nice Air Conditioning break.

After visiting with all the amazing sharks inside you exit near the Underwater Grill restaurant which has some pretty good food, and you get to eat right next to the shark tank. Outside you can see some little tanks with smaller sharks swimming around that you can feed at certain times throughout the day. This is also where two more machines are found.

Machine #10 is on the right side with some interesting shark designs.

Then machine #18 is on the left side and has a one of my favorite designs in all of SeaWorld which is of a Sea Dragon. If you have ever seen a Sea Dragon in person they are amazing to watch and I find them just simply mezmerizing.

No too far from the Shark experience are a set of restrooms and they also placed a penny machine back in this area.

If you aren’t paying attention for it you may pass right on by. I have a feeling this machine may be relocated in the future just because it’s kind of out of the way from people passing by.

Not too far from the “hidden” machine is the gift shop for the Mako coaster called Reef Treasures.

Previously this machine was found across the walkway and a little easier to spot. I was surprised to find it closer to the gift shop on this trip but probably makes it easier for the shop employees to help should someone have a problem with the machine.

I was so surprised to find that there was a large section of the park without any machines. We haded past the new Infinity Falls water rapids ride that still has no machines, through the Sesame Street area that has no machines, Shamu Stadium no machines, and even the Wild Arctic exhibit no longer has machines available. I walked across the big main lagoon kind of in the center of the park and back towards the Dolphin Nursery. Since our visit was almost over we stopped for some (more) ice cream.

With our treats in hand we sat outside to enjoy them and found another penny machine.

Looking across the walkway I could see the Seaside Restrooms and two more machines. I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I really dislike when they put machines near restrooms.

I guess they are definitely high traffic areas and kids use them while they are waiting for the rest of their family. To be it just seems like a strange place to put them.

On my checklist of machines, there was just one last one remaining to find and it was not too far from the above restroom location. Tucked away in the corner near the restrooms was a room with lockers for rent was the last machine.

We always have a great time visiting SeaWorld and I really think their food options are above and beyond better than a lot of the other theme parks. I was hoping to see more new designs released, or even one of those new 8 or 12 design touch screen machines would be awesome here. At least we still got the same 25 total machines returned and that’s huge for any collector to try and acquire in one day.

I do apologize for this being one really long post, but as I mentioned since most of the designs hadn’t changed I didn’t want to spread this out over multiple posts. This was really more just to document the new cabinets and price increase to the machines throughout the park. Thank you as alway for visiting, and if you are in the Orlando area be sure to check out SeaWorld it really is a great place to visit. Just remember, you don’t need to bring any quarters ore pennies anymore, just you dollar bills or credit card.

Have a great week and Keep on Pressing!

Strawhouse Pictures, Penny Press

A few years ago I had read a post on the TEC Facebook group from fellow member Tyler Tyson about a short documentary film he was being featured in.  The film was created by Strawhouse Pictures based in Rock Hill South Carolina who have been making features and short films for over 10 years.  This documentary was filmed over a few days at Tyler’s home, and was showcasing his passion for pressed coins, how he got into the hobby and shows off his impressive collection of coin press machines.

Penny Press Film

The film was released and shown in numerous independent film festivals around the United States.  I wasn’t able to see it in a theatre near my home, but it was eventually released online and I will admit I’ve watched it at least a half dozen times by now.

Strawhorse Pictures Penny Press Coin

To held promote this special film and occasion, Tyler created the above pressed penny design which I just received as part of my TEC Membership.  Another perk of membership with TEC are the unique and very limited pressed coins you received each quarter with your newsletter.  This was designed by Tyler Tyson (current TEC Vice President and soon to be President) and Paul Conner.  It was engraved by John Gusmano and rolled on US cents by Tyler.

If you would like to watch this short film you can do so by clicking here.  It’s only about 5 minutes long and was really well put together.  Any time we can help share stories about our hobby is a plus and I’m always happy to share these with you.  Have a great week and Keep on Pressing!

Pressed Penny Mafia – Pressed Coin Set

A wonderful perk of posting all my travels and pressed penny adventures here on our Blog and videos on Youtube is that I get to chat with so many of you, my penny pals.  We get to share tips or tricks about our collections, or even just give me all the juicy details about their own personal squishing’ missions.  I’m so obsessed with pressed coins that even though I collect quite a few on my own, I love to live vicariously through all of you and your experiences as well.  We have such a fantastic community here of collectors it’s just a lot of fun to share our passion with each other.

As part of our community I’m a member of quite a few different Facebook groups about pressed coins, and find that’s another fantastic resource.  I hear from a fellow collector Amy looking for some coins that I was able to help acquire for her and since then I think we have become pretty good friends.  During one of our conversations she let me know about a Facebook group she was running called Pressed Penny Mafia and that name immediately intrigued me and I joined right away.  As with most of the other groups there is plenty of posts about coin trips, new machines and plenty of trading and selling coins.  Then one day I saw a post from Amy about a new penny design she had created and when I signed up to buy / trader for one she let me know about all her other designs and there are quire a few.  That’s what I wanted to showcase today are the amazing Pressed Penny Mafia designs.

03 PPM Penny Designs

The first set of four designs were released back in 2019.  These designs are so cool and really fit in with the theme of the Facebook group.  Penny In Penny Out, Group Image, Lucky Loot and Hit by the Pressed Penny Mafia.

02 PPM Penny Designs

Then in 2020 the next few of designs were released throughout the year.  Squishin’ Mission, Lady Luck, You’ll Never Get My Coppers and The Only Group That Makes Cents.

01 PPM 2020 Members Coins

Amy also released special Member Designs in 2020 which were available on a penny and nickel.  I’m crossing my fingers that these become an annual release as I’m all about limited dated designs.  They make for such a fun and unique mini-collection.

06 PPM Boss Lady

The latest design in this collection is pictures above and was made available in April 2021.  Boss Lady is another great addition to this set.  The style of these designs are really beautiful and thought out.

04 PPM Amy Brennan

Amy has designed all of these herself.  She works with John Gusmano who etches the dies and Paul Connor rolls the coins for her.  In case you are interested in picking up any of these designs (or all of them) I did check with Amy and they are all still available for purchase.  The easiest way is to join the Pressed Penny Mafia PPM Facebook group which I have linked here, it’s completely free to join.  There is plenty of trading and selling of pressed coins in the group, plus you’ll be among the first to hear about all of Amy’s new group specific designs.  As a little sneak peak Amy shared that there are two more designs already scheduled for release later in 2021, and she is currently working on at least another 8 designs for future production.

I also put together a fun Film Noir style video about these coins that is available on our YouTube channel that you can check out here.  This was a lot of fun to put together and hopefully you enjoy it.

Thank you for stopping by and checking out more Privately Design and Pressed coins.  I think all to often we as collectors spend plenty of time collecting designs from Disney, Six Flags or many other large companies but we overlook that there is a huge market of privately designs coins out there and I’m going to try my best to showcase as many of them as I can.  I hope to see you on the Pressed Penny Mafia Facebook group soon, and make sure to pick up these coins for your collection.  You won’t be disappointed.  Until next time, Keep on Pressing!

2021 TEC Member Coin

2021 TEC Member Nickel

It’s that wonderful time of the year once again when the TEC club releases its annual Member coin pressed on a Nickel.  I’ve mentioned in the past that this is definitely one of the coins I look forward to each year and this new design does not disappoint.

It was designed by Tyler Tyson and Paul Conner both TEC members.  Then it was engraved by John Gusmano and rolled on nickels by Tyler Tyson.  This year’s design has some nice block lettering, a more realistic Owl image, and also celebrates the Clubs 55th Anniversary.

If your interested in learning more about TEC please check out the website www.tecnews.org.  You can even fill out a membership form directly on the website.  Feel free to list that you were referred by TEC Member #4237 (that’s Me!).  Once you are a member you can look forward to these annual member coins.  Happy Collecting!

I Got My Covid-19 Vaccine | Pressed Penny

Over the past few months Florida has been doing it’s best to distribute Covid-19 Vaccines to it’s residents as with all other states.  Of course it started for the those at high risk, the elderly and front line / health care workers.  Then as the weeks went by the age requirement would change, along with some other groups like school works being added.  It was only a matter of time before the age dropped to my bracket and I jumped at the opportunity to schedule my appointment.  My time slot was for 8am on a Monday, and I got up nice and early to make sure I was there in plenty of time.  I wasn’t sure what the situation would be like, or if there would be a crazy line but to my surprise it was very well organized and I didn’t even have to get out of my car.

01 I Got Vaccinated

The location I was able to get my appointment for was over at the Orange County Convention Center.  Once you entered at the North Concourse parking area it was nice and spaced out with plenty of markers along the way to ensure you were heading in the right direction.  There was a check point where they ensured you were there during your correct scheduled time slot, then after driving a bit further we headed down into the underground parking area of the convention center.  I was checked in again, and given a sticker with a barcode on my sleeve, and then was directed to a numbered location along the side wall where I was to get my vaccine.  The first healthcare worker came up and verified my information and ensured I didn’t have any current covid symptoms.  While she worked on my paperwork the second nurse came up, opened my car door and administered my vaccination.  It was over before I even realized it was happening.  She applied a bandage, closed my car door, and then the first nurse came back with my vaccine record card and explained I would need to park in the outside lot for 15 minutes to ensure I didn’t have any reactions to the shot.  Overall it was a very pleasant experience and I will have to do it again in a couple weeks for my second dose.

03 I Got Vaccinated

In a very serendipitous situation, shortly after I had booked my vaccination appointment, fellow penny pal Cindy Calhoun posted online about her new pressed penny design.  As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted it for my collection, plus just as another way to document this unique time in history we have found ourselves in.  The penny showed up and it is really fanatic.  As you can see from the image above it says “I go my Covid-19 Vaccine!” and has a pretty happy looking needle.

02 I Got Vaccinated

At the time of this writing Cindy is currently the President of our TEC club, and I have had the pleasure to meet Cindy in person a few times.  First was quite a few years ago at the World’s Fair of Money convention in Philadelphia, and then again the last few years at the FUN conventions here in Florida.  Cindy owns and maintains quite a few pressed penny machines around West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland.  She also runs the Elongatedpenny.net website where you can see all her coin designs, and even buy some of her custom designs like this one.

04 I Got Vaccinated

Not only does she create all her own designs, but she also rolls them by hand so she can control how the reverse image is oriented.  For example to have the date side shown on the back of the pressed coins which you can see in the picture above the 1971 can be seen.  You know us pressed penny collectors love our Copper pennies!

05 I Got Vaccinated

Whether you have already received your vaccine or are still waiting to get it, be sure to head over to Cindy’s website and checkout this coin.  Then you can proudly let everyone know you are helping to stay safe from COVID-19.

I also put together a fun little video about my trip to get vaccinated and also showcasing this wonderful pressed penny.  It’s available on our YouTube channel which you can check out here.  Be sure to subscribe to our channel or all new videos, it’s completely free to subscribe and helps show your support for our wonderful community and this amazing hobby.

Stay safe and Keep on Pressing!

zzzCoins.com Monorail Pressed Coins

Is there a more iconic mode of Disney Transportation than the Monorail.  In Florida it’s our Highway in the Sky that whisks us from the parking lot directly to either a few fancy resorts or a couple of the theme parks.  This is one of the first “attractions” that thousands of families encounter when they visit and it’s certainly a magical way to start or end your vacation.  When my family would first get on the monorail I knew I was on vacation when I would hear those famous words “Please stand clear of the doors. ¡Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas!”  Depending on how many times you have visited if you are like me you mouth these words as they are announced over the speaker system.  These are probably the only Spanish words I know and feel that I pronounce correctly, and I’m not the only one.  There are even places online selling t-shirts or stickers with this phrase on it.  Fans just can’t get enough.

03 Disneyland Mark1

So where did the Disney Monorail all start?  Well back in 1958 legendary Disney Imagineer Bob Gurr headed a team that designed and manufactured the cars, chassis, suspension and propulsion system of the original Red Mark I train.  It debuted in the Disneyland park on June 14th, 1959.

04 WDW Mark4 Install

Over in Florida the monorail system debuted when Walt Disney World opened on October 1st, 1971 with the newer (at the time) Mark IV monorail trains.

05 WDW Mark6 Current

Then in 1989 the fleet was updated to the newer Mark VI model built by Bombardier of Canada at a reported cost of over $3.5 million US dollars per train.  Now here we are in 2021 and we are still riding along on those Mark IV trains which have been running for over 30 years.

01 JM Monorail Pressed Set

Recently fellow TEC member and penny pal Jim McNally commissioned a special monorail design coin for his website zzzCoins.com.  These were designed and rolled by another fellow collector Donald Cade and were produced in January 2021.  The front design features the monorail in the middle and our favorite safety announcement in english on top, and Spanish on the bottom, as well as Don’s initials DC just  below the grip on the left side.  On the reverse side is the promotion for Jim’s elongated coins website http://www.zzzCoins.com.

Jim had 300 copper pennies produced with this design and an additional 29 denomination sets that include the design rolled on a US cent, nickel, dime and quarter.  The denomination set is available for purchase on his website which is how I acquired my set.  This is such a cool design and unique way to promote a website.  Both Jim and Don did a great job coordinating these.

02 JM Monorail Pressed Set

If you are interested in purchasing a set of these please head over to Jim’s website immediately.  With only a small number of these denomination sets rolled I’m sure they will go fast.  zzzCoins also has an extensive inventory of Disney pressed pennies both current and retired designs, as well as from other locations all over the United States.  Right now Jim is offering to include one of the monorail pressed penny designs with each order placed on his site while supplies last.

On just a quick side note, this is not a paid advertisement, Jim is one of my penny pals and I jumped at the opportunity to grab a set of these coins as soon as I heard about them.  I have used his online shop numerous times in the past to help fill in some gaps of my Disney penny collection.

From time to time we will be doing similar posts reviewing other privately designs and rolled coins which is really a big part of elongated coin collecting.  So many times we only think about the designs available at theme parks or road side attractions, but private designers create some really fun and unique designs that are extra special since they are only produced in very limited quantities.  They make a great addition to any collection, but you have to be quick.

Thanks again for visiting this week, I hope you learned a little bit about the famous Disney Monorail system.  It truly is my favorite way to get into the parks.  Even now in 2021 it still seems like a futuristic method of transportation.  Maybe that’s just the kid in me, but I hope it never goes away.  Stay safe everyone, and Keep on Pressing!

Busch Gardens Tampa – Penny Machines Converted to $1

Time for bit of house keeping.  Busch Gardens Tampa has slowly become one of my favorite parks in Florida.  I’ll always have a special place for the Disney parks but there is just something about Busch Gardens that I really enjoy.  Whether it’s the animals, the rides, the food festivals or maybe even their Howl-o-Scream events each fall, they just do it all really well.  I reviewed all their pressed penny machines in a previous post which you can read all about here.

However, on a trip last fall I noticed that a couple of the pressed penny machines had disappeared.  This piqued my interest hoping for some new designs, so I revisited the park again a few weeks later and instead of new designs I found that just like the Disney parks the machines had the price increased.  It did take quite a few trips throughout the year before I was able to document all of the machine changes and that is what we are going to go over today.

See I told you this all started back in 2020.  Unfortunately as we all know theme parks and most other outdoor activities were closed for part of that year due to the COVID pandemic, but they did eventually reopen with some new safety precautions.

After you park, use the tram (or walk) then go through a temperature check tent you come to the main entrance of the park.  This is also where you can purchase tickets if you didn’t do so previously online.  On the side of one of the ticket booths are the first two machines.  Previously there were actually four machines here, two on each side of the main pathway down the middle, but now there are just these two.

 

Here is a close up of the new cabinets.  They did appear to get a fresh coat of pain and the colors of the signage looks nice and fresh.  However the designs are the same as before the upgrade.  The only real changes made are to the cost which is $1 per penny.  You can pay with cash, credit card or Digital payment like ApplePay.  Just note that when paying by Credit or ApplePay you automatically get all four designs.  You cannot pay for just one, two or three designs.  For that you must pay with cash.  Also as we have review in the past with similar changes the machine now supplies the penny to be pressed so you cannot use your own penny any longer.

Next you head through a security check with metal detectors and bag checks before having your park ticket scanned.  Then you are officially inside the park and are greeted with some gift shops and a couple small food kiosks.  Near one of the gift shops there is a bit of a breezeway between two buildings.  Down this little pathway are the next two penny machines.

 

Just as with the other machines we just visited, the cabinets have been freshened up a bit but the designs are unchanged.  I didn’t check my records but I believe these machines were found in a different location before the changes.  That seemed to be something I found on these trips was that the machines had been moved around a bit.  On a side note, if you need help finding the machines you can check out our Maps pages for this park and other Central Florida theme parks here.  We update them weekly and in my humble opinion will be the most reliable resource for your penny pressing trips!

I did mention a little earlier that the park had rolled out some new safety procedures to help encourage things like facial coverings and social distancing.  I thought the above sign was a cute way to make sure you are one “alligator” distanced from other guests.

These are a bit larger than 6 feet long so if you want to be extra cautious feel free to use these as your reference.  How are they not just eating those turtles?

Just like other parks, I find that for some unknown reason I always walk the same direction each time I go.  At Busch Gardens I head towards the right side of the park and find myself near Cheetah Hunt.  They have had a penny press in the past, that used to be right inside the gift shop.

But for now, it’s been moved outside in the courtyard area in front of the Serengeti Overlook restaurant just across from Cheetah Hunt.  Then we headed towards Cobra’s Curse, Montu and the Safari plains.  There are some nice little paths in between animal exhibits for meerkats, African dogs and even some Tigers.  Eventually you cross some railroad tracks into the Nairobi area of the park.

Near the Nairobi train station you will find a pressed penny machine and a mold-o-rama machine.  In past trips my daughters have collected all of the molds throughout the park and I may need to post about those in the future as I do get a lot of comments about them.

But on this trip we were focusing on the pressed pennies.  As you could see from the previous picture this machine is right near a crossing for the safari train.  When those barriers go down and the train passes by this area can get pretty crowded as guests taking pictures of the train or are just waiting for it to pass so they can cross the tracks. I have found when this happens the machine can be swarmed by guests making it a little hard to use, but fret not the train isn’t that long and will pass pretty quickly.

We kept walking through the park enjoying our day and found ourselves in the Pantopia section of the park.  There are quite a few places to eat and drink here, along with some attractions for some of the smaller ones in your party.

When you pass through the other side there is a ramp that takes you to the next area of the park which is on a bit higher ground.  Up at the top of this ramp is the next pressed penny machine.  My daughters really enjoyed the color of this one!

Not too far away from the top of that ramp is the U-Banga Banga bumper cars.  The penny machine located here used to be a little further down the path near the restrooms.

Thankfully they have been moved out of that area which was always crowded.  I really liked the orange color of the signage, just something a little different.

Eventually we came to the Orangutan area which is a guest favorite.  If you time it right you can see them being fed which is fun to watch.  There is a covered bridge / walkway near the viewing building that used to have two penny machines, but now only has one.

The designs from this machine are the same as they were before the cabinet upgrade.

Lastly we ended up in the Stanleyville section of the park.  Just across from the water flume ride is where I found the last penny machine.  This machine did offer four new designs all themed around the nearby Tigris roller coaster.

 

Tigris has been open for a couple years now, but I was very happy to see some new designs celebrating this attraction.  Sometime in 2021 they will be opening their next coaster called Iron Gwazi and I’m crossing my fingers for some new penny designs when that opens.  But if it’s like Tigris we may not see those for a while after the attraction opens.

Those were all the pressed penny machines.  For those of you that read my previous posts may have noticed that the park used to have a total of 12 machines, and now only have 10.  I have gone back a few more times but haven’t seen the other machines so I’m thinking they just downsized a bit.  Each machine is numbers, and the highest number I found was 10 so I don’t believe I missed any.  Maybe this is just temporary and when the new attraction opens we will see additional machine(s) released.  As I mentioned at the beginning this has become one of my favorite parks and I’ll definitely be back to keep an eye out for anything new.

Thank for visiting this week, stay safe and Keep on Pressing!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2021

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

01 St Patricks Day Penny

To help celebrate I wanted to showcase a really cute pressed penny from The Penny Depot and is called Lucky Gnomes.  They really do have some fun designs over at their online store which you should check out.  I’m over there quite often buying up all their new designs for my collection.

An uncle of mine was from Ireland and used to laugh at all the St. Patrick’s Day “traditions” we have here in the US.  But you know what I really enjoy Corned Beef and Cabbage.  However more importantly for us it’s just another excuse for our family to get together for some great food and catch up.  Plus another little strange part of our celebration is that we do our St. Patrick’s Day on the 16th instead.

02 St Patricks Day

The reason for this is that March 17th is my wedding anniversary.  We are not Irish, and to be honest when we initially picked our wedding date we completely forgot it was St. Patrick’s day.  But it certainly makes it an easy day to remember.  I found the above penny design in The Penny Depot store and had to buy it.  This is such a cute saying and I know I’ve heard my kids say it to their grand parents and it’s really become a new way to express you feelings for someone.

03 St Patricks Day

To my amazing wife Monica, thank you for being such an amazing part of my life.  I love you to the Moon and Back!

Enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day celebration, we have a fun day planned for our Anniversary.
Keep on Pressing!!

Among Us – Video Game Pressed Pennies

My family has recently become obsessed with a video game.  To be honest I haven’t really played many video games recently, but loved them when I was younger.  When my sister and I got our first Super Nintendo System we were hooked.  But as the years went by the excitement for me slowly faded along with my hand-eye coordination.  I started to feel my age when I played a game recently and thought to myself “It’s too fast and I just can’t do it”.  Yikes have I really gotten to that age already?

This has all recently changed when I had heard some podcasters I listen to talking about a game called Among Us.  I didn’t think much about it until soon after my oldest daughter was playing a new game, and she was using some of the same “terms” I had heard on the podcast like “Imposter” and “Sus”.  Sure enough she was playing the same game.  Now being the diligent parent I am, I was curious to investigate what she was playing so I created my own account and we started playing together.  It only took one game for me to get hooked and now it’s become our new nightly routine after homework and before bedtime.

First let me give you a bit of background on this game.  Among Us is an online multiplayer “Social Deductive” game created by American game studio Innersloth.  Basically it’s like a murder mystery in space.  My inner Agatha Christie fan may be part of why I like this game so much.

 

The game takes place in Space on a Spaceship and players are randomly assigned one of two roles.  Most are Crewmates, but either one, two or three (depending on that games configuration) are assigned as an Impostor.

The goal of the crewmates is to try and identify the imposters, and eliminate them all while completing various tasks throughout the ship.

There is a map within the game that players can view to see the different rooms of the ship and where their tasks are located.

But beware when you are doing a task some of them cover the entire screen so you cannot see if an imposter enters the room to try and take you out.

This also means you may come across a recently deceased player in a room and will want to report it immediately, or depending on your strategy maybe you want to leave it for someone else to find.

When a body is report this sparks a meeting of all players back in the cafeteria.

At the time you can chat with other active players to try and deduce what happened.  Any deceased players cannot be apart of the chat but are allowed to watch so they can see how the rest of the game plays out.  A common term players use is “Sus” meaning someone was doing something Suspicious or Suspect.  In the chat it’s very common to see someone say “Orange was acting very Sus” which could be true, or maybe the imposter is trying to get you off their trail by changing the focus to another player.

Once the players have chatted about who they think may be the imposter(s) a vote screen pops up where you can make your selection.  Or if there is not enough information you can opt to skip the vote.

But be careful if the imposter is doing their job well you may end of voting the wrong person out and they are tossed off the ship.

As I mentioned a little earlier, any player that is either killed by the imposter or ejected from the ship due to an incorrect vote, they will become a ghost.  Only other ghosts can see each other, but you are invisible to the active players.  So you can follow who you think may be the imposter or you can help the crewmates complete all the outstanding tasks to help win the game.

The imposter will win if they are successful in killing off a majority of the crewmates while also sabotaging the ship.  The crewmates win by either completing all their tasks before the imposer kills everyone, or if they identify the imposter and vote them off.

It’s just a fun whodunit.  I remember back in High School my English class read Agatha Christie’s play The Mousetrap which became a favorite of mine, but I also enjoy her other play And Then There Were None.  Both take place in a secluded locate with a set number of characters that are all slowly being killed off, and the mystery is on to try and figure out who the killer is.  This game is the digital version of those plays and I just immediately fell in love with the concept.

On a recent visit to The Penny Depot website which I have really come to enjoy their fun and unique penny designs, I came across these two new coins.  Just weeks ago I’m sure I would have just passed by them not giving them a second thought as I just didn’t understand what they were about.  But on this recent visit as soon as I saw them I called my daughter over to see them and she said we needed them for our collection.  I couldn’t order these fast enough and was so excited when they did arrive in my mail just the other day.

This game is free to play and thankfully for me doesn’t require much skill or gaming dexterity.  It’s more about just wondering around a ship trying to solve simple little puzzle tasks while figuring out a mystery.  I’m sure I won’t be playing this forever, but for now I really enjoy being able to experience this with my daughter.

Have a fantastic week and as always Keep on Pressing!

Yak & Yeti Restaurant Pressed Pennies – WDW Animal Kingdom

You may not be familiar with the name Landry’s but I’m sure you know of their themed restaurants like Rainforest Cafe, Bubba Gump Shrimp, or even T-Rex Cafe.  I’ve mentioned in the past that I really enjoy these restaurants for their theming and immersing us in a unique dining environment, but the food is always a little underwhelming.  I will admit there are plenty of Landry’s restaurants I have not visited so this is not a hard and fast rule, but there is one of their restaurants we have eaten at a few times and have always had fantastic entrees.

Of all places this restaurant is located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, back in the Asia area directly behind the Tree of Life.

The unique Purple building seems to drawn people in trying to figure out exactly what it is.  Unfortunately reservations are required and there is very little walk up availability.  It’s been a few years since the last time I was able to get a reservation but I recently snagged one and we jumped at the opportunity to go back.

Even though this is not a Disney operated restaurant there is of course a fun backstory to this place.  A wealthy merchant named Arjun fell on some hard times.  His house was located near the base of Mount Everest in the village of Anandapur.  Many travelers and traders would pass through Anandapur and Arjun turned his large house into a hotel.

Throughout the building are an amazing collection of artifacts and furniture that Arjun has collected from his time as a merchant.

In previous visits as with any restaurant there were large menus, but due to the current pandemic they have changed over to a digital menu.  Each table has a QR code that you can scan with your smart phone to bring up the current menu items, descriptions and cost.

As an appetizer we opted to try a new item that our server said was previously a special limited time item but was so popular it now is on the permanent menu.  This is the Korean Fried Chicken, hand-breaded tenders tossed in a gochujang maple syrup sauce.  These were really amazing, the chicken was tender and had a nice crunch to light batter.  The sauce was a little sweet with a back of the tongue spice that wasn’t too strong but definitely noticable.

As an additional side option we ordered some of their famous Garlic Noodles.  The noodles were cooked perfectly with a bit of chew to them, but definitely not mushy.  The garlic sauce was nice and potent so if you are not a garlic fan (is there such a thing?) you may want to avoid this one.  it also included some chopped peanuts on top for a bit of crunchy texture.

For my main entree I tried the Korean Beef.  Usually my go-to dish here is the Honey Chicken which I love, but this time around I wanted to try something different and I wasn’t disappointed.  This dish is Wok-fried beef with peppers, onions and pineapple in a sweet Korean BBQ sauce.  I opted for a side of brown rice, and they also put some micro greens on top as a garnish.  This dish was really pretty and I almost didn’t get a picture of if in time as I just wanted to dive in and start eating.  The beef was tender, the veggies were crisp and the pineapple added a nice little twang to round everything out.  This was another winner in my books for this restaurant.  By this time we were pretty full so we decided to not get dessert on this trip.  We figured that we needed a bit of a walk around the park before maybe getting some ice cream elsewhere.

Before we left I headed over to visit the pressed penny machine.  We have reviewed this machine in the past, and the designs have not changed.  The machine was recently changed to the new higher $1 per penny price point, and the machine now supplies a penny for you.  I’ve always really liked the cabinet on this machine, the wrap is fun and I just love those colors and Mount Everest at the bottom.

The penny designs available here include a Pagoda, the Himalayan Mountains, two Tibetan Mastiffs and a Yak.  All state Yak & Yeti on them which I think is a nice touch but very common with other Landry’s locations.

This machine is located just inside the main entrance to the restaurant near the check-in desk.  You do not need a reservation to get inside if you are only looking to press the pennies.  Just know that this place is very popular and that area can be a bit crowded making the penny machine a little difficult to access.  But I would recommend if you are visiting Animal Kingdom and heading this way to get these pennies try to get a reservation or see if you can walk up for a table, the food is common enough Asian style faire that anyone should be able to find something they like.  It’s fun to wonder around inside and see all the details that were placed here and most of the time would go unnoticed especially for a theme park restaurant.

Enjoy and Keep on Pressing!