Just last week was Easter weekend and I knew from previous years that the Walt Disney World parks are usually really busy. So this year I decided to visit Universal Studios in hopes the crowd levels may be a little less over the Holiday weekend. Well unfortunately that was not the case.
Those parks were just as busy, but my plan on this trip was just to enjoy a nice day wandering around the park, and not worrying too much about trying to get on any of the rides. I was also going to use this as an opportunity to see if any of the penny machines had moved, or if there were any new designs. Universal doesn’t change their pressed penny machines as often as Disney so there usually isn’t much to update. After we walked into Universal Studios we headed towards Hollywood Boulevard and checked out the first penny couple machines in the Silver Screen Collectibles and Hello Kitty stores but they were the same, no changes. This was the same for the next few machines as well over near the E.T. ride, Barney, Springfield and the Men In Black (M.I.B.) store. Then I came to the San Francisco Candy Company and found that the machine had been moved to a different area of the store.
I was taking some new pictures of the machine when I noticed something. There was a sticker in the corner of the glass window where you can watch the penny being pressed.
The sticker was announcing that the engravings (designs) would be retired in the Summer 2019. It also showed pictures of the designs that were going to be retired and in this machine it would be all 3. Now I had a new objective for this trip, are there more of these notices in the parks? Then I started to second guess myself about the other machines I quickly had looked at already so I backtracked to make sure. None of those machines had any stickers about retired designs. Then I headed back to where I had initially left off and check the machines in the Transformers Ride, the Mummy, Shrek and Minions attractions but those were all staying the same. The last machines to review in this park were at big Studio Store near the entrance / exit to the park.
This store has 4 machines inside and most of them are staying the same but one did have one of those stickers on it.
This machine will only have 2 of the 3 designs retired.
This one seems a little strange as the Thing 1 & 2 and Gru designs are retiring but the Kong design is staying. Kong doesn’t have an attraction in Universal Studios anymore and instead has a new ride over in Islands of Adventure so I’m not sure why it would be staying in this location. Next I headed over to Islands of Adventure to continue the search.
We didn’t go too far inside the park when we visited the Island Market Export store and found the first machine with some soon to be retired designs.
This machine was towards the back of the store pass the big candy counter.
There are two machines located back to back of each other. The front facing machine has the retired sticker and apparently will have all 3 designs removed.
Next we headed into the Cats, Hats and Things store which is where you exit from the Cat in the Hat ride.
This machine will only have 1 design retired.
I would assume a new Cat in the Hat design will be coming to this machine, but it would seem strange to have something else here.
A little further down the path was the Gertrude McFuzz store.
The Grinch has a meet and greet in this store, and is right near where the penny machine is located so it can be a little tight when the line is long.
Two of the three designs here will be retired.
We then left Seuss Landing and headed into the Lost Continent. There was only one penny machine in this area of the park at the Treasures of Poseidon store.
This machine has been in this store for a long time and the designs have been unchanged, but that apparently is changing.
According to the sticker all 3 of the designs will be retired. Not sure if this means the entire machine is going away, or if just new designs will be replaced. After that we cut through The Wizarding World of Harry Potty which still has no pressed pennies, and then we found ourselves in Jurassic Park.
Near the River Adventure ride (the big water drop ride) is the Jurassic Outfitters store. All the way in the back where you get your pictures from the water ride was the next machine.
These are some nice classic designs with he Jurassic Park logo, and the Islands of Adventure logo.
But according to the sticker on this machine all three designs are going away. There is some construction nearby this area with a rumored new Jurassic Park themed roller coaster so maybe these designs are being replaced with images for that new attraction. The next area was Toon Lagoon which is themed around many old school comic characters like Betty Boop, Popeye, and Wimpy among many others.
There is one large gift shop that runs along one side of this area called Toon Extra. Plenty of character merchandise and of course a penny machine.
I always liked the “A Penny for your thoughts” quote on the bottom of this machine.
This is another machine with all three of the designs being retired. The set included Betty Boop, Popeye and Spongebob Squarepants.
Directly across from Toon Extra is a small store that is all about Betty Boop.
This machine and I are not on good terms. Years ago I was on a quick trip to Florida and visited Universal trying to press all the pennies they had, but this machine was broken. Then I spent the next year or so trying to find someone to get the pennies but that didn’t pan out. Eventually I came back for another work trip and when I went to use this machine it was broken again. I just couldn’t win. But since then I was able to eventually press the set, but I will admit I’m a little happy to see it go. Hopefully the entire machine gets an overhaul.
the posted sticker on the machine shows only two images going away, and one Betty Boop design staying in the machine. That was it for Toon Lagoon, and no other changes in Super Hero Island so I headed out of Islands of Adventure. The only other machines still to be checked on where in the parking structures so that’s where I headed next. There are currently 7 penny machine around the parking hub and 6 of them appear to be staying the same even tough most of those designs are very dated.
The very last machine I checked out was in the North Parking structure just before you get to where all the cars are parked. This is another machine that’s been around for quite a while, I think I initially presses these designs about 5 or 6 years ago at least.
I guess the latest Fantastic Four reboot movie didn’t do enough to keep fan interested in these coins.
The entire set of 4 designs are marked to be retired.
That was all I found but was excited to know that so many coins are being retired, and hopefully being replaced with new designs. The possibilities are intriguing with what may show up. Some of the machines where all the designs are going away, may be replaced with those new 8-design machines. Obviously the other machines with just one or two images retiring may get pennies for all the new attractions that have been showing up at the parks recently.
In total I found notices that 26 total pennies are to be retired. As I mentioned above that’s no guarantee that 26 new designs will be back and some may just be gone for good. Also there is no set date for when these are being changes out, it just says Summer 2019. I’ll be visiting the parks on a regular basis to try and report back as soon as these start changing out.
Any ideas what you think may be on the way? Any designs you would like to see show up. Let me know in the comments below. Happy Collecting!