Bass Pro Shop – Fort Myers, Fl

Our vacation was quickly coming to an end but we still had a few days left.  Unfortunately it was time to say goodbye to South Beach and start the trip back up to Central Florida.  But we had decided to take a little detour along the way.  When I was young we had taken a trip along the famous Alligator Alley (Highway 75) and I wanted to do the same trip this time around.  I had these memories of alligators lining the sides of the highway as we drove mile after mile through the Everglades.

To my dismay after driving along this stretch of highway those memories must have been larger than life.  There were fences lining both sides of the highway and as my wife and kids kept vigilant watch out through the windows we didn’t see one single alligator.

After we drove west on 75 we eventually found ourselves in Fort Myers.  This was where I had planned to stop for the day/night and stay over to break up the trip home.  Just off the highway we found the Gulf Coast Town Center which was like a big box store shopping area.  There were a couple of hotels with plenty of vacancies so we checked in.  Once in the hotel we opened the curtains and were face to face with a Bass Pro Shop.  I’ve been to a few of these in past adventures and even a few Cabela stores which are similar.  These huge hunting and finishing super stores are really just amazing to me.  My wife and oldest daughter were a little tired so they decided to stay in the room and rest, but my youngest was on board to check out the store.

I’ve mentioned this in previous posts that I’m not a hunter or fisherman, and if left along out in the woods I would probably starve to death.  But these outdoor superstores are really intriguing to me.  I could spend hours just wandering around checking out all the finishing poles, camouflage gear, and barbecue equipment.

We spent a good amount of time just going up and down all the aisles in the fishing section.  The selection of poles, lures and other tech is really amazing.  The fish don’t seem to have a chance.  My daughter was fascinated with the large “aquarium” tank behind the counter that was filled with all sorts of fish.

Did I mention hot sauces?  There is an entire area of this store dedicated to hot sauces of all kinds.  They range from supposedly mild, to bottles with big black cross bone warring signs on them.  Some are more unique like a white hot sauce, and even some made with moonshine.

The second floor gave a nice overview of just how big this store is, and the selection of merchandise in stock.

This second floor is also where I found the barbecue section which I always enjoy.  I’ve been working on my BBQ and smoker techniques for a few years and have gotten pretty good.  All these different grills and smokers, wood chips, thermometers, and other gadgets has me in heaven but my wallet won’t be so happy.

Back down on the main floor towards the back of the building is a huge replica mountain that is decorated with stuffed animals, but does have a real fish tank in it.  This seems to be a favorite of the kids as they all seem to congregate around this area.

Lucky for me right next to this tank was the pressed penny machine.  While my daughter watched the fish I quickly pressed a set of coins.

Usually these designs at Bass Pro Shops are all very similar but they do always have the specific city location listed on each of the designs.  This set included the standard Bass Pro Shops logo, a Sailboat and beach, an Alligator, and a Crane.

After dragging my daughter away from the fish tank, we made our way to the check out area so I could buy my new BBQ equipment and loaded it up in the car.  We met up with my wife and other daughter for dinner, and spend the early evening in the hotel pool relaxing.  Our vacation was almost over and we only had one more day to get  back home.  But our trip had time for one last stop before going home.

Zoo Miami – Miami, FL

The next day of our Miami Vacation we wanted to be a little more laid back.  We tried not to get up too early, and didn’t rush down for breakfast.  But eventually we did make it out the door of our hotel, into our car and over to our adventure for the day.

Zoo Miami was a bit of a drive from where our hotel was in South Beach, but since we were visiting during the week traffic wasn’t too bad.  I had visited this zoo back in the 80s when I was a kid but didn’t remember much.  We had some old home videos I watched but other than the monorail (yes they have a monorail here) not much else seemed to look familiar so I’m sure there had been extensive renovations since then.

After we got through the main entrance we were greeted by a flock of Flamingos in all their pink glory.  Our two daughters love pink and by association love Flamingos.  We kept to the main path and eventually came to a bike rental stand but we skipped right by it.  They offer pretty big tandem bikes that your entire family can ride thought the zoo.  When we first saw them we kind of laughed, but I will admit by the end of our trip we kind of wished we had rented one as it was a LOT of walking.

This zoo was really nicely designed, and the exhibits were really beautiful.  They had all the standard animals that most zoos have.

We will eventually get to some penny machines, but we did come across a whole bunch of these Mold-A-Matic machines.  I remember these from when I was a kid.  You put in a couple of dollars (or swipe your credit card now a days) and two halves of the metal mold move together, are injected with wax, and then after a minute or so the wax mold drops into the collection bin.

Just for fun we created one of these souvenirs and our kids loved them.  I have them pretty well-trained to help spot penny press machines, but they now had a new mission and would holler out as soon as they found another wax machine.  By the end of the day I think we had accumulated about 7 or 8 of these figures.

The zoo also had a very nice aviary.  Usually I’m not a huge fan of these as the birds always flying over my head is a little unnerving.  But this one was pretty nice and peaceful.  They were quite a few birds but they were mostly in the trees eating and the little pools of water were filled with all sorts of fish and turtles which was fun.

The sun was blazing down by this time of day so it seemed like a good time to take a break and get have a bit of a rest with some drinks.  We found the Critter Connection area that is like their kids section.  When you first walk in there are a set of restrooms, a snack bar, and a playground out back with a carousel.

Also in this area just outside the restrooms was the first penny machine.  The cabinet was nicely decorated for the zoo.  I’m not a huge fan of these type of manual crank machines as always find they don’t press very well.  Either the designs don’t line up, or they roll long or short.  It’s kind of hit or miss.  Also a strange thing with this machine was if you zoom in on the above picture only 3 designs were shows on the cabinet.

But you know me I’m always going to try and see if that 4th design is still available.  Sure enough I was able to press 4 designs in total and as you can see above they all came our really nicely.  The camel one was a little long but much better than most of my experiences with this type of machine.  The set included images of the Zoo Miami Logo, A tree front with a peace sign, a Giraffe, and a Camel.

After we rested in the shade for a bit with some bottles of water and a couple soft pretzels our daughters raced off towards the carousel.  We took a few trips around since there was no line the attendant just let us stay on a couple of times.  Eventually we dragged our girls off as they kicked and screamed about wanting to keep going.  The zoo path we were following wound back and forth in a slalom pattern between exhibits.  There weren’t too many people at the zoo this day, but the path just seemed to be endless.  Eventually we found the elephants which is always just one of those animals we have to see every time.  The trainers were out feeding them and had them put on a bit of a show.  This wasn’t a circus type show, but instead they were trying to show off some of the things they would do in the wild.  At one point they had them “speak” which was just them blowing air out of their trunks machine the well-known honking sound.  I tried to think whether I had ever heard an elephant do this in person, and it was really interesting to witness first hand.

With the elephants fed we headed off to the next place which had giraffes.  They were also being fed at this time of day which kept them a little further away from where we were standing to watch.  They just seem like they should tilt forward with those long necks, but are so graceful when they move.  Really amazing to see in a large open area.

Our youngest daughter had been calling our for the Gorillas all day, and we thankfully found them.  They weren’t doing much other than just sitting on the grass and enjoying the Florida sun.  If you look real close in the picture above there was a really big iguana just in front of the tree stump to the left of the Gorilla.  I’m not really sure how he got in there, but the gorilla didn’t seem fazed by it.  Just another fun odd couple at the zoo.

Eventually it was time for another pit stop.  But this time we figured it was probably a good idea to get some lunch and sit in the shade before we passed out from the heat.  We found the covered area shown above which was called the Oasis Grill.  They had the usual pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, and basic garden salad.  Pretty standard park food but our kids enjoyed it, and my wife and I were just happy to sit for a little bit.

As we sat at our table eating I noted across on the other side in among a few of the tables was the second penny machine.  Same type of machine as the first one with a similar cabinet design but different animals printed at the bottom.

Again these pennies actually pressed pretty nicely.  The set includes images of another Zoo Miami Logo, an Elephant, a Rhino and a Gorilla.

Once lunch was done and we had rehydrated with plenty of water we headed back out into the sun for the last leg of our zoo trip.  Unfortunately by this time everyone was getting pretty tired and a little cranky.  There was definitely a lot of walking.  I was hoping we could make it back to the front of the park seeing everything from ground level, and then take a round trip tour in the sky on the monorail.  But after visiting with a large tortoise, and some familiar Florida animals in the “local” section of the park everyone was ready to head back to our hotel and just chill.

Something to note on these designs is they all said Miami Metro Zoo along the bottom which was the previous official name of the zoo.  Does this mean the designs will be updated soon?  Probably not, but still makes for a fun set of coins to press.

Miami Seaquarium – Miami, FL

Our first full day in Miami started with an early start.  We always go into vacation saying it won’t be too scheduled with things to do, and let’s sleep in.  But with two young kids they seem to wake up even earlier on vacation.  The afternoon was going to be saved for another trip to the beach, bu that gave us the morning to go do something.  We grabbed some breakfast at a nearby diner and then headed to the Miami Seaquarium.

Located on Key Biscayne out in the Bay, it’s a very unique location and makes for a beautiful background for this indoor/outdoor Seaquarium (aquarium).

The front area was under quite a bit of construction.  We saw some concept art of the future grand new entrance and it does look like it will be impressive when done, but for now it was a lot of construction equipment and torn up concrete.  After we had our tickets scanned there was a bit of a walk to the main building and first gift shop.  Just inside this gift shop I found the first penny machine.

The machine was in pretty good shape and worked well.  As with so many of these machines it was also located just outside the bathroom area which makes them a little awkward to use sometimes due to the high traffic area.

This first set of pennies all said Miami Seaquarium Florida on each coin.  The designs included images of a Sea Turtle, a Manatee, Shark and a couple of Dolphins.

We headed through the gift shop into the next part of the building which surrounded a large tank that housed a couple of their dolphins.

If you head upstairs you eventually end up outside on the top of the building where you can get a bird’s eye view of the dolphins.

You can get right up to the edge of the tank but you are still out of reach of the dolphins.  This is more of a viewing area and they do have feeding shows you can watch periodically through the day.

Back downstairs on the main level there was a little side hallway.  Initially I saw just medallion machine which I have not caught the collecting bug on yet.  As I got closer I noticed the penny machine in the distance.

This was a bit of a unique machine.  I have seen models like it from time to time but I have found them to be unreliable when pressing unfortunately.  On this visit it was no different.  There was no out-of-order sign on the machine but when I tried to press the coins it just ate the change and didn’t press anything.  On my way out later in the day I mentioned it to a manager and they credited back my change.  A couple of weeks after we got home from this trip I wrote a letter to the Seaquarium explaining what happened and included some quarters and pennies asking if they could press them when the machine was fixed.  It did take another few weeks but eventually they showed up in the mail.

The designs all say Miami Seaquarium USA, and had images of a couple Manatees, a Whale, a Dolphin and a Seal.  As you can see from the above picture the seal design still pressed pretty short.  Whomever pressed the coins for me did include a few other copies of the seal coin in an attempt to get a better final outcome which was very nice of them.  The above was the best one of the batch.

Eventually after we checked out the rest of the inside aquarium tanks along the wall and another large tank in the middle behind the dolphin one had a lot of various sea creatures inside.  Then we made our way outside to see some of the other exhibits.  They had the usual aquatic life such as seals and sea turtles.

Of course since we were in Florida there had to be some Manatees which I always find fun and relaxing to watch.

From 1963-67 the TV show Flipper had been filmed at the Seaquarium and they have areas designated with signs and historical info on the show and its famous star.

There is also an area that you can walk through (but don’t touch) some parrots and other beautiful birds.  Just be careful as you walk around because there are some large iguanas walking around as well with free roam of the property.

Near the Parrot area is a Sting Ray touch tank which have become a staple exhibit at all aquariums.  My kids love this and we always have to drag them away eventually.

Speaking of kids, towards the very back of the property is a kids area with a playground and other things they can enjoy.  I wished there was more shaded areas for the parents to sit and rest but instead we were out in the blazing Miami sun.

Nearby the kids area was the third penny machine available at the Seaquarium.  It was hiding just around the side of this little covered stand used to house some soda machines.

The machine worked fine, but a note on this as it was located in that sun I was just talking about.  Because of that the handle and cabinet were extremely hot to the touch.

This last set of pennies had images of an Orca Whale, a Penguin, a Ray, and a Seal.  They also had the Miami Seaquarium Florida listed on all the pennies.

The Seaquarium was larger than we had anticipated but were able still able to see everything in a few hours.  Some of the exhibits are a little dated, and all the sea life are common to most aquariums.  The Flipper information was cool, that show was a little before my time but I am well aware of it and plan on re-watching some episodes to see if I can recognize where we visited.  The pressed penny sets were a nice addition to my collection and the first and last machines are obviously newer and work fine.  But that second machine is definitely an older model that probably doesn’t get much regular maintenance.  However if you do run into any issues with the machines don’t hesitate to let someone know.  I’m my experience they are more than happy to help be either refunding your money or sometimes helping to get a set in the future when the machine is fixed.  Never hurts to ask.

Disney Clothiers – Magic Kingdom Main Street USA *NEW*

Tonight I was having dinner at the Contemporary Resort with some friends in town for the week.  During a break in conversation I took a look at my phone and I had some notifications from Instagram (@davidscointravels in case you want to follow along).  Another reader (@followustodisney) had mentioned me in a post about a possible new penny machine.  I took a look and sure enough I didn’t recognize the machine and the designs looks unfamiliar.  After getting some additional details about the location of the machine I checked the Disney park app on my phone to see when Magic Kingdom closed.  Thankfully it was open until 11pm so I had plenty of time to enjoy the rest of our dinner before I bolted over to the park.

Needless to say by the time I got into the park a little around 9:00pm there was quite the crowd trying to leave the park.  It was raining a little bit, but the Happily Ever After fireworks show had finished just a short time before so this was most of the guests cue to leave.

Can you believe they have Halloween decorations up already?  Technically they have started having the Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween parties back in August which seems nuts but people love getting dressed up so Disney knows how to cash in on that. I love these Mickey Jack-o-latern lights and wish they sold them in the gift shops.

After swimming up-stream (Main Street USA) against the crowd I passed the Emporium and after that is another store called Disney Clothiers.  This is connected with the Emporium so if you are instead you probably have walked right through it not realizing it’s actually a separate store.  If you do enter from Main Street through the doors pictures above the penny machine is just inside by the drink cooler.

This area of the store deals primarily in children’s clothing, filled with plenty of Princess dresses, Minnie ears, and anything your young one would probably want to dress up in.

As for me I headed right over to the penny machine.  Well that is after I took a lot of pictures, and video which I will admit was quite the task in this store at this time of night.  The amount of people walking and shopping in here at night is crazy.

This is another 8-Design automatic touch screen machine.  As usual the cost is $1 for 1 design, or $5 for all 8.  The images are a cute set that includes Baby Mickey sitting, Baby Minnie sitting, Baby Donald, Baby Daisy, Baby Goofy, Baby Pluto, Baby Mickey crawling, and Baby Minnie on her back.  This seems to fit right into this store (even though the clothes are not strictly for young babies) but still a fun set and I’m sure it will be popular.

While I was using the machine one of the cast members actually came over to watch how I used it.  I guess they don’t get any special training from Disney on the machines.  She mentioned that the machine was brand new and had only been there for a day or two so hot off the production line.

Thanks again to my friends @followustodisney for the heads up on this new machine.  Be sure to follow them on Instagram as they have a lot of fun Disney adventures over there.  As I always say keep an eye open for new machines you never know when they will pop up.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co – Miami, FL

After our first and only night at Disney’s Vero Beach we had decided I would take our two daughters down to the beach while my wife had some spa time.  This was a huge hit with our kids and after a good couple hours down there in the sand and surf as is always the case we had to drag them away.  But there were promises of more beach days as our vacation continued that week.  We got cleaned up and checked out of Vero Beach so we could get on road for the second half of our journey.

The highway took us straight down south and eventually over to South Beach Miami to our hotel for the next few days.

The hotel was nice, room was very modern and appeared to be recently renovated.  The only issue we encountered was no bath tub.  Now for my wife and I that’s not a big deal but our two daughters who were 5 and 2 years old made for an interesting bath time each evening.

We had a nice view from our balcony of the harbor and if you looked closely between some of the towering skyline you could see the beach only a block away.  Once we were settled into our room and unpacked it was about time to start thinking about dinner.  I found online a place called the Bayside Marketplace that wasn’t too far away and seemed like it would have a nice selection of places to eat.  We hopped in the car and headed over.

It was starting to get a bit late and we were all pretty hungry so we picked one of the first places we found which was Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

As luck would have it there was a pressed penny machine right near the entrance.  Well full disclosure here, I knew about this machine and had planned to visit here just to use the machine later in our trip, but since we were hungry I figured we may as well drop in and eat as well.  I’m pretty sure my wife knew what I was up to.

The machine was a four design hand crank model.  It was mounted to a platform with wheels so it could be moved around easily.  I would guess it’s just to store it inside when the restaurant is not open, but just be aware its location may change.

The designs were of a Bucket of Shrimp, Forrest playing Ping Pong, Run Forest Run, and Forest on the Bus bench.  All of the designs say Miami, Florida which makes for fun memento of each location you visit.  I do have a few other sets from different locations around the country and they are designed very similarly.

The restaurant is filled with nods to the movie Forest Gump, and lots of memorabilia up on the walls.

Screen worn clothing and props are in all the corners of the restaurant and gift shop.  We spent quite a bit of time after our meal just wandering around looking at the items.

Even the table had some motivational quotes from the movie while you waited for your food.  This restaurant can get loud as the night-time crowd arrives, but the food was good with as you can guess plenty of Shrimp dishes to choose from.  After dinner we did walk around a bit, but I could tell everyone was getting tired.  We headed back towards our hotel but took a quick pit stop over to the beach.

The sun set was beautiful and always seems more special with the crashing waves rolling up onto the beach sand.  After we had enjoyed some fresh ocean air it was time to head back into our hotel for some sleep as we had a big day ahead of us, and plenty more pressed penny machines to find.

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort – Vero Beach, FL

It was finally time for a vacation.  In years past our default vacation destination was Florida, but now that we lived near Orlando where should we go?  We had discussed visiting Georgia or Louisiana that would have been within a reasonable drive.  Then after some further discussions we actually decided that Florida still had plenty of places we could visit and eventually chose Miami as our destination.

However with our two young daughters we wanted to try and minimize how much time we spent in the car, so we decided to make a stop about half way.  When I was checking out where we could stop I recognized Vero Beach and remembered that Disney had a Resort there.  I booked a room and we were all set for our week-long trip to Southern Florida.

The drive from Orlando to Vero Beach was pretty straight forward and thankfully our daughters both napped most of the way.  Once we arrive security welcomed us home in standard Disney fashion.

At check-in we received our First time visitor pins, and were shown to our room.

After dropping out luggage in the room we decided it was time to wonder around the resort a bit and get our bearings.  There is a Spa on site which my wife took advantage of.  I took our girls outside for some fresh ocean air.

There is a large Mickey shaped pool with a pretty big water slide.  As we walked by they were actually having water slide races which seemed to be popular with the kids.

There are some tall bushes in between the resort property and beach.  At first I thought it was a little strange but as you find out more about the Sea Turtles that uses these beaches for nesting the bushes service an important purpose.  More on that later.  There was an access path through the bushes that takes you out to the beach.  The Atlantic ocean was beautiful and something we hadn’t seen in a while since leaving Jersey.  This is where we spent most of our time on the beach and in the ocean, our girls just loved it.

Eventually we headed back into the resort and found the quick service dining area and grabbed some dinner.  As you can see from the sign above I was also pleasantly surprised to find they offered Dole Whip which we enjoyed a few times during our short stay.

Remember I mentioned the Sea Turtles and the tall bushes by the beach?  Once we were back in our room we noticed the above card on one of the tables.  It explained more about the nesting sea turtles and requests that guests keep their window curtains closed after certain hours at night.  The baby sea turtles use light reflecting off the water to navigate back to the ocean once hatched.  Any artificial light can cause confusion.  So that is why the request for the curtains, and also for the tall bushes which are part of the nesting groups and also help keep out any noise or stray light.

On our way back to our room we cut through the main lobby and found the two pressed coin machines I had heard were in the resort.

The first machine only had one design that pressed on a quarter.

The image on this coin is of the two famous Pixar Sea Turtles Crush and Squirt from Finding Nemo.

The second machine is the standard three design electric machine that pressed pennies.

The images on these coins were of the Disney Vero Beach Resort Logo, Classic Mickey, and Surfing Mickey.  It had been a long a day, with some fun on the beach and exploring this fantastic resort.  We made our way back to our room and all crashed (after making sure our curtains were closed).

Unfortunately during our trip we didn’t see any turtles, but this place was really a lot of fun.  The resort and staff did feel just like the Disney resorts we are used to but without having to worry about racing to a theme park it was really relaxing.

Day one of our vacation was in the books and we were looking forward to making out way to Miami.  Plus I promise there will be plenty more pressed pennies to find.

(Update) Flashback – 100 Years of Magic 2002 WDW

There are a lot of unique pressed coin sets released by Disney over the years.  Some are easier to located by just checking on eBay or a yard sale, but some others are much harder to find.  One of these sets I’ve been working on for quite a few years.  I wrote about it previously here if you want to get some additional back story.

The 100 Years of Magic pressed quarter set is something I work on periodically.  Some times at night I go through eBay, or other coin selling communities just to see what’s out there.  But I don’t spend too much time on it as these coins don’t show up too often.  This all changed when I received an email one day, and almost seemed too good to be true.  This friendly stranger let me know he had come across a set of the 100 Years of Magic pressed quarters he had acquired when he was younger.  He didn’t have much need for them now but came across my initial post and thought I may be interested in them.  We traded numerous emails and he sent some pictures and he was right this was something I just couldn’t pass up.

Now it’s time to take a look as this wonderful additions to my collection with some really great designs.

I tried to separate these out in to smaller related groups.  The above includes designs from the Magic Kingdom: Cinderella’s Castle, Mickey on Main Street, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland.

Next is over at Epcot.  These designs include Test Track, Body Wars, Living Seas, Innoventions, Imagination Institute, and Honey I Shrunk the Audience.

This set was found over at MGM Studios (before Hollywood Studios).  The images in this group were of the Sorcerer’s Hat, Director Mickey, Tower of Terror, Fantasmic, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, and Beauty & the Beast.

Last but not least was Animal Kingdom.  These had designs of It’s Tough to be a Bug, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Dinoland, Camp Minnie & Mickey, Festival of the Lion King, and Asia.

The icing on the cake was these coins had all been stored in this special release booklet created just for this Disney celebration.  Unfortunately the set is still incomplete, but the addition of these 25 quarters helped fill in quite a few missing pieces.  This was really a lucky find.  Keep your on the lookout as you just never know when you may come across your needle in a haystack.

Best Friends Forever (BFF) Pennies – Disneyland, CA

West Coast Disney is certainly on a roll of late with releasing new pressed pennies designs and this past week added two new machines.  The first machine is in Disneyland in the Main Street Penny Arcade.

The unfortunate consequence of this new machine is that it replaced the Electric Light Parade penny set which was a really cool collection of designs.  But I will admit that these new pennies are not too shabby.

This first set has image of Miguel & Dante from Coco, Linguine & Remy, and Buzz & Woody from Toy Story.  Another interesting thing to notice about these coins is that they all have 2018 listed on them.  So you know this means that they have a limited shelf life.

The second machine released at roughly the same time is found over at the Bonanza Outfitters on the sidewalk.

The pennies at this new machine include Edna & Jack-Jack from The Incredibles 2, Russel & Doug from Up!, and Dory & Nemo from Finding Nemo / Dory.  The images also include BBF, Best Friends and Swim Buddies making for a fun set.  Just like the first set above these pennies also list 2018.

All six of these pennies have the same backstamp that says Pixar Fest which is going on throughout the West coast parks this summer.  These pennies are a cute set of designs and from what I’ve heard they are becoming very popular.  Make sure to get a set before they disappear.

12-Design Princesses / Heroines Penny Machine Available again

This is going to be just a quick update post.  I’ve received a lot of message from reading (Thank you all by the way) about the whereabouts of the famed 12-Design Princesses / Heroines penny machine.  Here’s the history as I’ve written quite a bit about this machine.

You can read about my initial use of this machine back in 2015.  Then a few years later the machine was changed from using actual pennies to the penny sized tokens and I wrote a comparison about it here.  However the most recent post was just a few weeks ago when I discussed my first visit to the new Toy Story Land.  In that post I mentioned that the store where the 12-design machine “was” located was transformed into a Toy Story gift shop and this machine was removed so the Toy Story themed machine could be placed there instead.  At that time I didn’t know where the machine was moved to, and I did inquire with several Disney Cast Members about it and they didn’t know what was going to happen to it.  Then this all changed just a couple of days ago.

Word on the street was this machine had received a fresh coat of paint and was relocated over to Disney Springs which recently has become quite the place for pressed coins.

Over in one of the newer areas of Disney Springs called the Town Center (which is really just an outlet mall) is a newer store called The Disney Corner.

The store has multiple floors.  The first floor is primarily everything you can image Princess related.  This does continue up on the second floor but there are some other Disney characters available in certain areas.

There is an elevator is the stairs are too much (there are quite a few) but otherwise if you do attempt the stairs once you get to the second floor the missing penny machine is right in front of you.

As mentioned the machine does have a bit of a different paint job, but the 12 designs are all the same.

I pressed another set just to see if they were still dispensing the penny sized tokens instead of real pennies and that was still the case.  I’ve said it before and I hold to it this is a really nice set to be able to collect all in one place.  Usually in the past to get something like this you would have to visit various machines throughout the parks and resorts.  At $10 for this set it is a little pricy, but hopefully everyone that was inquiring about it can rest assured the machine is back and ready for some pressing.

2018 MLB All-Star Game – Washington, DC

I’ve mentioned in many previous posts that I’m a casual baseball fan.  It’s a sport that I played as a youth, and jump at any chance to see a game live in person.  Unfortunately being a Toronto Blue Jays fan (I used to live in Canada when I was young) and now living in Florida I don’t get to see them play very often.  There is plenty of baseball in Florida but to be honest with the summer heat it’s hard to get up the energy to spent an afternoon in the blazing sun and humidity.

There is however one game that I never miss every year on TV which is the All-Star Game.  This year the game was to be played in Washington, DC at Nationals Parks.  Now I do have a bit of history with this team, as I mentioned above I used to live in Canada and saw quite a few Montreal Expos games.  In 2004 the Expos transitioned out of Montreal down to Washington, DC and were renamed the Nationals.

The All-Star game was played on July 17, 2018 and the American League eventually won the game 8-6 in 10 innings.  In years past it was quite a tradition for a special penny machine to be available at the All-Star weekend stadium with unique designs only available for a short time.  The last couple years no pennies were available, but they were back for this year.

I wish I could say that I was able to visit Washington for the game and get these coins in person.  But that was not the case.  The designs were made available through the pennycollector.com online store and may still be available if you act fast.  These are always a great mini-set that I used to look forward to each year and I’m glad they returned.

The All-Star Logo had the game date on the penny design.

A special design was also included for the host city and team also with the year listed.

One of my favorite events from the All-Star Weekend is the Home Run Derby and of course there is a penny for that as well.  In 2018 the Home Run Derby was won by Bryce Howard who plays for the Washington Nationals which brought the home town crowd a little something extra to celebrate.

Another item that seemed to have disappeared for a couple of years was the Baseball pressed coin booklet.  With my order for these All-Star coins I saw the 2018 booklet was available and picked one up as well.  I don’t actually use these booklets to store my coins, but I just can’t help myself and got one any ways to add to my penny booklet collection.

It seems like the relationship between Major League Baseball and pressed pennies has not been what it was just a few years ago.  I remember visited numerous stadiums around the Northeast and all of them had at least one penny machine.  Then recently these machines seemed to have been slowly removed with no replacements.  About a month ago I headed into Tampa Florida for a baseball game and visited every nook and cranny of the stadium with no penny machine to be found.  Hopefully with these new All-Star coins that is about to change and some new designs will be released to your favorite MLB team stadium.  Play Ball!!