Cirque Du Soleil – Downtown Disney WDW

It’s been almost two months since my family trip to Orlando and the Walt Disney Resort.  During that trip I had a pretty extensive list of coin machines I needed to visit.  Some I needed to actually press the coins and others I just needed a picture of the machine for my website and personal collection records.  I was able to get every machine except for one.  I visited the location for this machine on our very first day in Orlando.  Since the first day was our travel day we didn’t want to waste a partial day at one of the theme parks so instead we headed to Downtown Disney to walk around, and do some shopping.

There were a couple other machines in Downtown Disney I needed to visit but the first one I went to was in the West Side at the Cirque Du Soleil gift shop.  I entered the store with my daughter and niece and while they checked out the unusual gifts available in the store I did my usually casual wander around the perimeter of the store trying to locate the machine.  But to my disappointment I didn’t see it.  So I walked outside to glance around to see if it was around a corner, or near the payphone, but still nothing.  I went back inside and decided to ask the staff member at the register about it and was told the disappointing news that the machine had been removed for repairs.  Every so often I come across this situation and some places actually keep extras of the coins behind the counter to sell while the machine is out getting fixed, unfortunately this store didn’t do that so I was out of luck.  This was not the best way to start off my vacation of coin collecting but things definitely got better and as I mentioned earlier this ended up being the only machine I wasn’t able to acquire.

I had reached out to some contacts and friends of mine to try to see if anyone had extras of these designs, or if they had any news on the machine.  It seemed like weeks went by and I hadn’t heard anything other than the machine was still missing from the store.  Then finally just last week a seller on eBay that I have used quite often in the past had some new items up for auction and to my surprise it was these mysterious Cirque Du Soleil designs.  I quickly did what I had to do to get all four designs and a few days later they arrive in my mail.

DTD - Cirque Du Soleil Coins

I have not see the Cirque Du Soleil show La Nouba in Downtown Disney but have heard that it is really good.  To be honest I haven’t seen any Cirque Du Soleil shows and I’m in Jersey where they come to New York all the time.  My family has seen a show or two and always rave about it so I guess I’ll have to check one out at some point to see what all the fuss is about.  The four designs were all inspired by the La Nouba show.  I had to look up these descriptions at as I really had no idea what a couple of them were so much thanks to them for their amazing database and blog.  The designs are: BMX Cyclist, Green Bird, Titan and two other performers, and Les Cons (The Nuts).  All four designs also say La Nouba Cirque Du Soleil.

There is a nice feeling right now of completion knowing that I have all the current pressed coin designs available at the Walt Disney World Resorts, but I know that is short-lived (Thankfully) and I’ll be on the hunt again very soon.


Disney’s Art of Animation Resort Tour

I previously wrote about my “Pool Day” adventures during our trip where my family enjoyed the pool at our resort and I ran around the entire Walt Disney World property visiting pressed coin machines I needed for my collection.  One of the resorts I visited and was really looking forward to spending some time at was the Art of Animation Resort.  The last time I had visited this resort was still under construction but now it’s been open and Disney really did a great job on this place.


This resort is located right beside the Pop Century resort.  I drove into the check-in parking lot and was greeted by the above resort sign.  As I walked towards the entrance the outside of the building was decorated with large animation cell style artwork with images of Lightning McQueen, Ariel, Nemo and Simba.


Once inside I first headed over to the Landscape of Flavors Food Court to use the two penny machines located here.  This was first and foremost the reason I had visited this resort.  Just to review both machines are electronic 3 design models.

Art of Animation 01   Art of Animation 02

The first machine has the following designs: Nemo, Lightning McQueen, and the Art of Animation Logo.  The second machine had designs of: Ariel, Simba and Mater.  Now with those machines checked off my list I was free to wander around the resort and see what the Disney Imagineers had come up with.

As I exited out the back of the main building I headed to the left of the main pool (I’ll talk about this shortly) but was immediately transported into Radiator Springs from the Pixar movie Cars.


The pathways were made to look like roads, and everywhere you looked there were little details that really put you into the movie.  Look closely at the above picture and you can see the Sheriff waiting to catch a speeder.  Eventually I came across some familiar characters from the movie.


First was Flo from Flo’s V-8 Cafe.  Not sure if you can see in the background but there were signs asking that you not climb on the cars.  But come on look at these things they are just begging to be played with and climbed on.  Oh well don’t want to push my luck.


Next up I met Ramone who runs Ramone’s House of Body Art.  After that I ended up at the Cozy Cone Motel.


Here at the resort unfortunately the Cozy Cone Motel wasn’t actually a hotel but a pool.  I’m not sure if you had to reserve them in advance or just get there really early but they had cones available for use around the pool for a nice shady spot to relax.


Next I came across one of the actual resort buildings that housed some guest rooms.  There were a couple more to come but this first one was designed to look like Luigi’s Casa Della Tires and his sidekick Guido was there too ready to change your tires if needed.  In the picture below you can see the doors that lead into the building and to the guest rooms.  I was just really amazed at how that was all blended into the scenery.


The next guest room building was the Wheel Well Hotel with Lightning McQueen and Sally greeting everyone out front.  This was another great scene from the movie that added to the magic of this area of the resort.


The last building was none other than fan favorite Mator and his Towing & Salvage yard.    I know I keep saying it but wow the detail is just amazing.  I kept waiting for him to start moving and talking as I walked past but unfortunately they are all stationary, but who knows that would be a really amazing upgrade in the future (hint hint Disney!).


After completing my tour of Radiator Springs I headed back towards the main pool by the food court area.  The pool was huge, and was included in the Finding Nemo area of the resort.  As soon as you got to this area you immediately felt like you had gone under water to hang out with the aquatic animals from the movie.


I walked around the pool and checked out the buildings I came across.  One of them even had the large posts you find in the water near a pier with the famous Seagulls “Mine, Mine, Mine, Mine”.


Similar to the Cars guest room buildings these also had different characters at the entrance.  The first building I walked by had Mr. Ray the large spotted Eagle Ray that was the teacher and school bus all in one.


At the far end of the large main pool there was a play structure that was designed to look like a reef with the slide and tunnels are incorporated into the design.  Squirt the little turtle was there to look over all the playing children.


Another great piece of design work was that each building had fish attached to the sides like they were swimming above you as your walked around the resort.  They were attached to the buildings in a way that made them seem like they were just floating by enjoying the day.


The shrubs and plants that were located along the pathways also looked like they were right at home at the bottom of the ocean.  There were other sea creatures located in and among these plants adding to the illusion that you are under the waves with them.


The last guest rooms building had the large Sea Turtle Crush lounging on his shell right outside the main door and Dory was right there with him keeping watch over the pool and resorts guests.


Unfortunately my time was up and I didn’t get a chance to check out the Little Mermaid or Lion King areas but I’m sure they are equally as amazing.  I was only able to visit for about a half hour or so but wow I was really impressed.  This is listed as a value resort, but from what I saw online the prices are definitely on the higher end of the value resort scale.  It’s not as far away from the theme parks as the All-Star Resorts are, but you still do need to use the bus transportation to get to all the parks if you don’t have a car.  Since the price of this resort isn’t much different from most of the moderate resorts which usually give some added benefits from the value resorts.  But I will say that this resort was really more than I had expected and blows away the All-Star Resorts and even the Pop Century resort.  You definitely are paying more for the additional design and themes of each area of the resort, but I think it would be worth it and I know that I had fun myself and would love to see what my family thinks.  Since I didn’t stay at this resort this time I didn’t have access to any of the rooms, but after showing my wife the pictures I think I have her convinced we should stay here on our next trip to Orlando.  Bravo Disney this is a beautiful resort and I hope all future resorts get this much attention and detail.

WDW Trip Day 7 – Magic Kingdom Take 2

Just as a quick disclaimer, on this second trip to the Magic Kingdom there was only one machine I needed to check out so most of this post is going to be non-pressed penny related (Gasp!).

On our second day in Florida when we first visited Magic Kingdom there was a machine in the Emporium on Main Street that was out-of-order when I tried to use it.  I had sent a TXT to the number on the plaque, and I don’t want to take full credit for it but the machine was working this time, so I’ll take the credit anyways.

Emporium 02

I didn’t update the picture when I went to use the machine, but I can say it was working perfectly.  There were 3 designs: 2015 Cinderella’s Castle, Sorcerer Mickey, and Anna & Elsa standing back to back.  That was the last one, I had managed to visit every machine I had on my lists and only the one in Downtown Disney at Cirque du Soleil was the only one I couldn’t get.  I was having mixed emotions (I really need help) because I was excited to have collected 99% of what I had come for, but on the flip side I was done for this trip and would have to wait until next time for more.

I put that aside for now and wanted to just enjoy our last full day as much as I could.  We had spent the night before making a list of the rides we wanted to do and with that in had headed to our first stop.  A great perk we had this day was that by staying at one of the resorts we were able to take advantage of the extra magic hour.  This allowed resort guests to access the Magic Kingdom 1 hour before it opens to the general public.  This really was a great time to get on and off as many rides as we could before the crowds and wait times really got crazy.

With our hit list in hand we made a our way onto rides with very little wait and would quickly get on the next closest ride on our list.  We bounced from Peter Pan’s Flight, to It’s a Small world, then The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Under the Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid, and back to one of our all time favorites the Haunted Mansion.


Are we going down?  Or is the room stretching up?  I’m still not 100% sure, but love this ride either way.  Next up we headed into Frontierland and took the train over to the Fantasyland station.  There we jumped on Goofy’s The Barnstormer roller coaster.


Next we went back on the famous Dumbo ride for one last trip with our favorite elephant.  Then we went over to the Tomorrowland Speedway so Hanna could try her hand at driving (It’s didn’t go so well but thankful for the center rail keeping our car on the road).  After that we headed back on the Carousel for another ride on the horses.


I sat the next ride out which was never one I overly enjoyed.  The Mad Tea Party with those spinning tea cups, yikes I’m getting nauseous just thinking about them.  The kids like the spinning but I think the adults kept it to a minimum just to make sure no one got too dizzy.


Now that everyone was walking sideways trying to stop their heads from spinning we had our first Fasspass of the day.  We headed over to the Princess Fairytale Hall to meet who else but Anna and Elsa from Frozen.  This was another great moment of our trip that I hope the kids will remember when they are older.  We first met with Queen Elsa and really too her time with our kids and spoke directly to them not to us adults.  She signed our autograph books and took a lot of great pictures.


Located on the opposite side of the room we got to meet Princess Anna.  She was also very nice and spent a lot of time with our kids.  She was very sweet and told a lot of cute jokes and told us stories about Olaf.  The kids were really excited by this time and it took a little work to get them all together for some pictures, but we managed to get some really great shots.


We were sad to say goodbye to both Elsa and Anna but they had many more guests to visit with and we were really happy with the time we got to spend with them.  Another highly recommending thing to do if you or your kids are Frozen fans.  By this time it was almost lunch time so we headed to the Liberty Tree Tavern which we luckily had a reservation for.

After eating our lunch we headed over to use our last Fasspass for the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride.  The only disadvantage of having the Fasspass is we walked right through the queue and didn’t have much time to see all the details you would usually get to experience while waiting in line.  We got right on and have a great time.  The only issue is the ride is really short, but still a lot of fun and I think our niece Ava enjoyed it too.


With the last ride on our list checked off we were ready for some much needed rest.  It had been a busy day and as much as we would have loved to stay all night in the park it just wasn’t feasible with the kids (and adults) utterly exhausted.

Later that evening after we had rested and had dinner in our room I took Hanna for one last trip around the monorail.  We stopped and got off at each monorail resort just to walk around and enjoy what we could before having to leave.  During our first stop at the Polynesian Village of course had to get one last treat as well.


Mmmm…Dole Whip!  As we made our way around the last few stops on the monorail before heading back to our resort I sat with Hanna and thought about the truly amazing trip we had.  We were so thankful to be able to have the whole family together and with all the pictures, videos (and pennies) I’m sure we will be able to enjoy the memories for a long time.


Until next time Disney, thanks for a great time!

WDW Trip Day 6 – Hollywood Studios

After a nice relaxing day at the pool (at least for my family since I ran around to numerous resorts instead) we were ready to visit the last theme park on property Hollywood Studios.  We started the day having a character breakfast at Hollywood & Vine with the Disney Junior Character’s.  This was another pretty standard Disney breakfast buffet, but this was one of the few places to see Sofia, Doc McStuffins, Handy Manny and Jake the Pirate.  Our kids really liked meeting these characters which wasn’t too much of a surprise since they have only recently started watching the Disney Junior shows on TV.


After breakfast we headed back towards Hollywood Boulevard to check out some of the stores.  While my family checked out the souvenirs I ran over to Oscar’s Super Service center which is mainly used for stroller and wheelchair rentals but they do have a penny machine located inside.

Oscar's Super Service

The machine has 3 penny designs: Snow White, the Cheshire Cat, and Aladdin.  With these new pennies in my pocket I walked up Hollywood Boulevard and met my family in the Mickey’s of Hollywood store.  Lucky for me this place has 3 machines that I needed to used.

Mickey's of Hollywood 01  Mickey's of Hollywood 02  Mickey's of Hollywood 03

Machine #1 has 3 quarter designs: 2015 Tinker Bell, Minnie Mouse and Belle.  Machine #2 has 3 penny designs: Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Olaf from Frozen.  The third machine also has 3 penny designs: Mickey with a Movie Camera, The Tower of Terror, and Mickey at a Drawing Table.  After picking up some gifts we headed towards the Disney Animation courtyard and checked out the Disney Junior Love on Stage show.  Even though we had just had breakfast with these characters our kids still loved see the puppet show with lots of singing and dancing.  After the show we were aiming for The Great Movie Ride but before we left he Animation courtyard we passed by the In Character Shop.  This is the first ever 12 design penny machine and it was really cool.

In Character   In Character Close Up 02

I wrote about this machine in a previous post which you can read by clicking this link.  The coins are $1 each, or $10 for all 12.  You can use cash, credit or Apple Pay as your form of payment and the machine supplies the coins which isn’t always to your benefit as you may get stuck with a bad penny.  The 12 designs available are: Snow White, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Pocahontas, Mulan, Jasmine, Tiana, Belle, Aurora, Merida, and Alice.  This is really a great complete Princess Set that I would highly recommend.

After that machine my pockets were really getting weighed down but there were plenty more to get this day.  After we rode the Great Movie Ride we headed to the Muppet Vision 3D Theater and let the kids check out the Stage 1 Company Store that has everything Muppet related you could think of.  By one of the doors there was penny machine calling my name.

Muppet Store

As you would expect this machine has Muppet related designs: Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, and Miss Piggy.  By this time we could tell the kids were antsy to run around and get some energy out so we walked over towards Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area.  As I’m sure you may have guessed they also had a penny machine right outside which I quickly used before we entered the play area.

Honey I Shrunk The Kids

This machine has 4 designs: Iridessa, Flik, Tinker Bell, and Heimlick.  Now this is a pretty big play area where everything is giant-sized so it seems like we have all been shrunken down to the size of ants (maybe even a little smaller).  The kids had a great time running around and playing on the slides, cargo net (Spider web) and even the leaking hose that sprays water every so often.


Once we were ready to be transported back to our original size we headed over to the closest quick service food location which was the Studio Catering Company for a quick break and some much needed drinks.  While my family sat and relaxed I walked over to the nearby Prop Shop to use the next 3 machines on my list.

Prop Shop 01  Prop Shop 02  Prop Shop 03

The first machine has the following designs: 2015 Minnie Mouse, Jessica Rabbit, and Jack Jack from The Incredibles.  Machine #2 was a hand crank version with 4 designs: Mickey with a Movie Camera, Merida, Agent P, and Buzz Lightyear.  The third machine has 3 penny designs: Anna, Elsa, and Olaf all from Frozen.

Speaking of Frozen, by this time is was ready for our Fastpass to see the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration stage show.  This was a really cute show, with large screens on the wall for the few people who don’t already know the words to all the songs (shame shame).


Of course Anna and Elsa make a special appearance to help close out the show.  Unfortunately part way through the show Hanna was so exhausted she couldn’t keep her eyes open any longer.  Everyone has decided they were ready to head back to our resort for an afternoon rest, but with a few machines still to find I stayed behind with my father who helped me located them.

Our first stop was back to the Animation Courtyard, but headed into the Magic of Disney Animation building.  This place has recently added a Baymax character meet and greet which was booming when we walked in.  I found the machine near their character meet location and pressed the pennies.

Magic of Animation

This machine has 3 Baymax inspired designs: Baymax, Hiro, and Fred breathing Fire.  The crowds seemed to be getting larger in this place so we walked around a bit to check out the artist on hand drawing animation cells, and then headed back outside.  Next we headed down towards the Tower of Terror which neither my father or myself were going to attempt, but instead we checked out the Once Upon a Time gift shop.  Inside by the side door closes to the Tower of Terror was one of their penny machine.  This was another collection update I was doing as I had previously collected these designs but on old coins that wouldn’t clean up despite numerous different attempts.  So next best option, press new ones on nice clean pennies.

Once Upon a Time

These designs were all about Beauty and the Beast which has a stage show nearby.  The 3 designs were: Lumiere & Cogsworth, Belle & Beast, and Mrs. Potts & Chip.  We walked out of this store and into the one right next door called Legends of Hollywood.

Legends of Hollywood

This was a popular machine with 3 Frozen designs.  I believe now in total there are 16 Frozen designs throughout the entire property but on this trip I hadn’t seen too many people collecting them.  But this machine did have about 3 people using it before it was my turn.  The 3 designs included: Anna, Anna & Elsa, and Olaf.  There was only one last machine to get, but two places to stop before we left the park.  My father is an avid collector of Starbucks mugs.

Through his work he has traveled all over the work and started picking up these mugs in each different country and has quite a nice collection.  Before we headed on our trip I had read online about the new “Starbucks” locations within the Disney Parks.  I used quotes because technically they aren’t labeled as Starbucks.  Each of the 4 parks will have a Starbucks location, but when we visited the Animal Kingdom one hadn’t opened yet.  The Epcot location didn’t have any mugs available as they had been pulled due to a recall on the mugs about the color of the monorail displayed on the mug.  I believe this was because that color monorail had been in a crash that resulted in a casualty.  So we had only been able to get the Magic Kingdom mug (he later got the new updated Epcot mug online after we returned home) and were now trying to get the Hollywood Studios version.  The “Starbucks” was back on Hollywood Boulevard and labeled as the Trolley Car Cafe.  While my dad waited in line for our coffee’s and his mug I ran next door to the Celebrity 5 & 10 Store to use the last machine on my list.

Celebrity 5 & 10

This machine also had 3 penny designs: Roger Rabbit, Lady & Tramp, and Baloo from the Jungle Book.  I walked back over to the “Starbucks” just as my dad was finishing up.  We took our frappuccinos and headed out of the park towards the bus stop to take us back to our resort.

After a nice relaxing afternoon we jumped on the bus back to Hollywood Studios for our diner reservation as the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.  In all my trips to Disney I’ve never eaten hear and to be honest I’m not sure why.  This place was really cool.  The food wasn’t overly exciting but was classic diner food like burgers, fries and shakes with some other things mixed in.  But the atmosphere was really amazing.


You are located indoors, but it looks like your outside at a Drive-In movie theater.  We were seated in cars with a little table ledge that didn’t give a lot of room for food and drinks but was manageable.  They played classic sci-fi horror movies with little cartoons intermixed for the kids.  This really was another unique place to eat and I would recommend it if you haven’t tried it out before.

After dinner we walked around a bit just to try to work off the meal a bit.  But it had been a long week so far and it was starting to take its toll.  We eventually headed back to our resort for a restful night.  The next day was our last full day in Florida and we had plans to get a very early start.

WDW Trip Day 5 – Pool Day

During our initial planning of this trip my family had made it very clear they wanted to have a pool day about half way through the trip.  This way we didn’t have to bother with park crowds, or crazy dinner reservations and just relax by the pool.  This worked perfectly into my plans since I needed a day to race around to some of the resorts for miscellaneous penny machines.

As my family got ready to head down to the pool I grabbed my coins and maps and headed down to the lobby area of our resort.  In past trips I have used the Disney transportation buses to go from one resort to another.  Unfortunately since they don’t go directly from resort to resort I would have to take the bus to a park then hop onto another bus back to whichever resort I needed to visit.  This ends up being an all day adventure even if I only needed to visit a handful of resorts.  This year I decided to rent a car to try to speed up the process.  There is a Transportation Service Area on Disney property that has a couple of rental services.  I had booked this prior to our trip, and scheduled a shuttle to pick me up at our records.  After getting the rental car I was off to my first stop which were the All-Star Resorts.

I started with the All-Star Movies resort, and luckily these machine locations don’t seem to move so I knew exactly where to go.  Straight through the lobby area and into the World Premier Food Court.  I was visiting pretty early in the morning so this place was packed with guests loading up on breakfast.  There was a wall of coin machines, but I only needed two of them.

All-Star Movies   All-Star Movies QTR

The first machine has 3 penny designs.  I had originally pressed these designs over 5 years ago and at that time had used really crappy pennies and always wanted to get nice new ones to update my collection.  The designs were all of Tigger: Tigger in a Flower Patch, Tigger wearing a Mickey costume, and Tigger with some Honey Pots.  The second machine had quarter designs: Lilo & Stitch, Mickey with a Video Camera, and Bambi Thumper and Flower.

I jumped back in my car and headed a short trip over to the All-Star Music Resort.  These resorts all have very similar floor plans.  The machine I needed was located outside the Note-Able Games Arcade which is across from their food court.

All-Star Music

The machine I needed to use had 3 quarter designs: 2015 Daisy Duck, Stitch, and Mickey & Sulley from Monsters, Inc.  Grabbing my coins I took another quick trip next door to the All-Star Sports Resort and headed to their Game Point Arcade.  This is also located directly across from this resorts Food Court.

All-Star Sports

This machine also had 3 quarter designs: 2015 Donald Duck, Golfer Mickey, and Winnie the Pooh.  With the All-Star Resorts done the next closes machine was at the Winter Summerland Mini-Golf course.

Winter Summerland Mini-Golf

As I pressed the coins at this machine I was really tempted to play a round.  But which such a busy schedule, and my family awaiting my return at the pool I had to walk away without playing.  The machine had 3 penny designs: Ice Gator, Donald building a Sandcastle, and Mickey & Minnie on the beach.  A short distance away was my next stop Fantasia Mini-Golf.

Fantasia Mini-Golf

This machine is located in their small arcade near the check-in area for the mini-golf.  The machine had 3 penny designs: Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey, Wicked Stepmother & stepsisters (Cinderella), and the White Rabbit from Alice In Wonderland.  With my pockets jingling with change I walked back to my car and took a short break.  My next stop wasn’t too far away and so far I had done a pretty good job of mapping out a path.  Disney’s Boardwalk Resort is a beautiful place to visit and I hope to stay here sometime in the future.  The only issue I have with visiting this resort is the guest parking lot is quite a hike from the Lobby.  I guess I shouldn’t complain since it was a bright sunny day and I was getting plenty of exercise.  Once inside the lobby the machines are kind of down a side hallway.

Boardwalk Resort 01   Boardwalk Resort 02

Machine 1 had 3 penny designs: Chip relaxing, Winnie the Pooh, and an Elephant squirting Donald.  The second machine also had 3 penny designs: Mickey in a Tuxedo, Ariel, and Lilo.  This is another resort I wish I had more time to really explore.  They have a great boardwalk with little stores and places to eat.  Coming from Jersey I know all about boardwalks, and this is really a fun place to just walk and enjoy the atmosphere.

Once back in the car I had to catch my breath from the long walk back to the parking lot.  I put the AC on full blast and headed to my next destination and the one resort I had schedule extra time to check out the Art of Animation Resort.  I’m going to post a whole entry just on my visit to this resort and it was really amazing all the detail Disney put into it.  Considering it is a value resort I am definitely going to try to stay here on one of our next trips.


 The machines are located in the Landscape of Flavors Food Court which is one of the largest and most unusual food courts I have seen on Disney property.  This was another very busy place when I visited but at that time of day everyone was more interested in eating than pressing coins.  I however headed right to the machines.  It may just be me, but  feel the designs these machines pressed were more detailed that I had seen at other resorts.

Art of Animation 01   Art of Animation 02

The first machine had 3 penny designs: Nemo, Lightning McQueen, and the Art of Animation Logo.  The second machine also has 3 penny designs: Ariel, Simba and Mater.  After pressing the coins I did spend about 45 minutes wandering around the resort taking a lot of pictures.  As I mentioned above I’ll post separately about this but I will say this is definitely someplace you should check out.

I was coming into the home stretch with just a few more places to visit.  Connected to the Art of Animation Resort is the Pop Century Resort and I was able to access this just by driving around the perimeter of the parking lot.


Inside the resort just past the lobby is the Everything POP Shopping & Dining area.  You first walk into the gift shop, and can continue through to the food court area.  The machines are located just as you walk into the dining area.

Pop Century 01   Pop Century 02

Both machines were working perfectly and I was able to help a nice family use the machines first and then I was able to press my coins afterwards.  Machine 1 included the following: Mickey with a Yo-Yo, Lady & the Tramp, and 5 Princesses (Snow White, Belle, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty & Jasmine). Machine 2 had: Mickey & Minnie Dancing, Kaa from The Jungle Book, and Bagheera also from The Jungle Book.

By this time my stomach was starting to growl which was perfect timing because the next resort has one of my all time favorite snacks.  I drove over to the Port Orleans Riverside resort first to use the machine in the lobby just outside of Fulton’s General Store (FYI there is a machine inside the store).

Port Orleans Riverside

The machine had a nice bright white cabinet that really stood out and made finding it very easy.  I pressed the 3 designs available: Grumpy, Space Mickey, and the Wicket Queen from Snow White.  Unfortunately the snack I was looking forward to was located at the Port Orleans French Quarter resort so I had a short drive between resorts.  Then once inside I headed right to the food court and ordered some Beignets.  These are basically just donuts with powdered sugar but when you get them fresh out of the fryer they are really amazing.


I probably should be embarrassed to admit this but I finished off a small order all by myself.  Then I went back and ordered a couple extra orders to take back with me for my family.  Once they read this my dirty little secret will be out.  But they were oh so good, and I skipped breakfast that morning so my conscience was clear.

After using about 150 napkins to clean off the powdered sugar from my shirt and pants I headed back to the car with my precious package of additional Beignets and headed to the last resort on my list.  I drove into the Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground and headed into the lobby (Reception Outpost is the technical name) and found the machine in the back corner.

Fort Wilderness Lobby

This machine has 3 Monsters, Inc penny designs: Waternoose, Celia, and Boo in her Monster Costume.  After leaving the outpost I walked over to the bus stop.  For those of you that don’t know or haven’t visited the campgrounds, since this property is so large Fort Wilderness has its own internal bus routes.  In a past visit I rented a golf cart and drove around but that was a little more than I wanted to spend for a quick trip to use just one more penny machine.  Instead I waited for the first bus that arrived and hopped on.  After about a 10 minute ride I was dropped off near Pioneer Hall.  I walked past the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue, Trail’s End Restaurant and finally over to the Settlement Trading Post.  The machine is located right outside the main door.

Fort Wilderness Marina

This machine originally was located in Hollywood Studios at the Prop Shop, but had been moved here about a year ago.  It had 3 classic designs: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Goofy.

I had done it.  8 resorts and 2 mini-golf courses visited and the required coins collected all in one morning.  It was just past noon by the time I dropped the car back off at the rental place and got a quick shuttle ride back to our resort.  I ran up to our room, off loaded all the coins and Beignets in the room, changed into my swim shorts and headed down to join my family at the pool for the rest of the afternoon.

That evening we had dinner at the California Grill located on the very top floor of the Contemporary Resort for a really amazing dinner.  I had the Oak-fired Filet of Beef that was truly melt in your mouth.


Since we had the kids with us we didn’t book our reservation in time to see the Magic Kingdom fireworks.  However, we were informed that we could come back and watch the fireworks from the California Grills observation decks.  When it came time to go back and watch the show most of our family was exhausted and decided to stay in our room, but my father accompanied me up to the room to check them out.  The resort even pipes in the music that goes along with the fireworks just as it does in the park.

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Another great ending to a busy but very memorable day.

WDW Trip Day 4 – Animal Kingdom

This was the half way point through our trip.  Not only were we going to check out Animal Kingdom it was also our nephews 1st birthday.  What a lucky little guy to have his first birthday celebrated in Disney.


But before I get to his special birthday dinner let me take you through our day in Animal Kingdom.  This park does have quite a few penny machines, but they don’t see to change too often which made for an easy day on my end as there were only a hand full of machines I needed to visit.

Unfortunately this was one of the parks that we had to take the Disney Transportation Bus to, the ride wasn’t too long but getting everyone board and trying to maneuver 2 strollers was not a great experience.  Upon arriving I ran over to guest services and got our nephew a birthday pin which was really fun to see the cast members throughout the day wishing him a happy birthday.  Next we headed up towards the tree of life and took a nice family picture in front of the tree.  Next we were headed towards Dinoland U.S.A.  Along the way I stopped into the Disney Outfitters shop and used one of the machines located here.

Disney Outfitters

Another great thing about the machines in Animal Kingdom is they have really unique cabinets with a lot of detail.  This machine has 3 designs: Randall, Duffy and John Smith.  I quickly caught up to my group and we entered into Dinoland.  This place has a lot of great things for the kids to explore and ride.  Our kids were immediately drawn to the Tricera Top Spin.  This is almost identical to the famous Dumbo ride in the Magic Kingdom but with dinosaurs instead of the famous elephant.

My wife took Hanna, my sister and brother-in-law took our niece Ava and headed in line.  I wanted to use the camcorder to film them so I sat this ride out.  There was about at 10 minute wait to get on so I took this opportunity to check out the next closes penny machine which was located  in Chester & Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures.

Chester & Hester

There were a couple of kids in front of me trying to figure out how to use the machine.  They didn’t speak English which would have made helping a little easier, but I managed to walk them through the process by pressing my coins.  They saw the finished product and were so excited they ran off to get more change from their parents.  The machines 3 designs were: 2015 Nemo, Iguanodon, and a Carnotaurus.  (Thank you I wouldn’t have guessed those dinosaur names if my life depending on it)  With my new coins in hand I walked out of the store and stood by my father just as our kids were getting on the Tricera Top ride.

After that we checked our The Boneyard which was a big playground area with all sorts of slides, cargo nets, ramps, bridges and more.  We spent quite a bit of time here and had to drag the kids out kick and screaming but we had so much more to do.

We headed towards Expedition Everest and was surprised to find out my sister and brother-in-law weren’t going to ride it.  The wait was over an hour so I couldn’t completely blame them.  As we passed by I ran inside the gift shop called Serka Zong Bazaar to use the machine.

Serka Zong Bazaar

Sorry for the dark picture there just wasn’t much light inside the gift shop.  There were 3 designs: The Yeti, Mickey with the Yeti, and the Expedition Everest logo.  By this time it wasn’t quite noon but we were all getting hungry and decided it would be a good time to stop for some lunch.  I knew that nearby was a great restaurant that I had visited only once before but knew it had some great food.  The dilemma was that we didn’t want to fill up too much because we had a big special dinner later on.  The Yak & Yeti restaurant was where we stopped in for a light lunch and it appeared they were just opening as no one was in there.  While we waited for our table I used the machine located right inside by the hostess desk.

Yak & Yeti

This was a 4 design hand crank machine.  I pressed the coins and we were taken to our table.  The food is Asian inspired and worked out well for our light lunch.  After finishing up we headed outside and made our way to the Harambe Train Station.  Now in the past I have always referred to this as the train to nowhere.  It does actually go to Rafiki’s Planet Watch but to be honest as an adult I never found this place very interesting.  Usually we would just use the restrooms, get an ice cream and would jump on the train to immediately take us back.  This time however ended up being a little different.  While we waited for the train to arrive my little penny collectors made me so proud they asked to use the machine without my prompting.


I gave them some extra coins I had brought and they pressed their own coins.  They also helped me press my own set and did a great job.

Harambe Train Station

I only needed to use the quarter designs.  There were 3 in total:  2015 Pluto, Simba & Nala, and Shere Kahn.  After taking the short train ride we exited and headed up towards to big building.  But we decided to let the kids try out the petting zoo which was officially called the Affection Station.  This was one of the biggest hits we had all week with the kids.

IMG_5615 (1)  IMG_5629

There were pigs, goats, sheet, and horses all available for petting or brushing if you were able to find one lying around.  This was another place that we spent quite a bit of time in and the kids just didn’t want to leave.  Eventually we were able to convince the kids we had to move on, and we headed back to the train for another quick ride back to where we had started.  At this time we had our one Fastpass to do which was for the Kilimanjaro Safari which the kids enjoyed looking for all the animals along the jeep ride.

With the safari over we were all pretty beat and ready to head back to the resort for a rest.  I still have 2 more machines to visit but luckily they were on our way out and I quickly used them while my family continued on.

Duku La Filimu   Island Mercantile

First was the machine at Duku La Filimu with 3 designs: Tarzan & Jane, Safari Pooh, and Rafiki.  The last machine was located in the Island Mercantile also with 3 designs: Festival of the Lion King logo, Kristoff & Sven from Frozen, and Tigger bouncing on his tail.  With these final machines collected I met up with my family and we headed back to our resort by bus.

After a few hours of resting we jumped on the monorail over to the Polynesian Village where we were having the special birthday dinner at O’Hana.  This place is awesome.  We usually try to eat here every time we visit Walt Disney World as it’s just a wonderful experience with great food.

We started with the sweet Hawaiian bread, salad, noodles and the pot stickers (I could have just eaten those).  Everything was all you can eat and as soon as the plate was empty we were quickly given another one to work on.  Then the main course starts to arrive with was chicken, and steak cooked on large skewers over an open fire.  There were some other meats that came around but I was in such a food coma I don’t even remember what they were.  About 2 weeks before our vacation I called Disney’s Cake service and requested a special birthday cake for this dinner.  Unfortunately there was a little mix up and the cake wasn’t available.  But the chef personally came out to explain the situation to me, and let me know they were making a cake immediately and would be on the house.  I was a little disappointed we wouldn’t be getting the Mickey shaped cake I had originally ordered but appreciated everything the staff did to help make sure we still had something special for our nephew.


As you can see in the above picture the came still was very impressive, and tasted really great.  We had 9 people in our party, but we barely put a dent into it.  They did wrap up the leftovers and we ended up indulging in cake the rest of our trip.  Thankfully our resort room had a full size fridge to accommodate this cake.


We sang Happy Birthday with the help of the entire restaurant and Luke immediately dove into his piece.  This really was a special day for him and our entire family and were so glad it happened at the Happiest Place on Earth.

WDW Trip Day 3 – Epcot

Another beautiful day greeted us in Orlando and for our second full day we were headed to Epcot.  But first we took the elevator from our room down to the 4th floor concourse to have breakfast at Chef Mickey’s.

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This is one of those location that is a must do at least once.  It’s a character meal and we obviously opted for the breakfast buffet that consists of pretty standard Disney items.  The main reason to visit is an up close and personal visit with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Pluto. We met each one in turn and they never rushed to the next table.  We got lots of great pictures and asked for each of their autographs to continue filling up our books.  Above is a picture of my niece Ava with Minnie Mouse.

With breakfast done we jumped on the monorail and headed to the ticket and transportation center where we had to get off one train, walk down a ramp, then up another ramp to an adjacent monorail that would take us over to Epcot.  It seems like it took a long time, but in reality was only about 15 minutes before we were wandering up to the giant golf ball…uh sorry Spaceship Earth.

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 We had a Fastpass coming up for Spaceship Earth but did have a little time to waste.  So we didn’t want to wander too far and chose to wander around Innoventions East.  There were some interesting exhibits that the kids loved playing with.  I slowly made by way around to the far side of the building where the two penny machines were located.  The first machine was located by the Video Playground, and the second was near the exit across from the Great Piggy Bank adventure.

Innoventions West  Innoventions East

Both machines were hand crank models with 4 designs each.  Machine #1 had: Phineas and Ferb, Spaceship Earth with Goofy outside, Agent P, and Duffy the bear.  Machine #2 included: Mickey’s face, Phineas and Ferb, Figment and Agent P.  Our Fastpass time had started so walked back to Spaceship Earth and got on with very little wait (Thank you again Fastpass).

After that we headed over towards Soarin’ but already it had over an hour wait.  Since we already had a Fastpass schedule for Test Track later in the day we weren’t allowed to have one for Soarin’ at the same time.  Instead we checked out the Livings Seas to ride Nemo & Friends.  This is an interesting ride that takes you through the large aquarium but projects the Nemo characters in a way that they seem to actually be swimming in the tanks with all the real aquatic creatures.  Once the ride was over in classic Disney strategy we exited through the gift shop which worked in my favor since there were two more machines located here.

Living Seas P  Living Seas Q

First was a 4 design penny machine with: Mickey in a scuba suit, the Seagulls (“Mine, Mine, Mine”), Crush the turtle, and Nemo, Dory & Marlin.  The second machine had 3 designs all on quarters: Nemo, Dory and Crush.

At this time we just started wondering around.  We were saving the World Showcase for later that night so we were avoiding that area for now.  Our kids came across a playground area with some topiary that looked like the Monsters, Inc characters Mike and Sully.  Knowing this would keep them busy for a while I quickly headed over to use some other machines.  On the far side of the dancing fountain behind Spaceship Earth is the Mouse Gears store.  Inside were 2 machines I was interested in.

Mouse Gears 01  Mouse Gears 02

Both machines were working perfectly and I quickly pressed my sets.  The first machine had 3 designs: Mickey and Spaceship Earth, Anna from Frozen, and 2015 Donald Duck.  The second machine also had 3 designs: Mickey with his Passport, Spaceship Earth, and Kristoff from Frozen.  With two more machines successfully collected I received a text message from my family that they were heading towards Test Track since our Fastpass time was ready.  We had intended to bring my daughter Hanna and niece Ava on but unfortunately they were about 1 inch too short.  Grandma decided to stay with the kids while we went on the ride.  It had been a few years since I was last on it and the inside had changed a little bit, but I always love when you head outside onto the track for a quick race around the building with the wind whipping through your hair.  Once the ride was over we were taken through the gift shop and right before the exit doors was the penny machine.

Test Track

I always like the cool blue color of this machine’s cabinet.  There were 3 designs:  Mickey with Test Track shirt, Mickey in Test Track car, and Goofy sitting by a caution cone.  We were approaching lunch time and decided to head to the closes pavilion which was Mexico.  They have a great outdoor quick service restaurant called La Hacienda.  After indulging in a few margaritas and some tacos, Hanna was getting a little fussy due to complete exhaustion.  While my family finished eating their lunch I took her for a quick walk inside the Mexican pavilion to look around.  Near the central marketplace inside is the penny machine.  Hanna helped me press the coins but I could tell she was even too tired to do this.


Another 3 design machine with the following: Mickey wearing a Sombrero, Duffy wearing a poncho, and Mickey in front of the Mexican pavilion.  I walked Hanna back outside and met up with our family.  They were ready to head back to our resort for an afternoon nap before coming back for dinner.

A few hours later we were back in Epcot and headed over to The Land where Soarin’ if located.  The stand-by line was still crazy (over 2 hours) but we were actually there to try the Garden Grill for dinner which is a revolving restaurant.  After we checked in for our reservation we still had to wait a few minutes for them to get our table together.  In the large waiting area were the 3 penny machines I had waited all day for.

The Land 01 The Land 03 The Land 02

Machines 1 and 2 shared the same large cabinet.  First was the penny machine with 3 designs: Belle, Doc and Chip & Dale.  The quarter machine also had 3 designs: 2015 Nemo, Merida from Brave, and Mickey riding Soarin’.  The third machine was a hand crank version with 4 designs:  Gardener Mickey, Farmer Donald, Garden Grill Restaurant Logo, and Soarin’ Logo.

The food was pretty good.  It’s a family style restaurant with all you can eat portions.  You get a big plate of mashed potatoes, turkey, steak and fish.  Then once finish off the plate they bring you another one, and another, until you have had enough.  While stuffing ourselves with the food we got to meet some characters that stopped by to say hi.  There was Chip and Dale, Farmer Mickey, and Pluto.


After dessert we rolled ourselves outside and were grateful to have the long walk around the World Showcase next on our list.  As we made our way towards the World pavilions I first stopped in to the Disney Traders  and next door neighbor the Port of Entry store to use the machines.

Disney Traders  Port of Entry a

The Disney Traders machine had the following designs: Olaf from Frozen, Mickey with the Epcot Logo, and Mickey Goofy & Donald holding a globe.  The Port of Entry machine also had 3 designs: Mickey with a suitcase, Uncle Sam Mickey, and Duffy wearing a Chinese outfit.

Now we were ready for the world pavilions.  Being originally from Canada this is of course where we decided to start.  Since we had a lot of places to visit we didn’t stay to long in any of them, mostly just going into each gift shop and looking and what they had to offer.  Lucky for me this is also where all the penny machines are located.

Canada  United Kingdom

The machine in Canada had designs of: Mickey wearing a Mountie hat, Canada Pavilion, and Duffy wearing a Canadian outfit.  Next up was the United Kingdom, this machine had the following: Mickey with Big Ben, United Kingdom Pavilion, and Duffy wearing a kilt and hat.

My family continued towards the France pavilion but I quickly stopped over at the International Gateway which is a back entrance to Epcot and will take you to the Boardwalk Resort and Yacht and Beach club if you don’t mind walking or waiting for a boat.  There are some great places and things to do over there if you ever need a break from Epcot.

International Gateway

This machine had a unique cabinet to it that I don’t remember seeing before.  The designs were: Mulan, Mickey at the China Pavilion, and Elsa from Frozen.  With this machine completed I quickly ran to catch up with everyone at the France pavilion.  They were checking out the decadent desserts available in the patisserie.  I wandered over to the penny machine and pressed another set.


This is another very unique machine.  As you can see from the picture there are only 2 designs pictured on the marquee, Mickey by the Eiffel Tower, and the France Pavilion.  However for those in the know, there is actually a third design available.  The only way to get it is to play the Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure.  There is a little phone type unit you obtain clues so you can catch the evil Doofenshmirtz.  The clues are completely random, but one you can obtain is if the game takes you to the France pavilion and you place the phone device up to the penny machine.  No coin is required as the machine will automatically start pressing a secret design for you.  Yes this coin will give you assistance with your clues, but for pressed coin collectors this is a very cool collectible.  I have managed get a couple in previous visits, but didn’t have time this trip to play the game for a shot at another one.

Next up was Japan.  There are two pretty new machines at this location.  One is located right outside the gift shop, and the other is by the stairs that lead up to the Katsura Grill.

Japan 01  Japan 02

Both machines need your manual strength to press, but will give you 4 designs each.  The first machines has: Mickey in Japan, Minnie with a Tiara, Duffy wearing a Kimono, and Mickey & Minnie kissing.  The second machine has: Minnie wearing a Kimono, Mickey wearing a Kimono, Mickey in a Samurai outfit, and Daisy with a Japanese hand fan.

Our next stop was the American Adventure, by this time unfortunately everyone was starting to get tired and were looking forward to heading back to the hotel for the evening.  So as they kept walking I quickly ran into the Heritage Manor Gift shop and pressed the coins.

American Adventure

This machine actually had quite the line I had to wait in.  Luckily everyone ahead of me seemed to only be pressing one design each so I pressed my coins after only a few minutes waiting.  The machine had 3 designs: Patriotic Mickey, Mickey with a Baseball cap, and Baseball player Duffy.  Next up was Germany and the Der Teddybar Toy Shop (I think I spelled that correctly).


I almost missed this machine.  Usually they are located right near a doorway, but this was in the middle of the store.  Thankfully a nice cast member helped point me in the right direction.  Three designs were: Mickey wearing a hat with a feather, German Pavilion, and Duffy wearing a German outfit.

Only one more pavilion to go and it was Norway.  This one my family did actually take some time to explore.  We used to love the Maelstrom ride that was here but it has recently been closed down to make way for a new Frozen ride.  We took the kids in to the gift shop to see the huge troll and take their picture with it.  I don’t think they like the troll too much but it made for a funny picture.

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The machine was located right inside the main door to the shop and my niece Ava helped me press the coins.  This may be just wishful thinking but I think she was getting the hang of the machines.  I had decided to bring a lot of extra change so help get her collection started and she liked picking out the different designs and helped find some of the machines.


I thought these may be all Frozen designs by now, but only one had changed.  The designs included: Mickey wearing a Viking hat, the Norway Pavilion, and Anna & Elsa from Frozen.

It had been a long day and we managed to visit every pavilion and do almost everything we wanted to at Epcot.  It would have been nice to go on Soarin’ but since it is one of the most popular rides in Epcot we just couldn’t justify the 120 minute standby time.  Maybe next time.  We headed back out to the monorail and made our way back to the resort to relax for the rest of the evening.

At the end of each night I always tried to catalog the coins I had collected and information on the machines just to keep things organized and a little easier to manage when we got back home.  But this night I was completely exhausted and went to bed early.  Tomorrow was another busy day with plenty of coins to collect.

WDW Trip Day 2 – Magic Kingdom

For our first full day in Orlando we were headed to the Magic Kingdom.  We had a character breakfast scheduled at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh and his friends.  However we got to the park earlier than expected (thank you Monorail), and my sister and brother-in-law wanted to hit up Space Mountain.  After getting through security and using our MagicBands to enter we were immediately greeted at the town square by Pluto and Minnie Mouse.  Unfortunately the line for Minnie Mouse was huge so we wait for Pluto.

While my family waited for Pluto I quickly ran into the Main Street Train Station to use the two machines located inside.  They are located on the street level behind the stairs to go up to the platform.

MS Train Station 01  MS Train Station 02

The penny machine I had already acquired the designs and just need a picture of the machine.  The quarter machine did have one of the new 2015 designs with Cinderella’s Castle.  I pressed this coin and made my way back over to Pluto just in time for my daughter to meet him and get his autograph.


After Pluto my family started heading up Main Street and I quickly headed over to the Main Street Firehouse and got an updated picture of the machine that was put back on display here.  It has been there a few years ago during my last visit but had been taken away for some reason.


This machine has 3 designs each with different Dalmatians from what else the Disney classic 101 Dalmatians.  I already had these designs but pressed new ones since my originals were on old dirty coins before I was a little more picky about what I used.

I walked quickly to catch up with my family just in time to take a picture of all of us in front of Cinderella’s castle.  Then we headed into Tomorrowland and up to Space Mountain.  My wife and I are not big ride people so my sister and brother-in-law went ahead by themselves.  My parents were watching the kids plan with a cast member shooting bubbles into the air and this was keeping them quite entertained.  I headed into the Space Mountain gift shop for the next machine on my list.

Space Mountain

There are actually 3 machines located inside this store and one of them actually presses dimes which is unique.  Two of the machines hadn’t changed so I only need the quarter machine.  The 3 designs are all Space Mountain themed and look really great on the larger size quarters.  Next I headed across the courtyard to Mickey’s Star Trader.

Mickey's Star Trader

This was another quarter machine with 3 designs.  The designs included 2 Tomorrowland images and one of Zurg from Toy Story.  I crossed through this store and out the back towards the Indy Speedway where another machine was close by.

Indy Speedway

Unlike most of the machines in WDW that are electric and just require your money and the press of a button this was a hand crank machine with 4 designs.  These designs were also very detailed and included racing themes with Goofy, Mickey, Minnie and the Indy Speedway logo.  Hoping my family wasn’t waiting around for me I quickly headed back towards Space Mountain but found the kids were still playing with the bubbles and my sister was just exiting the ride.  They took a picture on their phone of their official Space Mountain photo and after we laughed for a good couple of minutes we figured it was time to head back for our Breakfast reservation.

The Crystal Palace is a pretty standard breakfast buffet with the usual Mickey waffles, scrambled eggs, omelet station, etc.  But who are we kidding we were really there to see Pooh and his Friends.


During the course of our breakfast we met Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet.  Their interaction with the kids was really great and we were able to get some fantastic pictures.  Now that we had filled up our gas tanks we were ready to start exploring the rest of the park.

We started in Adventureland and jumped on the Jungle Cruise.  With the Jungle Cruise successfully completed I crossed the path to the restroom area know as the Verandah Breezeway.  There is a machine over here that was calling my name.

Verandah Breezeway

The machine had a new Frozen design that I already had collected but needed an updated picture for my files.  The designs include the Adventureland logo, Olaf from Frozen, and the Jungle Cruise boat.

After that we headed towards Aladdin’s magic carpet ride.  My family waited inline for the ride and just as they got on and started flying an announcement was made that they were coming down for some reason.  Not sure if the ride malfunctioned or not, but they were escorted towards the exit but asked not to leave they would be put back on in a few minutes.  I took this opportunity to cut through a pathway over to Frontierland where the Shooting Arcade was located.  I used to love this as a kid and remember my grandfather pumping quarters into it for me.  There are two machines located here.

Shooting Arcade 01  Shooting Arcade 02

The first machine had classic face designs of Mickey, Donald and Goofy.  The second machine has Cowboy Mickey, Woody from Toy Story, and Cowboy Donald.  I headed back towards the Aladdin ride and found my family still waiting to get back on the ride.  I took this opportunity to check out something I had been told about but in all my visits never tried yet.  Dole Whip!  All I have to say is WOW, I don’t know how I ever missed this before.


From my understanding Dole Whip is a non-dairy ice cream like concoction.  The original flavor was Pineapple, but I believe you can now get orange.  I didn’t even bother with the other flavor as I was hooked on the pineapple.  I started with just Dole Whip in a cup, but upon later visits back to this stand I tried the float which was even better.  They fill a larger cup half way with pineapple juice and then pour in the Dole Whip.  Truly amazing I even found a Dole Whip air freshener for my car in a gift shop, it’s not quite the same but as close as I can get in Jersey.  The only thing is that you can only get these a couple of places through the entire resort.  This one in Magic Kingdom, at the Polynesian Resort, and at Tamu Tamu in Animal Kingdom.

With Dole Whip in hand I watched my family ride the magic carpets without any issue and as soon as they got off it was time to use up our first Fastpass for Pirates of the Caribbean.  After that we made our way quickly over towards Cinderella’s Castle and over to the new Fantasyland.  We had a dining reservation for lunch at the popular Be Our Guest restaurant in Beast’s Castle.  The restaurant was really beautiful to look at and was fun to sit and eat inside.  The food was also very good,


Above is the famous Rose from the movie Beauty and the Best with falling petals and all.  After lunch we headed towards the Big Top Circus area so the kids could check out the Dumbo ride.  Unfortunately Hanna was getting tired and was getting cranky.  While my brother-in-law look my niece on Dumbo I took Hanna in the stroller for a walk to try to see if she would fall asleep for a nap.  We headed into the Big Top Souvenirs tent and I found the next machine on my list.

Big Top Souvenirs

This machine was another 4 design hand crank model.  The four designs are all circus related with the usual Disney character.  Strongman Donald, Trapeze Minnie, the Great Goofini, and Ringmaster Mickey.  After leaving the tent Hanna was still on the cusp of going to sleep so I look her for a stroll back towards Cinderella’s castle to check out some other machines.

First we went into Sir Mickey’s which is a narrow little store that has the usual gifts and things to buy.  The machine was located right near one of the check out counters so it was a little crowded to try to use.

Sir Mickey's

The machine has 3 penny designs.  2015 Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey, Snow White, and Elsa from Frozen.  We walked across the crowded walkway to the adjacent store called Castle Couture for another machine.

Castle Couture

Another 3 penny designs included: Tiana from The Princess and the Frog, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and Rapunzel from Tangled.  With these coins pressed I checked Hanna and she was fast asleep.  I headed back over towards the Big Top Circus and the rest of my family was watching my niece Ava ride on Dumbo.

After she got off my family had decided they wanted to head back to the resort for a rest before coming back for dinner later on that evening.  My wife and I decided to stick around the park for a little while longer and my parents were happy to watch a soundly sleeping Hanna until we got back to the resort.

There were a few rides we did want to check out along with some more machines I needed to visit.  As we separated from the rest of our group we headed to the Flight of Peter Pan ride which we had another Fastpass for and got on with almost no wait at all.  After that we headed towards the Haunted Mansion another favorite of ours but the standby wait time was over 50 minutes so we skipped it but did find the new penny machine.

Haunted Mansion

This machine was located just a little past the Riverboat station outside the Haunted Mansion.  It had four designs that included the hitchhiking ghosts.  Do you know their names?  Ezra, Phineas and Gus (I had to look these up), the fourth design is of Mickey, Donald and Goofy dressed like the hitchhiking ghosts.

This next machine was also new and I didn’t know exactly where it was located and took a little wandering to find it.  Close to Heritage House there is a back alley type of area near the Fastpass kiosk is where this machine located.

Heritage House

One nice thing about this location is there was no one around and plenty of space to spread out and press my coins.  There were 3 designs: Liberty Square Riverboat, Hall of Presidents, and Patriot Mickey.  By this time we noticed the scotch tape being placed along the walkways and knew a parade was about to begin.  We cut along the river area and headed towards Big Thunder Mountain.  This is a ride I actually don’t mind but with no Fastpass the standby line was over 100 minutes and we just didn’t want to wait.  Near the exit to the Huck Finn Raft launch was a 4 design hand crank penny machine.

Big Thunder Mountain

The designs were: Cowgirl Daisy, Cowgirl Minnie, Cowboy Donald and Cowboy Mickey.  Next up was Splash Mountain.  I was forced to ride this as a child with my sister who loves these types of rides but my wife wasn’t too keen on it so we just stood and watch people come down the big drop.  We then walked back behind Splash Mountain past the Frontierland Railroad Station to a gift shop that has 2 machines.  One located near the restrooms and the other further back by the Splash Mountain Photo Preview area.

Splashdown Photo 01

Most of the designs are Splash Mountain themed which is cool.  The first machine has: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, 2015 Chip & Dale, and Splash Mountain logo.  The second machine included: Mickey and friends riding Splash Mountain, Mickey and Minnie splashing water, and Brer Rabbit and friends on Splash Mountain.

By this time we were getting a little tired ourselves and wanted to make sure we had enough time to get back to our resort and rest before heading back into the park to eat.  We headed back towards Main Street and towards the exit.  Just after exiting the park there is a Newsstand that had a penny machine.


When we first entered the park I tried to use this machine but it was being worked on by a cast member.  Luckily when we were leaving it was working perfectly.  The designs are: Cinderella, Tinker Bell and Peter Pan.  With those coins in hand we then grabbed the monorail one stop to our resort and joins our family for some much needed down time.

A couple of hours later the kids were all awake and ready to go.  We headed back on the monorail into the Magic Kingdom and didn’t have far to go.  Our diner reservations were at Tony’s Town Square which is an Italian restaurant themed after Tony from Lady and the Tramp.  This place was packed, and even through we had a reservation still needed to wait about 10 minutes or so, which seems so much longer when you have antsy kids and an empty stomach.  I walked Hanna over hear the restrooms where the restaurant had a machine.

Tony's Town Square

Hanna helped me press the pennies which included: Lady, Tramp, and the whole Lady & the Tramp gang.  We were then seated shortly after and enjoyed our meal.  Our service was a little slow but I just attributed that to the place being really busy.  Most of my family had the chicken Parmesan which was really tasty, and my wife tried a flatbread pizza which she also really enjoyed.

After diner my sister and brother-in-law were ready to check out the park but the kids seems like they wanted to head back to our room.  My parents offered to take them back and watch them until it was bed time.  We thanked them and were off to check out the Haunted Mansion.  This ended up being a great time to go on as the wait was posted as being only 10 minutes.


After the Haunted Mansion we went towards Splash Mountain.  My brother-in-law was taking my sister on who seemed a little apprehensive in her old age (thanks Karma).  They had a Fastpass but it wasn’t available for another hour so they decided to wait for Big Thunder Mountain which was about a 40 minute wait.  They said they would text us when they were on Splash Mountain so we could head to the bridge and watch them plummet over the falls.

I took my wife’s hand and lead her towards the Frontierland Shooting Arcade but cut through to the Dole Whip sand.  She got just the Dole whip cup while I got the float.  We sat right along the shooting arcade and just watched everything going on around us while we enjoyed our tasty new treat.  My phone eventually buzzed letting us know they were on Splash Mountain so we headed over to watch.  Their official picture was another great source of amusement.

By this time is was getting late and we figured we should probably head back.  As we walked along Main Street we headed into the Emporium to check out some souvenirs.  There are 3 machines in the Emporium but I only needed 2 of them.

Emporium 01  Emporium 02

The first machine worked perfectly and had designs of Mickey with a Bow Tie, Cinderella’s Castle, and Minnie Mouse.  Unfortunately the second machine was Out of Order.  The designs included 2015 Cinderella’s Castle, Let the Memories Begin, and Anna & Elsa from Frozen.  In my previous post I mentioned new plaques on some of the machines saying you could text about out-of-order machines.  So I sent the text and received a quick confirmation back.  I wasn’t going to wait around, but we did have our schedule set to come back into the Magic Kingdom on our last day before heading home.  I was able to get these coins during that trip.

We paid for a few souvenirs and then headed back to our room for some much needed sleep.  It had been a busy day and I was able to visiting all the machines I needed to.  With only one machine not available I was pretty happy with the outcome.