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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
Another great ending to a busy but very memorable day.