With two young daughters we don’t get to sleep in too much, especially not on vacation. We were up early as usual and had planned to visit Hollywood Studios. With all the changes going on at that park we weren’t planning on being there for more than half a day. First we decided to get some breakfast at our resort and there was a place nearby that would allow us a few character interactions at the same time.
The Cape May Cafe is located right near the main lobby of the Beach Club Resort. Our reservation was for the first available time so the restaurant wasn’t even open yet when we arrived. There was a short wait while they got things setup, but it was nice to have the place almost completely to ourselves. This was also a nice perk for when the characters started coming by and we got to spend a nice extended amount of time each of them.
Minnie Mouse was of course the favorite for our girls. Since we were at the Beach Club each character was dressed appropriately in beach attire. We also got to visit with Goofy and Donald.
Unfortunately Mickey isn’t here for a visit, but the three we did get to visit with were really great with the kids, posed for lots of pictures and of course we couldn’t let them go without signing our autograph book. The food here is a buffet style and had most of the standard Disney breakfast items, but there were a few more unique items available. After breakfast we headed out to the water front and hopped on one of the boats that transport guests between Epcot, Yacht & Beach Club resorts, the Boardwalk resort, Swan and Dolphin and finally Hollywood Studios.
There is no “express” option to take you directly to the Studios, so it can take a little while to visit the other resorts first but it’s actually a very nice method of getting to the park. Once we arrived we got off the boat and headed inside, and right down the main boulevard. We had no fastpasses booked and nothing particularly planned for this day so we wanted to just wander around and see what we could find to do. Just outside the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular were the first couple penny machines.
The first machine is near the exit to the Stunt show, but can be accessed without having to sit through the show (but who could pass up a chance to see Indy). The four designs here include the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular Logo, Silvermist Fairy, Indiana Chip, and Indiana Mickey with a Whip. The second machine is located nearby at the Indiana Jones Outpost. The pennies here have images of Mickey with an Old Time Camera, Merida from Brave, Agent P, and Buzz Lightyear.
We were heading towards Star Tours but I needed to make a quick stop at a relatively new gift shop called Frozen Fractal Gifts. I had written about these coins before and you can read out it here. But this was the first time I was able to use check out the machine in person.
This is another one of those 8-design touch screen models becoming more popular throughout the parks. This is not a numbered set, but as you can assume it’s a Frozen themed set. The designs include Anna & Olaf, Olaf & Elsa, Kristoff & Anna, Sven, Kristoff Olaf Sven Anna Elsa, Olaf, Anna, and Elsa. Now it was time to get our Star Wars on. This was Hanna’s first ride on Star Tours and it was a little too jerky for her. She didn’t complain much but we may need to wait another year or so before trying to get her back on it. Since we are on the topic of Star Wars, we couldn’t see anything behind the construction walls about the new Star Wars land, but they did have some concept art up on the wall.
This wall is up along the walkway you take towards the Muppet’s courtyard. The kids didn’t seem interested in the Muppet Vision movie attraction, but instead we checked out the Stage 1 Company Muppet Shop.
There are three machines available here, but two of them hadn’t changed so I only visited one of them. The designs here included the 2016 Sorcerer’s Hat logo, Minnie in a Costume, and Belle with the Hollywood Studios Logo all pressed on quarters. Due to the construction areas the Muppet’s Courtyard has turned into a dead-end, and you need to head back towards Star Tours to be rerouted towards the rest of the park.
Over in the Animation area we checked out the Toy Story Midway Mania attraction but wait times were already beyond 90 minutes and our kids wouldn’t last that long. We were able to distract Hanna with the opportunity to get her face painted which she jumped at the change and forgot all out the Midway Mania ride. While she got her face painted I used the nearby Toy Story penny machine. The pennies have images of Hamm, Wheezy, Rex and the Toy Alien.
We were getting close to the Star Wars Launch Bay which was new from the last time we had visited. But in the Animation Courtyard there was a store called the In Character Shop with a 12-Design touch screen machine.
I’ve written about this machine a few times and won’t go into details at this time, but I did post recently about a change to the coins this machine was pre-loaded with. Check out my post here that gives a comparison of the coins I pressed in 2015 vs 2016. Right next door is another shop called The Studio Store. While the kids checked out the wall of plush characters I used the machine hidden inside.
The pennies in this machine had designs of Chick Hicks from Pixar’s Cars, Donald Goofy & Mickey with Mickey Hats, and Luigi from Pixar’s Cars.
Now it was time for more Star Wars. Unfortunately the wait time for the Launch Bay and visited with some of the characters was just way too long. Instead we headed in to the Launch Bay gift shop which is still pretty cool. They are some nice movie memorabilia inside to check out, and some Star Wars toys and souvenirs I just haven’t seen anywhere else. As you exit the store there is a new penny machine right outside.
The theming of this machine is really cool and fits in perfectly with the Launch Bay. It’s another touch screen model and has 8 designs available. Technically you can get just one but why would you do that. The designs here are of Kylo Ren Fighting, BB-8, Kylo Ren holding his Lightsaber, Finn, Star Wars The Force Awakens Logo, Rey holding a staff, Stormtrooper, and Rey with a Lightsaber. We now headed towards the Sunset Boulevard area of the park and came across two machines in a location known as Hollywood Junction.
The first machine on the left had pennies with designs of Phineas Flynn, Carl from the movie Up, Doug & Russell also from the movie Up, and Ferb. The second machine on the right had images of Mike Wazowski, Sully Sullivan, Boo, and Randall Boggs all from Monsters Inc. Sunset Boulevard is always a busy place with crowds heading down towards the two big attractions which we will get to shortly. Partway down the street we came across the Sunset Ranch.
The four pennies you can press at this machine include Guido holding a set of tires, Movie Producer Mickey, Singing Daisy, and Mater & Lightning McQueen. Next we headed towards the Rock n Roller Coaster courtyard for the next set of machines.
Both machines have four penny designs. The first one on the left has images of Mater, Lightning McQueen, Radiator Springs, and Mater & Lightning McQueen together. The second machine includes pennies of Mickey playing a Guitar, Rock n Roller Coaster Limo, Singing Goofy, and the Rock n Roller Coaster flaming guitar logo. We are not fans of the Aerosmith ride, but the shop at the end of the ride has a penny machine so I just headed inside to check it out.
The store is known as the Rock Around the Shop and it a pretty unique place. Even the penny machine shown above has the cabinet designed like a piece of concert equipment. The pennies here have pictures of Rock n Roller Coaster Logo, Mickey riding the Coaster, and The Walt Disney Studios Logo. Back through the courtyard and across Sunset Boulevard is the other big attraction here the Tower of Terror. Again this is something that makes my stomach drop just thinking about it. But my brother in-law and niece Ava were all about going on this. I followed them to take some pictures but let them go one without me once they got to the queue. While I waited I headed into the gift shop.
Inside the Tower of Terror shop is a machine pressing quarters. The designs on these coins include Goofy with a Microphone, The Hollywood Tower Hotel, and Stitch dressed as a Bellhop. Back outside just near the beginning of the queue for the ride is a newer machine that was placed here earlier in 2016.
This machine has more Tower of Terror themed designs including Bellhop Mickey, Bellhop Minnie, Bellhop Goofy, and Bellhops Chip & Dale. I headed back to meet up with the rest of my family while we waiting for our brave Tower riders to finish up with the ride. When they were done Ava seemed to enjoy the ride but was in no rush to go back on. We had pretty much seen everything there was to do at the Studios due to all the construction and current closures. As we headed back towards the front of the park I made one last stop in the Legends of Hollywood store.
For those Star Wars fans out there this is another nice set of coins. The images are of Kylo Ren from The Force Awakens, R2-D2, and Yoda. After that we finished heading out of the park, back to the dock, onto the ferry and back to our Resort. We took a nice break in the room, and then spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool. It had been a quick day at the park but very enjoyable none the less. After seeing some of the areas blocked off that will be transformed into the new Star Wars and Toy Story lands we can’t wait to see how they turn out. Hopefully we don’t need to wait too long, and I’m crossing my fingers for a lot of new (highly themed) penny press machines.