Update at the bottom (4/18/18)
In just over a week it will be April 22, 2018 also known as Earth Day and my birthday. However around here in Florida this is also known as the day Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrates it birthday. Back on April 22, 1998 the park first opened and as the cast members say “It’s not a zoo it a jungle out there.”
Now for anyone that can do some simple math next Sunday will mark the 20th anniversary of Animal Kingdom. As Disney is known to do they are celebrating this big achievement in style.
A lot of the gift shops have all sorts of 20th anniversary merchandise including pins, t-shirts, mugs, magic bands and lots more.
Plus a nice special treat for us pressed penny collectors, six new special penny designs. Now these are spread out in three different machines in the park. The first one is located back in Rafiki’s Planet Watch at the Conservation Station.
To get here you need to take the Harambe Railroad on a short trip, and then a long walk back to the conservation station. Please note that this place is not open the same hours as the park. On my recent trip I was just able to get on the last train which left the station at 4:30pm and it was closing at 5pm. Make sure you check the hours before trying to collect these coins as it may not be open if you are visiting later in the day.
Inside the conservation station you can meet Doc McStuffins, and sometimes Rafiki himself. Towards the back of the building in the corner is where the penny machine is located.
This machine has been here for a year or so with other designs which have now been replaced. In this machine all three of the designs have been changed and are of Simba, Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King. All designs say “Disney’s Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary.”
After taking the train back to Harambe Station in Africa you can head towards the icon of the park The Tree of Life.
Sorry I really like this tree and the details of it when you get up close are really amazing. If you stay late enough once it gets dark there is also a new projection show on the tree where the animals all come to life. The next set of pennies is actually located outside the park at The Outpost Shop.
This shop is right near the tram loading area just before the security check at the entrance to the park.
As with the other stores inside the park you can also get some 20th Anniversary merchandise.
This store has two penny machines inside. The first machine has three images but only two of them have been changed.
For you Up! fans out there you can get new designs of Doug and Russell both with “Disney’s Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary” included in the image.
On the other side of the store is the second machine, but this has only one design that was changed.
Keeping with the Up! designs this machine has a new image of Kevin also with the “20th Anniversary” as part of the design. Kind of a strange way to disperse six new designs over three machines but who am I to complain. I love these special sets and hope they do more. I was at Epcot’s 35th anniversary last year and was sad to see now special coins were available. Hopefully if this is a success they will continue to offer more like these. When I pressed these coins earlier today they were definitely popular and lots of people were waiting in line to press their own.
Here is a shot of the complete set of six designs that are currently available. I’m not sure if these will be permanent or only available for a limited time. If you get a chance to press these make sure you do just in case they don’t stick around and it’s a really great set of pennies.
I’m not sure if this was an unintentional mistake but the set of pressed pennies listed above from the Pixar movie Up! were just recently combined into one machine. Initially as I had listed above two of the designs were in one machine and the third was in a separate machine both located in The Outpost Shop.
As you can see from the marquee picture below the designs have not changed they were just combined into one machine.
This does seem to make a little more than having the set split up among two machines, but both machines were in the same store so you didn’t really have far to go to find them initially. In any case for now if you are interested in this 20th Anniversary set you just have to find the one machine.