If you have been following along recently you will most likely have noticed my last few posts about the new 4-design penny press machines and the increase in cost.
This change has a lot of collectors not too happy, but not necessarily just because of the higher price. This is something that I feel was inevitable and am kind of surprised it didn’t happen earlier. From what I have been hearing from collectors they are more upset about the machine supplying the penny. We have talked in the past about the preference for a lot of pressed penny collectors to use pre-1982 pennies due to their higher copper content. This usually results in much better final pressings. But as we have found with the new larger format machines (8 or 12 design machines) that already supply new shiny zinc (copper coated) penny. The jury is still out on how well these pressed pennies will hold up over time.
The first few machines to be released on Walt Disney World property were two machines at the Main Street Train Station in the Magic Kingdom, and the new machine in Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios. However these were brand new machines just released, and this immediately sparked another concern about whether any existing machines would get the price increase as well.
I have checked out all the parks and so far only one other machine over in Tomorrowland has been changed.
Over near the Tomorrowland Speedway was a 4-design hand crank machine that has been here for a while.
As you can see from the above picture, the machine has been upgraded (?!?! updated) to the new price point.
Fortunately (or maybe not if you don’t already have these coins) the designs have not changed. They are still the same as they were before the price increase. Thankfully for my collection I already had a set pressed on some older (pre-1982) pennies, but went ahead and pressed a new set just to see how they came out.
There were a few other 4-design machines that were temporarily missing from the Magic Kingdom. As we assumed they have returned with the updated cabinet and the new price and payment system.
First was over in Tomorrowland near where the TTA People Mover line forms. The designs have not changed.
Next over in the Tomorrowland Light & Power store (Space Mountain Gift shop) has two machines.
The first penny machine also has the same designs as before.
However, this location also used to have a pressed dime machine that was very unique. That machine has been converted to a penny machine but still has the same original designs.
I spoke with some other collectors about these pennies, and it appears the dies inside the machine are the same dime sized as before, but the tension/pressure of the machine has been adjusted to press pennies. Due to this, the pennies come out much shorter than usual. As you can see from the comparison picture above the pennies come out almost the same size as the dimes.
The next machine was in Storybook Circus (where the classic Dumbo ride is located) in the Big Top Souvenir gift shop. Located all the way in the back this machine can be easily missed. The four penny designs are the same as before it’s updated, the only change is to the price and payment options.
Heading over to Liberty Square we checked on the machine near the Haunted Mansion. These designs have also returned unchanged but the instructions on how to use the machine have been updated and are more detailed.
Just a short stroll into Frontierland the machine located across from the Frontier Trading Post has also got a new cabinet with updated pricing. Designs are unchanged.
Finally, the last machine is over by the world-famous Jungle Cruise attraction. The cabinet has been updated but as with most of these machines, the designs are the same as before.
I also visited Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs but didn’t find any other 4-design machines missing. I would think this is probably a bit of a time-consuming process to update the machine cabinets so they are probably systematically doing each park one at a time to limit the number of machines that will be unavailable.
Being a collector that prefers to use my own pennies this is a bit of a bummer to see the machines converted over to pre-loaded. I had used some pre-loaded machines in the past at other places around Niagara Falls and received some pretty shabby pennies. On the plus side, it does appear Disney is trying to use some brand new shiny pennies, but they are zinc. We will just have to wait and see how they hold up over time like the preferred copper pennies.