Did someone say price increase? Yup, it’s that time again to review some penny machines around Walt Disney World property that have been converted to the new cost of $1. These machines that I’m about to review were actually not on my radar as they are in locations not directly owned by Disney.
Some of you may be familiar with the Landry’s name as they run some popular chain restaurants like Rainforest Cafe, T-Rex Cafe, Bubba Gump and many more. But it seems they have also decided to increase the cost of their penny machines. They do have a few different restaurants on Disney property so first up we will head over to Disney Springs.
We are in full Fall season swing in Florida, although the temperatures are still in the 90s so not much has changed. It’s not raining as often which I guess is a plus.
Located in the Marketplace section of Disney Springs is the T-Rex Cafe. It’s a very unique themed restaurant with a giant dinosaur fossil on display out front. Inside there are animatronic dinosaurs near the tables and even a meteor shower takes place every 15-20 minutes.
They do have a pretty large gift shop with plenty of dino related merchandise. This is also where the penny press machines are located. The first machine is just inside the main entrance.
The designs on the pennies have not changed on any of these machines, but along with the price increase you no longer use your own chosen penny to press. The machine supplies a penny for you. It does appear that they are using uncirculated new pennies so they come out nice an shiny. But a lot of collectors are not happy about this and prefer to use their own pennies which is just no longer available. Even though the designs haven’t changed I’m going to include pictures of all the pennies so you can see what the supplied pennies look like.
The second machine is located not too far from the first machine. There is a hallway that leads back outside to an enclosed kids play area while you wait for your table to become available. This is where the second machine can be found.
As you can see from the above, the pennies that the machine supplied are not too bad. I’ll be interested to see how they hold up over time and whether they tarnish more easily due to the newer metallic combination used in modern minted pennies.
After T-Rex, we headed to the opposite side of the Marketplace area of Disney Springs to the Rainforest Cafe. I’ve posted many times about Rainforest Cafes that I have visited in different cities. They are all pretty similar and have animatronic elephants, gorillas and other jungle creatures situations around the restaurant. The food is not my favorite, but I really enjoy the atmosphere and eat here probably more often than I should.
Just like T-Rex, they have a pretty large gift shop with lots of Rainforest Cafe logo merchandise. Near the check-in area is where the penny machines are located.
The penny designs haven’t changed in this location either, just the increase to the cost and supplied pennies.
You can see the last design on the right rolled a bit short. I actually tried to press this design about 4 times (yes $1 per attempt) and they all came out the same. I did mention it to the staff and they gave me back $3 of my dollars and were going to report the machine so a tech can come and try to realign it.
Right next to that first machine is the second penny machine.
This set of pennies pressed without any issues and looked pretty good. You may have noticed that there was a third machine here. But that machine is a pressed quarter machine, the designs are the same and the cost has not changed it’s still $1.25 per quarter. I’m crossing my fingers they don’t increase those machines.
Those were the two restaurants in Disney Springs so next we headed over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the next couple places.
In case you didn’t know there are actually two Rainforest Cafe restaurants on Disney property.
Similar to the one in Disney Springs they have three machines in total. Two of them are penny machines, and the third is a quarter machine which hasn’t changed.
Other than the increase in cost not much has changed with the cabinet.
This was another nice set of pennies, and they pressed without any major issue.
The second machine squeezed in the middle. Since these machines are located right near the main entrance it can be a bit busy here as people try to check-in for their reservations.
After pressing these pennies I started taking a closer look at the inner workings of the machine and noticed the hopper of where the pile of pennies is kept while they wait to be pressed.
That large pipe to the right of the hopper is just where they load the pennies into the machine. It does hold quite a few pennies and I’d be curious how often they need to refill this.
Here is just a close up of the signage on the front of the machine reflecting the new $1.00 cost. It does let you know “No Penny, No Problem: We Supply!”
Only one more restaurant to check out and it’s back in the Asia section of the park. The restaurant is called Yak & Yeti with some Asian fusion food. This is one of my favorite restaurants to eat at in the park, but it’s very busy and hard to get reservations for. Walk-ins can happen but you have to try and go early.
The machine is located just inside the main doors by the check-in desk. This is also the main area where people situate themselves while waiting for their table. It can get very packed in here, and I had to wait a few minutes just to maneuver my way over to the machine.
Another cute set of pennies themed around the restaurant which I always like. Well, that completes all the Landry’s restaurants on Walt Disney World property and is all of their pressed penny machines (other than the pressed quarter machines) that have been converted to $1. On a side note both Disney Springs restaurants and the Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom do NOT require theme park admission. Disney Springs currently has free parking so you could visit T-Rex and that Rainforest free of charge other than the $1 per penny. Parking at Animal Kingdom as of 2019 is $26 but that will change without notice so it could be an expensive price to pay if you just want to go and get those Rainforest Cafe pennies. Yak & Yeti is inside the park so you would need a ticket to access that machine.
There are still some 4-design penny machines around that haven’t been converted yet but we will keep our eyes open and report back as those are swamped out. Happy Collecting!!