At the time of writing this, Walt Disney World Theme parks currently closed due to the Covid-19 virus and the social distancing going on throughout the United States we are all pretty much confined to our homes. But this does give us some time to catch up on things like cleaning up the house, or maybe spending some time outside weeding our garden…however, in my case, those still sound very boring and I’d rather write about pressed pennies. Thankfully we had so many new pennies released, and I still have our family vacation from last year to write about that this may just be the time I need to get all those adventures posted. First, though I wanted to continue reviewing the next park at Walt Disney World to convert their 4-design penny machines over to $1.
Hollywood Studios has had an exciting year, with 2019 bringing us Star Wars (Land) Galaxy’s Edge, then in December we got the new Rise of the Resistance ride which is unbelievably amazing, and now just a few weeks ago the new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opened. This has finally completed (for now) the park’s transformation and part of that was swapping out these penny machines.
Let’s get started by heading straight up Hollywood Boulevard to where it intersects with Sunset Boulevard. There is a little building here called Hollywood Junction. On the backside of this building, there used to be two machines.
But unfortunately one of these machines has not returned. It’s been weeks since these machines were all changed so I’m assuming that the second machine has been retired and not coming back. Maybe it was to make room for the new ATM placed in this area, but in the picture above on the right, there still looks to be plenty of room for that machine.
I’ll say this just once at this time but please note this is the same for all the other machines I’ll review today. After the conversion, the machine(s) have returned with the new $1 per penny price tag. It accepts cash, credit card or digital payments like ApplePay. The machine also supplies a pre-loaded zinc penny. You can no longer use your own preferred pennies. Also, the designs have not changed and are exactly the same as they were before the change.
Next, I headed over to the Muppet Courtyard into the Stage 1 Company gift shop which is all Muppet’s Themed.
This machine is located in the back of the store where they usually have most of the plush toys but of course, that can change. This store does have two other machines, but this is the only 4-design model available here.
I had to kind of backtrack a little bit towards the Echo Lake area. Near the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular show is a little shop called the Adventure Outpost.
The first machine at this location is right out front before you even enter the store. The cabinet of the machine has changed slightly but still is pretty similar to what it was before.
The second machine is inside the store. As I mentioned above this store is small so it isn’t hard to find this machine but it can be a little difficult to use if the store is busy.
If you do decide to go and watch the Indiana Jones stunt show one of the exits brings you out near the Backlot Express quick-service restaurant. There is also a little outdoor gift shop here that has the next penny machine.
The machine has moved slightly after the change but is still in the same general area of that outdoor shop.
Next, we headed to the other side of the park and started heading down Sunset Boulevard. About halfway down you will come to the Sunset Ranch which has a couple quick-services places to eat, plus a pin store, and a little stand called Anaheim Product with churros, pretzels, frozen lemonade, and other snacks. Right out from of this stand is the above pictures penny machine. I always liked this machine with the cabinet designed to looks like crates of produce. When the machines get themed like that it always just seems to add to the fun.
If you spin around 180 degrees you will see a little alleyway in between some larger stores. At the back of this alleyway are a set of restrooms and a penny machine.
I always dislike when penny machines are placed outside restrooms but that seems to be a very common location for them. Guess people need something to do while waiting for their family members.
At the end of Sunset Boulevard, we took a left into the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Courtyard. Just beside the face painting tent is the penny machine.
Past the entrance to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is an area of the park that was previously only open for certain events, but now is open all the time with a new attraction at the Sunset Showcase Theater called Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy.
The penny machine in this area is located just outside the exit to the theater. You do not need to sit through the show to access the machine as it is outside for anyone to see. But the show is cute and has a really cool Lightning McQueen animatronic inside. Originally this machine was located back in the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Courtyard near the previous machine but was relocated here once the show opened premiered.
Finally, we come to the last 4-design machine in this park. It’s over near the Tower of Terror, outside the Hollywood Tower Gift Shop in the courtyard.
You do not need to ride Tower of Terror to use this machine (thankfully). That ride is not one of my favorites so I’m glad I can just walk over to use this machine with the screams of the attraction riders hollering out in the background.
Hollywood Studios had the most 4-design machines of all the parks. They were changed out over the course of a month or so. It’s interesting to watch how they handle this by removing about half of the machines first, then once those are changed out they remove the second half. However, these definitely seem to take longer than the other locations to get all the machines back. As I mentioned way back at the beginning we did lose one of the machines that still has not returned and I don’t think it will. But the park still has lots of other machines and plenty of penny designs available to keep you busy. Oh and if you have some time in between pressing your coins, make sure to try out some of the new rides you won’t be disappointed.