Fresh off a couple new penny machines over at Epcot, it now was time to head back over to the Magic Kingdom for a NEW-ish machine. What do I mean by that…well we will get to that in a little bit.
I was able to get a park reservation for a Sunday and above is a picture of the entrance to the park. It was pretty quiet on this visit.
We headed back towards Frontierland only stopping once for a Dole Whip (I’m so weak), then back to Splash Mountain.
As you stand in front of the entrance to Splash Mountain, if you look up you will see the Frontierland Railroad Station. Unfortunately due to the Tron Coaster construction currently underway the railroad is not running.
But that’s okay since the place we are actually heading is not up to the railroad platform. Instead, you walk just to the right of Splash Mountain underneath the train station.
If you decide that you would rather take a trip down the Briar Patch by riding Splash Mountain first that’s no problem. Once you exit the ride you will have to walk underneath the train station as well to get back to the park. Which is perfect since this is where you will find the new penny machine.
Previously this location had a 3-design electronic penny machine that was removed fairly recently. Then with the latest news that Splash Mountain will be rethemed to Princess and the Frog, I assumed this machine may not return until after that retheming. But I was wrong.
As you can see from the image above the machine has returned but is noticeably different. For one it is now a 4 design manual press machine. It has also been updated to the new $1 per penny price point, and the machine supplies a shiny new zinc penny.
Here is a look at the new set of pressed pennies from this machine. Now if you have been collecting Walt Disney World pressed pennies you may be like me and at a glad recognized these designs. After I had pressed this set I was pretty sure these were previously retired designs that were just brought back. But once I got home I took a closer look to compare these with the older designs I remembered.
First, we will look at the Br’er Vulture design. It was originally at this very same location under the Frontierland Railroad Station. However, when I put the two pennies together (New is on the Left, and Old is on the Right) you can see there are some differences. There is now a notch at the top of the design that splits the dot border, and the Magic Kingdom banner is in a different location.
The second penny with Br’er Rabbit was also at the old machine in this same location. The notch on the left is now splitting the dot border, Br’er Rabbit looks to be a little smaller, the Magic Kingdom banner is larger and the (c) Disney is now on the left of the design.
The third penny design that has Mickey and Minnie splashing in some water is STILL available at the Splashdown Photo Preview area. This is located at the exit of Splash Mountain where there is a wall of video screens showing the ride photos. In this same area is a sort of hidden penny machine. That notch is splitting the border again on the new design, the Splash Mountain logo looks a little different, and Mickey & Minnie are more spread apart.
The last penny design used to be inside the Country Bear Jamboree waiting area but was recently removed and replaced with an 8-design touch screen machine. That notch is again splitting the border, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad appears to be a new font, the Train and tracks look a bit more detailed, and the Magic Kingdom banner has been raised a bit and isn’t as wide.
As you can see these are technically new penny designs, but upon closer look, they are very similar to other designs just with some slight variances. I obviously still picked up a set for my collection and many other collectors enjoy finding variant designs so I’m sure these will be popular. However, if you remember I did mention above that Splash Mountain is going to be rethemed shortly so I do find it a bit odd that they kept some of the Splash Mountain designs. You may want to get a set of these before this machine inevitably changed for some new Princess and the Frog designs.