It’s been almost a month since my last visit to a Disney Theme Park. This was partly due to my own feelings of safety and looking to ensure I kept my exposure limited whenever possible. But another factor has also been playing a part in this decision and that is the Disney Park Reservation system. Basically, if you want to visit one of the parks you need to make a reservation in advance. With the parks having the limited guest capacity (currently, it’s around 30%), and that is also divided between On-site Resort Guests, Day Guests (not staying at a resort), and Annual Passholders. Unfortunately, Annual Passholders book up these reservations pretty quickly and it’s been a bit difficult to get one.
Prior to all this, whenever I heard about a new pressed penny machine or design I would just head into the park that evening or the following weekend at the latest to document the new coins. But with this new reservation system, it makes spontaneous trips almost impossible. I took that as a sign to just take a break from the parks.
Eventually, I was able to secure a reservation for Epcot and as my luck would have it, there was a new penny machine released. It was very nice to be back in the parks, but since it was Labor Day weekend the crowds were definitely larger than I had anticipated. Plus Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival was in full gear and weekends are a busy time for these Festivals.
My family was anxious to get back into the World Showcase for some rides and more importantly Festival Food booths. But first I needed to stop by my arch-nemesis Mission Space. Here’s a quick story. Years ago when I still lived in New Jersey I had visited Walt Disney World for vacation and had a reservation for my favorite restaurant on property ‘Ohana at the Polynesian Resort. That day I had decided to visit Epcot to kill time before my dinner, and my friend wanted to try Mission Space. I’m always a bit nervous about new attractions but decided to go on with him. Basically, it’s a centrifuge where it simulates you blasting off from Earth into Space. Because it’s a centrifuge you are in these little capsules that spin around really fast to simulate the g-forces you would encounter on this type of trip. Our flight was a bit delayed due to someone getting sick as they exited the ride. That should have been my notice to skip this one but I didn’t and afterward, my stomach was upset and I was so out of it I had to just go back to our resort. The thought of food would make me nauseous so I had to make the difficult decision to skip my ‘Ohana reservation. It’s such a popular restaurant that I was unable to reschedule for any other time during our visit. So my hatred of this attraction all stems back to that trip and how it made me miss dinner at my favorite restaurant.
Years have past and that scar still runs deep. I haven’t been on this attraction since, and they even now have a “less intense” version but I’m still not ready to experience it again. However, even though the penny press machine is located in the gift shop you do NOT need to experience the attraction if you don’t want to. When facing the front of the building just walk over to the left and you will find the gift shop. I always liked the above picture which is in the shop just behind the checkout desk.
Just inside the doors to the gift shop is where the penny machine could be found. Not too long ago there was a 3-design machine here that had Mission Space theme designs. But that was recently removed and had a Star Wars machine here instead. I always thought that was a bit of a stretch to have Star Wars with Mission Space but hey what do I know.
I was glad to see the new designs were all inspired by Mission Space. Above is the marquee from the machine and the price has remained the same for now. $1 per penny or you can get the entire set of 8 for $5.
The large plexiglass window on the front allows for a fun view of the inner workings of this machine which I always enjoyed watching. They also have pressed pennies from the machine on display so you can see what the final results will be.
This is a nice set and I’m glad we were able to get over to Epcot for them. Eventually, I’ll bury the hatchet with this attraction and go on again but I’ll be sure to not have any special dining reservations afterward. We enjoyed the rest of our day at Epcot and did come across another new penny machine but you’ll just have to stay tuned to read all about that one shortly. Happy Pressing!!