Main Street Emporium NEW 2020 Medallions – Magic Kingdom

I know a few years ago when Disney first released a collectible Medallion machine that I was at first intrigued enough to get a set but tried to convince myself I wouldn’t keep getting them.  But as time has gone on, and more and more of these machines are released I have found my medallion collection growing a bit out of control.  The Festival medallions over at Epcot are probably my favorite and I have been keeping an eye on that machine, but then out of the blue, we got a report about a new set not too far away at the Magic Kingdom.

After work, I took a quick trip over to the park to try and find these new medallions.  I always enjoy walking under the Railroad station and having Main Street USA just reveals itself.  In my mind, it’s always a fun way to be welcomed into the park.

I continued up Main Street towards the Emporium.  Just a quick note on this store, with the current situation in the park they are trying to keep everyone moving in one direction so many of the doorways here are listed as “Exit Only”.  To get into the store you do need to head about halfway up Main Street and enter near the Disney Clothiers store.

Brace yourself when you enter this store as it can be quite chaotic.  It gets worse later on when the park is closing down for the night, with people trying to get their last-minute souvenirs.  The medallion machine is tucked away near the area of the store that has a big selection of Plush toys (sorry it’s hard to be more specific).  Just around the side of one of the checkout counters.

The machine is in a pretty plain cabinet but does actually blend in well with the aesthetics of the Emporium.

The cost is the same as the other machines around the property.  $5 per medallion or you can get all 4 for $15.  This is a slight change from before, where if you were paying with a credit card it would only allow you to get 3 of the coins for $10, and then you had to come up with cash for the 4th design which was pretty inconvenient.  Now they let you get all 4 at once which is much nicer.

The designs on each medallion include Mickey & Minnie holding hands, Pluto, Donald, and Goofy.  On the front of the coin with each character are the words Magic Kingdom, and Walt Disney World.  On the back of each coin is the 2020 Cinderella Castle logo they have been using this year.

This is another great set of medallions, but wow they get expensive.  Especially since pressed pennies are now increasing to $1 each, and medallions at $5 each I may need to get a second job to keep up with my collection.  I did find it a little strange that it’s October and they are releasing another set of dated 2020 medallions but figured these were probably already in the pipeline to be released earlier this summer but got delayed due to all the shutdowns.  Guess in a few months we can look forward to seeing what 2021 designs we get.

Happy Collecting!

The Jungle Book NEW Pressed Penny Set – Animal Kingdom

It’s been a little while since we were over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park, so we had scheduled a reservation to visit this past weekend.  It seems that it was just meant to be as I was informed on the drive over to the park that there were reports of a new pressed penny machine sighting.

We did have a whole day planned at the park, but it didn’t take too long for us to find the new machine.  Just over the bridge when you first see the Tree of Life there is a pretty large gift shop on the left called the Island Mercantile.

I usually cut through these stores just for some quick Air Conditioning, but this time we were on the hunt.

The inside of the store is really beautiful with all sorts of theming and unique carvings on the walls and up in the ceiling.  Plus there is a ton of merch, but we will revisit this shortly.

After wandering around the entire inside of the store more than a couple times I headed outside, and sure enough, there was the machine.

The cabinet of this new machine was gorgeous, with some cool wood carved creatures on the front and both sides.  Plus I really liked the blue color.

I pressed a set of the new pennies and was a bit surprised to notice that they were all themed around the Disney classic animated movie The Jungle Book.  There are designs of Mowgli, Baloo, Shere Khan, Kaa, Bagheera, and more.

Now just a quick note, after getting these pennies I headed back into the store and was just curious to see what type of merchandise they would have for The Jungle Book.  I checked every shelf and display I could and the only items I found were a couple collectible pins.  It is a bit sad to know that this movie doesn’t have much available, but at least we have a nice new pressed penny set.  Keep on Pressing!

Remembering Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Pressed Penny

Joan Ruth Bader was born on March 15, 1933, in Brooklyn New York.

She earned her bachelor’s degree at Cornell University and married Martin Ginsburg in 1954.  She became a mother before starting law school at Harvard, where she was one of the few women in her class.  She transferred to Columbia Law School where she graduated join first in her class.  During the 1960s she worked with the Columbia Law School Project on International Procedure, where she learned Swedish.  Her work in Sweden influenced her thinking about gender equality.  She then became a professor at Rutgers Law School and Columbia Law School teaching civil procedure as one of the few women in her field.

She spent much of her legal career as an advocate for gender equality and women’s rights, winning many arguments before the Supreme Court.  In the 1970s she was one of the general counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union.  In 1980 President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, where she serviced until her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in her home in Washington, D.C. on September 18th, 2020 at the age of 87 from complications of pancreatic cancer.  She was a true pioneer and trailblazer within the United States Judicial System.

To commemorate her life fellow TEC (The Elongated Collectors) member Tyler Tyson created the special pressed penny design.  The designs were made available to fellow club members as either just a single penny as pictured at the top of this article, or as a full denomination set which included the image pressed on a penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and dollar.

 

Pressed Penny Pins

A few times a year I scour the internet for anything new or unique concerning Pressed Pennies.  In the past, this has let to retired online games with pressed penny machines in them, jewelry, unique art, a porcelain statue, and on more than one occasion my searches bring me to Etsy.  Just recently I did this same search and did come across something new (which doesn’t always happen) and it then sparked a similar topic I had wanted to write about in the past but never got around to it.  So here is my attempt at merging those two together.

Many of the different Disney parks have released pressed pennies with designs celebrating their very popular Pin Trading program.  Recently my daughters have become avid pin collectors and really got into pin trading primarily with the Disney Cast members.  In one of the pin stores, one of my daughters asked if there was a pressed penny pin we could get and I told her I didn’t think those existing.

Now skip forward to my recent random search on the internet for Penny related things and came across an Etsy store: Wonderful World of Pins Co.  This really cute store had a few different pin designs available but one of them really caught my eye.  It’s a pressed penny design of Cinderella’s Castle with some fireworks, and also has 1971 at the top which is the year the Magic Kingdom opened in Florida.  The colors were really pretty and I just really liked this so I immediately purchased one.  I will also say it looks amazing in person and it now has a special spot in our pin collection, but I’ll have to make sure no one in my family tries to trade it away.

After the Castle pin had shown up it sparked a memory I had of some other pins that had been released in Disneyland California years ago.  These were a pressed penny style pin set that was envisioned by WDI (Walt Disney Imagineering).  The pins were available to Cast Members (employees) exclusively at the Mickey’s of Glendale store which is for Cast Members only.  You can find these pins on eBay but the resale cost is pretty high.  I keep an eye out for deals whenever possible, and was able to get the above set for a reasonable price.  This is actually the second group of WDI Pressed Penny Pins and was released on November 6th, 2010.

I hunted through my Disneyland pressed penny collection and found the matching pressed pennies to that pin set.  It really was a fantastic idea to recreate these penny designs in pin form and I wish they did this in Florida (and not just for Cast Members).

As of right now, there are 21 sets of these pins for a total of 74 pressed penny pins.  They range from sets of the Haunted Mansion to Wreck-It Ralph and they are all based on pressed penny designs.  The last set (#21) was released around September 10th, 2014.  That is also quite a while ago so these may not be coming back anytime soon.  I was going to add pictures of the other sets but my resource for most of these details was from the fantastic Disneyland Pressed Penny resource http://www.ParkPennies.com.  Here is a link to their page all about the WDI Pressed Penny Pins with pictures of all the sets should you be interested in more information.

Thanks for checking in and be sure to let me know in the comments if you ever come across any unique items themed around Pressed Pennies or their machines and I’ll be sure to check it out.  I’m still waiting for Lego to create a Pressed Penny machine in Lego form but so far nada.  Happy Pressing!

WDW Converting Older 3-Design Electric Penny Machines to $1

Over the past year or so we have reviewed how Walt Disney World (and some other theme parks around Central Florida) have begun converting their penny machines over to $1.  The machines being convered were the 4-design hand crank models and we were hoping it would stop there.

But unfortunately on a recent visit to the Magic Kingdom I found what a lot of collectors had been worried about.

I didn’t even make it very far into the park before noticing the very first machine over near the Newsstand looked different.

 
Old Machine                                   New Machine

Above on the left is how the machine looked only a few weeks before.  The picture on the right is how it looked after coming back.  When I noticed the credit card payment system I knew what had happened.

The marquee at the top is a bit different as well, with added information on the new increased cost and they also announce proudly that “We provide the penny”.

Here is a close up of the payment system and information on how it works.  Please note that if you chose to use a credit card or digital payment like ApplePay you will automatically be charge the full $3 and will get all 3 pennies.  You cannot use this type of payment for only one design.  For that you need to use cash and it must be exact the machine does not give change.  So make sure you have your dollar bills ready.  After you insert your dollar, the button will light up and you can chose your design to press.

Here is a picture of the penny set.  They are exactly the same as before the machine was converted.  No variances that I can see like the Frontierland Railroad Station machine we reviewed last week.  The pennies the machine supplied were not great and I’ve definitely seen better with other machines.  But I’ll try cleaning them up a bit and hopefully that will help.

I’ve mentioned this numerous times in the past that many collectors aren’t happy about not being able to use their own preferred pennies.  I do like to use my own whenever possible, but I just enjoy this hobby too much for this small detail to deter me from collecting.  It’s more about the adventure and just simple enjoyment of watching a penny get squished into a fun souvenir.

We are anticipating that since this machine has been changed over the rest of the 3-design electronic machines will soon follow.  On this most recent visit to Magic Kingdom I did check on the other machines but no others had been convered as of yet.  As always we will keep you up to date on the changes.  I don’t think I’ll review each machine individually as they are converted and may instead wait for all of them to be done and write one large article about all of them.  Let me know what you think.  Will you continue to collect these pressed pennies?

Stay safe and Keep on Pressing!