Happy Thanksgiving 2020!

This has been quite a year we have all experienced together.  But now more than ever I feel it’s very important to take some time and count our Blessings and be Thankful for everything we do have.  First off please know that I truly appreciate every one of you that stops by here week after week to check-in on my pressed penny obsession.  Whether you have been a long-time follower or have just recently come across these crazy stories I cannot express how much I feel blessed to know that you actually take a few minutes out of your day to read about my collection.  We do have a fantastic community here of collectors that I have enjoyed getting to know over the years.  I read all of your comments and appreciate you taking the time to reach out.

The above features pressed penny was shared by followed TEC Member Cindy Calhoun on The Elongated Collector’s Facebook page and I thought it was a great design to share.  It was designed by Elmer Anderson and is marked as design EA-10 for those of your collecting some private roller designs.

It’s about time to pop the turkey in the oven over here and enjoy some family togetherness.  This year we have been able to do that more often due to the limited time we head outside, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the work.  My family is truly the most important thing in my life but pressed pennies to come in pretty close behind.  Have a fantastic Thanksgiving and let’s hope we can get through the rest of 2020 as quickly as possible.  I’m definitely looking forward to more Penny Travels in the New Year!

Disney Junior NEW 8-Design Pressed Penny Set – Hollywood Studios

This past week we had some friends in town.  They are Disney Vacation Club members so this is an annual trip they look forward to each year and gives us a chance to visit and catch up while they are here.  I had asked for their schedule of which parks they would be visiting each day so I could try and book off from work and jumped on the day they were going to Hollywood Studios.  I knew they would be trying to get on the new Star Wars Rise of the Resistance ride and any chance I can get to go on that I’m there.

Disney had tested out a new process for getting a virtual queue spot to ride the attraction and you can now book it the same day in advance from anywhere.  In the past, I had to get to the park hours in advance to try and get one of those coveted queue spots and it just made for a very long day.  This time around we got the queue when it opened at 7am and I was able to more calmly head over to the park.

I had arrived a little early and decided to wander around while I waited to hear from our friends so we could meet up.  My first stop was back in the animation courtyard because I had heard from a friendly follower of this blog that a new penny machine had been spotted.

As soon as I walked through the Hollywood Studios archway into the courtyard I was greeted by Ariel and The Little Mermaid stage which is not currently open.  However, if you look closely in the above picture you can see a penny machine.

Unfortunately, when I walked closer I noticed that this was the 12-penny Heroines machine that has been available here for a few years.  To the right of this machine, you can see some security gates that are housing the In Character Shop.  Previously this machine was inside this shop and unavailable since the shop has been closed.  It was nice to see Disney decided to move this machine outside those gates so guests can pick up a set.

I was a little discouraged as I thought this may have been the machine thought to be new, but my penny machine senses were in high gear and I kept investigating the area.  Sure enough on the opposite side of the (Closed) In Character Shop, I saw another penny machine tucked away in the corner.

It turned out to be an 8-penny design touch screen machine.  The cabinet had a nice wood finish to it but other than that no special theme to it.  I feel this was a bit of a lost opportunity, can’t you see this themed after Doc McStuffins, wrapped in pink and covered in large band-aids.

The set of pennies are all themed around Disney Junion television characters like Mickey, Minnie, Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First, Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  I do wish they had included Vampirina she’s currently one of my daughter’s favorites or even the new Princess Mira.

With the pennies all pressed I headed back out in front of the Chinese Theater to meet up with our friends.  It was perfect timing as I was able to watch the Disney Junior cavalcade and I’m pretty sure Doc McStuffins waved directly at me.  We did eventually get on Rise of the Resistance and it was as fantastic as ever.  We had a great day and with our friends and of course finding new pennies to press just tops things off.

Keep on Pressing!

Aladdin NEW Pressed Penny Set – Magic Kingdom

Earlier this week I made a quick trip over to the Magic Kingdom so I could press some pennies for a friend of mine.  Other than getting these pennies I didn’t have much of an agenda which was supposed to make for a nice leisurely trip to the park.  All too often I’m rushing around the park, and you kind of forget about what a magical place you are in.  It is nice to every so often take your time and enjoy where you are.

On Main Street USA I stopped into the Starbucks for a coffee and then headed towards Adventureland.  I’m not sure why this is my preferred path, but I do find this is the direction I head more often than not.

There are quite a few great attractions in Adventureland, but one that holds a bit of sentimental value for me is The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.  This was the first ride we had taken our oldest daughter Hanna on when we first took her to the parks when she was small.  We don’t go on it very often anymore but I always look fondly on this ride every time I pass by.

Even though I was taking it easy on this visit, I still find myself visiting each penny machine just to make sure they are still there, or if any changes have been made.  In between the Swiss Family Tree House and the Magic Carpet ride is a machine that can be easily missed due to its location at the Island Supply Breezeway (restroom area).

This is a high traffic area most of the time since there are restrooms here and it’s a shortcut from Adventureland over to the Liberty Square area of the park.  But about halfway through this breezeway is where the penny machine is located.  When I walked into this area I immediately noticed the machine had been changed.  Previously this was a 3-design electronic machine with a change machine attached all in one cabinet.  That is no longer here (even the change machine is gone) and now a new 8-design machine is available.

The machine cabinet is just plain white and nothing overly special about the design or theme.  It is the newer touch screen versions we have come to know so well and are definitely becoming the new normal in the parks.

The designs on the pennies are all themed around one of my favorite animated movies Aladdin.  The images include Aladdin, Princess Jasmine, Genie, Iago, Abu, and more.  This is a really great set and I’m so glad it was released.  I think this will be a very popular machine.

After pressing the pennies I made the executive decision to jump in line and take a spin on a magic carpet.  It would have been more fun if my daughter was with me, but that’s okay it was still fun and I’ll be sure to take her on the next time we are in the parks.  Happy Collecting and Keep on Pressing!

Island Market & Export NEW Pressed Pennies – Universal’s Islands of Adventure

October over at Universal Studios Florida is full of spooky decorations and amazing haunted mazes with plenty of scare zones.  Unfortunately in 2020 with everything going on their usual Halloween Horror Nights events were not happening as usual.  But as a nice surprise, they did open two of the Mazes to regular day guests without a separate ticket required.

Throughout the month of October, I headed over to visit these mazes as often as I could and really enjoyed them.  Even though there were only two houses, no scare zones, and took place during the day.  But they still had plenty of amazing design work and scares throughout.  The first house was Revenge of the Tooth Fairy.

The second maze was The Bride of Frankenstein Lives.  One perk from this year was that the wait times were never more than 10 minutes when I visited mid-week and I was able to basically walk right into the mazes throughout the day and I loved it.

During one of these trips, I took a break from the Halloween fun and headed over to the Islands of Adventure park just to see what was going on.

After scanning my ticket and heading into the park I always cut through the Island Market & Export store just to get some cool air plus they have a couple pressed penny machines inside.  But on this trip, something about one of the machines caught my eye.

Last year you may remember I wrote about a whole bunch of machines that had stickers places on the advertising that certain penny designs were going to be retired.  Then over the next few months, the machines were updated with new designs.  One of these machines was in this store, but the strange thing was that it originally got one of those stickers.  Then after all the other machines were changed, this machine was kept the same and the retired sticker was removed.

That has finally changed.  When I walked by the machine the designs immediately stuck out to me and I was shocked to see they were new.  The cabinet of the machine is the same, and unlike the Disney machines, it still costs just 50 cents plus you can use your own penny (collectors rejoice).

Thankfully I always carry around extra pennies and quarters for just this situation.  You never know when you may come across a new machine and need to press a new set.  The designs at this machine include Kong, E.T., and a cute Hello Kitty.

I’m surprised it took this long to update, and assume that it was scheduled to change last year but maybe there was a licensing issue that delayed these from being released.  But whatever the situation was it’s done and we have a fun new set of pennies.  After collecting this set I did check on all the other machines in this park to verify if there were any other new penny designs, and it appeared this was the only new set for now.  Hopefully, we will see some more new ones in the future, but for now, it seems that Universal is done swapping out their penny designs.  Happy Collecting!