Daytona International Speedway

I will start out by saying that I am by no means a Nascar expert, but I’ve always enjoyed cars in general. I’ve never been to a Nascar race in person but have watched a few races on television. It’s hard to comprehend exactly how fast they are going around that track, and the knowledge that any little error can cause a major wreck just gives me so much respect for the drivers in those vehicles.

For even casual or non-racing fans I think everyone is aware of the Daytona 500. Living in Orlando I’m not too far way from the Daytona International Speedway but have never made the trip over until just recently. A friend of mine was interested in visiting the Buc-ee’s in Daytona Beach that I wrote about here. After that visit I’m always looking for an excuse to head back out for some Beaver Nuggets so we hit the road bright and early. Then after filling up on Buc-ee’s products we still had the whole day ahead of us with nothing planned so I thought it may be a great opportunity to visit the speedway.

It was pretty easy to find and after parking in the visitors lot we walked along the outside of the Speedway and I was completely taken back by how huge it was. There were no races going on so most of it was deserted outside, but we could hear the familiar sounds of cars flying around the track which I think was part of a tour you could take.

Even though there was no race going on during our visit, there is still some areas of the speedway property that we were able to explore.

Inside was an information area, as well as a fun gift shop which we will get to shortly, but where we spent most of our time was in the Motorsports Hall of Fame and museum. It was incredible.

This was a self guided tour, but they had people around to answer questions if you had any. One thing they were sure to let us know was that the museum wasn’t just about Nascar but all Motorsports. We definitely saw that inside with all different types of vehicles and other race vehicles throughout. I even found this cool Fabulous Hudson Hornet car from one of my favorite Pixar animated movies Cars.

One area of the museum that was really cool is where they have the current Daytona 500 Champion car. There is a whole section with pictures of the winning driver, the humongous trophy and the actual car. One of the guides told us that after the race this car is literally just driven off the track and right into this spot.

They even told us to go around the back of the car and look on the opposite side where there is quite a bit of damage from early in the race when the car got a bit too close to the wall.

After we finished with the museum it was time to head into the gift shop. As with many of the other places we visit they had an amazing assortment of items for sale. Plenty of t-shirts, but even die-cast models, seat covers, posters, artwork and so much more.

Out of the back of the gift shop is a little cafe where you can get some drinks and snacks. This is also where I found a pressed penny machine.

The machine cabinet was fun with the checkered pattern along the sides. It was a classic 3-design electric model so it saved my arms from having to crank our my pennies manually.

The designs on the pennies were really great as well. They include the Daytona International Speedway Logo, The Coke 200 Logo, and of course the Daytona 500 Logo. Special thanks to Summers Raceway for supplying some of the props I used in the above picture. If you like Hot Wheels racing be sure to head over to their YouTube channel and check out a race.

I really had a great time at the Daytona International Speedway, and am actually very interested in going back to see a race in person. I’m sure it would definitely be a unique experience. Even if you aren’t a Nascar fan I still think the speedway has a lot of fun things to do and explore, plus you’ll need to pickup a set of these cool pressed pennies.

Have a fantastic week, and Keep on Pressing!


Magic of Disney Store – Orlando International Airport

When people think about going on vacation one of the top places that come to mind if Florida, and if you are a theme park junkie Orlando is probably your ideal place to visit. The Orlando International Airport has become one of the busies airports in the country and on any particular day there can be tens of thousands of people coming and going from there. The airport is not huge, but does jam in a lot of different restaurant and of course shopping for those last minute gifts or souvenirs. In the past I’ve posted about some pressed penny machines that used to be available in some of those stores, but over time they have almost all been removed. There is one store that did continue to keep a machine and that was the Disney Earport shop. This store has recently gone through a closure and renovation but is now back open and has a new pressed penny machine.

There can be a bit of confusion in this airport as there are actually two separate Disney stores. Previously they had slightly different names to help distinguish them, but now after the renovations both are called Magic of Disney. One of the stores is near the security check for gates 1 – 59, this is not the store with the penny machine. Instead you need to head over to the opposite side of the terminal towards security area for gates 70-129.

This is the larger of the two Disney stores, and I will admit that this new look is really fantastic. I like the new fixtures and how all the merchandise is now displayed. It seems much more open, even though it’s jam-packed with many of the items you may have missed at the parks.

Since I visit the parks quite often I didn’t spend much time looking at the merch, instead I was on the hunt for the new pressed penny machine and it didn’t take long for it’s beautiful cabinet to catch my eye.

I love these not-so “hidden” Mickeys made out of US cents that completely cover the cabinet. This is such a fun Disney touch and I hope we see things like this on future machines.

Two of penny designs were brought over from that old machine they used to have here and were of Pilot Mickey and Stitch. This new set now also include additional designs of Donald and Goofy, plus four designs from the Disney animated movie Planes which I believe was a spin-off of the Pixar’s Cars movie. I have not see this movie but guess I’ll have to add it to my Disney+ watch list so I can check it out. The designs are of characters named Dusty, Bravo, Echo and Skipper.

I wish that I was actually at the airport heading into the skies for a fun vacation, but at least for awhile long we are staying close to home with a few scheduled staycations coming up. Stay tuned for posts about those adventures soon. The new cabinet on this machine is really amazing and I do think it was cool that they released some designs for this Planes movie that may be a hidden gem. Between these designs and the recently released Robin Hood pennies at Epcot it seems like Disney may be starting to dig into their vault for some unique new pressed pennies.

Have a great week and as always Keep on Pressing!

Disney’s Robin Hood Pressed Pennies

I am so excited to be able to share this with everyone. Back when I was young we didn’t have many Disney movies on VHS tape, but one of the ones we did own was the 1973 Animated Classic Robin Hood. It has always held a special place in my heart and is truly one of my absolute favorite Disney movies. The music is fantastic, and I know that it was unfortunately released during what some consider the dark days of Disney Animation history, but to me it really is a great movie.

As with many guests visiting Walt Disney World or Disneyland who come across many of the pressed penny machines they want to collect the designs for their favorite attraction, character or even movie. For me however this was a problem since Robin Hood just didn’t have any pressed coin designs available anywhere on property, and trust me I looked exhaustively. As the years past I figured it may be a lost cause as the movie just fell further and further out of date.

Apparently my patience has finally paid off and I was browsing one of my favorite Disney pressed coin resources the website and after over 5 months since Disney has last released any sort of new collectible coin they had announced a brand new machine placed in Epcot and best of all it had designed themed after….wait for it ….. Robin Hood! Bam, finally!!!

This just could not wait any longer. I immediately jumped in my car and drove over to Epcot, weaved my way through the immense crowd that had gathered for the 2021 version of Epcot’s Food and Wine festival. That was tempting as well, but I was on the hunt for these Robin Hood pennies and wanted them before Disney realized they had made a mistake and removed them. As I left Future World and arrived at the World Showcase I turned to the left as if you were heading towards the Mexico Pavilion. Before that there is a fairly large souvenir shop that we have visited on many occasions in the past called Disney Traders.

Inside is your standard Disney gift shop with stuffed animals, t-shirts and so much more. Usually they will also house a lot of the Festival merchandise that take place at different times of the year.

Just to the left side of the store’s check out area is a soda cooler and is also where the new pressed penny machine is located. Previously in this location was a 3-design electronic machine that had some generic Frozen designs of Anna, Elsa and Olaf.

I thought it was interesting to see that this new machine was designed just like that old Frozen machine in a solid blue cabinet. I thought for Robin Hood it may be more of a green color, but trust me I’m not complaining with this sweet new set of designs.

These machine had 8 designs in total including images of Robin Hood, Maid Marion, Robin and Marion Together, Friar Tuck, Little John, Skippy, Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham. I do wish they had included a design of Sir Hiss or Alan-A-Dale the Rooster that sings many of the songs. But that’s okay, maybe we can expect another set of Robin Hood designs with some different characters. Maybe that’s asking too much so I’ll just stick with these for now. Another nice thought is that if this movie can still have pressed coins created for it years after its initial release there are hope for many other animated classics still in Disney’s vault. With Walt Disney World about to start celebrating their 50th anniversary I’m looking forward to seeing if any other classic characters get to make their debut as a pressed coin.

Oo-de-lally, oo-de-lally, golly, what a day!!

Buc-ee’s Pressed Pennies | Daytona Beach, Fl

Only a few weeks ago I made the trip up to St. Augustine Florida to visit the very first Buc-ee’s location and I was immediately hooked. In case you haven’t checked out that post you can visit it here. Shortly after that location opened the second Florida store opened in Daytona Beach. Since my first trip I’ve been thinking about those breakfast tacos, and sliced brisket sandwiches. So I had a day off from work and headed for the Atlantic coast to visit my new favorite roadside stop.

As I drove into the parking lot my mouth was already watering and I couldn’t wait to get inside. I did actually need to fill up my car with gas so I decided to do that first and just had to pick out one of their over 100 gas pumps available for travels. Yes I said that correctly, over 100 gas pumps. I don’t think you will ever need to wait for an open pump when visiting these stores.

Since this store had just opened not too long before this visit, they still had their promotional huge Bucky beaver inflated out front greeting guests.

One thing I noticed as I walked inside is the store was almost identical to the St. Augustine store, except that it was flipped in the opposite directly. St. Augustine had the merchandise area on the left of the main entrance, and the food on the right, but here in Daytona it was flipped. Not a big deal but since I was already familiar with the layout from my other trip, it made finding things much easier.

But first things first, I headed over to the penny press machine to ensure I wouldn’t forget to use it. I was so excited for breakfast that I could see myself pigging out and leaving without getting my coveted coins.

The cabinet of the machine was identical to the St. Augustine model, and I’ve checked out online some of the Texas locations and they all seem to be this same design.

I pressed my coins and noticed that they were also exactly the same as the St. Augustine versions except these listed the Daytona Beach location instead. But the rest of the details for each design were the same. Notice the beaver nuggets in the background, yeah I initially picked up just one bag but ran back inside afterwards to pickup another 2 or maybe 6 bags. Who knows when I would be back and these things are very addictive.

One quick side note, on top of the machine was a bin with some Penny Adventure journals available for purchase. In case you haven’t seen these before they are like the penny booklets you find in other locations but so much more than that inside. I already have one of these in my collection at home and posted about it already which you can read about here. Definitely take a look as I think it’s a really cool idea and a nice way to store you collection.

With my new pressed coins stored away I headed back into the food area of the store and just completely went nuts. I couldn’t help myself and ordered enough food for my entire family that should have lasted a few days but I sat in my car and just indulged myself. Feeling a little guilty afterwards I started to make my way back home with my bags of Beaver Nuggets not too far away, you know just in case I needed a snack for the ride home. My family has an upcoming vacation at Daytona Beach so I’ll be making another pit stop here before too long, and be sure to subscribe to our blog so you can check out those future posts. Plenty more pressed penny machines throughout Daytona Beach and I’ll be doing my best to find them all.

Have a fantastic week and be sure to always Keep on Pressing!

Universal CityWalk Converting Penny Machines to $1

Theme Parks around Central Florida have all started their return to an almost pre-pandemic operation. Facial coverings are options for those guests that are fully vaccinated, capacity limits have been removed, and social distancing requirements are also gone. This was a pretty momentous occasion and I wanted to head over to Universal to see how things were going, not just with crowd levels and attraction wait times, but of course I wanted to check on the penny press machines. Would we find any new ones? Unfortunately not, but instead the machines have been converted to the now more common cost of $1 to press. Below I will review each machine, but the designs have not changes, and we’ve previously gone over the new payment system and options so I won’t be doing that again. This will just be a quick trip through Universal’s CityWalk revising all the machines.

This trip will start out by the parking garages and security hub. This area is still available even if you are not parked in this section, but you would need to head towards the Jurassic Park / King Kong / Jaws garage.

Just past the gift shop near security you will find these first two machines. For now these are the only two machines available outside of CityWalk near the parking garages.

Here’s a closer picture of the two machines. Their cabinets are the same, except for the new payment information stickers on them. Both of these machines were located in this same location prior to the change, but there was a third machine here that has been removed. It’s been quite awhile since that machine was removed so I don’t know if it’s still scheduled to come back or maybe it will be moved somewhere else.

Now we are through security and heading into CityWalk. Before we head too far to the right of the Welcome To Universal Orlando sign is the Universal CineMark movie theater.

Out front of the movie theater are two machines. This first machine with the black cabinet used to be on the second level of this area near the food court area. After it’s conversion it has been moved down to this lower level for what I think is a much higher traffic area.

The second machine with the blue cabinet is back in it’s same location from before the change over. Just to make sure I don’t confuse anyone, these machines are located out front of the CineMark movie theater. So you don’t need to go inside to use them. You will actually pass right by these machines as you head towards the theme parks.

As you walk in the general direction towards Islands of Adventure on the left side of the courtyard is a gift shop that has been here for awhile, but it has now been rebranded as the Universal Legacy Store, instead of just the studio store. On the opposite side of the courtyard is a brand new huge Studio Store but no new machines are in there at this time. Hopefully a new one will arrive soon as I’d love to review that new store with all of you.

Inside the Legacy Store there are lots of fun Universal movie props from different movies throughout their history. It’s almost like a museum that also sells Harry Potter merchandise. Near the check out area for the store used to be one of the Harry Potter 8-design machines, but that has been moved over to the new Gift Shop I mentioned above.

Now in this spot they have relocated the 4-design machine that used to be right inside the main doors.

It wouldn’t a trip to CityWalk without stopping for some Voodoo donuts. Did you read all about the National Donut Day pressed penny, if not you can check it out here. But before I grab a pink box of donuts, we headed in-between Voodoo and the NBC Grill & Brew. There is a short hallway that has some exit doors to the Movie Theater, and a set of restrooms.

This is also where the last two pressed penny machines that have been converted can be found. If you don’t know about them you probably wouldn’t ever see them back here. I have spoke to a few other collectors that walked right by this area and didn’t know they were there. It does seem like a strange place to put these, but I know that at night after the parks close Voodoo donuts does encounter a pretty long line that wraps through this area so maybe that’s where these machines get most of their usage.

These aren’t all the machine located in CityWalk, but rather just the versions that have been recently changed. There is a 4-design machine in Bubba Gump Shrimp that is (for now) still just $0.50 per penny. I also mentioned the 8-design Harry Potter machine in the new Universal Studio Store, and one last 8-design machine in the gift shop for Margaritaville. Be sure to check back for updates on Universal’s other machines and they continue to change them.

Thanks for visiting and Keep on Pressing!