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!