Weeki Wachee Springs State Park Florida

Over the last few years my family decided on our weekends to explore some State Parks around where we live in Florida. It was partly to give ourselves a little break from the theme parks (gasp!!), but also just to check out new places, get some fresh air, a little exercise and really just be able to spend some quality time together. As an added bonus, I found that many of the Florida State Parks have pressed penny machines which I of course collected. Here we are many months after these trips and I realized that I never shared them with you. There were quire a few to chose from but I wanted to share a pretty iconic spot and that is the Week Wachee Springs State Park.

This place is primarily know for it’s iconic mermaids, but let’s hold off on that nugget of info for a little bit. First let’s take a little walk around the property to see what all is here.

Just like many State Parks there were plenty of nature trails to hike, picnic pavilions to enjoy some lunch and a lot of open space just to just enjoy the great outdoors. This place however also has a pretty large water park on one side. There is a small fee to enter the State Park, and then an additional cost for the water park area. Since this was our first visit we opted to just stick with the main park and the mermaids..sorry, sorry I know we will get to them soon.

After walking some of the trails and enjoying our lunch we headed back towards the main entrance area where there was a pretty large gift shop. Just outside the main doors was where I found the pressed penny machine.

This was certainly a unique looking machine. I have used similar styles on other trips, but this pain color was definitely a choice. I was also surprised to see there was no marquee sign across the top showing off the available designs. Instead you kind of had to look at the small wheel just above the coin tray to see what you could get.

The side of the machine had some very pretty art work showing off the name of the park, and a few of its special residents.

The penny designs pressed very nicely which was a bit of a relief. I’ve had issues with this style of machine in the past. The designs showed off a few of the famous mermaids, and then a fearsome Pirate which is part of the local lore for the park.

Now it was time to check out the Mermaid show. There is a pretty large theatre that you really can’t miss. There are specific showtimes that are posted, and I would definitely recommend getting in line a bit early as they do fill up pretty quickly and you don’t want to miss out.

When you enter the theatre you will walk down some steps to find any available seat. I would say that ones towards the middle are your best option, but we sat along the one side and were able to see the show just fine.

Once the show starts the large curtains along the viewing window are drawn up and you can see that we are looking directly into the natural springs with our new mermaid friends.

The show goes on for about 20 minutes or so but it’s a lot of fun, and really impressive to see in person. There are plenty of mermaids putting on an underwater acrobatic show telling some history of the State Park mermaids and even includes a sea monster at one point.

They also do have some meet and greet times with the mermaids that is completely free to visitors. My daughters really enjoyed meeting a few of them, and they were so sweet and were not rushed away. This was a really fun trip to a classic Florida roadside attraction and beautiful State Park. We will definitely be back in the future, but until then we have quite a few more State Parks to visit so stay tuned and Keep on Pressing!


Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort Medallions

I want to apologize for the extended time it took me to post about this “New” medallion machine. Back in May 2022 after the All-Star Sports Resort had finally reopened they released first a new pressed penny machine that you can read about here, quickly followed by a new collectible medallion machine. With everything going on I made sure to review the new penny machine, but completely forgot about the medallions. So that’s what we are going to focus on in today’s adventure, plus there is currently a bit of a unique situation happening to this machine.

When I used to live in New Jersey and visited Walt Disney World, most of my visits I stayed at one of the All-Star Resorts. I believe I only stayed at Sports once, but they are all pretty much laid out in a similar fashion. There is one main building with the check-in, gift shop, food court, and arcade, then all the guest rooms are in various buildings nearby.

The penny and medallion machines can be found in this main building just outside the Game Point Arcade.

The cabinet for the new medallion machine has the same color scheme as the pressed penny machine. These colors are very close to the rest of this main building making them fit in nicely with the surrounding asthetics.

There are four medallion designs available at this location and they are all, as you may have guessed, sports themed. Goofy playing basketball, Cheerleader Minnie, Football Donald and Mickey playing soccer.

I love the design on the reverse side of the medallions that has the All-Star Sports resort logo and trophy design. These are really a fun set of coins, and I hope we see similar themed designs at the other All-Star Resorts, Music and Movies, in the future.

Now lets talk about this machine in it’s current state. As I mentioned these new sports themed medallions were available starting back in May 2022 and were there for a few months. But recently I was informed that those designs are no longer available and have been replaced with some 50th Anniversary designs.

First let me explain that these are NOT new 50th anniversary designs. These are duplicates of ones we have already found at other locations.

Above is a picture I took of the currently available medallion designs at the All-Star Sports resort. Mickey and Minnie are currently also available at the Port Orleans Riverside resort, Goofy is at Hollywood Studios in the Tower of Terror gift shop, and Donald can also be found at Disney Springs in the Pin Trader store.

So what happened, well I have a couple theories. First is that the Sport themed designs sold out or had low inventory so they replace them with some 50th anniversary designs to ensure the machine had coins to sell. Nothing worse than having a machine that can’t be used, and we saw this a few times earlier this year where they moved certain designs around when ones were out of stock.

Second possibility is that with the 50th Anniversary starting to head towards it’s completion in early 2023 I’m sure they have plenty of the 50th medallions that they want to do everything they can to sell off so they are putting them in as many machines as they have available.

Either way I would say that these 50th designs are not going to be in this location for very long. Once this stock either sells out or the 50th comes to a close, and I would then anticipate those Sports themed designs will return. Happy Collecting!


Honolulu Police Department 90th Anniversary Pressed Coin Set

My elongated coin collection is something I’ve worked on for many years, and is primarily made up of designs from large theme parks, zoos, aquariums and many roadside attractions. I love all of them, but something I had more recently found and been exploring more and more are privately designed coins. We have reviewed quite a few already here in previous posts and I’m not slowing down anytime soon. In one of the many pressed penny Facebook groups I’m a member of, another member posted about one of his design sets that I thought was really striking. So I reached out, placed and order and was blown away when they arrived in my mail. Let me introduce you to Michael Mochizuki and he coin designs.

Michael is a fellow TEC member, and is primarily a Hawaii collector of many different categories but his main interest being elongated coins, medals and tokens. He has been designing elongated coins since 2010 specializing in Hawaiian historical subjects and commemorating various Hawaii anniversaries. To date he has created over 250 designs which is truly amazing.

One thing about some of Michael’s coin sets is the beautiful information card giving a detailed explanation of the story behind the coin design. These are limited sets that are numbered, which I think this is a fantastic touch making these sets highly sought after.

Michael’s latest design commemorates the the Honolulu Fire Department. December 7th 1941 a Day of Infamy and Fire.

The story behind the Honolulu Fire Department is really an unbelievable one, and an important part of a very tragic day in our Nation’s history. The design on this coin has some amazing details including the Department shield logo, and the Purple Heart medal.

The set I received included not only a full denomination set of coins, but also a collectible chip. Michael has quite an amazing catalog of Hawaiian elongated coin sets similar in style and amount of detail to this one. I have already ordered a few more designs so we can take a look at those in future posts. If you are interested in checking out any of Michael’s available sets I have included a link to his Facebook group page here.

Thank you for checking out more privately designed pressed coins with me, I hope you find these as interesting as I do. There are so many talented designers in our community that we have plenty to find and review. As always Keep on Pressing. Mahalo!

Harry Potter Collectible Coin Album | Universal Florida

I’ve always really enjoyed visiting Universal Studios as far back as I can remember. In previous posts I’ve mentioned how much I loved their classic attractions like Kongfrontation, Disaster and of course the infamous Jaws ride. Unfortunately they have all been replaced with some great new rides and one not so great (ahem…Fast and the Furious Super Charged). I was certainly not happy when they decided to remove Jaws, and that wound still stings a bit from time to time, but when they replaced it with Diagon Alley and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter over in Islands of Adventure, theme parks would never be the same again. The design and theming is amazing, being able to use a wand to cast spells, the food and Butterbeer are great, and of course the merchandise is fantastic. It took some time but we did eventually get some Harry Potter themed pressed pennies not too long ago.

But there was something I was surprised they had not released and that was a themed booklet to keep your pressed pennies safe. Universal over the years has not had many options when it comes to these penny booklets or albums. Most are just the Universal logo and nothing else. Thankfully that has all changed with the release of a brand new collectible coin album designed around Hogwarts.

There are three Harry Potter penny machines, one in City Walk and then one each in the parks Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. On a recent visit I checked on all three machines and they each had a display on top filled with these new coin albums.

The cost is $12 which I will admit is quite a bitch cheaper than the nearby Disney versions. If you are an annual passholder your discount will apply to this item.

Embedded in the front cover of the album is a special pressed penny not available in any of the machines around property. The coin says Wizarding World and what appears to be an open book with the pages fanned out.

There are four pages with a total of 44 small plastic sleeves that you can insert your recently pressed pennies. It’s a perfect place for all 24 of the Harry Potter themed pennies, but of course you can store whatever other special pennies you have in here as well. Or maybe, we can expect more Harry Potter designs in the future?

On the last page page I noticed some larger sized plastic sleeves and thought maybe they were for the newer collectible medallions we have been finding at the parks. Once I got home I tested one out and sure enough they fit perfectly.

These new Hogwarts collectible coin albums seem to be pretty popular and I saw quite a few people picking them up. I don’t think these are a limited quality item and would assume these will be available for quite awhile. Hopefully we do see some more Potter pennies at some point in the future, and Universal please somehow figure out how to let me use my wand to activate the machine, or add it to an in-park game with a secret penny design like they used to have in Epcot with the Agent P game.

Now that I have my new album and full set of pennies I think it’s time to cool off with a Butterbeer.
Keep on Pressing