I hope everyone is having a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. As always I truly appreciate each and everyone of you that takes the time to visit throughout the year. I am truly blessed to be apart of such a wonderful collecting community.
Before I sign off for the rest of 2022 I just wanted to post one last very special elongated coin to help celebrate this wonderful time of year. This Mele Kalikimaka 2022 elongated coin design was created by Michael Mochizuki who has created many other fantastic designs and we have showcased some here previously and have many more to look at in the future. If you interested in this design or any of Michael’s other designs you can reach him through his Facebook group page linked here.
Mele Kalikimaka, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and have please have a safe and Happy New Year! I’ll see you all again soon in 2023 and we will continue to Keep on Pressing!
Not too many years ago collectors were on the edge of their seats during the Holiday season anxiously waiting for the Disneyland Holiday pressed nickel sets to be released. It has been an annual staple at the parks for quite a few years dating back to 1995 in Disneyland and 2010 in the California Adventure park. But then in 2020 when the entire world seemed to shut down we missed out on that years special holiday coin designs. That continued into 2021 with another year passing by and still no holiday coins. Many collectors assumed this beloved tradition was gone for good.
Then just a couple weeks ago our friend and fellow collector Kelly B was visiting the parks and noticed some new designs that were released in Disney California Adventure back in the Kingswell Camera Shop where it seems like all new pressed coin designs have been released lately. Now first off I should mention that these are not pressed nickels like in previous years. I have a feeling this is due to the machine having recently been converted over to the $1 price point and is pre-loaded with pennies. It seems like the vendor doesn’t want to pre-load these with nickels and have to figure out an even higher price to use the machine.
As much as I really enjoyed those pressed nickels, I’m just as happy to have these pennies. Something is better than nothing, and I really missed them the last couple years.
The designs include Minnie Mouse holding a gift with Joy towards the top of the design. Next is Goofy trying to balance a large pile of gifts. Then finally we have Mickey Mouse with a more reasonable two packages and Noel just above his head. These images are really cute and I love having them in my collection.
The backstamp on all of the pennies is the same and just has the classic Disney California Adventure logo. I do miss the unique Happy Holiday backstamp that used to be on the more recent nickels, but again I don’t want to complain too much since I’m just happy we got these. There used to be separate sets from both Parks, but so far at the time of posting this there was only this one set available. Time is running out on 2022 so I don’t know if we will see another set appear over in Disneyland, but if it does show up I’ll be sure to share it with all of you.
In a previous post we checked out a new collectible available at Universal Studios the Harry Potter Spell coins or markers at the parks are calling them. We first visited Diagon Alley which you can read about here, but today we are heading over to the Islands of Adventure theme park by way of the Hogwarts Express and into Hogsmeade.
I mentioned this in the previous post but wanted to go over it again here. To help store and display your spell coins there is a special map available for purchase at the time of this post it was $22 (separate maps are available for Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley). It’s made of similar material to a Monopoly game board and has cut outs that can be removed and your coins inserted quite well to keep them from falling out. The coins are sold separately for $8 (at the time of posting). One thing I realized when trying to find all of the coins for both parks is that there are a couple duplicate spells but the coins have a banner on them that specify either Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley so just be careful when searching to make sure you get the correct coins.
The coins are all available inside the Island Supply Gift Shop at the front of Islands of Adventure. I did not see these available inside any of the Hogsmeade shops for some reason. It does make finding them a bit easier, but every so often at least for me, it would be fun to have to visit more than one location to track them all down. Guess I’m just a glutton for making things more difficult on myself.
Over in Universal Studios at Diagon Alley there were only 8 spell coins available, but here in Hogsmeade there are 9 to collect. The front of each coin will match a spell marker that are located throughout Hogsmeade where visiting wizards can cast spells to trigger a reaction within the environment. The reverse side of the coins all have the same image of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal Studios logos.
I really do love these coins and find the details on them really fantastic. A few of them will have a crack along one side adding to the authenticity of them. These seem like they could have come straight out of a Gringotts vault.
The spell coins are quite a bit larger in diameter than a US Cent and even a US Quarter, but only slightly thicker.
Here is a look at the completed Hogsmeade map with all the spell coins inserted and on display. They are nicely secured in the cutout sections, but could be knocked out if this is dropped. The cost of the map and each coin this can be quite an expensive collection to complete and I have seen many guests looking at the coins, but seem to only pick out one or two representing their favorite spells. I’m not sure how many other people are working to collect the full set, but I just couldn’t help myself.
Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed checking out these new Harry Potter themed Spell Coins (Markers). Keep on Collecting!
This new machine almost slipped past us unnoticed, but thankfully we have some very sharp eyed friends in our collecting community. Not too long along I received a message about a new medallion machine inside of Islands of Adventure and I was anxious to get over there, but unfortunately due to my schedule I wasn’t able to visit. In comes our friend Joe Watts to save the day and helped get some pictures of this new machine and the medallions so I could share all the details with you. Let’s take a closer look.
I’m sure if you have visited Universal Florida you know that the Jurassic Park (hopefully soon to be Jurassic World) section is in the Islands of Adventure theme park. If you haven’t been here, well now you know. We have visited here many times in the past for plenty pressed pennies including some specifically for the Velocicoaster Grand Opening that you can read out here.
One downside is that this section of the park is all the way in the back of the park and there is no real direct way to get there. Heading to your right into Seuss landing, or to your left into Marvel Super Hero Island will both eventually get you into the Jurassic area. One of the popular attractions here is the River Journey Adventure and as with all great theme parks you exit from the attraction into a gift shop and this one is called Jurassic Outfitters. Of course if you are visiting just to grab these new medallions you can skip the ride completely if you prefer to stay dry, that ride will result in you getting completely soaked. You have been warned!
This store is quite large and has an immense selection of items all, as I’m sure you an assume, themed for Dinosaurs and the Jurassic Park / World franchise. I always enjoy the faux trees with branches and leaves all around and evening dangling from the ceiling.
The new medallion machine can be found in the back of the store near the ride photo preview desk. Just follow all the soaking wet people walking through the store and you will eventually find it against the wall. The machine cabinet is quite plain, with a nice wood finish to is. I’m always looking for theming when it comes to the machines and wish this was designed to look like a prop from the movies, or have some dino damage to the sides of it. But I guess this makes it easier to swap out the coins in the future without having to completely redesign the cabinet as well.
The cost of these has (so far) remained the same. $5 for one medallion, or $15 for four designs. The coins have some nice designs on them, including a couple Raptors, a T-Rex and what I believe is a Spinosaurus trashing a vehicle.
The reverse side of all the coins has the same image of the Jurassic World logo along with Universal Studios and the copyright / trademark information along the bottom. I really like these new designs and honestly almost like the reverse side best wit that classic Jurassic logo on it. My wallet doesn’t love these due to their higher costs that my beloved pressed pennies, however I just can’t seem to say no. The larger size and details available on each of these coin designs draws me back each and every time they put out more.
On a little side note just going back to the cost of these coins. Please note that if you want only one of these medallions you MUST pay with cash. If you swipe your credit / debit card or pay with a digital form of payment like ApplePay or Google Wallet you will automatically be billed the $15 that entitles you to select any four designs (or just four of one design if that’s what you want). I have seen quite a few guests swipe the card, push a button for one medallion and then start walking away before I have to explain to them what happened and ensure they get the rest of the coins they paid for.
Have a wonderful weekend. For some reason I feel like watching a Jurassic Park movie so I guess that’s my plan for later tonight. Stay safe and as always Keep on Collecting!
Splash Mountain was conceived by Imagineer Tony Baxter in 1983. It’s a log flume style ride that was Disney-find with classic Disney music and their state of the art audio-animatronics.
The plot behind Splash Mountain is based on the 1946 animated Disney film Song of the South. It follows Br’er Rabbit who leaves his home in search of adventure, but encounters Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox who are determined to catch him.
When Br’er Fox does eventually catch Br’er Rabbit this is when we follow him down the 52 foot drop into the briar patch.
Br’er Rabbit escapes uninjured and the other animals rejoice to have him back home safe and sound.
This fan favorite attraction opened in Disneyland California in 1989, and then in Tokyo Disneyland and here in Florida’s Magic Kingdom in 1992. There was a fourth version of the attraction scheduled for Disneyland Paris but was scrapped due to budget reasons and the colder weather in Europe.
Back in June 2020 it was accounted that the versions in California and Florida would be re-themed and based on the 2009 film The Princess and the Frog.
Currently there is no official date set for when these changes will be made and with many other planned refurbishments on hold it may be a little while before this change takes place.
To mark this imminent change, friend and fellow collector Don Cade created a special pressed penny. This design shows Br’er Rabbit “Leaving The Laughing Place”. The details on this are really great and I think this is a wonderful way for us to commemorate this iconic attraction.
As sad as I am to see some of these iconic characters like Br’er Rabbit, Bear and Fox head off into retirement, I understand the need for change and to progress forward. The Princess and the Frog movie is one I didn’t immediately watch when it came out, but once I did see it, that movie has quickly become one of my favorites. I can’t wait to see how it’s translated into this attraction. Fingers crossed when it does get completed we will find plenty new pressed penny designs, and maybe even a beignet stand. I don’t about you but that sounds pretty great to me.
Take care everyone and remember to have a Zip-a-dee-doo-dah day!
Universal Studios has always been one of my favorite theme parks to visit. Years ago when I used to visit with my family the backlot tours, informational shows about horror makeup or the Alfred Hitchcock Presents show gave movie fans a glimpse behind the curtains. But over the years the focus as with other theme parks has been to give guests a more immersive experience and nowhere is that more apparent than in the highly successful Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The details in these areas of the parks is really beyond words between the state of the art attractions, themed shops, clothing, food, butter beer and even wands that allow guests to connect with their inner wizard and cast spells at designated locations.
Recently a new collectible has made an appearance at the parks that all levels of wizards can attempt to acquire. They have released a special set of Spell Coins or what they are calling Spell Markers.
To help you store these coins once you start collecting them is a special trip-fold map. When I opened mind it reminded me of the material used to create a Monopoly game board. It’s made of cardboard but has a couple layers pressed together. There are circle cutouts that when removed will allow the spell coins to fit snuggly in place but we will look at that a little later. At the time of this post the map was $22 but also note that there are separate maps for the different Harry Potter areas, Diagon Alley in Universal Studios, and Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure.
It would have been fun if these coins needed to be earned by showing you could cast the specific spells, but obviously these are just another souvenir. Each coin (at the time of this post) cost $8. For Diagon Alley there are a total of 8 coins to collect, and for Hogsmeade there are 9 total coins.
Taking a closer look at the spell coins you can see they are based on the spell markers found throughout the parks that lets guests know where they can try to cast a spell to trigger a reaction in the environment. Above is the Aguamenti market on the right and does include the wand movement needed to trigger the spell. The coin on the left has the same information, it also does list Diagon Alley and the reverse side of the coin has The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Universal Studios logo. This reverse image is the same on all the coins.
These coins do appear to made of some combination of metals. A few of the coins have a darker appearance that seems to be by design not necessarily a manufacturing flaw.
Unlike the elongated coin machines that are spread out all over the parks, these coins can all be found inside the main Universal Studios gift shop. Just note that this store will only have the Diagon Alley coins available, if you want the Hogsmeade coins you’ll have to head over to Islands of Adventure and you can see those in an upcoming post.
The spell coins are quite a bit larger in diameter than a US Cent and even a US Quarter, but only slightly thicker.
Here is a look at the Diagon Alley map with all the spell coins inserted and on display. They are nicely secured in the cutout sections, but could be knocked out if this is dropped. I was personally thinking about using some 2×2 cardboard flips to store these coins for my collection, but I really like the way they look in these maps so will probably just keep them there and try to see if I can mount it in open in a frame to hang on my wall. I think these are a really fun new souvenire, but between the cost of the map and each coin this can be quite an expensive collection to complete.