Manatee Lagoon | West Palm Beach Vacation Day 2

We had finished our drive to West Palm Beach Florida and checked into our hotel for the evening. The next morning bright an early we found a local diner for breakfast which we really enjoyed and then headed to our destination for that day the Manatee Lagoon.

Living in Florida we do always enjoy going out during the colder months to see the local Manatees as they migrate inland to try and stay in warmer waters. We have done this numerous times over the years in all different areas of the state, and were looking forward to see some again today at this new location.

Unfortunately just like the previous days visit to the Loggerhead Marineline Center there were no Manatees to be found. We were certainly striking out on this trip so far with local wildlife.

We were a bit disappointed, but inside this beautiful building was a very nice educational center that we would still be able to experience.

Inside were some great little exhibits giving a lot of detailed information about Manatees, their lifestyle, their migration patterns and so much more.

Of course like all good roadside attractions they had a nice gift shop with classic items like stuff animals, t-shirts, and stickers. This location however also had some really gorgeous manatee themed original artwork on display and for sale.

This very cute Manatee family was not available for sale, but it was a very popular spot for guests to take some memorable photos.

Just outside the gift shop along the wall that would lead towards the restrooms is where I found the penny press machine I had researched was at this location. Keeping with our bad luck on this trip, the penny machine was out of order. As I always just in case, I tried to use the machine but the coin slider was completed jammed up.

This was a standard four-design manual penny press machine with the full acrylic cabinet. The wrap decals that covered the machine were fabulous. I just really love Manatees so seeing their cute faces all over this machine just put a smile on my face.

Stay tuned for a future post about what I do when I encounter an out of order machine. For now I’ll just quickly say that once I got home I mailed this location a package with some quarter and pennies asking if they could press them. Then after a few weeks the set arrived in my self-addressed stamped envelope. The designs included a couple with Manatees on them, but also a design with a Dolphin and another with a Stingray.

Another fun day was in the books on our vacation. We spent the rest of our second day doing some local shopping and most importantly some family time at the hotel pool. There was still plenty more places to visit on our trip so stay tuned to find out where we go next. Keep on Pressing!

Busch Gardens Tampa NEW Collectible Medallions

It wasn’t too long ago that SeaWorld Orlando released their first collectible medallion machine, and now here we are seeing the same thing happen at Busch Gardens in Tampa. I have heard that there were some previous versions of collectible coins available at Busch Gardens but since I’ve been visiting the last few years the only versions I’ve found were pressed pennies. Here we are however with the first new machine and maybe more to come.

This park is huge, and there is plenty of walking to be done. Especially for this new machine we are on the look for which I have heard it towards the back of the park.

Past Morocco, the Sesame Street area and one plenty of different animal exhibits you will eventually find yourself near one of the largest coasters in this park called SheiKra. The nearby gift shop for this area is called the Kariba Marketplace. I remember on one of my first trips to this park there used to be a pressed penny machine in this location, but it’s been gone for quite some time now.

Of course inside there is plenty of generic souvenirs and some themed around the nearby SheiKra coaster. Tucked away behind some tracks of hoodies I spotted the machine we were searching for.

The wrap design on this cabinet is great and of course matches perfectly with the park. Not being a huge coaster fan, when I visit Busch Gardens it’s primarily for the animals and coins of course.

The medallion designs available here at this machine include a Lion, Elephant, Tiger and a couple Giraffes. The designs are nice, but nothing too fancy or unique in my opinion.

The reverse side of all coins have the same image which is of Busch Gardens logo including a few animal silhouettes and does specify Tampa Bay, Florida which I really like. We found the coins recently at SeaWorld had their logo but includes the cities of all their domestic parks which made them feel a little less unique.

I almost forgot to mention that also like SeaWorld the cost of these coins has increased. The individual amount per coin is still $5, but the cost to buy all four at once is $18. Again this is really pushing the limits I think, and I’ll be curious if they are to sell as many of these at this price point. I feel like more people will be picking one coin at most instead of picking up the full set. I think it would be really popular to have a set of coins themed for all the coasters available in this park, but I guess generic animals are probably an easier sell to a wide range of guests. I’ll be interested to see if they release some more of these medallions or maybe we can get some new pressed penny designs instead. Keep on Collecting!!

Loggerhead Marinelife Center | West Palm Beach Vacation Day 1

Last year my family had quite a bit of travel plans scheduled but unfortunately due to various situations that arose we were unable to enjoy many of those plans. It had been quite awhile since the last time we took a little family vacation and were antsy to get back out on the road. Hopefully later this year some of those long distance plans will come to fruition, but to start things off we decided to head out to the Atlantic Coast for a few days just to get out of town. We have been slowly visiting many of the well known Florida beaches on both Atlantic and Gulf sides of the state, and this time we opted to check out West Palm Beach. However if you’ve been following along here for any length of time you will know that I take any opportunity along the way to stop for elongated coins.

Juno Beach was not too far from West Palm Beach and gave us a nice opportunity to stop for lunch and stretch our legs a bit. Nearby was the Loggerhead Park and Loggerhead Marinelife Center.

This place is one of Florida’s most visited non-profit scientific destinations focused on ocean and sea turtle conservation. Years ago we visited Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and just fell in love with sea turtles and the amazing job group’s like this take to help rescue and eventually release them.

Inside the main building is a large reception desk with volunteers there to explain their mission at the marinelife center. There is no admission to visit, but they do accept donations which I would highly recommend. There is also a pretty large gift shop in this building that my kids really enjoyed checking out and we were persuaded that a few new stuffed animals needed to join our family trip. Out behind this building is the main courtyard area that has quite a few large tanks scattered around but are nicely shaded by large overhead canopies.

Some of these tanks had a nice variety of fish that could easily be seen through these large acrylic viewing areas. There was some bench style seating nearby if you wanted to take a bit of a break, and some volunteers were walking around to answer any questions you may have.

Unfortunately or maybe fortunately depending on how you look at it. There were currently no sea turtles in their care. Unfortunately since we were looking forward to seeing some of them up close, but I guess fortunate to the turtles that they have been rehabbed and released back into the ocean. The volunteer at the main registration desk did let us know this before we entered and they did have quite a few signs like the one above.

In this back courtyard area near the gift shop doors is where I found the first pressed penny machine. This cabinet was beautiful, and I loved the colors of this wrap and the giant sea turtle photo at the bottom was amazing. As you can see this machine fell victim to the price increase we have seen back in central Florida at all the major theme parks.

The designs on these pennies were just as fantastic as the machine cabinet. I’ve got quite a few turtle pressed pennies in my collection but none that looked like these, and of course I always love when they include the location name in the designs. Any way to help me remember where they came from is a plus.

Running along both sides of the courtyard were long buildings that looked to be for the research teams, as well as classrooms because this seems to be a popular place for nearby school field trips. Nearby one set of classrooms was where I found the second pressed penny machine. This was one of the newer and larger versions with a similar wrap design.

Just like the first set of pennies we pressed, this second set had even more really detailed designs available that I haven’t seen before. Many times you find that aquariums and zoos all seem to recycle very similar generic animal designs in their machines but not here which I appreciated.

There was one last machine I came across but instead of pressed pennies, this machine offered collectible medallions. I was a bit worried because the number of coins displayed in the center section of the machine looked pretty sparse. Thankfully my gamble paid off and after swiping my card for payment I was able to collect one of each design. I wouldn’t be so lucky in a few of our other locations on this trip, but you’ll have to stick around to find out more about those.

These medallions were nice, but not as impressive in my mind as the pennies. I do really enjoy the one showing the Juno Beach Fishing Pier, and I’m a sucker for a good Manatee baby design.

The reverse image on all of the designs was the same image of a Loggerhead Turtle and the name of the Marinelife Center that was a wonderful design idea.

Our first stop on our trip was pretty successful, with a total of 12 new pressed pennies and 4 medallions we were off to a great start. With all our gift shop purchases made, we hopped back in the car to finish our drive to the hotel we were staying at in West Palm Beach. We would be there for a few days and had plenty of things to do, places to visit and of course pennies to press.

SeaWorld Orlando NEW Collectible Medallions

It seems like quite a while since we visited SeaWorld here in Orlando. Well I should say that I have visited a few times this past year, but unfortunately they just doing update or change out elongated coin designs very often. So not much to report on until just recently when our friend and fellow collector Joe Watts reported that SeaWorld had released their first Collectible Medallion machine. Let’s head into the park and I’ll show you where to find it.

Once inside the park if you head towards the giant Manta coaster and just past the Flamingo habitat you find a random Build-A-Bear Workshop.

This workshop has some unique hours so due to that the machine is actually located outside the building, just along the right side wall. You will pass by it if you are heading towards the Stingray Lagoon.

Here you will find a pressed penny machine which is not new, but just relocated. This machine used to be under the Stingray Lagoon canopy. Today however we are focusing on the new medallion machine.

Above is a close up of the cabinet. The wrap is nicely detailed with some sea creatures. Now something that actually took me by surprise was the new cost for these coins. If you are buying just one design it’s still $5 each just like the other machines we have found at nearby theme parks. The full set cost however is $18. Still a bit of a discount when you buy the full set. I’m crossing my fingers Disney and Universal don’t find out about this increased cost.

The designs on this set of medallions include a Great White Shark, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orca Whales a some King Penguins. They did include their common names, but also their more scientific names which I’m not even going to try and pronounce.

The reverse side of coin has the same design for all and is the SeaWorld logo, but interestingly lists all their domestic park locations Orlando, San Antonio and San Diego. Guess this means these coin designs may be showing up in those other locations.

I do enjoy collecting these medallions, however that $18 price tag for the full set is really starting to reach what I feel they are worth. If the costs go much higher I think I’ll be leaving these behind and sticking to the slightly more reasonable pressed pennies. Now if only we can convince SeaWorld to give us some new penny designs we’d be all set. Keep on Pressing!

100th Anniversary Souvenir Medallions – Walt Disney World Edition

It seems like almost every year Disney is celebrating some type of anniversary, and this year is no exception. They are about to start celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Walt Disney the Company. There are plenty of things planed, and tons of merchandise that has started to trickle out now but plenty more still to come. There have been rumors that we will see some new special collectible medallions but so far nothing has appear in the parks. Make sure to bookmark this post as we will use this as the “Unofficial” Official 100th Anniversary Souvenir Medallion HQ.

Just recently we got our first piece of evidence that this rumor of new coins may be on the way. Over at EPCOT (and I’m sure the other parks) I found the above eye catching 100th Anniversary Souvenir Medallion Collection Book. It seems strange to release this if special coins are on the way don’t you think?

The beautiful reflective cover wrapped all the way around. This book costs $24.99 but if you are an annual pass holder, or DVC member you can use your discount on it.

Inside there are 10 plastic pages, each will hold up to 8 medallions for a grand total of 80 coins. The other interesting thing about these booklets is I have received reports of similar versions in Disneyland California and even Hong Kong Disneyland. So there may be lots of new collectible coins on the way.

If you come across any of these 100th Anniversary coins during your visits to Walt Disney World or any of the other Disney parks please let me know so I can keep this update to date to assist with everyone’s collections. Keep on Collecting!

FUN Convention 2022 – Orlando Florida

Another year and another FUN (Florida United Numismatists) Coin Show is upon us. I will admit it seems to sneak up on me every year, but this year I was experimenting with something at the show that I’ll explain a little later and will go into more details in a future post. For now let’s head on over to the Orange County Convention Center.

This show happens twice a year, first in January for the Winter version and again in July for the Summer edition. Both shows are completely free to the general public, and all you need to get in is to fill out a name tab and grab a free gift bag.

Next we headed through the coin show archway and down the escalator to the bourse floor where security will make sure you have that name tag on.

The winter edition of the FUN show is huge and even just casually walking up and down each aisle can take a few hours. Then if you see something that grabs your attention you will be here much longer. I’ve always found everyone here to be very friendly and always looking to help answer questions. I’ve mentioned in the past that other than elongated coin collecting I’m not very knowledgeable about other forms of Numismatics but when something catches my eye I’m always interested in asking for more details. You never know when you may start up a new collection.

The total number of vendors and club booths is almost unbelievable, and I could spend days writing about each of them. However the one area that I do find I spend a lot of my time during this show is among the Educational Exhibits. Here you can find various categories of Numismatics and club members have created some amazingly detailed exhibits showing off portions of their collection along with details information about the subject.

These exhibits are judged and can be awarded prizes for their own category and then also for best in show. But from what I’ve been told by many collectors it’s not really about winning, more just about being able to share their collection with visitors.

Of course I always flock to the exhibits with elongated coins on display. There is currently no elongated coin category, so most are placed in one of the other more general categories. As you can see these are fantastic and you just never know what coins you may see on display.

At the beginning of this post I mentioned that I was experimenting with something at this years show and above is what I was talking about. A few months ago I decided to enter an exhibit in the show and worked on it for quite awhile until I was happy with how it came together. I will be writing a separate post in the future going over the entire process. It was a lot of fun to work on, and my family helped quite a bit. We didn’t win our category but that’s okay, as other collectors mentioned I just had a great time putting it together and was happy to show these very special coins from my collection.

Another staple of the Winter FUN show is that our friends at TEC (The Elongated Collectors) have a table and it’s always wonderful to catch up with friends like Cindy who I look forward to seeing each year. I was happy to meet Trish as well who was helping at the table this year, and Les has been a collecting friend for quite awhile and we have communicated through Facebook over the years. He’s been wonderful with sharing tips on new machines at both Disney and Universal and I really enjoyed finally being able to chat with him in person.

The TEC table always has some classic items on display, and plenty of elongated coins for sale.

I could spend hours just grabbing a chair and going through these bins filled with all sorts of wonderful treasures. If you are an elongated collector this is a great place to find some very unique coins for your collection at a great price.

As always TEC offers a free elongated coin that was designed specifically for the FUN show. These change each year and I always make sure to ask for a special copper version for my collection. This year Cindy also was giving away a new design she had created.

The booth also does have a coin press machine loaded with the special FUN Show design and is available to anyone that wants to press their pocket change or a special coin instead of the pennies on the table. Les was so wonderful to help my daughter press her copper penny.

Here is a closer look at the FUN 2023 elongated coin design. This years show theme was Exploring Space and Cindy created this really great design which seemed very popular to visitors at the show.

Next is the additional coin that Cindy had created with a great phrase on it “In a World where you can be anything Be Kind”. I love it and was able to get a few extras to hand out along my travels just because I think this is such a great sentiment.

We were able to get one additional coin from the show which is available for all first time visitors. I have been to many of these shows in the past, but for my youngest daughter it was her first time and the hosts checking us in were excited to give her one. So I just borrowed it for the picture and she now has it security stored in her room with all her other collectibles.

The FUN show is an event I truly look forward to each and every year since I found out about it. The summer version is not quite a large and TEC isn’t able to have a table due to the a conflict with scheduling for the larger ANA World’s Fair of Money held around the same time in a different part of the country. If you are ever in the area when this show is taking place I would highly encourage you to go check it out. Here is a link to the FUN Coin Club website where you can get information about membership and future shows. In past years they have hosted this event in different locations around Florida, but the last few years and it seems the next few future events are all in Orlando at the Orange County Convention Center. Keep on Pressing!

Ladies and Gentlemen… Elongated Coins | Privately Designed

For avid Disney Theme Park fans Rope dropping is a common term. This is basically when guests arrive prior to the parks opening and cast members would have a rope pulled across the entryway keeping the easy birds at bay. Then when the opening time arrives they would remove or “drop the rope” allowing guests inside. This is a technique many guests have used over the years in an attempt to get on the highly sought after attractions before the long lines can form.

In years past his was done outside the parks and here in Florida at the Magic Kingdom there was even a special ceremony to kick things off for the day. Guests out in Disneyland however had something a little simpler but seemed to be much more memorable. We fans grab onto strange Disney phrases like the monorail safety in instructions in Spanish, you know the one “!Por favor manténgase alejado de las puertas”, or just before heading out on Big Thunder Mountain “Best Remove ’em”, and there are just so many more. Disneyland’s rope drop opening announcement was a true classic “Ladies and Gentlemen, Boy and Girls whether this is your first time visiting us or your one hundredth, we welcome you to our family of more than 500 million guests. And now for your safety and the safety of those around you we ask that you walk slowly and carefully to your first destination. Have a great day!”

To commemorate this memorable announcement designer and fellow collector Don Cade has created the above elongated coin. It features a unique version of Sleeping Beauty Castle surrounded by the words Ladies & Gentlemen Boys & Girls all within a classic dotted border.

A version of this coin was commissioned by our friend and fellow collector Jim McNally for his website, and it has an exclusive backstamp advertising Jim’s online elongated coin shop that I have linked here I have used Jim’s website numerous times in the past and it’s a fantastic place to fill in some gaps of your Walt Disney World collection, as well as sets from all over the country. Currently you can receive a free copy of this design on a pressed copper us cent with any order placed through his website. Additional copies of the penny, as well as a few full denomination sets that include a penny, nickel, dime and quarter are available for purchase but in very limited quantity.

As always Don had done a fantastic job enshrining some classic Disney history in the form of an elongated coin, and a special thank you to Jim for making this design available through his website. I always look forward to seeing what they come out with next, and you can be sure I’ll be showing them off here in future posts.

Have a fantastic rest of your day, and as always Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls … Keep on Pressing!

(Update #2) Flashback – 100 Years of Magic 2002 WDW

The Walt Disney Company is about to begin celebrating their 100 year anniversary of the company’s existence. Now I will admit that I am very hopeful that we will see some brand new elongated coins or collectible medallions released to help celebrating this celebration. Our on the west coast in Disneyland some of our fellow collectors have already started seeing special medallion booklets which is a very good sign. But so far here in Florida we haven’t seen anything as of yet. This did remind me however of another 100 Year anniversary that took place in Walt Disney World back in 2001-2002 when they marked the 100th birthday of Walter E. Disney with the 100 Years of Magic celebration.

For this celebration they released close to 50 special elongated quarters that were scattered all over property, in the theme parks, resorts and some other harder to find locations. Over the years I have been working to try and collect all of these designs and with each passing year I seem to get a little bit closer. I’ve already posted about most of the coins I’ve acquired and you can read about them here in the initial post here, and then in the first update post here. Well here we are a few years later and I’ve been able to get my hands on a few more quarter designs, so let’s take a closer look.

This first new set of three designs showcase each of the All-Star Resorts Movies, Music and Sports. I’ve mentioned this in the past, but I really love the added touch to each of these designs with the Established (Opening) year of each resort, just something to keep an eye on as you check out all of these elongated quarters.

The second new to my collection set of designs include Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, the always popular Fantasia Gardens Mini-Golf, and Old Key West Resort the original Disney Vacation Club (DVC) resort.

That’s all of the new ones I was able to picked up but are some great ones, although to be honest I absolutely love all of these and think this set is a great one. This is probably why after all these years I’m still working hard to get them all. These above coins do inch me a bit closer to getting the entire set and I’ve already got my sights on a few others I found so there may be another update before too long. Keep on Pressing!

WDW / Disneyland Pressed Coin Collector 2023

Happy New Year everyone!

I just wanted to take a few moments to give a huge thank you to everyone that has stopped by this past year and help our collecting community grow. 2022 was our busiest year yet, and thanks to the very popular Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Pressed Pennies and Collectible Medallions we became the go to resource for helping people acquire all of those coins for their collections. We have lots of plans for 2023 and I can’t wait to share them all with you.

Let’s start off 2023 with our first brand new elongated coin. This is from our friend Don Cade who has updated his special “Unofficial” Disneyland and Walt Disney World Pressed Coin Collector design for the new year. If you are interested in one of these coins, or any of Don’s other unique designs he makes them available through the TEC Elongated Collector Club Facebook Group.

Have a fantastic 2023, stay safe and as always Keep on Pressing!