Walt Disney World Railroad | Souvenir Medallions

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Walt Disney World many many times over the years. My first visit was back in 1986 on a family vacation, and now in my adult life I moved very close to the magic and can visit pretty much any day I have spare time. During all those years and visits to the park I’ve experienced all the attractions, some are no longer around, while others have been here since the beginning. Like all other guests we have our favorites that we experience each time we visit, and others we kind of take for granted would always be there for us to enjoy.

The Walt Disney World Railroad was one of these attractions, we didn’t do ever time we went but if we had some spare time or needed a quick ride to the opposite side of the park this was a great option. Then in December of 2018 the railroad closed down due to the on going construction of the new TRON Lightcycle coaster. The track was going to need a bit of rerouting around the coaster which was understandable. However the closure extended through the pandemic and numerous construction delays. Literally years have gone by without the railroad and I almost forgot what it was like to take a tour around the park on this classic mode of transportation.

Finally it was announced that the railroad would be reopening standing in December of 2022 and guests were ecstatic. I don’t think I had seem lines for the train ever in my time like I did when it reopened. Now that a few months have passed the lines are back to normal and Disney surprised us with a new set of medallions.

There are four different stations along the Walt Disney World Railroad line and if you are looking for the new medallions you need to head to the Main Street USA station right near the front of the park. Head upstairs towards where you load on the train.

Sorry I can’t help myself, we will get to the coins shortly, but first let’s take a relaxing tour around the park.

Here in Walt Disney World all the passenger cars have rows of seats that face forward toward the front of the train. I wish that at least a couple of the cars would be like the Disneyland version in California where some faced to the side so you could look right into the park. I guess that’s just another unique experience only for that park.

We made stops at the Frontierland Station, New Fantasyland Station and eventually passed by the new TRON Lightcycle coaster. They built a new tunnel for the train to go underneath some of the coaster track and they gave us some nice cutouts in the tunnel so you can get a close up view of the coaster flying by but you need to quick with your camera. I hear that coaster launches you up to 60 miles per hour.

Once we made it back to the Main Street Station just inside the main building on the second floor you can find the medallion machine in-between the central set of doors.

The cabinet of this machine is a nice dark wood that I think fits in well with the theming of the train station and period of time we are supposed to be experiencing in this area. There are four medallions, and something I do want to mention is that the price had increased on these. If you thought they were expensive before, well I’ve got news for you. They are now $6 for one coin, or $20 for all four.

Above are one side of the medallions, each with a classic Disney Character along with the Walt Disney World Railroad and 1971 when it debuted in the park. Another nice detail is the plaque and number at the bottom of each coin matches the Engine number for each train in the fleet.

A unique feature of this set we haven’t seen before is that the reverse images are different on each coin. Remember that Engine number I mentioned above, well that matches up with the Engine details now listed on the back. Engine #5844 is the Walter E Disney and was built in 1925 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works company in Philadelphia. It’s known as a 4-6-0 Ten Wheeler because of it’s design with four wheels at the front of the engine, six in the middle and one at the rear. Similar details are listed for each of the other three engines in the fleet named after Walt’s Older Brother Roy O. Disney, Walt’s wife Lilly Belle and Famed Disney Imagineer Roger E Broggie. This is really amazing details, and to be honest something I didn’t really know about. I actually thought all the trains and engines were the same.

I was so fascinated by this that as I wondered around the Main Street Station I found down on the bottom floor along the walls were photos and detailed information about each of the four engines. So the next time you are in the Magic Kingdom make sure to stop by and check these out, there is so much detail here and I can honestly say I’ve walked passed it many times not even realizing what I was bypassing.

This new set of medallions are fantastic. As much as I love Disney Characters and the ones on these coins are cute in their Train themed outfits, it’s the details on the reverse side about the Engines that really made these special. I hope we seem more of this in future designs, although the new higher cost is starting to make these not at appealing to collect. They may have reached the upper most level of what they can charge for these in opinion, if they go much higher I think guests and collectors will loose interest quickly regardless of how great the designs are.

Keep on Collecting!


What to do when a Pressed Penny Machine is Broken

It’s been a few weeks since my family got back from our little vacation to West Palm Beach and you can check those adventures out here. We had a great time together, enjoying the beach, visiting a zoo and of course all the while collecting plenty of pressed pennies. Unfortunately during this trip I encountered quite a few machines that were not working. This of course can be quite disappointing and even a bit discouraging when this occurs on a trip or vacation, but today I wanted to go over a few different methods I do whenever I run into that dreaded out of order sign.

The first thing I do is try to use the machine anyways. Now this can be a bit risky as you may lose you money. If that happens you can ask for a refund from the location you are visiting, or with some machines they even have a number listed for customer service and will ask for your info to send a refund check.

The next step to try is visit a nearby employee. Many of the pressed penny machines are either in a gift shop or near one that would have someone available to talk with. This can do a couple things, one is let them know the machine is not working (in case they weren’t already aware) so they can contact the vendor to have it serviced for future guests. Plus in some instances I have found that they may have extra pressed pennies available behind the counter that they will give you.

If they don’t have any extra pressed coins available at that time, you can ask if it would be possible to leave the with your mailing address along with adequate quarters, pennies or even dollars if it’s a newer machine so that they can press them once the machine is fixed. You would also need to leave some additional money so they can mail them to you. I have tried this a few times during my travels and only had a couple places offer to do this. I’m sure they are not always comfortable with keeping your money for an unknown period of time, plus it will probably get misplaced or taken if another employee isn’t sure what it’s for.

One place I remember was a mini-golf course in Bradenton Beach Florida that had one of the most amazing machines I’ve ever seen, it looks like a sunken pirate ship. Unfortunately it was out of service. When I spoke to the nearby employee it ended up being the owner, he was very apologetic that the machine wasn’t working and he was more than happy to take down my address, and sure enough after a few weeks the pennies arrived in my mail.

This leads into probably my most used solution and is the one I’ve had the most success with. Basically once I get home I’ll write up a quick letter and mail it back to the location with enough coins to cover the cost of pressing along with a self addresses stamped envelope for them to return the coins.

While we were at the Cox Science Center and Aquarium they had three separate machines each with one penny design. Two of the machines worked fine, but the third one just wasn’t working. Here is a look at the letter I typed up for the science center. As you can see I mentioned my family recently visited their location and had a great time. I was using the machine that did not work. If possible could someone please help press the coins we missed.

Here you can see that I actually included a picture of the machine and the coin design I was interested in. Since this place had more than one machine I wanted to be very specific with which design I wanted. Of course I take lots of video and pictures of all the penny machines I visit to share with you here and on our YouTube channel (please check it out and subscribe for great pressed penny videos). But many collectors don’t take pictures of the machines and that is no problem. Just make sure you list in your letter exactly which design you need, and if you remember try to include where the machine was located like in the gift shop by the exit to the zoo, or outside the restrooms on the second floor but he blue whale skeleton. Anything you can do to help make this easy on them will help increase your chances of a successful mail away.

Now this is very important, make sure to include the necessary coins to press. I usually like to place them in a small zip top bag, and attach them to a few index cards to keep them from moving around too much during shipping. You also want to make sure and include a self-addresses tamped envelope so they can return the coins to you. They are doing you the favor and shouldn’t be expected to cover the cost to ship them back.

Put everything in one larger envelope. I usually include “Attention guest Services or Customer Service” jus to help it get to someone that is more likely to help. Then seal it up and ship it out. This process is not always a quick one. I have had some mail aways that haven taken literally 2-3 months before the coins were returned. Once or twice I just never got anything back but those are pretty rare instances. Most times they are returned within a timely manner, it just depends on when their machine is fixed and ready to press again.

Here is an example of the package I received back from the Cox Science Center. As you can see they used my self-addresses stamped envelope to return the coin. I received a nice letter from the person that helped press the penny which I do find happens quite often and is such a sweet gesture and I always appreciate their kindness.

Well there you have it, that’s how I attempt to acquire pressed pennies from a broken or unavailable machine during my travels. As I said before if you make it as easy for them as possible, I find that you will have a much higher success rate. For the most part the employees at these locations seem more than happy to help us collectors get our much wanted pennies. Have you tried any of these methods on your adventures or do you have any other suggestions? Be sure to let me know down in the comments below.

Keep on Pressing!

Sunflower Pocket Poet Elongated Coin | Privately Designed

I think by this time everyone is ready for some warmer weather, looking forward to Spring time and of course the beautiful flowers. None more iconic that the infamous yellow Sun Flower.

Our friend and fellow collector Kristina also know as Pocket Poet on YouTube has created her very own custom elongated coin design featuring a dazzling sunflower design. Working with a designer, engraver and then having your own design rolled is a work of love and dedication to go through the entire process. I think the end result of Kristina’s coin design is superb and I’m so happy to have one in my collection.

Please be sure to go and visit her YouTube channel here for some great videos showcasing all different types of coins, including plenty of elongated coins. If you are interested in purchasing one of these coins for your own collection you can reach out to Kristina through her YouTube channel.

Keep on Pressing!

COX Science Center and Aquarium | West Palm Beach Vacation Day 4

As with all vacations ours was finally coming to an end. We had checked out from our hotel, earlier in the morning and grabbed breakfast at a nearby Diner we had been visiting every day and really enjoyed their menu variety. The long drive home was something we weren’t quite ready to start yet, so I had one last place on our schedule to check out before hitting the road. This was actually right near the zoo we had visited the day before, and was the COX Science Center and Aquarium.

Once inside we purchased our admission tickets at the main desk. The aquarium was off to the left side, and the science museum towards the right side. But before we got anywhere I came across the first pressed penny machine directly behind the ticket desk.

These style machines are not very common at least along my travels, but I have seen a few from time to time. Funny enough most of them have been at smaller aquariums as well. There is only one design available at this machine, and it does cost $1. There is no digital payment accepted, just a somewhat flat one dollar US bill is needed. The machine also supplies the penny to be pressed which can be hit or miss. Thankfully I lucked out and received a nice shiny penny, it wasn’t copper but I was still happy with what I received.

We headed into the aquarium side first and enjoyed the exhibits they had here. There were quite a few modernly sized tanks with plenty of sea creatures inside. My only complaint was that this area was really dark, I’m sure that’s for the animals health and safety, but made it a bit difficult to take pictures.

As I mentioned this place wasn’t very big, and we made our way through the different areas more quickly than I anticipated, and before we knew it we were over in the Science Center section. We weren’t speeding through, but the interactive exhibits we participated with didn’t take much time to complete.

My daughter found a vibrating table that was to simulate an earthquake and she needed to try and design a building that would withstand the shaking. While she worked on that I used the next pressed penny machine nearby. There was also just one design available at this machine. Unfortunately when I tried to use it nothing happened. It wouldn’t accept my money, and I tried a few different bills just in case that was the issue. I even tried unplugging it, and plugging it back in to have it restart but nothing seemed to work. Before we left I asked at the gift shop and from admission desk if they had any extra copies of that penny design but they did not. When we eventually got back home I sent them a letter with some coins asking if someone could help press the design and sure enough they got me the one I needed.

We were almost finished with the science center and found ourselves checking out a large room exploring the wonders of the human brain. My kids thought some of the models were a bit graphic, but they enjoyed the experiment were we got to drop different weights onto a head with and without a helmet to see the results. It’s always interesting to see what they are drawn to.

The last section we visited was all about space and they had some great photos and computer simulations from NASA. It ran through the different space programs from Apollo to the Space Shuttle and ended with Space-X. Before leaving I found the third and last penny machine. Something that for some reason I didn’t notice with the other designs, but they suffer from this as well, is that it still had the old name of the center on it, South Florida Science Center. I’m not sure exactly when the name was changed however I’m sure it’s been long enough that these designs should probably be updated by now.

It was sad to leave because we knew that meant it was time to head back home. We had a great time, and it’s always just enjoyable to be together with family away from home and in a different environment doing some touristy things. On the plus side this means I can start planning our next trip and what new elongated coins we can find along the way. Keep on Pressing!

Disneyland California – 100th Anniversary Pressed Pennies

Just a quick disclaimer that this post will include information on the special 100th Anniversary Pressed Pennies available in the Disneyland Parks in California. If you are interested in information about the Walt Disney World (Florida) 100th Pennies Click Here. There is no information at this time as to how many total designs will be released, but I will work to keep this updated as best I can.

If you have any updates, pictures or information on new machines and penny designs please let know in the comments. Keep on Collecting!

Downtown Disney District

Tortilla Jo’s Restaurant (Outfront)

This machine is found out front of the Tortilla Jos restaurant to the left side when facing the main entrance just past the outdoor seating area. The designs available here are of Ariel, Belle, Moana and Tiana. They also include the Disney 100 across the top of each design.

Wetzel’s Pretzels

This pressed penny machine is located near the Wetzel’s Pretzels store front, not the mobile kiosk. The machine is towards the back of the building near the restrooms. These pennies have designs of Maribel & Bruno, Judy Hops & Nick Wilde, Wreck-It Ralph & Vanellope, and Raya.

World of Disney

Here in the large World of Disney store is a newer 8-design pressed penny machine. All 8 of the available designs are now 100th Anniversary themed with many classic Disney Characters including Mary Poppins, Simba, and fan favorite Marie from Aristocats.

Something very unique about this machine is it’s the first 8-design version to have a backstamp on it. Pictures above is the design on the reverse side of all the coins at this machine. I’ll be curious to see which other machines will include this same feature.

Disneyland Park

Port Royal Curios & Curiosities

The Port Royal Curios & Curiosities gift shop has had a very unique looking penny press machine that resembled a coffin. Recently the designs have been replaced with new 100th Anniversary versions all Haunted Mansion themed including the Hitchhiking Ghosts, The Bride, the Mansion Facade, the Hatbox Ghost and even Jack and Sally from the Holiday overlay.

Pixar Place Hotel – 1st Floor near Elevators

Inside the Pixar Place Hotel on the 1st floor near the elevators you can find another new pressed penny machine. This one currently offering 8 unique designs including Remi & Linguini, Panda Mei, Edna Mode, Lightning McQueen, Buzz & Woody, Luca, Mike & Sully, and Joe Gardner & 23. This is such a cute set and I’m sure will be very popular once guests realize it’s here.

… All I got was this Magical Penny | Privately Designed

My wife always says I’m very difficult to shop for. I’m one of those people that if there is something I want or need I just go out and get it. There is never really a list of things I would like that haven’t already been acquired and I understand that can make things a bit difficult for my loved ones. But if your loved one is like me and maybe just a tiny bit into…ahem… obsessed with elongated coins well I may have just the gift.

Our friend and fellow collector Kelly Buchwald who helps take photos of all the Disneyland penny and medallions machines that I use here on our blog and in some of our Youtube videos (make sure to visit and subscribe for lots of penny related videos). Her assistant with those photos is very much appreciated. But her latest project has been a really fun and unique pressed penny.

I’m sure if you are like me you have seen a similar sentiment on many t-shirts but this one certainly made me smile when I saw it. What better gift to give your penny collecting friend or family member that has everything than this quirky coin design letting them know “My Family went to Disneyland and All I got was this Magical Penny”. The phrase is circled by a fun border of what look like bubbles and I’m not 100% sure, but some of those look suspiciously like hidden Mickey’s.

If you are interested in one of these for a family member or yourself you can contact Kelly through the Disney Coin Pressers Facebook group that I have linked here to place your order. Now I just need to convince her to create a Walt Disney World version.

As I’m finishing this post up I just realized I did it again and purchase this unique item for myself. Oh well I guess my wife can just get me some rolls of copper pennies and quarters to use in the machines along our travels. Thanks for checking out another fantastic privately designs pressed penny. Keep on Pressing!

Palm Beach Zoo | West Palm Beach Vacation Day 3

Well it finally happened, after our past few days on Vacation we were able to see some animals and all it took was a visit to the Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society. It was a beautiful day, and we were looking forward to what our day had in store for us. Let’s head on inside.

A nice perk at this zoo was free parking. Coming from the Orlando area where you have to pay to park basically everywhere this was a pleasant surprise. I also purchased our tickets online in advance so we just quickly scanned in at the front and were off to our first exhibit.

The zoo was split into different quadrants and themed for the animals found in those categories. We found ourselves first in the Florida Wetlands and always enjoy visiting with some beautiful pink flamingos. As I’m sure you can assume in the “Florida” section we came across some Alligators, Bears, and a Florida Panther.

Next we entered the Topics of the Americas area with classics like the ever vocal Macaws, or the somewhat shy African Porcupine and one my favorite areas the large cats including this sleeping jaguar.

Many of the animals we came across are common in most zoos, but one thing I found a bit different here were the exhibits. They appears much more themed and detailed. Even just the paths we followed throughout had some nice designs to them and weren’t just a cement path.

We were about 2/3rd of the way through the zoo and came across this building known as Latitude 26. There was a snack bar and a set of restrooms which made for a nice little break from walking.

More importantly however this was also where I found a few machines I had been looking for. First up was a souvenir medallion machine with a sticking cabinet wrapped with images of a Tiger, Otter and a few others.

At this machine there were four designs available including a Ring-Tailed Lemur, Tiger and Flamingo. You may notice in my above photo that I only have 3 of the medallions, and unfortunately the fourth Alligator design was sold out.

One thing I will say about these medallions is they usually have really nice reverse designs and this is no different showing off an expanded logo for the zoo with cute additional details included. After coming back home I did try to mail the zoo with some money and a self-addressed stamped envelope hoping to try and get a copy to complete the set, but so far after a couple weeks I haven’t received anything back yet. I’m still holding out hope though!

Located right next to the medallion machine was the first pressed penny machine. I’m always impressed with these little wooden housings created for the machines and they seem very popular at zoos for some reason. I was able to press the full set of four designs, but as you can see from the above photo only the alligator came out in full, the others all rolled bit short cutting off some of the designs.

After our short break and a pocket full of new collected and pressed coins we continued our way through the Asia sections and eventually into The Islands. There were plenty of different monkeys, big cats and exotic birds to keep us busy looking all around as we explored. Eventually we found ourselves back where we started towards the front of the park.

There was one last pressed penny machine near a nice shaded area with some benches to rest before heading out. This machine pressed much better, and the designs included a River Otter, Florida Panther, Koala bears and Malaysian Tiger.

We did visit the gift shop before we left and my daughters insisted on some new stuffed animals. While I was at the checkout area waiting to pay I did notice they had some of the generic Zoo / Aquarium Souvenir coin albums this was listed as the Fifth Edition. Even thought I don’t use these to store my pennies, I do still collect them but I already had this one so no need for an extra.

It had been quite a day, and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Palm Beach Zoo. The sun had certainly taken it’s toll on us and we were looking forward to heading back to our hotel for a nap and eventually some dinner followed by much needed pool time. I was disappointed to have missed out on that one medallion but hopefully it’s coming in the mail or eventually I’m sure I’ll be back to visit again. Our vacation is quickly coming to and end so stayed tuned for our last day and a few remaining elongated coins before we head back home. Keep on Pressing!