Animal Kingdom 25th Anniversary Pressed Pennies

On April 22nd, 2023 Disney celebrated (yes another one) the 25th Anniversary of their Animal Kingdom Theme Park. I visited the park on anniversary day and the celebration was a bit subdued. I think between the 50th (WDW) and 100th (Disney Company) celebrations they didn’t want to over do things. There was a nice little ceremony in front of the Tree of Life with plenty of Disney characters.

Of course you know Disney would have plenty of special merchandise available. Some of these items were available a few days before, but they also made sure to have a few items released only on the 22nd.

Most of the items were available in the two gift shops nears the Tree of Life. One called the Island Mercantile, and the other is the Discovery Island Company.

This second store is also where we were headed to track down the new pressed pennies. There are actually three machines we were looking for and they are along the outside of this store near the corner where you would turn towards the Dinoland USA section of the park.

To make things a bit easier, all three of the machines are right next to each other. There are only three special 25th Anniversary penny designs, and each of these machines has just one of these designs. On a quick side note, look at the details on these machines. I love that big crab on the top grasping a huge penny and the wood carvings in the cabinet are fantastic.

Here is a close up of the three pressed penny designs. Each have the Animal Kingdom 25th Anniversary Logo along with images of Mickey Mouse, Nemo & Dory, and my personal favorite the Tree of Life that has some amazing animal designs incorporated into the tree including the stylized 25 for the trunk.

All in all it was a fun day at Animal Kingdom, but nothing too “wild” took place. There is no time frame currently for how long these 25th Anniversary pennies will be available. I would anticipate they will be here through May 2023 but any longer than that and you truly risk missing out on these new designs. Keep on Pressing!!


Tron Lightcycle Run Opening Day Arcade Tokens

On April 4th, 2023 Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom officially opening their newest attraction Tron Lightcycle Run. It’s a duplicate of a version originally created for their Shanghai park back in 2016. Construction was delayed due to the pandemic, and seemed to extend on indefinitely. Now after almost 5 years it opened and I headed over to check out the festivities.

They did offer some advanced previews for Annual Passholders, Club 33 Members, Disney Vacation Club and even D23 Members for a few weeks before the grand opening.

This attraction is located over in Tomorrowland next to Space Mountain. Its large exterior canopy catches the eye and is even more impressive after the sun goes down when it’s lit up and glowing.

As with most attractions at Disney the lines were quite long, but for a brand new attraction this actually didn’t seem to bad. I would have preferred some additional shaded areas in this extended queue area. The temperature were pretty high this day, and will only get worse as we head into the summer months here in Florida.

At least while you are waiting in this outside area you do get the opportunity to watch the guests zooming by on the ride vehicle. we have heard of quite a few guests having issues getting into it correctly.

You can see from the above photo that this is a unique style of vehicle that you need to get into. It’s similar to how you would sit on a bicycle but we have heard of quite a few guests having issues getting into it correctly. There is an accessible ride car on some of the trains that can accommodate anyone having an issue with these bike seats.

I really enjoyed the ride, it has a very fast initial launch and then you are just coasting around outside and eventually inside as you race your lightcycle against a digital opponent. The ride is fairly quick and seems to be over just as you are getting into it, but maybe that’s a way for them to get as many guests on it as they can throughout the day. There is no gift shop right as you exit, however if you head back towards Space Mountain there is now a combined gift shop under the new name Tomorrowland Launch Depot.

Currently this store primarily has new Tron Merchandise but I’m sure in the future we will see the return of some Space Mountain items here as well.

As I perused the new Tron t-shirts and pins I found some interesting items that caught my eye. On a shelf kind of tucked away in the corner were these two bowls filled with souvenir arcade tokens. They were $2.99 each and at first I thought there was just one silver and one gold design. Then as I kept digging through I found a few additional designs, 3 per color and 6 in total.

The silver color tokens had images of the Lightcycle Run, Enter the Grid and Tron logo.

The gold color tokens has designs of Space Paranoids, Tron with two Lightcycle, and Solar Sailor which are fictional games created by the Encom software company from the Tron movies.

All of the tokens had the same reverse design on them of the Flynn’s Arcade logo.

The opening day of any new attraction is always a unique experience. You can expect lots of long lines for not just the attraction, but also the merchandise, snacks and even special photo opportunities. I’ve done a few different openings and enjoy the experience every time. Hopefully in the near future we will see the release of Tron themed pressed pennies or collectible medallions, but for now I’m happy to have these cool little arcade tokens. Keep on Collecting!

Digital Disney Pressed Pennies

We are certainly living in the future, everything seems to has gone digital. Photography, movies, television, currently and even NFTs whatever that is. Now I’m here to tell you even out beloved Pressed Pennies has gone digital Now this may not work exactly as you are picturing in your mind, this isn’t something you can do at your favorite roadside attraction or in any of the Disney parks. Although now that I think about it that would be a fun interactive game they can implement, but Disney please don’t take away our physical penny machines! However what I’m about to show you is Disney related so what you need to do is grab your smartphone and download the Free (to play) Disney Collect! app by Topps.

If you have ever been into collectible sports cards, or to be honest any type of collectible card you are probably familiar with the name Topps. They were the original blind bag collectible. I remember saving up my allowance to buy a pack of Hockey cards hoping to find one of my favorite players.

Topps has been releasing physical card for years, then starting in 2012 they going the digital age by releasing apps for your phone that allow fans to collect digital baseball cards. This was followed by separate apps for other sports like hockey and soccer, then they entered the entertainment genre with Star Wars, Marvel and Disney apps.

Once you have the app installed and your account setup you will find yourself with a home screen that has quite a few different options available to start collecting. As with physical collectible cards the idea here is to start buying packs of cards and get them into your collection. You do earn free coins throughout the day, as well as free Magical Gifts that can include cards from many different available sets.

Inside the store there is a constantly changing assortment of card sets available for your to collect. Click on one and you will get some additional information about that set, including a count down to when it will expire and no longer be available. There are also different pack options that will list how many cards you get for a certain amount of coins, and the odds per pack of getting rare or unique card variations. There are more expensive options as you scroll further down the list that give you better odds at acquiring those special cards. Just be aware that as with many “Free to play” apps you can spend your actual money to buy more coins to help speed up your progress if you chose, but that can certainly add up if you aren’t careful.

You can view your collection at any time and even if the set expires you do not lose the cards you hav already collected. This just means that those packs of cards can no longer be purchased through the store. So how can you fill in those missing cards from a set you really want. Well just like we used to do on the school playground you can trade with your friends and other users of the app. There are so many other little things you can do within this app to ear or upgrade your collection but I’ll leave that up to you to explore on your own.

Now let me show you something I recently found while working on my digital Disney collection. I was in the shop checking out some new sets that were available and noticed this one with Steamboat Willie (Mickey). I’m a sucker for classic Mickey stuff and immediately started working on collecting this set. In my haste to start buying up packs I completely overlooked the details of exactly what special cards were available.

Then in one of my packs I got a “card” that looked suspiciously familiar. I clicked on the info button for this card and there at the bottom my eyes were drawn to Group and Variant name “Chrome Pressed Penny”. WHAT!!!

Suddenly I had a new mission, the rest of this set was completely gone from my mind, instead I had to do whatever I could to collect all these pressed pennies. Well it took awhile but I eventually was able to grab the entire set and look at these they are so cool.

I had so much fun working on acquiring this entires set and once it was done I wondered if there were any other similar sets available with different themes. Well it didn’t take long for me to find quite a few other sets of digital pressed pennies available.

Here was another set I found with some classic Disney Villains including the Queen of Hearts, Captain Hook, King Candy, Gaston and quite a few others.

Some of these have some ambiguous names to the series but the app does allow you to see what each design looks like even if you haven’t collected it yet. That way you can see which ones you still need to finish up the set. Here’s one called “Topps Timeless” with penny designs of Tinker Bell, Raya, Marie, Tiana and more.

They have even released multiple series for some of the sets. Like the above Series 2 of the Topps Timeless with new designs including Chicken Little, Baymax, Merlin, the Cheshire Cat among them.

Earlier this year they released a new Mickey Memories Collection dated for 2023 with the fab five and a special completer coin of the entire gang all in one design.

There are quite a few other sets but I wanted to show off just one last collection that even had players collection special silver medallions for Disney’s 100th Anniversary. It takes a lot of patience and time to work on each of these sets but they are absolutely obtainable even without spending your own money. I insist on playing this without spending any of my actual money which does add to the length of time it takes. For me though that part of the fun and I don’t need to worry about saving up my allowance to do so.

So what do you think of what I’m assuming is our first form of Digital Pressed Penny collecting. I truly hope this isn’t the ultimate destination for our hobby, bu for right now I think it’s another fun way to enjoy collecting some pennies when you may be stuck inside or unable to travel. In case you were wondering non of the digital penny designs I’ve seen so far look like any of the ones we have collected from Disneyland or Walt Disney World parks. Since those are created by another company I’m sure they don’t want to share their designs with Topps.

Are you going to give this a try and start collecting your own digital pressed pennies. Let me know down in the comments below. Enjoy the rest of your week and as always Keep on Pressing…Digitally?

Encom Flynn Lives (TRON) Elongated Coins | Privately Designed

I remember watching videos when Shanghai Disney opened with all their fancy new attractions including the iconic Tron coaster. Now I will admit that the Tron movies were never really my favorite. One thing is true though, the light cycles were amazing and seemed like only time (ahem almost 40 years) before Disney turned those into an attraction at the parks.

The Tron coaster version has just officially opened here in Florida at the Magic Kingdom, after what seems like way longer than it probably should have to be completed. This is an attraction I’ve been looking forward to for a long time and was able to experience it during a special preview a few weeks ago. It’s a high speed thrilling coaster that I actually think many guests will be able to enjoy even if you aren’t a big coaster fan. But something I would have been even more excited about would be the prospect of some new elongated coins for this attraction. Unfortunately as we have seen with many other new Disney attractions they open with plenty of new merchandise but no pennies, at least not for the first few years, and it seems like this is also the case so far with Tron.

To help tide us over in the mean time I did come across a new design from our friend and designer Don Cade. This design shows off the classic Encom logo which is the fictional computer technology corporation in Tron. Kevin Flynn was a gifted computer programmer employed at Encom who created some best-selling video games including Space Paranoids, Matrix Blaster and Light Cycles.

Don has this design available in a few different denominations, and there is also a variant design that has a special backstamp image of the Disneyland / WDW Pressed Coin Collector logo he created. If you are interested in this or any of Don’s other designs you can contact him through a few different elongated coin facebook groups that I have linked here.

Welcome to the Grid, and as always Keep on Pressing!