2018 Holiday Nickels – Disneyland and California Adventure

This is going to be a quick post because well the holiday’s are over and we have a  lot of other things to see and do with the new year upon us.  But these coins were part of a strange situation that we don’t know much about and made them a bit of a hot commodity this year.

On December 21st it was reported that the pressed nickel set was released in the California Adventure park at Jolly Trolley Treats on Buena Vista Street.

As always they have a nice backstamp on each of the pressed coins with a bit of holiday decoration.  I only noticed after taking the above pictures of this set that the Mickey and Minnie designs go together with Mickey holding some Mistletoe and Minnie leaning in to give him a kiss.  Kind of a cute set within the set.

Then Christmas came and went with no Disneyland set.  Followed shortly after by New Years coming and going and still no Disneyland set.

Then on January 2nd the Disneyland Holiday Nickel set finally appears in the Main Street Penny Arcade.

Similar backstamp for the Disneyland coins, and to be honest even the front designs are very similar with the characters just in different positions.

The strange thing is that these coins were then pulled off-stage only a week later on January 8th.  So these sets were only available for a very short time, especially the Disneyland set which was only a week.  Luckily I was able to get a set from a friend in California, but just be aware that if you are looking for these on eBay or another aftermarket merchant the cost may be higher than usually due to this limited availability.  I’m not sure if there was a problem getting the designs made, or if they had to scrap other designs and that’s why we got similar ones.  Either way it was still nice to keep this annual tradition going and hopefully next year the machines will be available for just a bit longer allowing more people to press a set.

Main Street Confectionery – Magic Kingdom

As we got closer to Christmas and the new year we had family in town which is always a great time but very busy.  Plus my job has its busy time of year leaving up to January 1st so there was a lot going on.  To top things off I was anxiously waiting for the new 2019 pressed coin designs (detailed post coming soon!), so I was surprised when a new machine made an appearance in the Magic Kingdom.

My sister and her family didn’t need much convincing to visit the Magic Kingdom that evening after I was done with work.  But we knew that being this close to the holidays the crowds of guests was going to be pretty crazy.

I always think the Magic Kingdom looks beautiful at night with all its lights on, and Main Street seemed even more magical.

If you are familiar with the current location of the penny press machines along Main Street, most of them are along the left side (when you are facing the castle).  This new machine though was in the Main Street Confectionery on the right side and maybe starting a new set of machines along that side.  There are quite a few shops along that side that have plenty of room for some machines.

Inside the Confectionery is like being in a candy factory.  All the shelves are stuffed with candy apples, popcorn, cotton candy and bags of all kinds of sweets.

In the back you can see some cast members working on a fresh batch of caramel apples.

Each of these stores connect to one another so you don’t need to go outside and back inside.  Rather there are just connecting doors in the wall, and on the far side of the Confectionery by this door was where the penny machine was located.

The cabinet of the machine is a plain white design.  I was hoping it would have candy themed designs on it, but the theming of these new machines doesn’t seem to go into that amount of detail unlike some of the older style machines.

Thankfully the store wasn’t too busy.  I think mostly because everyone was outside on Main Street were preparing for the fireworks.  I walked right up to the machine and pressed my coins.

The designs on the pennies in this set are really cute, and do fit in with the location of the machine.  The set includes images of your favorite Disney characters enjoying some sweet treats.  Mickey and Donald with Candy Apples, Goofy with some Candy Canes, and Minnie with Ice cream just to name a  few.

I have only been in this store a handful of times.  Usually with my kids on visits to the park we avoid candy stores whenever possible.  But it’s really a fun store, and if you have a sweet tooth it’s a place you can load up on some enjoyable treats.

I walked outside just in time to see some of the fireworks above Cinderella’s Castle.  We live close enough to the parks that most nights we can hear the fireworks, but there’s nothing like being there in person to see them high in the sky.

Now it was time to hit up some rides and maybe find a savory snacks, I think I had enough candy for one day.

Festival of the Holidays & France Pavilion Penny Machine Returns

Quick side note.  The below is something I wrote up earlier in December but just didn’t get a chance to post it.  I had planned on writing something else for this week, BUT Walt Disney World decided this was the week they were going to release all their new 2019 pennies and quarters.  So all week I’ve been heading in and out of the parks and resorts looking for the coins.  Full review will be coming as soon as I can.   In the meantime enjoy the below even though it’s a bit late in celebrating the holidays.
Have a wonderful 2019!!
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Still being relatively new Floridians, my family is still finding it hard to get into the Holiday spirit.  Coming from New Jersey we had the transition from summer into fall with the changing of the leaves and cooler weather, then into winter with lots of snow.  But now in Florida it pretty much seems like summertime all year round.  There are some things we have found that help, but our favorite has been the Festival of the Holidays and Candlelight Procession in Epcot.

The decorations around the park are always a nice touch, and the topiary that are common for each festival in Epcot are always really amazing.

As you head through the middle of Future World you can see the top of the Christmas tree just near the entrance to World Showcase.

You always want to make sure you pick up the passport for the Festival.  This will contain information about the different Holiday storytellers, show times, and most importantly the food booths.

We checked out a few of the booths this year.  One we always visit is near the Canadian Pavilion and this year is called the Yukon.

We tried the French Canadian classic tourtiere which is like a meat pie filled with Beef and Pork with a housemate ketchup.  To offset the savory dish we tried some Ice wine from a winery called Inniskillin located in the Niagara Falls region of Canada.  The tourtiere had the familiar holiday spice and flavor I remember from my childhood in Canada and it was a nice treat.

There is also a cookie stroll you can partake in.  There are six cookies available at specific food booths around the World Showcase.  The cookies were only a few dollars each.  When you purchase your cookie, make sure they stamp your festival passport.  Once you have had all your cookies there is one last Completer cookie to get which is accompanied by a cold bottle of milk.

I mentioned previously about the Holiday Storytellers.  These are done by performers in some of the pavilions that tell stories or sing songs about the holiday celebrations from their home countries.  We headed to France and loved the stories told by Père Noël.

As a side story this our Holiday adventure through Epcot, I had heard a rumor that the pressed penny machine in the France Pavilion had returned.  So I took a quick trip into Les Halles the gift shop and patisserie to check it out.

Sure enough in the back of the shop where it used to be was the machine.  The cabinet has changed but the two designs were still the same.

The two designs are of Mickey with the Eiffel Tower, and the France Pavilion.

Now if you have been following my travels there was a post a year or so ago about a secret penny that was available here in the France Pavilion.  You can read about it here.

As I pressed a new set of pennies at this machine I watched the dies inside the machine turn and noticed the third secret die was still inside.  I was hoping this would mean that the Agent P interactive game that you used to play to get this coin would be reactivated.  However after chatting with some fellow collectors online the rumors are that the Agent P game will be going away in the near future and replaced with something else.  So unfortunately for now it appears there is no way to press this special coin.

After visiting the patisserie in Les Halles for my wife’s favorite chocolate croissants we headed to one last Festival food booth for a couple of items that we had been hearing good things about.

At the L’Chaim! booth there was quite a line which seemed to be a good sign.

First we tried the potato knish which I remember having in New York City on many visits.  This wasn’t as good as the authentic ones in NYC, but it was still really good.

The second items we tried at this booth was the Pastrami on Rye with a housemate picket.  This was really good.  I’m a sucker for Pastrami or Corned beef and really like this one.  I did with the portion was larger, but this is pretty standard size for the Epcot festivals.

We enjoyed the rest of the Festival around the World Showcase and eventually ended up in the China Pavilion at Nine Dragons restaurant for dinner.  We had booked a dining package for the Candlelight Processional that evening.  After dinner we headed towards the American Pavilion for the show and it was amazing. Our celebrity narrator was Neil Patrick Harris, but the stars of the show were the orchestra and choir.  The music and singing were really fantastic.

On our way out of the park after the candlelight procession I overhear someone say, “If that doesn’t get you in the Holiday spirit nothing will”.  I couldn’t agree more.

Jungle Adventures – Christmas, FL

Merry Christmas!!

Ok this is a bit of a stretch I’ll admit but when I was trying to figure out something to write about for this holiday season I was kind of drawing a blank.  I did find a new online penny vendor with some new holiday designs but that’s what I usually do, and this year I wanted it to be a bit different.  As I scoured the internet I was trying to see if there was a local Christmas festival or anything that may have a pressed penny design but kept coming up empty.  However eventually I did notice something on a map of central Florida during these searches, and found a little town called Christmas.

Yes you read that right, Christmas Florida is an actual place and it was only about an hour away from our house.  Plus the icing on top was that there was a roadside attraction in this town that had a penny machine.  The pieces were all falling into place.  Pennies, Christmas, and Alligators…sure why not.

Jungle Adventures is where we were headed.  It was a nice Florida “winter” day in the high sixties (sorry if you are from up north), and the as a nice change of pace from the usual Orlando traffic, there were not many cars on the road in this part of town.

As we turned off the highway we were greeted by Swampy the World’s largest Gator.  This is just the design of the main building that includes the gift shop and admission desk.  Quite the roadside attraction.  We got parked, headed inside to buy our tickets to the park and started our Adventure.

After leaving the main building we came to the Golden Gator Bridge that takes you over the water to the Wild Animal Island.  The green stuff on top of the water is called Duckweed that is a flowering aquatic plant that floats on still or slow-moving wetlands.  While walking over the bridge we could see quite a few gators just floating along very slowly.  Then on the other side we came face with some really big ones.

As you can see from the above picture the walkway allows you to get right up close to the fence but there are signs everywhere stating not to put your fingers in the case.  Seemed like good advice.

The fence is only 5 feet or so high, and I was able to reach over for some pictures.  The big guys didn’t flinch at all.  I was worried they may move around a bit as we got closer but they must be used to all the attention.  There is staff all around to answer any questions and you can also buy various bags of food in the gift shop for feeding all the different animals.

There were a couple Florida Panthers here as well, but just like our cats at home they were enjoying a nap which I’m sure is how they spend most of their day.

There is an elevated nature walk along this boardwalk.  Thankfully it’s all screened in at the bottom to keep you safe.  This literally takes you right through the swamp.

There were a large amount of vultures here when we visited.  I’m sure they are there for the scape of food left behind, but they can be a little intimating as they are pretty big when you get close to them.

I saw this little guy resting on a branch just above the water and thought he looked pretty comfortable.  It was a little surprising that all the gators weren’t more active, and I think I maybe saw one moving slightly but that was about it.  A few times my daughter even asked if they were real, which I assured her they were.

After feeding some of the animals, and having a nice afternoon visit we headed back into the main building.  Inside the gift shop area was where the penny press machine was located.

It was a nice old school three design electric model.  The machine worked great and the pennies pressed very nicely.

The set of pennies included the Jungle Adventures Logo, a Gator and a Florida Panther.  This place isn’t huge, but does have a nice big collection of animals to visit with and learn about.  We have visited Gatorland which I believe has more gators, but at Jungle Adventure I felt like we were able to get much closer to the gators which may or may not have been a good thing.    They do offer a boat tour that gets you even closer to some of the gators, but it unfortunately was not operating during our visit due to inclement weather.

This was a classic Florida attraction, with some fun things to do and there was practically no one there.  I think we only saw 2 or 3 other families there which is a nice change from the more popular theme parks.

As I said at the beginning this was a bit of a stretch for a Christmas post but hope you enjoyed it.  Have a great Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.  Stay safe and remember 2019 is just around the corner.  So many more pennies still to find and we have lots of things planned for next year.

Riverside Depot – Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Just this past weekend we have news of a new penny machine.  I was surprised by this as I figured Disney was preparing to release the new 2019 dates sets which usually happens around this time of yer.  But instead we were given an early Christmas gift with a new machine.

The machine was released over at the Animal Kingdom park.  There are some holiday decorations up but the other parks are definitely more decked out.

The huge tree is just past the security check at the front of the park, but before the ticket windows.  There are quite a few photo pass photographers around the tree offering to take your picture.

If only they had a way to get some lights up in the Tree of Life that would be really cool.  They do have a projection show on the trunk of the tree at night, but from what I remember it’s not holiday themed this time of year.

When you enter the park and cross over the bridge to see the big Tree of Life in front of you, there is a store on your right hand side called the Riverside Depot.  This is connected to the Discovery Trading Co. store which already has three penny machines.

Discovery Trading Co is more t-shirts, sweaters and other apparel you can wear.  The Riverside Depot however is where you can get some plush characters, holiday ornaments, candy, pins for pin trading, and a wide selection of items.

Towards the back of the store is the new and only penny machine in the Riverside Depot.  As you can see from the above picture it a 8-design multi machine.

This is the first machine of this style located in the Animal Kingdom, but I’m sure it won’t be the last.

A nice feature of this machine is that a portion of the purchase amount goes towards the Disney Conservation Fund.

This set has some of your favorite Disney animal characters from  various movies.  The designs include Abu from Aladdin, Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, Squirt from Finding Nemo/Dory, Terk from Tarzan, Rhino Guard from Robin Hood, Hathi Jr from The Jungle Book, Bruce from Finding Nemo, and Heimlich from A Bug’s Life.

Another great set of designs.  I especially like the Rhino Guard from Robin Hood.  That is one of my all-time favorite Disney movies as it’s one of the few videos we had on tape that my sister and I would watch endlessly.  If only they would release some of the other characters like Robin, Little John, Maid Marian, the Sheriff.  Oh I could go on, that would be a great set but maybe someday my wish will come true.  Stay tuned for next week as I have something a little unique setup for Christmas.  For anyone traveling this coming week please stay safe.

Blizzard Beach Water Park – WDW Florida

Yes it’s December, and Yes I’m going to talk about a water park.  But this was actually a visit my family made a couple of months ago that I’m just getting around to writing about.  Hopefully if you are somewhere with snow on the ground, and cold temperatures this gives you a bit of a reprieve from the winter.

As a child I loved water parks, but unfortunately up in Canada we didn’t have too many and they were only open for short periods of the year in between all the snow and cold weather we would encounter.  Now that we are down in Florida our daughters like spending time in the pool but I didn’t know how they would do at the Water Park.  When our Disney annual passes came up for renewal I upgraded to the option that included the Water Parks as a test for future years.  Well after just one trip to Blizzard Beach it appears we will be keeping these passes.

Our girls absolutely loved it.  They were a little small for some of the bigger water slides, but the lazy river, wave pool and the family tube rides were things they continue to talk about weeks after we visited.

The story behind this park is that there was a freak snow storm in the area which led to the opening of Florida’s first ski resort.  With the usual Florida temperatures the snow didn’t last long, and the ski resort was transformed into a water park.  Due to this there is a chair lift that takes you up mount gush more to some of the water slide attractions, including the flagship slide Summit Plummet a 120 feet tall reaching speeds of 60 miles per hour.

In the middle of the park is the giant wave pool known as Melt-Away Bay.  Surrounding the wave pool is a large area filled with lounge chairs and cabanas.

Running around the perimeter of the park is Cross Country Creek the 3,000 foot long lazy river.  Be careful when you float through Mount Rushmore as the glaciers are melting which makes for some icy cold water dripping down on your head.

They also have water slide racers called Downhill Double Dipper where you can see who the fastest is in your family.  A little competition is always fun to watch as some families really get into this one.

After you have had your fill of water attractions you may be looking to do a bit of souvenir shopping.  The main gift shop here is called the Beach Haus.

Inside you can buy bathing suits in case you forgot one, or towels, flip-flops and more.

You can see the parks mascot Ice Gator had a bit of a skiing accident and crashed right into the side of the building.

The store of course sells t-shirts with the water parks logos on them, and they also have a penny press machine near one of the side entrances.

The machine is a three design electric model.  It’s a plain cabinet which I kind of wish was more themed.  It would be cool to have the insides look like a water slide for your penny to go down when being pressed, or the whole machine would look like it’s a melting block of ice.  Oh well they can’t all be overly themed.

The penny designs available at this machine include Daisy sun tanning, Goofy Mickey & Donald tubing, and Mickey just lounging on the beach.  All of the pennies include the Blizzard Beach logo that makes for a nice souvenir of your visit.

Not only was this our daughters first visit to the water park, but it was mine as well.  In all the years I’ve visited Walt Disney World I never made it over.  It was a lot of fun, and since our kids are now obsesses with water parks this will not be our last visit.  Thankfully in the Orlando area we have quite a few Water parks so we should have plenty of options, and I’ll be sure to keep an eye open for their penny machines.

Newly Renovated World of Disney Store – Disney Springs Florida

Over the last few years we have witnessed the transformation from Downtown Disney to the new and fresh Disney Springs.  The changes have been really unbelievable.  Years ago when I would visit Florida on vacation I always headed to Downtown Disney on my travels days.  The restaurants were never great and the shopping was for the most part just a bunch of Disney gift shops.

But now it’s a destination that I visit quite often, and enjoy all the new restaurants and shopping options.  With this fresh new design, and brand new theming there was still one place that seemed like it needed a refresh.  Thankfully Disney thought the same thing and put their flagship store the World of Disney through a refurbishment that took almost a year to fully complete.

Even after the update the big Stitch came back with a fresh coat of paint.  He does still “spit” on unsuspecting guests below, and is now located on top of the new World of Disney logo.

Inside the store looks much larger than it did before.  The above picture was taken before the entire store had been completed which is why you could see the black curtain at the back of the store.

Just inside the middle set of entrance doors to the store is the first of three new penny machines.  Previously there were three machines with only four designs per machine, but they have been replaced with these new 8-design touch screen machines.

This first set of 8 pressed penny designs include Mickey and all of his famous friends.

One section of the store is all about plush and it was amazing to see in person.  Look at that wall of Mickey’s against the back.  I’m sure they have no problem going through all of those on a frequent basis.  The number of people in here at any point is staggering.  I visited the store a few times after it had the grand reopening and it’s always packed no matter what time of day you go.

In the side of the store closed to the Lego store or the Town Center is set up as their seasonal area.  This time of year it’s filled with Christmas and all sorts of holiday merchandise.  Of course ornaments are a huge part of this and the selection seems to get bigger each year.

Over on this side of the store is where the second penny press machine is found.  It’s stashed in the corner near the front set of doors.

This is another great set that I was surprised they released.  This has designs from some of their famous animated movies like Aladdin, Up, Pinocchio and Alice in Wonderland plus a few others.

The back section of the store that was originally behind the black curtain was eventually opened and is my daughters favorite area.  This is where all the Princess things are.  They even project some of the Princesses up on the wall in scenes from their movies.  All of their dresses, accessories, and dolls can be found in this area.

The third and final machine was one that I uncovered on the pennycollector website before it was actually placed in the store.  I had found a concept drawing of the designs for the location and knew it would be arriving before too long.  It was eventually placed in this back section of the store near the Marvel and Star Wars sections of the store.

The designs in this set are all Winnie the Pooh and his friends.  It seems a little strange to put this machine in the Marvel and Star Wars sections but I guess we have enough of those penny designs already so nice to see Pooh bear getting some love with a set of coins.

If you visit this store be sure not to just walk around with your eyes towards the ground or on all the merchandise.  This store is beautiful and there are so many magical things going on all over the place.  I mentioned the princess projections on the back wall, but they also have animated sketches on the wall that come to live and change periodically.  Tinker Bell also shows up on the wall behind some of the check-out areas and she dances around some bottles of paint and helps animate picture frames with images of some Disney classics.  The store is almost an attraction in and of itself which is a lot of fun.  Plus you can get 24 pressed pennies all in one place.

Nightmare Before Christmas Quarter Set – Disneyland, CA

This new pressed Quarter set actually came out a couple of weeks before Halloween but I was having some difficulty getting my hands on it.  Usually I can reach out to some fellow collectors in California but everyone seemed to be on vacation or out-of-town all at the same time.  However after some patience and perseverance I was finally able to get a set shipped to my home.

I haven’t been to Disneyland in quite a few years and am looking forward to going back hopefully in the next couple years.  Due to this I’m not as familiar with the park layout as my home parks in Florida.  This new machine is in New Orleans Square at the Port Royal Curios and Curiosities gift shop.

As previously mentioned this is a set of pressed quarters which is a nice change from all the pennies we usually find throughout the parks.  The images on these coins are of Jack Skellington, Zero and Oogie Boogie all with the Nightmare Before Christmas logo.

Keep in mine these are not part of the usually Holiday dates coin sets that Disneyland and California Adventure release.  Those are still to come (and hopefully soon).  This is a really fun set of coins from a great movie that has definitely been getting more attention within the parks.

Icon Orlando – Orlando, FL

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!
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Over a year ago I had taken my daughters to check out an attraction we found along International Drive in Orlando called the Coca-Cola Orlando Eye.  This was a huge ferris wheel that can be seen for miles around the surrounding areas.  Not too long ago it had been rebranded as the Icon Orlando, and rumor had it that the pressed penny designs here had been updated due to this change.

It was time for another visit to see what has changed.  We jumped in our car and made the drive down I-4 towards International Drive.

One really nice thing about this area is that they offer free parking in their garage.  We parked the car and as we headed out towards the Icon Orlando we could see the rebranded starting all around.

Inside the previously red interior color has been changed to blue, and the new sign above the ticket counters has been updated to the new name.

We didn’t have time to actually go up in the attraction this visit but thankfully the penny machine does not need paid admission to access.  Just to the right of the ticket counter is the exit / gift shop and the penny machine right outside.

The cabinet is pretty much the same, but does have one slight difference.  Just below the touch screen is the Icon Orlando Skyline logo.

Here is a close up of the touch screen with all the designs available.  The price is still $1 for 1 penny, or $5 for all 8.  I’m sure you know which option I went for.

The designs are fairly similar to the previous ones but do now have the new name Icon Orlando on them.

After I had pressed a few sets of the coins we headed into the gift shop to look around.  All the new merch was available and I do like the new blue color.  There is absolutely no sign of the previous Coca-Cola branding.

This is really a fun place to visit and other than the Icon Orlando, you can also visit Madame Tussauds or the SeaLife aquarium.  The Icon Orlando though is quite the experience and once up at the very top you have fantastic views of the Orlando area.  If you aren’t a fan of heights you may want to skip it, but just remember the pennies are easily obtained without admission.  Happy Collecting!

Lowry Park Zoo – Tampa, Fl

The summer is over (although you wouldn’t know it in Florida), and the theme parks saw a slight drop in visitors as school went back into session for most of the country.  Unfortunately that never lasts too long and now the holiday season is quickly approaching.  Just before Halloween we took a drive out-of-town down I-4 to Tampa and checked out a place we had been interested in visiting for a while, the Lowry Park Tampa Zoo.

The zoo is a bit outside of the downtown area of Tampa, but not hard to get to.  A nice perk was that they offered free parking which is something becoming more and more rare around the Orlando area lately.

After buying our tickets and entering inside the park splits into a few different pathways.  They all connect with each other eventually in a main central area of the park where you can also find a pretty big carousel.  We let the kids decide where to go and we were off towards Africa.

Just before the path that led towards Africa was the first penny machine we came across.  This machine was not level on the group so as we turned the handle to press the pennies the entire machine kind of rocked back and forth a bit.  I wasn’t worried about it falling over, but the rocking did make it a little difficult to use.

All of the designs have Lowry Tampa Zoo on them along with a variety of zoo animals.  This set had an Manatee, Ray, Tiger and a wild Dog.  After using the machine we headed towards the Africa Tunnel.  This was an interesting park of the park where you actually walk under a roadway, through a tunnel to the next set of exhibits.  We found out afterwards this is due to the Safari rides they offer where you can get a little closer to some of the animals.  The wait time was more than we wanted to incur on this hot autumn Florida day so we just kept walking.

My girls were intrigued by the large tortoise we found along the way.  They had just been fed some lettuce leaves and he was going to town on them.  The zoo had a nice little cut out of the fence with a piece of plexiglass that made it easier for the younger / shorter visitors to get a nice look.

The rest of the afternoon we visited with some elephants and giraffes.

There were also some rhinos enjoying the shaded area of their exhibit and a few zebras were found nearby.  Eventually we headed back towards the Africa Tunnel but stopped near the Savanna Oasis for some lunch.

After our lunch we found the second penny machine just across the pathway.

This second set of designs included some of the animals we had visited with earlier which my kids always get a kick out of.  The set included an Elephant, Giraffe, Cheetah, and Rhino.  We headed back through the tunnel towards the carousel.  Our daughters always request a ride on the carousel so we took a break for one ride which eventually turned into two rides.  The next area we headed into was the local Florida wildlife which included some birds and alligators of course.  There was also a touch tank with some sting rays inside that had a large crowd.  This is always something that seems to get a lot of attention.  Unfortunately a few of the areas here were also under construction and made for some long periods of walking with nothing much to see.

By this time we had spent a good part of the day at the zoo, and the blazing sun was starting to take its toll on us as it usually does.  The kids were getting a little cranky and my wife and I were about ready for a nap ourselves.  The pathway we were on eventually came out by a set of restrooms near the exit of the park.  This was also where we found the third and final penny machine available at that time.

This machine was in much better working condition and rolled the pennies nicely.  The set had images of an Orangutan, Koala bear, Parrot and a Tiger.  We made one last stop in the gift shop for some souvenirs.  Our kids picked out new plush toys which I’m pretty sure we already had from another park but it makes them happy.  I also found a penny booklet for the zoo that I just had to have.

It was a bit of a slow walk back to our car due to everyone being pretty tired.  They fell asleep almost immediately after I started driving home.  This zoo was a lot of fun, but we are suckers for these types of places and love seeing the animals.  I’ll be curious to see how this place looks next year after they have finished with those exhibits that were under construction on this visit.  Plus of course I have to keep tabs on these penny machines.  You never know when new designs will appear.