Yak & Yeti Restaurant Pressed Pennies – WDW Animal Kingdom

You may not be familiar with the name Landry’s but I’m sure you know of their themed restaurants like Rainforest Cafe, Bubba Gump Shrimp, or even T-Rex Cafe.  I’ve mentioned in the past that I really enjoy these restaurants for their theming and immersing us in a unique dining environment, but the food is always a little underwhelming.  I will admit there are plenty of Landry’s restaurants I have not visited so this is not a hard and fast rule, but there is one of their restaurants we have eaten at a few times and have always had fantastic entrees.

Of all places this restaurant is located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, back in the Asia area directly behind the Tree of Life.

The unique Purple building seems to drawn people in trying to figure out exactly what it is.  Unfortunately reservations are required and there is very little walk up availability.  It’s been a few years since the last time I was able to get a reservation but I recently snagged one and we jumped at the opportunity to go back.

Even though this is not a Disney operated restaurant there is of course a fun backstory to this place.  A wealthy merchant named Arjun fell on some hard times.  His house was located near the base of Mount Everest in the village of Anandapur.  Many travelers and traders would pass through Anandapur and Arjun turned his large house into a hotel.

Throughout the building are an amazing collection of artifacts and furniture that Arjun has collected from his time as a merchant.

In previous visits as with any restaurant there were large menus, but due to the current pandemic they have changed over to a digital menu.  Each table has a QR code that you can scan with your smart phone to bring up the current menu items, descriptions and cost.

As an appetizer we opted to try a new item that our server said was previously a special limited time item but was so popular it now is on the permanent menu.  This is the Korean Fried Chicken, hand-breaded tenders tossed in a gochujang maple syrup sauce.  These were really amazing, the chicken was tender and had a nice crunch to light batter.  The sauce was a little sweet with a back of the tongue spice that wasn’t too strong but definitely noticable.

As an additional side option we ordered some of their famous Garlic Noodles.  The noodles were cooked perfectly with a bit of chew to them, but definitely not mushy.  The garlic sauce was nice and potent so if you are not a garlic fan (is there such a thing?) you may want to avoid this one.  it also included some chopped peanuts on top for a bit of crunchy texture.

For my main entree I tried the Korean Beef.  Usually my go-to dish here is the Honey Chicken which I love, but this time around I wanted to try something different and I wasn’t disappointed.  This dish is Wok-fried beef with peppers, onions and pineapple in a sweet Korean BBQ sauce.  I opted for a side of brown rice, and they also put some micro greens on top as a garnish.  This dish was really pretty and I almost didn’t get a picture of if in time as I just wanted to dive in and start eating.  The beef was tender, the veggies were crisp and the pineapple added a nice little twang to round everything out.  This was another winner in my books for this restaurant.  By this time we were pretty full so we decided to not get dessert on this trip.  We figured that we needed a bit of a walk around the park before maybe getting some ice cream elsewhere.

Before we left I headed over to visit the pressed penny machine.  We have reviewed this machine in the past, and the designs have not changed.  The machine was recently changed to the new higher $1 per penny price point, and the machine now supplies a penny for you.  I’ve always really liked the cabinet on this machine, the wrap is fun and I just love those colors and Mount Everest at the bottom.

The penny designs available here include a Pagoda, the Himalayan Mountains, two Tibetan Mastiffs and a Yak.  All state Yak & Yeti on them which I think is a nice touch but very common with other Landry’s locations.

This machine is located just inside the main entrance to the restaurant near the check-in desk.  You do not need a reservation to get inside if you are only looking to press the pennies.  Just know that this place is very popular and that area can be a bit crowded making the penny machine a little difficult to access.  But I would recommend if you are visiting Animal Kingdom and heading this way to get these pennies try to get a reservation or see if you can walk up for a table, the food is common enough Asian style faire that anyone should be able to find something they like.  It’s fun to wonder around inside and see all the details that were placed here and most of the time would go unnoticed especially for a theme park restaurant.

Enjoy and Keep on Pressing!

(Closed) Contest – Win a Set of 2021 Walt Disney World Pressed Coins

** Thank you to everyone that entered.  The contest has closed and the winner has been contacted so check your emails.  Visit us again for future contests.


It’s that time of year again for our annual giveaway!!  See our past winners here.

This is a chance for you to get a complete set of the 2021 Dated Coins that I had written about in a previous post.   If you haven’t already, be sure to click here and you can find out more details on each coin, or check out our YouTube video on these coins here.

 

This will include all 24 coins (19 Pennies and 5 Medallions) as shown above (please note there is an extra medallion in the picture just to show off the back design).

As stated above this is a FREE contest.  To enter just post a comment below with who your favorite Animated Disney Sidekick is.  Simple right!

Post as many times as you like, and be sure to spread the word.  Share this on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or anywhere else that Disney Pressed Penny fans can be found.  This is always a lot of fun when there is a lot of participation. The contest will end on March 17th, 2021.  At that time I will randomly select a winner and will contact you for your mailing information.

If you haven’t already, be sure to stop by our Youtube channel: davidscointravels and subscribe for videos all about pressed coins including updates on new Walt Disney World pennies.  Your support there helps us offer these types of contests.

Good luck and Keep on Pressing!!

**Please note this is just for entertainment purposes.  This contest is not sponsored or endorsed by The Walt Disney Company.

Ziwani Traders NEW Collectible Medallions – WDW Animal Kingdom

Things have certainly gotten a little busy over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Recently they have started converting their 3-design pressed pennies machines over to $1 and on a recent trip I made to check on those machines, I found that one had been removed and replaced with something new.

The Harambe section of the park is probably one of the more popular just due to the Kilimanjaro Safari, Gorilla falls walking path, and Conservation Station.  They also have an outdoor food market which has some really unique food options like Grilled Chicken Skewers, Gyro Flatbread, Grilled Sausages and even spice-rubbed ribs.

There is a even a stand that sells grilled corn on the cob which always smells amazing whenever I walk by.  One of these trips I’ll have to stop and actually try it out.  On this trip however I was heading to the Ziwani Traders shop which is right near the corn stand, and entrance to the Safari attraction.

I believe Ziwani Traders is just the name for this outdoor area of the store.  Inside is the Mombassa Marketplace.  This place has some beautiful African inspired items, and also some that were a little unique.

These would look pretty good as part of a Halloween display, but they were definitely intriguing to look at.

My daughters always love to stop here to play with the different instruments.  The one pictures above takes a bit of practice to spin in between the palms of your hands but makes some fun music once you get the hang of it.

Just outside the door that will take you inside the Mombassa Marketplace was where an old 3-design pressed penny machine used to be.  I visited here to see if it had been converted to $1, but was instead surprised to see it had been completely removed and replaced with a Collectible Medallion machine instead.

The cabinet of the machine had a nice wood grain look to it.  I really liked the decorative trip along the top, bottom and sides of the machine giving it an almost “hand carved’ looked to it.

There are four designs available in this machine.  The cost is $5 per medallion, or you get a bit of a discount of $15 for all four if you would like the entire set.

The designs on the medallions are inspired by the animated movie The Lion King, and has the Animal Kingdom logo and Tree of Life on the reverse of each coin.

I just can’t fight it any longer and have really come to enjoy collecting these medallions. I think that with the larger coin size the vendor is able to put a lot more detail on these images and they are really beautiful.  I’m still working on a nice way to display these within my collection and but may be something I can review in a future post.

Are you going to get a set of these for your own collection?  Let me know in the comments below.  Thanks for checking in this week, I always appreciate you taking the time visit.  Have a fantastic week and Keep on Pressing!

2021 Dated Walt Disney World Pressed Coin Set

It’s the most magical time of the year….well sort of.  Thankfully this year Disney was able to release their new 2021 Dated pressed coins a little earlier than last year.  It’s a lot of work running all over property hunting for these new designs, but I’m always up for the challenge and enjoy every second of it.  Let’s jump right in and I’ll show you all the new designs and where you can find them on your next trip.

Usually these new designs start to show up right between Christmas and New Years so that’s when I started checking out all the usually locations as frequently as I could.

Sure enough I found the first one on December 27th at Disney Springs in the Pin Trader store.

 

I know this isn’t a pressed coins, but I still like to include it as part of the annual dated set.  It’s a Collectible Medallion (hint there are more to come) which I have really come to enjoy collecting.  The larger size of the coin allows for a more detailed image which I really like.  Unfortunately even though this design does have the new 2021 year on it, the rest of the designs is exactly the same as the 2020 version.  Hopefully next year they can work on completely redesigning it.  Fingers crossed!

Just a few days later I received a message from a friend and fellow collector Rob Wilson that he was visiting Hollywood Studios and found the first pressed penny.  I was excited to hear this news.  The only problem was that this time of year is very busy at the parks and getting a park reservation for arguably the most popular park at the time of writing this, I had to sit and wait for a few days before I could check it out.

Thankfully I was given very specific information on where this design was located as it wouldn’t not have been my first stop.  Just after you walk into Hollywood Studios there is faux Gas Station called Oscar’s Super Service.  This is actually where you would go to rent a wheelchair or electric scooter.

 

For a long as I can remember they have had a penny press inside this shop, but this is the first time that one of the dated designs was here.  This design is of the Hollywood Tower Hotel better knows as the Tower of Terror attraction.  This has become a common design each year and I still really like it.  Side note, also take a look at the machine and you may notice this has been updated to the new $1 per penny cost, and the machine supplies a shiny zinc penny.  Another interesting tidbit is that this is the only dated penny available in Hollywood Studios this year.  The penny design used to be in the Rock Around the Shop store but that 3-design machine was removed and replaced with an 8-design touch screen model (Stay tuned for a future post on this).  Then the pressed quarter design was at the Tower Hotel Gift shop, the machine is still available, and still $1.25 to press your quarter but there is no longer a dated design there.

Once I had finished walking all throughout the Studios park to ensure they didn’t release any other new designs, I hopped on the Skyliner to visit a resort.

Have I mentioned before how much I love the Skyliner?  It’s amazing and I don’t really like heights but it’s such a great way to get to and from some of the resorts and parks.  On this trip I ended up over at the Art of Animation resort.

 

In the main building of the resort there is a gift shop and food court which is where you can find the pressed penny machine.  This has been a fairly new location for the dated penny designs, and sure enough they continued this year with a new design.  This design is fantastic and I think it’s my favorite design for this year, just a little bit retro.

Next up we continued visiting resorts and headed over to the Polynesian Village Resort.  They are currently going through some major refurbishments at this resort currently with the monorail station being completely removed and eventually rebuilt, and some of the guest rooms will be converted to a Moana theme.

All this construction does make this resort not quite as amazing as it usually is, especially since ‘Ohana is not currently open.  But the gift shops and quick service locations are still open.  On the second floor is the Moana Mercantile for some grab an go items, and is also where the pressed penny machine is found.

 

 Last year this location also had a dated Minnie Mouse design, but thankfully this year even though Minnie has returned the design itself has been changed for this year.

I do kind of wish that this design had Minnie in her hula costume from down in the Lobby, but maybe next year.

Eventually the New Year did arrive and this was when the rest of the dated designs really started showing up.  I had seen on eBay two penny designs listed as being from Animal Kingdom which was out of the ordinary from previous years.  So I just had to visit every machine to see if that was the cases, and sure enough I found them.

First I headed over to Dinoland USA as this was where the dated design has been located the last few years.  As I passed by the Restaurantosaurus I found a friendly little guy making sure to keep his mask on, but looks like he may have picked up the wrong size.

The penny machine in this area can be found in Chester & Hester’s Dino Treasures.  It’s a pretty large gift shop over near all the carinal games.

 

The trend continued with this machine getting the new 2021 design with a really nice image of the Tree of Life.  Plus you can see this machine has fallen pray to the new price increase and you can no longer use your own pennies to press.

That was one penny down, now to try and find the next one.  I headed all around the park visiting each machine that I knew about and ended up back near the front of the Tree of Life at the Island Mercantile.  If you look at the above picture you can see the machine just to the left of the door which is on the side closest to the Pandora area of the park.

 

This machine is really amazing, and the wood carvings are so fun to look at.  The detail is amazing, and who doesn’t like the giant crab on top holding a penny.  Plus the little cup where the pressed coin drops out into is the mouth of a lion with some pretty intimidating teeth.  The 2021 design you can get at this machine has Pluto on it, and also now costs $1 to press.

With the two pennies found at Animal Kingdom it was time to visit the next park on our list EPCOT.  This park has been under quite a bit of construction this past year and finally some of those projects have started to end.  One of these is the front plaza just as you enter into the park.  They have brought back an amazing retro EPCOT fountain and this area is now so wide open and very beautiful.

The rest of Future World is still a bit of a mess and hopefully that will get better as 2021 continues.  Once you get past that area and into the World Showcase you need to look for the Disney Traders store.

 

This store has also been the home to an annual dated penny for quite a few years and that continues this year as well.  The design here is of Chip and Dale.

The second pressed penny is in a bit of a unique location.  In years past the second EPCOT dated design was found in the Mouse Gear gift shop back towards the front of the park.  But in 2020 when they gutted and began completely renovating the store the penny disappeared for quite a long time before reappear in the Norway Pavilion.

This is the gift shop you exit into if you take a ride on the Frozen Ever After attraction.

 

This is a really nice looking machine.  The art work on the cabinet is wonderful and I would assume Norwegian but that’s just a guess.  The design here is of Spaceship Earth and this is another design I really like for this new year.

Only one last place to visit and that’s my personal favorite park the Magic Kingdom.  But there are not just two dated designs here as in years past, but instead there is 12 pennies and 4 medallions.  So if you can only visit one park on your trip and want to get some 2021 dated designs this is the park to hit up.

 

The first machine is not too far inside the park and can be found just underneath the Main Street Railroad Station.  To be honest these are kind of hidden, but trust me it’s down there and just behind the double staircases that would take you up to the train platform.  This is a 4 design hand crank machine but all 4 designs have been swapped out for 2021 images including Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Cinderella Castle in the style of the new Mickey Mouse cartoons currently running on Disney+.  I wasn’t a fan of this style at first, but those cartoons are so much fun it’s hard not to like them and I’ve eventually come around.

Just a little further down Main Street the final few machines are all inside the Emporium.

Due to all the social distancing the stores have specific doors that you have to enter and others for exiting only.  For the emporium you basically need to walk about half way down Main Street before you can enter, even though you pass about 4 other doors along the way.  That does however bring you into the store and right near the first machine located near the big wall of Disney Pins.

 

This was another interesting turn of events with having new 2021 dated designs in an 8-design penny machine.  Upon closer inspection the vendor of the machines made a brilliant design choice to have the dated designs on one of the die rings, and the 4 non-dated designs on the second die ring.  This allows them to change out the dated designs without disturbing the rest of the machine.  So even thought his machine has 8 designs in total only the 4 dated designs were changed out.  The images on the new pennies include Mickey & Minnie, Donald & Daisy, Chip & Dale and a second Cinderella Castle that looks identical to the one we just found at the Main Street Railroad Station.

 

The second machine inside the Emporium has their collectible medallions.  This machine was placed here in 2020 shortly after the parks reopened from being temporarily closed for Covid.  All 4 of the front designs are the same as before including Mickey & Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Pluto.  It’s only the back image that was changed and has Cinderella Castle with 2021 on them.

 

Finally our last machine it back up towards the front of the Emporium as if you were heading towards the exit to the theme park.  This is another 8-design machine, but only the 4 dated designs were replaced.  The new images include Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Pluto and a Pirate Ship (maybe Captain Hooks?).

 

Well that’s all of them and above are pictures of all the new 2021 dated pennies and medallions.  Now I will say that with a bit of trepidation as I was scored a bit last year.  Initially I thought we had found all the 2020 designs and then over the course of a few more week / months they released more and more designs.  So I guess I should say, for now these are all the designs.

Before we go I did have a few items to go over.  First you may be thinking, hey there aren’t any 2021 pressed quarters and you would be absolutely correct.  I’ve chatted with some fellow collectors and we think they will be a thing of the past.  The overall number of pressed quarter machines is very low at the moment and I do think they will eventually just be removed completely.  Not having dated designs on quarters just seems to be another sign of that eventually happening.  Next you may be questioning that we didn’t visit the All-Star resorts which have had dated designs the last few years.  That unfortunately is due to those resorts not currently being open, they were shut down for Covid last year and are not scheduled to reopen for another few months and even at that time I believe only one will be reopening.  I am anxious to get over there and check out the machines once they reopen and I’ll share all about what I find.  Will there be more new 2021 dated designs there?  Maybe, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see a few new 8-design machines there instead.  Only time will tell.

Thank you again for checking in and I hope this helps you with your collection or maybe even just as a checklist for which new pennies you collect throughout the year.  It is obviously early on in 2021 so there should be plenty of time to pick these up at the parks and resorts, but  remember what happened with that 2020 Spaceship earth penny that disappear and collectors were going nuts wondering if it would be back.  Get these before they are gone!

Stay tuned for a future post coming soon as our annual Contest will be happening where you have a chance to win a complete set of these dated coins.  Click here to see our past years winners.

Have a fantastic week and Keep on Pressing.

The Jungle Book NEW Pressed Penny Set – Animal Kingdom

It’s been a little while since we were over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park, so we had scheduled a reservation to visit this past weekend.  It seems that it was just meant to be as I was informed on the drive over to the park that there were reports of a new pressed penny machine sighting.

We did have a whole day planned at the park, but it didn’t take too long for us to find the new machine.  Just over the bridge when you first see the Tree of Life there is a pretty large gift shop on the left called the Island Mercantile.

I usually cut through these stores just for some quick Air Conditioning, but this time we were on the hunt.

The inside of the store is really beautiful with all sorts of theming and unique carvings on the walls and up in the ceiling.  Plus there is a ton of merch, but we will revisit this shortly.

After wandering around the entire inside of the store more than a couple times I headed outside, and sure enough, there was the machine.

The cabinet of this new machine was gorgeous, with some cool wood carved creatures on the front and both sides.  Plus I really liked the blue color.

I pressed a set of the new pennies and was a bit surprised to notice that they were all themed around the Disney classic animated movie The Jungle Book.  There are designs of Mowgli, Baloo, Shere Khan, Kaa, Bagheera, and more.

Now just a quick note, after getting these pennies I headed back into the store and was just curious to see what type of merchandise they would have for The Jungle Book.  I checked every shelf and display I could and the only items I found were a couple collectible pins.  It is a bit sad to know that this movie doesn’t have much available, but at least we have a nice new pressed penny set.  Keep on Pressing!

2020 Dated Walt Disney World Pressed Coins Set

Happy New Year!!  Ok sorry I know it’s February but I have some great news, all the 2020 pressed coins have been released at Walt Disney World.  Well, most of them are available…but we will get to that in a bit.  This year was a bit chaotic, we came out of the gate early in January with a hand full of new coins, then it took some time for the rest to appear.

Just recently the last few 2019 designs were finally removed and replaced with old retired designs, not new 2020 ones.  I was trying to hold out as long as I could before writing this to keep all this information in one post.  I’ve spoken with some fellow collectors and we believe that the 2020 dated designs have all been released.  As always if anything changes I’ll be sure to update everyone.

We will star over in Epcot at the Mouse Gear store.  This is the main gift shop just behind Spaceship Earth and has been home to a dated penny design for quite a few years.

   

The penny machine can be found along a wall covered in the 2020 merchandise like t-shirts, sweaters, snow globs, picture frames and so much more.  The penny available here was of Spaceship Earth.

Remember at the beginning when I said most of the designs are available well this is the one exception for now.  I was at Epcot the day this design was released.  But for some reason about a week, later this store was closed up for a lengthy refurbishment.  As of the date, I’m writing this penny machine has not been moved and is currently unavailable.  There is a new “Temporary” Mouse Gear store behind the Electric Umbrella quick service restaurant, but the machine hasn’t been placed there yet.  This design has become a highly sought after design for now since it was only available for a few days not many people were able to get one.  Rumors are that the machine cabinet is being rethemed and will then return.  I’ll be sure to post an update if it shows up again.

   

Epcot also had a second penny design available back in the World Showcase at the Disney Trader’s gift shop.  The design is of Chip and Dale carrying what I think is Donald’s hat.  After pressing this penny I headed over to the International Gateway and grabbed the new Skyliner over to Hollywood Studios.

   

The first new design is back in the Rock Around the Shop the gift shop for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  I really like the design of this machine’s cabinet and hope they don’t change it.  It just really fits in well here.  The penny design here was of Chip and Dale in 2020.

 

Not too far away was the next coin in the Tower Hotel Gifts which is the store for the Tower of Terror attraction.  This pressed quarter has a similar design from previous years of the Tower of Terror.

With Hollywood Studios completed we headed over to the Animal Kingdom.  Back in Dinoland USA at the Chester and Hester Dino Treasures gift shop is where the penny machine is located.

 

The penny in this store is of the Tree of Life the icon of the park also with 2020 at the bottom.  Animal Kingdom used to have a dated pressed quarter located at the Harambe Train Station but this machine did not get a 2020 design.

Now we were off to check out some of the resorts for new coins.  First, we stopped at the All-Star Sports resort.

 

The machines are located in the main lobby building just outside the Arcade.  There is one-quarter machine available and the design here is of 2020 Goofy.

A little further down the road, we visited the All-Star Music resort.  These machines are also located in the main building just outside the Note’ Able Arcade.

 

The pressed quarter design at this resort is of Pluto with 2020 on it.

The last All-Star resort is Movies and ended strong with two pressed coin designs.

 

These machines are found in the World Premier Food Court and can be a busy place if you visit during common mealtime.  The pressed quarter design is of Donald Duck.

 

Just a few steps to the right is the penny machine with the new 2020 design of Pluto.  This completed the All-Star resorts so we jumped back in our car and headed over to the Art of Animation resort.

This resort has one of my favorite food courts called the Landscape of Flavors.  When you first walk in there is a pretty big gift shop, then the food court is just beyond that.  The penny machines are just past the gift shop.

 

The design available at this machine is another horizontal image of Donald Duck in 2020.  There was just one more resort we needed to visit and it probably my all-time favorite.

I love the theming at the Polynesian Village Resort, and the food options are great.  Inside the main lobby building called the Grand Ceremonial House, up on the second floor is the Moana Mercantile and the penny machine is right outside the store.

 

Of all the designs this year I think this one is my favorite, 2020 Minnie Mouse.

After a quick ride on the Monorail, we were inside the Magic Kingdom.  I headed right down Main Street, through the Castle and into Fantasyland.

Near the carousel is a store called Sir Mickey’s.  This is also the store you exit into after you experience a Princess Meet and Greet.

 

In previous years this machine has been my archnemesis.  I think in 2019 I had to visit this machine about 3-4 times before it was finally working to press the penny.  This year I lucked out and it was working without any issue.  This is another cute design of 2020 Mickey Mouse.

In previous years the Main Street Emporium had a dated penny and quarter, but not in 2020.  This year those old designs were replaced with previously retired designs from other locations.  But I did find another machine at the Main Street Train Station.

 

This was a new machine placed here in 2019 and all four of the designs were replaced with new 2020 penny designs.  This set has images of Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Cinderella’s Castle.  We had just one more place to visit to finalize all the 2020 coins, we grabbed a bus over to Disney Springs.

   

In the Pin Traders store, there is a collectible medallion machine.  This has moved around a bit over the last year, but this seems to be it’s new “permanent” location.  There was a 2019 design here and it has been replaced with a new 2020 medallion.

Wow, I don’t know about you but that was quite a trek around WDW property.

This year there are only 4 pressed quarter designs.  It does seem like these pressed quarter machines are slowly being removed as quite a few of them were taken away last year and have not returned.  There were 12 pennies and 1 collectible medallion, making for a grand total of 17 dated coins.

Keep in mind that penny from Epcot’s Mouse Gear is not currently available, and is also a prime example of making sure you try to get these coins as soon as you can.  With so many things changing around Walt Disney World property these machines seem to come and go periodically which can leave holes in your collection.

Have a great 2020 and I’ll be sure to keep you up to date with any changes to this setup or if that pesky Mouse Gear penny shows up somewhere.  I think this is going to be another big year at WDW with new coin released so we will definitely be busy.

Keep on Smashing!!

Landry’s Restaurant Machines Converting to $1 per Penny Design (Walt Disney World)

Did someone say price increase?  Yup, it’s that time again to review some penny machines around Walt Disney World property that have been converted to the new cost of $1.  These machines that I’m about to review were actually not on my radar as they are in locations not directly owned by Disney.

Some of you may be familiar with the Landry’s name as they run some popular chain restaurants like Rainforest Cafe, T-Rex Cafe, Bubba Gump and many more.  But it seems they have also decided to increase the cost of their penny machines.  They do have a few different restaurants on Disney property so first up we will head over to Disney Springs.

We are in full Fall season swing in Florida, although the temperatures are still in the 90s so not much has changed.  It’s not raining as often which I guess is a plus.

Located in the Marketplace section of Disney Springs is the T-Rex Cafe.  It’s a very unique themed restaurant with a giant dinosaur fossil on display out front.  Inside there are animatronic dinosaurs near the tables and even a meteor shower takes place every 15-20 minutes.

They do have a pretty large gift shop with plenty of dino related merchandise.  This is also where the penny press machines are located.  The first machine is just inside the main entrance.

The designs on the pennies have not changed on any of these machines, but along with the price increase you no longer use your own chosen penny to press.  The machine supplies a penny for you.  It does appear that they are using uncirculated new pennies so they come out nice an shiny.  But a lot of collectors are not happy about this and prefer to use their own pennies which is just no longer available.  Even though the designs haven’t changed I’m going to include pictures of all the pennies so you can see what the supplied pennies look like.

The second machine is located not too far from the first machine.  There is a hallway that leads back outside to an enclosed kids play area while you wait for your table to become available.  This is where the second machine can be found.

As you can see from the above, the pennies that the machine supplied are not too bad.  I’ll be interested to see how they hold up over time and whether they tarnish more easily due to the newer metallic combination used in modern minted pennies.

After T-Rex, we headed to the opposite side of the Marketplace area of Disney Springs to the Rainforest Cafe.  I’ve posted many times about Rainforest Cafes that I have visited in different cities.  They are all pretty similar and have animatronic elephants, gorillas and other jungle creatures situations around the restaurant.  The food is not my favorite, but I really enjoy the atmosphere and eat here probably more often than I should.

Just like T-Rex, they have a pretty large gift shop with lots of Rainforest Cafe logo merchandise.  Near the check-in area is where the penny machines are located.

The penny designs haven’t changed in this location either, just the increase to the cost and supplied pennies.

You can see the last design on the right rolled a bit short.  I actually tried to press this design about 4 times (yes $1 per attempt) and they all came out the same.  I did mention it to the staff and they gave me back $3 of my dollars and were going to report the machine so a tech can come and try to realign it.

Right next to that first machine is the second penny machine.

This set of pennies pressed without any issues and looked pretty good.  You may have noticed that there was a third machine here.  But that machine is a pressed quarter machine, the designs are the same and the cost has not changed it’s still $1.25 per quarter.  I’m crossing my fingers they don’t increase those machines.

Those were the two restaurants in Disney Springs so next we headed over to Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the next couple places.

In case you didn’t know there are actually two Rainforest Cafe restaurants on Disney property.

Similar to the one in Disney Springs they have three machines in total.  Two of them are penny machines, and the third is a quarter machine which hasn’t changed.

Other than the increase in cost not much has changed with the cabinet.

This was another nice set of pennies, and they pressed without any major issue.

The second machine squeezed in the middle.  Since these machines are located right near the main entrance it can be a bit busy here as people try to check-in for their reservations.

After pressing these pennies I started taking a closer look at the inner workings of the machine and noticed the hopper of where the pile of pennies is kept while they wait to be pressed.

That large pipe to the right of the hopper is just where they load the pennies into the machine.  It does hold quite a few pennies and I’d be curious how often they need to refill this.

Here is just a close up of the signage on the front of the machine reflecting the new $1.00 cost.  It does let you know “No Penny, No Problem: We Supply!”

Only one more restaurant to check out and it’s back in the Asia section of the park.  The restaurant is called Yak & Yeti with some Asian fusion food.  This is one of my favorite restaurants to eat at in the park, but it’s very busy and hard to get reservations for.  Walk-ins can happen but you have to try and go early.

The machine is located just inside the main doors by the check-in desk.  This is also the main area where people situate themselves while waiting for their table.  It can get very packed in here, and I had to wait a few minutes just to maneuver my way over to the machine.

Another cute set of pennies themed around the restaurant which I always like.  Well, that completes all the Landry’s restaurants on Walt Disney World property and is all of their pressed penny machines (other than the pressed quarter machines) that have been converted to $1.  On a side note both Disney Springs restaurants and the Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom do NOT require theme park admission.  Disney Springs currently has free parking so you could visit T-Rex and that Rainforest free of charge other than the $1 per penny.  Parking at Animal Kingdom as of 2019 is $26 but that will change without notice so it could be an expensive price to pay if you just want to go and get those Rainforest Cafe pennies.  Yak & Yeti is inside the park so you would need a ticket to access that machine.

There are still some 4-design penny machines around that haven’t been converted yet but we will keep our eyes open and report back as those are swamped out.  Happy Collecting!!

The Dino Institute NEW Pressed Pennies – Animal Kingdom

One area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom that seems to get overlooked a lot is Dinoland USA.  Most of this area is set up like a carnival with cheap carnival games, face painting, and a Dumbo style knockoff ride with flying Dino’s.

A few years ago there were rumors that this area was going to be changed to an Indiana Jones theme but nothing seems to have come of that.

But recently we did finally get something new in the form of a pressed penny machine.

Situated in the back corner of Dinoland is the Dinosaur attraction.  This is probably the only real reason to come to this area of the park.  However, if you don’t have a Fastpass for this ride you may be waiting in line for quite a while.

This ride is based on the computer-animated Disney movie Dinosaur released in 2000. You are loaded onto a jeep-like vehicle and taken back in time to try and locate a dinosaur.  But you don’t have much time due to a meteor about to hit earth to kickstart the dino extinction.  Thankfully you do manage to make it back and as you exit the ride you are placed inside The Dino Institute gift shop.

Inside is pretty typical with all the standard gift shop items.

The shop is not very wide but pretty long.  Situated about halfway through the store along one of the walls is where I found the penny machine.

As you can see from the nearby wall this place can use a little TLC.  It looks like a new coat of paint would do wonders.

The machine is an 8-design touch screen model.  The cost (for now) is still $1 per penny or $5 for all 8 pennies.  The machine is also pre-loaded with zinc pennies and you cannot use your own coins.

Above is a close up of the internal gears and penny dies.  They also have samples of the entire set on display.

The set at this machine is really cute with some fun designs from the Pixar movie The Good Dinosaur.  I understand the underlying theme here is dinosaurs, but it does seem a little strange to mix movies in this location.  One movie for the ride and a different one in the gift shop.  But I’ll try not to overthink this one as I really do like the designs on these pennies.  I guess since they are sticking with the Dino theme this land is going to stick around for a while.  Hopefully, we can get some updated attractions sometime in the near future or at the very least a new coat of paint in the gift shop!

Celebrating The Lion King Pressed Pennies – Animal Kingdom Mombasa Marketplace

With only a couple weeks left before the new live-action version of The Lion King is released in movie theaters, it appears Disney is starting to Celebrate.  I recently took a trip over to the Animal Kingdom park to see what was going on.

Before I even got near the Tree of Life I noticed banners and signage all over the place about Celebrating the Lion King.

They even had quite a detailed photo op with Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa.  There were some special food items like cupcakes and slush drinks themed around the Lion King but I was on the hunt for pennies.

Back and to the left of the Tree of Life is the African area of the park with lots of great live music, or shows always going on throughout the day.

In that area is an interesting store called Mombasa Marketplace.  On previous trips into this store, I’ve seen African musical instruments for sale or some really fantastic artwork.  But for now, it seems to have been taken over by the Lion King.

There were plush animals, t-shirts, and artwork.

This extended pretty much through the entire store.

There were a few of the musical instruments still around but far less than they usually have in stock.  There were quite a few Hakuna Matata t-shirts available as well.

I will admit I almost had to give in and ask a Cast member where the penny machine was located as I just couldn’t find it.  But eventually, I did spot it all the way in the back corner.

The machine was an 8-design pre-loaded penny machine with a touch screen.  The now standard payment options of cash, credit card or Apple Pay are available.

There cost of these machines has not changed (yet…fingers crossed) and is still $1 each or $5 for the entire set of 8 pennies.

The set includes images from both the original Lion King animated movie and a few from the newer Lion Guard tv series.

This is another great set of pennies and I’m glad to see Disney releasing some new designs from their older movies and even a tv series which is very unusual.  I’m getting used to these new machines and even though I would prefer to have the option to use my own pennies I think we can assume by now that is not going to happen.  Disneyland out on the West Coast is in a bit of a dry spell with new penny machines, so I’m not going to complain too much as we have definitely been getting a lot of new and fun designs at the Walt Disney World parks even if they do press on zinc pennies.

Walt Disney World Theme Parks “Coin Set”

One evening I was over at Disney’s Magic Kingdom with nothing in particular on the agenda.  I always feel very fortunate to be able to visit the parks as often as I do, and sometimes go just to walk through the parks and take in the magic.  Whenever possible I offer to help families take pictures, or help guide someone that looks a bit lost.

Of course, as I wander around the parks I’m also keeping an eye our on the pressed penny machines.  Trying to keep up to date on if new machines have shown up, or existing machines have been changed or removed.  I walked over to Storybook Circus to check on the penny machine in the Big Top Souvenir shop (which FYI was removed and we think being changed into a $1 per penny machine click here to read more).

While I was inside I took a look at some of the new items and on this spinning rack fixture something caught my eye.

This was a package of what they titled a “Coin Set”.

It also had the official “Authentic Original Disney Parks” seal of approval.

The cost for the coins was $12.99, so that’s $3.25 per coin not including tax.  I also received a passholder discount which helped reduce the cost a bit.

Once I got home I took them out of the package to get a better look.  Each coin is a different color.  I don’t think they are actually made out of different metals, but rather just a different coating.  Each coin represents the different theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and the Animal Kingdom.  The coins also include the year that each of the parks was originally opened.

On the back of each coin is the corresponding park name and logo.

These coins are pretty hefty and do have some weight to them.  I tried to take a bit of a profile picture above so you could see how thick they are.  They are pretty cool and I just couldn’t resist picking up a set for my collection.  I doubt this would be an ongoing series with new coins being released periodically but with Disney, you just never know.  So far the Big Top Souvenir store is the only place I’ve seen this coin set available, but I’m sure they can be found in other stores on property you just have to keep your eyes open for them.