Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary – WDW Florida

Update at the bottom (4/18/18)
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In just over a week it will be April 22, 2018 also known as Earth Day and my birthday.  However around here in Florida this is also known as the day Disney’s Animal Kingdom celebrates it birthday.  Back on April 22, 1998 the park first opened and as the cast members say “It’s not a zoo it a jungle out there.”

Now for anyone that can do some simple math next Sunday will mark the 20th anniversary of Animal Kingdom.  As Disney is known to do they are celebrating this big achievement in style.

A lot of the gift shops have all sorts of 20th anniversary merchandise including pins, t-shirts, mugs, magic bands and lots more.

Plus a nice special treat for us pressed penny collectors, six new special penny designs.  Now these are spread out in three different machines in the park.  The first one is located back in Rafiki’s Planet Watch at the Conservation Station.

To get here you need to take the Harambe Railroad on a short trip, and then a long walk back to the conservation station.  Please note that this place is not open the same hours as the park.  On my recent trip I was just able to get on the last train which left the station at 4:30pm and it was closing at 5pm.  Make sure you check the hours before trying to collect these coins as it may not be open if you are visiting later in the day.

Inside the conservation station you can meet Doc McStuffins, and sometimes Rafiki himself.  Towards the back of the building in the corner is where the penny machine is located.

This machine has been here for a year or so with other designs which have now been replaced.  In this machine all three of the designs have been changed and are of Simba, Timon and Pumbaa from The Lion King.  All designs say “Disney’s Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary.”

After taking the train back to Harambe Station in Africa you can head towards the icon of the park The Tree of Life.

Sorry I really like this tree and the details of it when you get up close are really amazing.  If you stay late enough once it gets dark there is also a new projection show on the tree where the animals all come to life.  The next set of pennies is actually located outside the park at The Outpost Shop.

This shop is right near the tram loading area just before the security check at the entrance to the park.

As with the other stores inside the park you can also get some 20th Anniversary merchandise.

This store has two penny machines inside.  The first machine has three images but only two of them have been changed.

For you Up! fans out there you can get new designs of Doug and Russell both with “Disney’s Animal Kingdom 20th Anniversary” included in the image.

On the other side of the store is the second machine, but this has only one design that was changed.

Keeping with the Up! designs this machine has a new image of Kevin also with the “20th Anniversary” as part of the design.  Kind of a strange way to disperse six new designs over three machines but who am I to complain.  I love these special sets and hope they do more.  I was at Epcot’s 35th anniversary last year and was sad to see now special coins were available.  Hopefully if this is a success they will continue to offer more like these.  When I pressed these coins earlier today they were definitely popular and lots of people were waiting in line to press their own.

Here is a shot of the complete set of six designs that are currently available.  I’m not sure if these will be permanent or only available for a limited time.  If you get a chance to press these make sure you do just in case they don’t stick around and it’s a really great set of pennies.
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Updated 04/18/2018:
I’m not sure if this was an unintentional mistake but the set of pressed pennies listed above from the Pixar movie Up! were just recently combined into one machine.  Initially as I had listed above two of the designs were in one machine and the third was in a separate machine both located in The Outpost Shop.

As you can see from the marquee picture below the designs have not changed they were just combined into one machine.

This does seem to make a little more than having the set split up among two machines, but both machines were in the same store so you didn’t really have far to go to find them initially.  In any case for now if you are interested in this 20th Anniversary set you just have to find the one machine.

2018 Dated Walt Disney World Pressed Coins Set (Completed)

Click here to see my YouTube channel video on all these coins
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They’re here!!  It’s that time of year again and the 2018 dated pressed coins have started showing up all over property.  I spent the good part of my weekend driving to all the parks and resorts in an attempt to get all these new coins.  But unfortunately not all of them have been made available.  Just like the last few years there will be a total of 15 designs.  I was able to get 11 of them, and will be updating this post as I acquire the last 4.  I’m sure these final few designs will be made available in the next couple weeks at the latest.  So let’s get started.

My trip started early Saturday morning at the Animal Kingdom.  To my surprise the large crowds were there to visit Pandora and not get these brand new coins.  But I guess that works out better for us collectors.

   

Located in Dinoland USA in a store called Chester & Hester’s Dino Treasures.  The penny at this machine has 2018 with the new slogan “The Year to be Here” and a small Tree of Life.

   

The second machine in the Animal Kingdom is at the Harambe Railroad Station platform.  This train will take you to Rafiki’s Planet Watch but is not required to use the machine.  This machine pressed a quarter of Pluto and the year 2018.

After leaving Animal Kingdom my next stop was over at the All-Star Sports resort.  Located just outside the Game Point Arcade is where the machine is found.

   

This machine had 2018 Donald Duck pressed on a quarter.  Thankfully the next machine wasn’t too far away and just down the street in the All-Star Music resort.

   

Spending more time just outside the Note’able Games arcade to use the machine and press a quarter with 2018 Minnie Mouse.  I grabbed a quick snack in the food court and hopped back in my car for the next stop.

I was making pretty good time heading all over Disney property and found myself at Epcot for the next three machines.  First was in the Mouse Gear gift shop.

   

This penny design is similar to the one I collected earlier at the Animal Kingdom except it has Spaceship earth and 2018 The Year to be Here.  Somehow I managed to leave this store without buying anything which almost never happens, but my wallet definitely thanked me.  After leaving the store I headed towards the World Showcase and into the Disney Traders store.

   

Every time I use this machine I think it should do more than just press pennies as it looks pretty fancy.  But alas is just pressed pennies which is still fine with me.  The design from this machine is on a penny and is the main mouse himself Mickey leaning on the 2018.  With the penny safely stored away I checked my Disney Parks app and was able to grab a fastness for Soarin’ which is one of my favorite rides.

Over at the Land pavilion I headed in to use my fastness, but once done I headed upstairs towards the Garden Grill which is a revolving restaurant where you can meet Mickey, Pluto and Chip and Dale.  Right beside the restaurant is also where I found the next machine.

   

Just like in the restaurant this pressed quarter has the dynamic duo of Chip and Dale underneath a Mickey ears hat and 2018.  For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to leave my car in the Epcot parking lot and take the monorail over to the next two stops.  Once back at the Ticketing and Transportation center I switched monorail and decided to check out the Contemporary Resort first.

For anyone that has taken the monorail over to the Contemporary you exit onto a planform and then need to take an escalator down to the fourth floor concourse.  This is where you can find Chef Mickey’s or the Contempo Cafe for something to each.  But this is also where the Game Station arcade.

   

The first machine here had a design of Goofy with 2018 The Year to be Here.

   

A few steps to the left and I was face to face with the second machine offering a 2018 design.  This machine had an image of Minnie Mouse and The Year to Be Here pressed on a quarter.  I left the arcade and headed back up to the monorail platform so I could head into the Magic Kingdom.

   

Immediately upon entering the kingdom I headed underneath the Main Street Railroad station.  There are two machines down here but only the quarter machine had a new 2018 Cinderella’s Castle design.  A little further up main street I headed into the Emporium for the last available 2018 design.

   

This one is probably my favorite this year.  It has 2018 with the soon to be famous tag line for this year (I promise not to type it down again).  But the big winner on this penny is the image of Walt and Mickey holding hands.  This is based on the famous Partners statue that is a reminder to all how this all started.

Update 01/09/17:
I made it over for a quick follow-up visit to Disney’s flagship Grand Floridian Resort & spa.  About a week ago I visited here and the design hadn’t been updated, but on this visit the change had finally been made.  It’s on the second floor concourse right near the doors that led out to the monorail platform.  This design is of Chip & Dale under a Mickey Ears hat and the year 2018.

   

Update 01/10/17:
After work I took a quick drive over to Hollywood Studios to try to get the penny that was released in the Rock Around the Shop.  This is the gift store at the exit to Rockin’ Roller Coaster.  However, if you are a chicken like me and don’t want to ride the coaster, you can just walk in the “Exit” and up the ramp into the store.  The design is of Mickey’s face with 2018 and the new slogan.

   

Update 01/13/17:
Since we are just out of the holiday season I don’t want to say this is a slow time at the parks but it is a little less crowded.  Due to this the parks all have much shorter operating hours during the week so it was hard to get into the Magic Kingdom after work.  However I was finally able to get over there today and get the pressed penny at Sir Mickey’s

Updated 01/24/2017:
The last pressed quarter finally showed up today but it wasn’t where we were anticipating it to be.  It was rumored that this coin would be available in the same location as last year which is the Stage 1 Company (Muppets) gift shop in Hollywood Studios.  But due to this location being partially under construction and the machine mysteriously behind a construction wall this design was moved (temporarily?) to the All-Star Movies Resort.  Right alongside the other 3 machines in the World Premier Food Court is where you can find this last design.

 

This design may not be here all year and potentially could move over to the Muppets store in Hollywood Studios once construction is completed, but only time will tell.

Here’s a look at the eight pressed penny designs.

and the seven pressed quarter designs.

These new 2018 pressed coins are really nice again this year.  This has become one of my favorite times of year for collecting pressed coins.  It’s exciting to see the new designs and of course a lot of fun to trek around property collecting them all.  Make sure to grab a set or two for your collection before the year ends.

Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jiko / The Mara / Pumbaa’s Fun & Games

When my wife and I first got married we were in the middle of buying a new house, and having a our first child so we didn’t get to have a honeymoon.  We had always planned on taking a honeymoon at some point but kept pushing it off.  Finally I decided it was time to do something and as if we don’t already get enough Disney fun, we booked a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas.

I’ll get into this a little more in a future post, but we arrived a day early for our cruise to Orlando so we could do some shopping for our new house (Spoiler) that we are having build in Florida.  We had a very early flight from Jersey to Orlando and spent the entire day shopping.  Even though we were pretty exhausted from the day I had booked a dinner reservation at Jiko which is a signature restaurant at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  This was a place we have wanted to try in the past, and today was the day to go and we weren’t going to miss it.

I’ve said it before but this is really am amazing resort to visit.  We haven’t stayed here yet, but have visited a few times during a down day just to walk around.  It’s really a treat for the senses when you come to visit this resort.

Of course there are the Savannah’s towards the back of the resort that let some of your favorite exotic animals roam around.  Some like the giraffes have feeding times you can go and watch or help with if you are lucky enough.

We were running a little late for our reservation, and the maps for this resort can be a little confusing.  But after heading outside by the pool, then back inside we eventually found Jiko.

Jiko stands for The Cooking Place which is a central location where people would gather to enjoy each others company and community dining.  In the middle of this restaurant is a cool area you can sit at a high bar type table and watch the chefs create the starter courses available on the menu.

We were seated at a table towards the back in a nice quiet area.  The wait staff was very attentive and explained all about Jiko, the decorations and art inside, the cooking styles and always wanted to ensure all our questions were answered.  For a started we decided to try the Taste of Africa.

This was a similar bread and dip sampler to what we had a few months ago a Sanaa also located in the Animal Kingdom.  However this one had fewer options but was still very good.  It included unique “breads” like Pappadum, Sesame Fatir, Flax-Seed Naan, and also came with a variety of African inspired dips.

For my main course I went with the 7 oz oak-grilled filet that I had heard a lot of good things about.  It was service over top of bobotie mac and cheese, asparagus, and a South African red wine sauce.  The spices used on the steak and in the mac and cheese were from a different spice palette than what I’m used to but was a nice change and very unique and tasty.

My wife had a Moroccan Lamb Tagine which was basically a huge lamb shank with parsnip and root spinach.  It was fall apart tender and very juicy but a huge portion which would have been difficult for most to finish in one sitting.  We were offered dessert but were so stuffed by that time that we chose to pass (Yikes!).  Instead of just heading right back out to our card we decided to try to walk off a bit of our dinner by wandering around the resort a bit.  Just outside Jiko towards the main pool we ran into the quick service cafeteria style eatery called The Mara.

As with all the other resorts this place includes various stations with different types of food at each.  Your standard flatbread pizzas, salads, and chicken nuggets are all available here.  We went inside to get a small dessert I had heard about called Zebra Domes.

So what exactly is a zebra dome?  Well the explanation is as follows: An Amarula cream liquor mousse covered with a panna cotta like white chocolate, drizzled with chocolate stripes and chocolate shavings.  These come in a nice to-go package of four so you can snack on them as you walk.  Please note that these do have liquor in them so you may want to avoid letting your little ones try them.  I believe they do offer non-alcoholic versions but didn’t see any when I was there.  Before heading back outside I found two coin press machines just near the main set of doors.

   

The first machine had three penny designs available including Shenzi (Hyena leader from The Lion King), Terk Tantor & Young Tarzan, and Pleakley from Lilo & Stitch.

   

Right next to the penny machine was a second machine that had one quarter design available.  This machine would press an image of Pumbaa and Simba from the Lion King with the Animal Kingdom Lodge logo on it.  We headed back outside and just a short walk away found the next stop.

Pumbaa’s Fun & Games is the resorts arcade.  It has your standard air hockey table, and classic arcade games.  Just outside the door to the arcade was the third coin press machine at this resort.

   

The cabinet design on this machine was really fun and reminded me of the machines they have over at the Animal Kingdom theme park.  This machine also had three designs which included Safari Mickey, Safari Minnie, and Mike from Monsters, Inc.

By this time our long day had finally caught up to us and we were ready to head back for some sleep before our cruise started the next day.  The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a bit out of the way, and if you don’t have a rental car may be tough to get too on the Disney bus system.  But it is doable (I’ve done it in the past) and is well worth the trip over to experience it in person.  Don’t forget to get the pennies located here, and with the layout of the resort can be like a treasure hunt to find them.  Happy hunting!

2016 WDW Trip Day 5 – Animal Kingdom Lodge / Art of Animation Resort

After an eventful morning at the Animal Kingdom park we left shortly after noon to try to make our lunch reservation at a new place we had never been to before.  We left the parking lot and just a short drive away we drove up to the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

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The security guard at the gat was very nice in explaining where we needed to go.  After parking the car we headed inside and were just blown away with this resort.  The details they included here are really amazing, and towards the back of the lobby were huge windows giving you a fantastic view of the Savanna the resort surrounds.

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We took the staircase down one level and found the restaurant lunch Sanaa which I have been wanting to try for a while and have heard nothing but great things about.

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After a few minutes wait while they got our table ready we were given a tour of the restaurant on our way to the table.

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There were some tables right up near the large windows to look out at the Savanna, but unfortunately our group was too large and weren’t able to get one of these tables.

sanaa-view

But regardless there are fantastic views from pretty much every table inside.  Throughout our meal we were able to see various animals, and birds come right passed the windows which makes this a unique dining experience.  The food is definitely not what we are used to eating but was still excellent.

sanaa-bread-service

The Indian-style bread service appetizer was the most talked about.  We opted for the full tasting option which included 5 different naan breads, and 9 different sauces/accompaniments.  This was our chance to try something outside our comfort zone but not be too crazy and this was really a great find and experience.  Weeks after our vacation was over this was the one place we all kept talking about.  It’s not necessarily the easiest place to get to if you aren’t staying at this resort, but that’s what makes this a hidden gem and well worth the extra time to get there.

After lunch we did spend a little time wandering around the resort and came to a conclusion that we were going to try to stay here on an upcoming trip.  I can only imagine how cool the rooms are, especially if you get one that looks out over the savanna.  Eventually we got back to our car, but didn’t want to got back to our resort right away.  I mentioned checking our another resort The Art of Animation which is a value resort but with really nice theming.  Last year I made a trip myself over to this resort to check it out and wrote about it here.  This time I wanted the rest of my family to check it out and Hanna really got a kick out of the Cars characters.

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When we were don’t walking around the resort we went back into the main building and got some drinks and snacks from their food court for the ride back.  While we were inside I took the opportunity to update my pressed coins from this resort.

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Both these machines have some really detailed designs.  This first machine has pennies with images of Nemo, Lightning McQueen, and The Art of Animation Resort Logo.

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The second machine has pennies with designs of Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Simba from The Lion King, and Mater from Pixar’s Cars.  By this time we were about ready for an afternoon nap.  We headed back to our resort and took the rest of the afternoon off just to rest and recharge.  Our dinner reservation was later that evening but thankfully it was just over in the Yacht Club Resort which was just a short walk away.

yachtmans-steakhouse

The Yachtsman Steakhouse was another fantastic meal.  Coming from Jersey we have visited some really great Steakhouses in New York City, but this was really a nice find.  Upon entering the restaurant we passed by their meat aging room, which is also where they hand cut the different steaks.

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They do have an open kitchen so you can see everything going on, and the staff is very friendly and greeted us as we passed by.  Our table was a little further back but our wait staff were fantastic.

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The food was also really top-notch, but please note that the price definitely reflects this.  But we were so impressed with everything that we felt the cost was definitely justified.

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I started with a French Onion Soup which I have any time it’s on the menu.  My main course was a 10 oz Black Angus Filet Mignon with mashed potatoes and a Cabernet wine sauce which is pictured above.

When we were done it was a good thing our resort was a quick walk away.  We were completely stuffed but the nice walk along the water helped our digestion.  This has been a fun day filled with new adventures and new food favorites we would absolutely be trying again.  Tomorrow was the Wedding Day so we made it an early night.

2016 WDW Trip Day 5 – Animal Kingdom

This day’s schedule had us visiting the Animal Kingdom in the morning, but I had booked us a lunch reservation at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  This was causing me some indigestion to try to figure out the best way for us to enjoy the park but still be able to make it over for lunch.  We decided to get to the park as early as possible so we had more than enough time to do everything we wanted.

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Just after the security check point but before the actual entrance to the park is one of the multiple locations of the Rainforest Cafe that are available on property.

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They serve breakfast at this location which I think is the only one that does so, but I just wanted to use the machines inside.

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The first three machines are right inside the main entrance.  The machine on the left has pennies  with images of Maya the Jaguar, Cha Cha the Tree Frog, Iggy the Iguana, and Ozzie the Orangutan.  The second machine has designs including Bamba the Gorilla, Cha Cha the Tree Frog, a Mockingbird with Rio the Macaw, and Tuki the Baby Elephant.

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The third machine near the entrance had images of an Alligator, a Mockingbird (Florida State Bird), a Crab, and Two Hot Air Balloons.  The last machine pressed on quarters and had images of an Orangutan, a Frog, a Fish, and a Butterfly all with Rainforest Cafe Orlando, FL included in the designs.  With all these coins collected I ran back outside and met us with my family.  Just as we were about to head into the park I noticed that we were in a perfect spot to catch a glimpse of the Floating Mountains soon to be revealed in the new “Avatar Land”, technically the actual name is Pandora: The World of Avatar.

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Disney has announced that this new area of Animal Kingdom will open the Summer of 2017.  Not exact date has been officially announced and of course there are a ton of rumors.  But I will say I am really excited to check this brand new state of the art area once it’s open.  Next we headed straight back to the Tree of Life, watched the flying birds opening ceremony and immediately headed to DinoLand USA.  Hanna loves the TriceraTop Spin ride which is exactly like Dumbo just with Dinosaurs.  While they waited to get on I headed nearby to Chester & Hester’s Dino Treasures.

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Unfortunately as you can see from the picture on the left above this machine was out-of-order when I visited.  This machine when working had another of the 2016 designs with Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey, an Iguanodon, and a Carnotaurus.  The second machine on the right was located outside the store and was in perfect working condition.  This machine had designs of Paleontologist Mickey, Terk, and Scar from The Lion King.  I got back to the Flying Dino ride just in time to see Hanna and my wife soaring through the sky.  When the ride was over Hanna insisted on going again.  There wasn’t much of a line so they hopped right back on.  This gave me another opportunity to check out a couple other nearby machines.

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The Restaurantosaurus is a quick service location which some interesting menu options.  Right before you enter there is a penny machine on the front porch area.

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This machine has three pennies available with images of Tarzan & Jane, Donald dressed like a Dinosaur, and a Dinosaur Fossil.  At this early in the morning this restaurant is not open, however the doors were unlocked and I knew there was another machine somewhere inside.  Once inside I found myself wondering straight into a staff meeting of cast members.  I apologized for interrupting and asked if they could point me in the direction of the penny machine.  They were more than happy to help and showed me where it was in one of the back dining areas among a bunch of tables.

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This was probably the most convenient time I could have used this machine since no one was in there eating.  But if you go during any other time of the day this area may be packed with people making this a little more difficult to access.  The pennies here included three separate images of Dinosaurs.  To be honest I have no idea what kind of Dino’s these are so I’m not even going to guess.  Here’s a close up of the marquee so you can see the designs.

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My family all met up just outside this area of the DinoLand USA area and I noticed Hanna convinced her Grandparents she needed to have her face painted.

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We then started off to the next area of the park.  Along the way we passed the Everest coaster which I get vertigo just looking at from the ground, but went into the gift shop called the Serka Zong Bazaar.

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The first penny image I have always like since it first became available.  It’s a cute cartoon version of the Yeti you encounter on the Everest ride.  The other two designs are of Mountain Climber Mickey, and the Everest Coaster Logo.

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It was about time for our Fastpass to the Safari jeep ride so we headed over there first.  Hanna actually stayed awake this year and enjoyed helping our guide point out the different animals along the way.  When the safari was over we headed to the Harambe Railway Station.

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There are two machines located in the waiting area for the train.  Just be sure to not delay too long as you may miss the train if you don’t press the coins quick enough.  The machine on the left pressed quarters and had the 2016 Pluto design, Simba & Nala, and Shere Khan.  The second machine has pennies designs including Tarzan, Pumbaa, and Professor Archimedes from Tarzan.  I finished up just in time and jumped right on the train.  This takes you up to the Conservation Station which our kids had a great time at last year and we were anticipating the same.  After we got off the train there is a long walk to the Conservation Station but this is a great place to take a quick bathroom break and enjoy the air conditioning.

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The above machine was new for 2016.  The images on these pennies were of Goofy with a Giraffe, Donald with a Map, and Timon & Pumbaa.  My daughter Hanna helped me press these coins and just as we were done she saw a familiar face make an appearance for a meet and greet so we headed right over and got in line.

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Recently at home Hanna has become a fan of The Lion Guard which is a TV show based on a movie that is a new sequel to Lion King.  Yikes did you get all that?  Anyways my wife had to explain this to me as I couldn’t figure out how Hanna new who Rafiki was, but that explained it.  She really enjoyed meeting Rafiki and he was really great with her not rushing her on and spending quite a bit of time with her.  I’m sure it helped that there were only a few people in line at that time.  Back outside there is a petting zoo which we had to drag Hanna away from last year, but this year she petted a few sheep and goats but was almost dragging the adults out this time around.  Melody seemed to be enjoying herself, but that may be due to us escorting her around like royalty.

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We made our way back to the train and once off were in the Africa area of the park.  We had a fastpass coming up but had time for a quick snack at the Tamu Tamu refreshments stand.  Hanna got an ice cream sundae and I opted for a Dole Whip with Coconut rum.  We ate our snacks as we wandered back over towards the Asia part of the park.

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The Yak & Yeti is a restaurant we have eaten at a few times over the years.  We have always had enjoyable food and great service, but I do know some people who have said otherwise.  We enjoy it so we usually try to go each time we are at this park, but this year we had other lunch plans so I just ran inside to use the penny machine.

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The designs on these pennies include the Himalaya Mountains, a Yak, Two Tibetan Mastiffs, and a Pagoda.  Our fastpass for a character meet and greet had started so we just took a quick trip over the bridge to Discovery Island and scanned our magic bands to enter the greeting area.

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We still had to wait a few minutes in a queue but once we rounded the corner and Hanna saw who we were going to meeting she could hardly contain herself.  Mickey and Minnie in Safari outfits was a cute theme.  We got a lot of pictures and they definitely took their time interacting with both Hanna and Melody.  Hanna didn’t want to let Minnie’s hand go at the end but we promised to come back again another time.  It was getting closer to lunch time and we needed to start heading back to the parking lot so we could try to make it to our reservation.  We didn’t get to hit up all the attractions at the Animal Kingdom we wanted to but did get most of them done.  Thankfully once we were back in our car we didn’t have too far to go.  Check back to see where we went for lunch and if we run into any other penny machines (Hint: Absolutely).

2017 Walt Disney World Pressed Coins – Follow Up

** See below for contest to win a free set of 2017 WDW coins **

For those of you that read my original post with the concept design pictures of the new 2017 pressed coin designs this is a quick follow-up.  Shortly after that post I was contacted by a representative at CTM Group (The Pennymen), and we traded a few messages back and forth.  They were nice enough to offer a copy of the entire set of coins fresh from the machines throughout the resort so I could post pictures of the actual coins.

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Above is a picture of all the coins together.  There are the same number as last year but I think the designs this year have definitely gone up in detail.

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Here I have a picture of all the penny designs together.

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Next are all the quarter designs.

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The picture above shows a close up of a cool little sub-set within the 2017 dates set.  Each theme park had one design with Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey in the middle, and an icon from each park above his head.  For Epcot there is Spaceship Earth, Animal Kingdom has the Tree of Life, Hollywood Studios has The Tower of Terror, and the Magic Kingdom of course has Cinderella’s Castle.  These four designs are a numbered set which is listed directly on each coin.

2017-favorite

All of these designs are really nice this year, but I must say the one listed above is my personal favorite.  When I first saw it I just thought it was fantastic.  This design is located in the Magic Kingdom at the Main Street Railroad Station.  It’s cool that all four of the park iconic symbols are all on one coin along with the 2017 year.  This is really a great way to start off the new year.

Obviously these will be around for the entire year, but do not hesitate to get yourself a set.  These are a great addition to any collection and will be gone before you know it.

**Thank you to the CTM Group team for all their work on these new designs, and for taking the time to reach out.  It was very much appreciated!

CONTEST:
This is a chance for you to get a complete set of the 2017 Coins listed above.  This will include all 15 coins (8 Pennies and 7 Quarters).

All you need to do is post a comment below with any ideas you have for the 2018 annual set that you would like to see for next year.  This can be a set of movies, characters, ride or attractions, food (Mmm…Dole Whip Penny), let your imagination run wild.

Post as many times as you like.  Then at the end of the month (3/31/2017) I’ll randomly select a winner and will contact you for your mailing information.

Good luck!!

2017 Walt Disney World Pressed Coins

We are just a couple of days away from a brand new year and just this evening I was browsing some websites and came across an early surprise.  On one of my trips to WDW last year I noticed that a lot of the pressed coin machines had a website address listed to get the most up to date locations of all the machines across property.  I took a picture so I wouldn’t forget about it when I came home.

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This website has become just another routine I go through a few times a week.  I check out the website to see if anything has changed, moved or best of all a new machine is available.  Just a short while ago I was checking out the website and almost fell off my couch when I started to see new 2017 coins all around the parks.  Unfortunately I am not currently near Orlando and won’t be for a few weeks so I cannot actually confirm that these machines are up and running.  But I’m sending out requests to friends in the area to try to get pictures but most importantly press these beautiful new coins.  As I acquire the coins I’ll update this post with the actual pictures, but for now I wanted to share the images that are available on the above CTM Group website.

mk-emporium-2017   mk-sir-mickeys-2017

These first two coins are available in the Magic Kingdom.  The penny on the left is in the Emporium Store, and the penny on the right is at the Sir Mickey’s Gift Shop.

ept-disney-traders-2017   ept-mouse-gears-2017   ept-the-land-2017-qtr

The next three coins are located in Epcot.  The penny on the left is from the Disney Traders Gift Shop, the penny in the middle from the huge Mouse Gears Gift Shop, and the quarter on the right is from The Land Pavilion near the Garden Grill Restaurant.

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Over at Hollywood Studios there is just one coin listed at this time.  It’s available at what I call the Muppet’s Gift Shop but is technically referred to as the Stage One Company Store.

ak-chester-hester-2017   ak-wildlife-express-2017-qtr

Located in Animal Kingdom are the next couple coins.  The penny on the left is at Chester and Hester’s in Dinoland USA.  The quarter on the right is at the Wildlife Express Train Station.

rst-contemporary-resort-2017-qtr   rst-contemporary-resort-2017

The last batch of coins are available at various resorts.  However the resort locations have not changed from last year.  At the Contemporary Resort are the above two coins and are right near the Monorail station.

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A quick Monorail trip over to the Grand Floridian will get you to the next machine.  It’s still located on the second floor just inside the doors that lead to the Monorail station.

rst-all-star-music-2017-qtr   rst-all-star-sports-2017-qtr

Finally the last two quarters are over at the All-Star Resorts.  If you aren’t staying at these resorts they can be a bit out of the way to get.  The quarter on the left of Goofy is over at the All-Star Music resort just outside the Note’Able Games Arcade.  The quarter on the right of Donald is at the All-Star Sports resort outside the Game Point Arcade.

UPDATE:

hs-rock-around-the-shop-2017 mk-ms-train-station-2017-qtr

Found images of the “last” two 2017 designs that will be available.  I’m just assuming they are sticking with the 15 designs but we can always hope for more.  The above penny on the left is located at Hollywood Studios in the Rock Around the Shop, and the quarter on the right is in the Magic Kingdom at the Main Street Train Station.

Happy collecting, and have a great New Years!!

Flashback – 100 Years of Magic 2002 WDW

Every few years Disney has a celebration that extends through the theme parks and of course their merchandise.  Thankfully for us pressed coin collectors this can also mean special limited designs are available for only a few months or if we are lucky up to a year.  With some of the new coins for this year already showing up I have noticed that 2016 apparently is the year Disney will celebrate Music, Magic and Memories.

This got me thinking about another celebration that was going on during one of my visits to Walt Disney World.  As we flashback to 2002 the resort was celebrating 100 Years of Magic.  This was to commemorate 100 years since Walt’s birth.

I visited the resort in the summer of 2002 just on a small vacation with some friends. In preparing for this post I went through some old pictures trying to find anything that had the 100 Years of Magic designs but couldn’t find anything.  However what does stick in my mind was the huge assortment of pressed quarters that were available throughout the theme parks and resorts.  I must admit that at this time I wasn’t as obsessed with collecting pressed coins and would only use my spare change to pick a few random designs, and this pains me to this day.  Especially as I look back at this special set which I really think was a great collection.  I only picked up a few of the coins during that trip, and the years since I have spent trying to fill in the missing designs.

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In total there were about 50 designs available during this celebration.  As you can see from the above picture I have 11 so far, but I keep searching and trading whenever I come across another design needed to finish this set.  I’m not sure what it is exactly about this set, but I just really enjoy it and think the designs are great.

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These designs covered all aspects of the parks as well as each resort and other areas of the property.  The above design was what I considered the main design for the celebration.  It has Mickey sitting on top of the 100 Years of Magic logo.

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One of my personal favorites the monorail was also available to press.  Another nice detail on each of these coins is the established date.  Monorail Est 1971.

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Here is definitely a flashback, Pleasure Island Est 1989.  For those young ones out there this is the original Downtown Disney area.  I remember after a certain time of night you had to show ID that you were over 21 to access the numerous clubs and bars.  Next up the resorts.

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The Polynesian Resort Est. 1971.

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Animal Kingdom Lodge Est. 2001

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Wilderness Lodge Est. 1994

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Beach Club Resort Est. 1990

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Pop Century Resort Est. 2002

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Coronado Springs Resort Est. 1997

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Port Orleans Resort French Quarter Est. 1991

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Port Orleans Resort Riverside Est. 1992

I still have quite a way to go before completing this set, but the hunting and searching is part of the fun.  Be on the lookout whenever you are out collecting for special edition designs you just never know when you may come across them.  However make sure you have enough pocket change to get the entire set because you just never know when you may be able to find those coins again.

Conservation Station – Animal Kingdom WDW

In the Animal Kingdom located near the African section of the park there is a Train Station for the Wildlife Express.  Before having kids I used to refer to this as the train to nowhere.  It was a nice little train ride which lasted maybe 5 minutes or so, then you would get off and walk what seemed like half a mile to a building.  We usually just made a pit stop in the bathroom, grabbed a frozen Mickey ice cream and headed back to the train for a return to trip.  There really wasn’t much to do at what was known as Rafiki’s Planet Watch and now the Conservation Station.

But on our last family trip we made the train ride up and our kids loved it there.  The favorite was the petting zoo which we had to drag them out of after about an hour or so.  Now when we visit while the kids interact with the petting zoo animals I can take a quick stroll over to the Conservation Station and use the new 3 design electric penny machine that was just put on stage.

AK - Conservation Station Pennies

These designs each say Worldwide Conservation Fund on them and include designs of Donald looking at a map, Goofy standing by a giraffe, and our favorite Lion King gang Timon, Pumbaa and Simba.

Years ago there were a few machines located here which is really why I made the trip to nowhere, but a couple of years ago they were removed.  It’s kind of out of the way to get here, but now that the kids enjoy visiting their barnyard friends it’s a trip worth taking.

2016 WDW Pennies & Quarters

They’re here!!!

It’s that time of year again and Walt Disney World has released their new 2016 pressed penny and quarter designs at various locations throughout the resort.  Just like last year they have released 15 designs in total.

2016 WDW Complete Set

As you can see above there is a nice variety of designs including the famous Disney Characters, the castle and even the ones with just the 2016 year listed.

2016 WDW Pennies All

Here is a shot of just the penny designs which just like last year have 8 designs in total, and below is a picture of the 7 quarter designs.

2016 WDW Quarters Complete

Now let me go over each individual coin so you can see a close up and I’ll review where to find each one.

2016 Magic Kingdom Penny 02

First up we will visit the Magic Kingdom where you can find 4 of these designs.  The picture above is of Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey with his hands outstretched is pressed on a penny and available at Sir Mickey’s Store near Cinderella’s Castle.

2016 Magic Kingdom Penny 03

The penny on the left is of Cinderella’s Castle and can be found at the Emporium on Main Street.

2016 Magic Kingdom Penny 01

The third design is also on a penny and shows Apprentice Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Pluto surrounding the 2016.  This penny is available at the Splashdown Photos Preview at the end of Splash Mountain (Tip: You don’t need to actually go on the ride but can walk back trough the gift shop towards the exit of Splash Mountain to access this machine).

2016 Magic Kingdom QTR 01

The only 2016 quarter design available in the Magic Kingdom can be found at the Main Street Railroad Station at the bottom of the stairs.  The image is of Cinderella’s Castle above the 2016.

2016 Epcot Penny

Over at Epcot they have two designs available.  The first is located in the huge Mouse Gears gift shop in Future World.  The penny had Apprentice Mickey controlling the waves surrounding him.

2016 Epcot QTR

A short walk over towards The Land is where you will find the second coin at Epcot.  It’s located right outside the Garden Grill revolving restaurant and has Donald with a Tuba wrapped around his neck.

2016 Animal Kingdom Penny

At the Animal Kingdom park the penny design is available at Chester & Hester’s Dino Treasures.  Are you noticing a theme here?  This design also has an image of Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey with his magic wand.

2016 Animal Kingdom QTR

The second coin is available at the Harambe Railway Station.  Here you will find the quarter design which has Pluto playing a saxophone.

2016 Hollywood Studios Penny

So far Disney hasn’t released the new name of this park so for now I’m still going to call it Hollywood Studios.  This park also has two designs available.  The first is a penny located at the Prop Shop along with about 12 other machines (not really but pretty close).  This is a nice image of 2016 with the Sorcerer’s Hat on top of the zero.

HS - Mickeys of Hollywood 2016 QTR

UPDATED: This quarter design is in a machine that was originally located at the Mickeye’s of Hollywood store, but was moved to the Pizza Planet in Hollywood Studios.  My friend was able to find the machine at the Pizza Planet but recently it seems to have gone missing.  If any of you have been keeping up with Disney renovation news the Pizza Planet is about to be closed down (maybe moved) to make room for the new Star Wars and Toy Story lands.

2016 Contemporary Resort Penny

Time to ride the monorail.  First stop is the Contemporary Resort, and the awesome wall of pressed coin machines located on the 4th floor concourse directly below the monorail platform.  The penny design has 2016 in the middle surrounded by 6 different Disney characters.

2016 Contemporary Resort QTR

The machine with the quarter design is also located on the 4th floor concourse.  This is a really nice coin.  2016 is in the middle and surrounded by Music, Magic, Memories (2016’s theme) and a banner that says Where magic lives.

2016 Grand Floridian Resort Penny

Three monorail stops later and we are at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.  Taking the monorail will have you on the exact floor of the resort you need to be for the penny machine.  It’s located on the 2nd floor Lobby and has an image of Goofy playing a drum.

2016 All-Star Sports QTR

These last two will require a trip on a bus (or take your car) over to the All-Star Resorts.  The first stop is at the All-Star Sports Resort to find the above quarter design located at the Game Point Arcade.  The image is of Minnie Mouse playing a Bass Violin.

2016 All-Star Music QTR

Just one resort over and you arrive at the All-Star Music Resort.  The quarter machine is located at the Note-able Games Arcade and shows Daisy playing a violin.

Whew!!  That’s the whole set for this year, and as I said last year it looks like they are really trying to up the ante each year which I think is completely awesome.  I like that there are no duplicate designs this year and can’t wait to see what is in store for the rest of the year.