First 2020 Penny Set and Souvenir Medallion – Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World has started releasing the 2020 coins.  The machines with the individual designs in each park and a few resorts are still coming out and I’ll have a big post about all of those once they are available.

However, there were a few separate 2020 coins that were released and I thought I would go ahead and share them with you separately.

First was over at Disney Springs in the Pin Trader store.  This location does have quite a few penny machines but those designs have not changed.  The new design that I came across was in the Collectible Medallion machine.

This machine seems to have its designs swapped out on a fairly regular schedule.  I feel like I was just over here getting a new coin not too long ago.

The cost of these coins is still the same at $5 per coin or 3 for $10.  Above is a picture of all the current designs available.  The second design from the left is the one we had found just a few weeks ago.

This medallion is pretty similar to the 2019 version it replaced.  It has a similar Disney Springs pattern on the front with Mickey Mouse on top obviously now it has 2020.  The back design is still the standard Disney Springs logo on all the other medallions here.

Next, we actually headed into the Magic Kingdom.  We visited on January 4th and it was a crazy madhouse.  Thankfully we weren’t going in too far for these new penny designs and just headed into the Main Street Railroad Station.

Not too long ago this location used to have a 3-design pressed quarter machine, but that was replaced in 2019 with this machine that had 4 designs all dated with 2019.  I actually thought this would be one of the last machines swapped out, but sure enough, it was one of the first.

This is still a 4-design hand-crank machine, but it’s one of the recently converted models that cost $1 per design.  This machine does accept credit cards or digital payments like ApplePay however, if you use those forms of payment you must get all 4 pennies for $4.   If you only want one penny (or less than the full set of 4) you need to use cash.

Above is a picture of the marquee at the top of the machine.  I liked the Train logo in the middle from last year and am glad to see it return.  It’s just a nice little touch to signify where it is in the park.  They should have a machine at each train station and make a fun subset to collect for a penny pressing trip around the Train loop.

The designs here all have 2020 on them with images of Cinderella’s Castle, Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy.

Well, this was just a quick taste of the new 2020 pressed coins still on the way.  I think I have about half of them collected.  Hopefully, the rest will be released soon as these are highly popular to collect each year and I know people are anxious to know where they are all located.

Here’s to a fantastic 2020 with lots more pennies to press!

Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail and New Collectible Medallion

Welcome to December!  Thankfully it’s not too cold here in Florida, but during this time of year, it’s hard to get in the Holiday spirit.  Thankfully Disney puts on some events to help get you feeling festive.  In previous years we have checked out the Mickey’s Very Mery Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom, and last year we saw the holiday projection show down Sunset Boulevard on the Tower of Terror.  But the one thing we have started to make a tradition is the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs.

This is something completely free to do, and you can also try to visit Santa if you don’t mind waiting on average around 200 minutes (a virtual queue is available).  For us, though we usually just pick a nice place to have dinner around 6pm, then just as it gets dark we head over to start the trail.

The main entrance for the trail is over in the Marketplace area of Disney Springs near the Earl of Sandwich or Once Upon a Toy store.  There is a podium set up where you can put your name down for a time to visit with Santa, or you can just head right in and check out the trees.

The trail consists of 23 themed Christmas Trees.  Usually, they are based around specific Disney movies.  Above is the Sleeping Beauty tree with lots of fun ornaments like the fairy godmother hats, some balls of yarn and of course the princess herself Aurora.

This next one was our personal favorite this year.  It was themed around the Princess and the Frog animated movie.  It had some Mardi Gras masks on it and was topped with some Jazz instruments.

The Little Mermaid tree had King Triton’s Trident up at the top and was decorated with lots of seashells, starfish and what we guessed were large pearls.

One of my favorite animated movies is Aladdin and I always look forward to this tree.  It’s located on top of a carpet that looks very much like the magic carpet from the movie.  Jafar’s cobra staff is peeking out about halfway up the tree, and of course, there is the magic lamp right at the top.

With Frozen 2 just released this past week, we knew this was definitely going to be out this year.  There are plenty of carrots on the tree for Olaf’s nose and I’m sure in case Sven the Reindeer is looking for a snack.  The tree has a snow-frosted look to some of the needs which were a nice detail.

I was a bit conflicted with this tree.  I love the Haunted Mansion attraction and have gone on it more times than I can count.  But this tree seemed a bit out of place.  I know it’s very popular among Disney fans but the large Bride torso in the middle of the tree was a bit off-putting.

Cinderella’s tree was very elegant.  the decorations not too overdone, but I enjoyed seeing the pumpkins, fancy ornaments and of course a clock to keep track of when midnight arrives.

I saved this one for last as I thought it was pretty unique.  Having a lightsaber as the topper to the tree was a nice touch.  There were little Jawa ornaments and a Porg or two in there.

Did I mention Disney makes it snow in this area?  Well, sort of anyway.  Periodically you can hear the machines start-up and the snow start to blow into the air and fall all around.  The kids definitely love it but make sure they don’t try to catch any of the flakes on their tongues as it’s actually a type of soap bubble so it won’t taste very good.

After we finished up the Christmas tree trail we headed back towards the parking garages but made a small stop in the Pin Traders store.  Our daughters are always on the lookout for new pins to trade.  While they were trading with cast members I headed over to the Medallion machine that was moved here (previously it was at the Art of Disney store).

It appears from a distance to be unchanged, but something caught my eye and I went in for a closer look.

The price was still the same $5 for one coin or 3 for $10.  Sure enough one of the coins had been replaced.  There used to be a Mickey’s 90th Birthday celebration coin.  But now that 2019 was coming to a close I guess it was time to move out those dated coins.

 

Above is a close up of the medallion on the left and on the right is the artwork from the machine button.  The one and only Mickey Mouse.  With some new medallions in my pocket and the kids with some new pins, it was about time to head home.

There were plenty of great Christmas trees but wow does the trail get busy.  I’ve heard if you go earlier in the day it’s not as bad, but seeing the trees lit up at night is just how we prefer to see them.  It’s hard to get pictures of your family in front of their favorite tree but just be patient as the crowds will eventually give you a split second or two to snap your picture.  Our mantra of the Holiday season…just be patient and keep on collecting!

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!!

Magic Kingdom Machines Converting to $1 per Penny Design

If you have been following along recently you will most likely have noticed my last few posts about the new 4-design penny press machines and the increase in cost.

This change has a lot of collectors not too happy, but not necessarily just because of the higher price.  This is something that I feel was inevitable and am kind of surprised it didn’t happen earlier.  From what I have been hearing from collectors they are more upset about the machine supplying the penny.  We have talked in the past about the preference for a lot of pressed penny collectors to use pre-1982 pennies due to their higher copper content.  This usually results in much better final pressings.  But as we have found with the new larger format machines (8 or 12 design machines) that already supply new shiny zinc (copper coated) penny.  The jury is still out on how well these pressed pennies will hold up over time.

The first few machines to be released on Walt Disney World property were two machines at the Main Street Train Station in the Magic Kingdom, and the new machine in Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios.  However these were brand new machines just released, and this immediately sparked another concern about whether any existing machines would get the price increase as well.

I have checked out all the parks and so far only one other machine over in Tomorrowland has been changed.

   

Over near the Tomorrowland Speedway was a 4-design hand crank machine that has been here for a while.

As you can see from the above picture, the machine has been upgraded (?!?! updated) to the new price point.

 

Fortunately (or maybe not if you don’t already have these coins) the designs have not changed.  They are still the same as they were before the price increase.  Thankfully for my collection I already had a set pressed on some older (pre-1982) pennies, but went ahead and pressed a new set just to see how they came out.

There were a few other 4-design machines that were temporarily missing from the Magic Kingdom.  As we assumed they have returned with the updated cabinet and the new price and payment system.

First was over in Tomorrowland near where the TTA People Mover line forms.  The designs have not changed.

Next over in the Tomorrowland Light & Power store (Space Mountain Gift shop) has two machines.

The first penny machine also has the same designs as before.

However, this location also used to have a pressed dime machine that was very unique.  That machine has been converted to a penny machine but still has the same original designs.

I spoke with some other collectors about these pennies, and it appears the dies inside the machine are the same dime sized as before, but the tension/pressure of the machine has been adjusted to press pennies.  Due to this, the pennies come out much shorter than usual.  As you can see from the comparison picture above the pennies come out almost the same size as the dimes.

The next machine was in Storybook Circus (where the classic Dumbo ride is located) in the Big Top Souvenir gift shop.  Located all the way in the back this machine can be easily missed.  The four penny designs are the same as before it’s updated, the only change is to the price and payment options.

Heading over to Liberty Square we checked on the machine near the Haunted Mansion.  These designs have also returned unchanged but the instructions on how to use the machine have been updated and are more detailed.

Just a short stroll into Frontierland the machine located across from the Frontier Trading Post has also got a new cabinet with updated pricing.  Designs are unchanged.

Finally, the last machine is over by the world-famous Jungle Cruise attraction.  The cabinet has been updated but as with most of these machines, the designs are the same as before.

I also visited Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom and Disney Springs but didn’t find any other 4-design machines missing.  I would think this is probably a bit of a time-consuming process to update the machine cabinets so they are probably systematically doing each park one at a time to limit the number of machines that will be unavailable.

Being a collector that prefers to use my own pennies this is a bit of a bummer to see the machines converted over to pre-loaded.  I had used some pre-loaded machines in the past at other places around Niagara Falls and received some pretty shabby pennies.  On the plus side, it does appear Disney is trying to use some brand new shiny pennies, but they are zinc.  We will just have to wait and see how they hold up over time like the preferred copper pennies.

Mickey’s 90th Celebration Pressed Pennies

Back on November 18, 1928 Mickey Mouse made his debut and things have never been the same.  Walt Disney has a famous quote “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing…that it was all started with a mouse.”  If only Walt could see what has become of his little friend now I’m sure it would have exceeded even his expectations.

Now here we are celebrating his 90th birthday, and Disney has extended this celebration to all aspect of the park.  There are special merchandise, cupcakes, and even some special costumes for the characters.  But the most exciting release (at least for me) was that they had released five special Pressed Pennies.

I just happened to come across the first penny as I was visiting Disney Springs.  My daughters have become obsessed with Pin Trading so I usually visit the Pin Trader store to see if there are any new pins they may like.  This is also a place that currently has 5 penny machines.  As I walked by one of the machines I noticed a new design.

 

I immediately pressed a few copies of the penny, took my pictures of the machine and posted them online for the collecting community.  Then we found out that there were other sightings of similar new designs popping up all over property.  So we now had a new plan for the day.

We then drove over to Epcot and into the Mouse Gear store which is where another collector mentioned they had seen one of the new designs.

 

Sure enough the new design was added to the machine that has the dated 2019 penny from earlier this year.  This was another nice design with Mickey inside the Zero of the 90 for his celebration.

The next stop was just a quick Monorail ride over to the Magic Kingdom.  Rumors were there had been two new designs released here.  First was just after the main entrance to the park at the Newsstand.

 

This is probably my favorite design of the new set.  I always liked Steamboat Willie Mickey and we don’t get many pressed designs with him on it.  After using this machine we headed down Main Street and over towards Adventureland.

Just past the Skipper Canteen restaurant there is a store called the Island Supply.  Just before that is a place known as the Verandah Breezeway but this is basically where the restrooms are located in this section of the park.

 

Inside this area is always packed with people but along one of the walls is where the penny machine can be found.  The penny here had a new 2019 design with Mickey in the Zero.

The fifth and last penny was found the next over at Hollywood Studios.  Unfortunately the studios closes early  so it took a few days before I was able to get over there and visit the machine.

 

Back near the Disney Junior and Star Wars Launch Bay area of the park is a little place called The Studio Store.  This penny has both Mickey and Minnie looking like they are ready to Celebrate.

We have all kept our eyes open for any additional designs, but so far it’s only been these five.  They make for a nice set, and as always was fun to hunt around property looking for them.  As with the other 2019 coins these were located in some unusual machine locations, but that was all part of the adventure.

These pennies will definitely not be around too long so make sure you try and get a set before too long.  Over the next couple years there are lots of special anniversaries at the Florida parks so hopefully this is something they continue releasing to help Celebrate the magic of Disney.

Newly Renovated World of Disney Store – Disney Springs Florida

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Collectible Medallions – Art of Disney Store in Disney Springs

This is not quite pressed penny related, and I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t usually collect the Medallions that are found at zoos and theme parks.  But just released in the last couple days was the first Disney themed Collectible Medallion machine.  I couldn’t resist so I raced over to Disney Springs to check it out and get a set for myself to investigate this new possible collectible.

In the Marketplace area of Disney Springs just beside the Rainforest Cafe and Days of Christmas gift shop is The Art of Disney store.  I visit this location almost every time I’m in this area as it’s filled with things I can only hope to own some day.

The items found inside range from paintings, to sketches, figurines, prints and a whole lot more.  The selection is always changing so you never know what you may find inside.

They also usually have quite a nice selection of Haunted Mansion items that I have been slowly acquiring whenever I can.

In the back corner past the huge wall of art work is where I found the Souvenirs Medallion machine.

Since these are not pressed the inner works are pretty simple.  All the medallions are already pre-loaded and just drop into the collection cup at the bottom.

The biggest difference you may notice is the cost, these are pretty expensive.  They are $5 for one medallion, or you can get 3 for $10.  So for those math majors out there if you wanted to get all 4 designs it will run you $15.  Similar to the 8-design press penny machines you can use cash, a credit card or ApplePay.  However, if you are using a Credit Card or ApplePay those payment types are only available for the 3 designs $10 option.  Individual medallions have to be paid for with cash and the machine does not offer change.

Above are the 4 designs that are currently available.  There is a 2018 Mickey, the Partners Statue (Walt & Mickey), the Fab Five (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto), and the Frozen sisters Anne, Elsa and their snowman buddy Olaf.

You may notice the first design of 2018 Mickey is the same image that was released earlier this year as part of the 2018 Dated Set of pressed coins.  Above is a picture of the medallion next to the pressed quarter and pressed penny for comparison.

Another nice feature of these medallions is that the back of all the coins has the Disney Springs logo.

These are a fun new collectible but I’m still not really sold on the cost.  These coins are roughly the size and weight of a US Silver Dollar so they do have some heft to them, and I’m sure the manufacturing cost is higher.  But $15 for 4 medallions is still a bit steep especially if some of the designs are going to be duplicates of pressed pennies or quarters I may have already collected.  I’ll be curious to see if any more of these machines appear around the parks or any of the resorts.

12-Design Princesses / Heroines Penny Machine Available again

This is going to be just a quick update post.  I’ve received a lot of message from reading (Thank you all by the way) about the whereabouts of the famed 12-Design Princesses / Heroines penny machine.  Here’s the history as I’ve written quite a bit about this machine.

You can read about my initial use of this machine back in 2015.  Then a few years later the machine was changed from using actual pennies to the penny sized tokens and I wrote a comparison about it here.  However the most recent post was just a few weeks ago when I discussed my first visit to the new Toy Story Land.  In that post I mentioned that the store where the 12-design machine “was” located was transformed into a Toy Story gift shop and this machine was removed so the Toy Story themed machine could be placed there instead.  At that time I didn’t know where the machine was moved to, and I did inquire with several Disney Cast Members about it and they didn’t know what was going to happen to it.  Then this all changed just a couple of days ago.

Word on the street was this machine had received a fresh coat of paint and was relocated over to Disney Springs which recently has become quite the place for pressed coins.

Over in one of the newer areas of Disney Springs called the Town Center (which is really just an outlet mall) is a newer store called The Disney Corner.

The store has multiple floors.  The first floor is primarily everything you can image Princess related.  This does continue up on the second floor but there are some other Disney characters available in certain areas.

There is an elevator is the stairs are too much (there are quite a few) but otherwise if you do attempt the stairs once you get to the second floor the missing penny machine is right in front of you.

As mentioned the machine does have a bit of a different paint job, but the 12 designs are all the same.

I pressed another set just to see if they were still dispensing the penny sized tokens instead of real pennies and that was still the case.  I’ve said it before and I hold to it this is a really nice set to be able to collect all in one place.  Usually in the past to get something like this you would have to visit various machines throughout the parks and resorts.  At $10 for this set it is a little pricy, but hopefully everyone that was inquiring about it can rest assured the machine is back and ready for some pressing.

Part 2 Hotel Plaza Boulevard – Disney Springs Area, FL

If you read my post a few weeks ago about the Good Neighbor hotels near Disney Springs in Florida this is a follow-up.  In the post I had mentioned that five of the seven hotels had received new penny press machines.  Well just a short while ago those remaining two hotels finally got their machines.  I had been told by a few cast members that they were coming, and it seems they were absolutely correct.

I had been working that day and received the message on my phone that these new penny machines were available.  So this was going to be a night trip over to Disney Springs.  Just as I did the last time I parked in one of the garages and then just walked over to the good neighbor hotel area.  It is a bit of a hike so if you aren’t up to it (or have spent all your energy at the parks) see if someone can drop you off, or you could probably use the short-term check-in parking spots if they are available at each hotel.

First was the Wyndham hotel at Lake Buena Vista.

Make sure you are careful walking around these hotels as it seemed like there was even more traffic at night with people coming back to their hotels.

Once inside the main lobby area just to the right side is the Disney gift shop.

As soon as you are inside the store the penny machine is right near the main door.

The designs available at this machine are of Goofy with a tire around his neck, Pluto, and Tinker Bell.

The next hotel was a little further of a walk than I had remember the first time around.  For some reason I thought it was right next to the Wyndham but there are a few other buildings in between.

Eventually I did make it to the Best Western.  I also just heard recently that they are adding a second tower so they must be doing pretty good business at this hotel.

As you walk into the Best Western there are two stores one on the left and a another on the right.  The store on the right is where you can get drinks, and snacks.  The Disney gift shop is the one on the left side.

The store has two doors but is not very big.  If you are inside looking at the register check-out counter the machine is on the left side.

I thought this set of pennies was pretty cute.  It includes Mickey and Pluto driving in a car, Goofy in his PJs and another Tinker Bell.

With all the pennies pressed I had the long walk back to my car.  It is nice to see these good neighbor hotels getting in on the pressed penny craze.  They are not the easiest places to get to unless you don’t mind walking.

Hotel Plaza Boulevard – Disney Springs Area, FL

First off I’ll apologize for the delay in getting around to writing about these new penny press machines.  These were released weeks ago while I was out-of-town on a Family vacation.  It’s amazing how just a week away can put everything so far behind.  I’m still trying to time to write about our trip.  But in the mean time I figured I needed to try and catch up on some of these “newer” machines.

I’ve mentioned in a previous post about these hotels that are located on Walt Disney World property but are not Disney owned.  They are usually referred to as “Good Neighbor” hotels.  You get most of the same benefits (fast passes, early park hours, and transportation to the parks) but usually at a much lower price which is nice.  Located to the east of Disney Springs right along Hotel Plaza Boulevard are these seven hotels.  Each of these hotels does have a Disney gift shop located inside, but in the past none of them ever had a pressed penny machine.  Then all of a sudden five of these hotels received machines and I had to head over as soon as I was back in town to check them out.

Since I had never visited these hotels before I wasn’t sure what the parking situation would be like and was worried about high hourly parking rates.  So instead I parked (for free) in one of the Disney Springs parking garages and walked to each of the hotels.  I walked through the Marketplace and just beside the Once Upon a Toy Store is a walkway that allows you to cross the busy Buena Vista Drive.

These walkways were actually pretty nice, and my daughter had a great time watching the cars pass by underneath our feet.  Eventually we ended up on the far side of Hotel Plaza Boulevard and headed into the first hotel.

The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista was out first stop.  Heading inside through the main lobby area we hung a right and down the hallway we saw the familiar Disney Store sign.

There is nothing unique about these stores.  After visiting all of them they pretty much carried the same items, standard souvenirs, plush character, drinks, snacks and toiletries.

   

Just inside the store on the right side was the penny press machine.  The cabinet was painted the classic Mickey red which was a nice surprise.  The designs available in this machine were of  Mickey & Pluto, Lilo with a  Camera, and Stitch playing a Ukulele.

The hotels are next to each other, but there is still quite a walk in between each one.  It was a nice walk although this time of year the Florida sun and humidity can get to you pretty quickly.

The second hotel was the Holiday Inn Orlando.  We headed inside past the check-in area, hung a left and just near the lounge area was the gift shop.

As my daughter checked out the souvenirs (although I think by now she has pretty much all of them) I found the machine along the sidewalk and pressed my coins.

   

The designs at this machine were of two new designs: Chef Minnie with a Cake, and Goofy fishing, but the third design was of Lumiere & Cogsworth from Beauty and the Beast.  This last design used to be available at the Once Upon a Time gift shop in Hollywood Studios.  It had been removed back in July 2017 when two new 8-design touch screen machines were located there instead.

Still on the same side of the boulevard the next stop was at the B Resort & Spa.  Strange name, but this was a beautiful looking hotel.

I was only able to check out the lobby and gift shop but from what I could see this looks really nice and I’d be interested in checking it out in the future.

As I walked into the gift shop I noticed a large mural behind the check out area.  I’m sure it was just an interchangeable piece of wallpaper but it was still fun to look at with the Magic Kingdom and it’s landmarks depicted in the image.

Plus the penny machine was right beside it so while I used the machine I took a closer look at it.  I’ve seen some t-shirts and other merchandise in some of the park stores with this style drawing so I’m sure this is the new 2018 design.  I may have to pick something up the next time I’m in the parks.

   

The designs at this machine were of Minnie with her hands together, Pluto jumping on Mickey.  Both of which were brand new images.  The third design is of Anna & Elsa from Frozen.  This used to be at the Puffin’s Roost in Epcot at the Norway Pavilion but had been removed a year or so ago.

The last hotel on this side of the boulevard was the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton.

This was an interesting designed building, but the lobby area was not very big.  As soon as I walked in the check-in desk was to the right, and the Disney store was to the left.  Pretty easy to find.

   

While I used this machine to press the pennies the cast member in the store came by to  talk.  She mentioned the machine has just been brought in a few days prior.  I asked if she knew whether all the “Good Neighbor” hotels were getting them and she wasn’t sure, but more on that in a bit.  The designs in this machine were of Minnie Mouse, Donald in a Tuxedo, and Jiminy Cricket.

Once I had left the DoubleTree suites it was time to cross over the boulevard.  This is a very busy street so be careful crossing.  I didn’t want to risk just running across especially with my young daughter along for the visit.  So we waited, and waited and waited for the traffic light to change.  But made for a much safer crossing.  On the other side were a couple of hotels but we had to head all the way back towards Disney Springs.

At this intersection of Hotel Plaza Boulevard and East Buena Vista Drive is where the overhead walkways where that we had initially taken to cross the street.  On this side of the boulevard there was a sidewalk so we just headed to the right down East Buena Vista Drive.

After a bit of a walk we found the last hotel on this trip the Hilton Palace Buena Vista.

This Disney store is a little more difficult to find.  If you come in through the front main entrance of the hotel you need to take the elevator down a floor.  In this area is where the food court section is and the gift shop is just nearby.

This was yet another beautiful looking hotel and I was really surprised.  I’m not sure why I just assumed these would be a little run down or outdated but they were definitely not what I was expecting.

   

This was the last machine to use and unfortunately it was a little temperamental.  It seemed like the slide the finished pressed penny uses to eventually end up in the cup at the bottom wasn’t lined up correctly.  The machine seemed to press the coins fine, but once they slide down they apparently ended up in the bottom of the cabinet.  I asked the cast member for help but they said they didn’t have the key to open up the machine.  Thankfully I had a few extra sets of quarters and pennies for just this type of situation.  After a few test runs I found that if I kept my hand just inside the bottom cup it would help keep the pennies from dropping inside the machine.  Hopefully this has been fixed as the cast member said they would bring it up with their manager.

With all these new pennies stored away in my pocket we decided to make our way back over the walkways to Disney Springs.

Now I did mention that I had asked the cast member at the DoubleTree Suites about other machines in the area.  As you can see from the picture of the area map I found along the sidewalk there are seven Good Neighbor resorts.

As of this visit I made there were only five of these resorts with penny machines.  However I have read online that rumors are swirling about the remaining two hotels (Best Western and Wyndham) will be getting machines in the near future.  Fingers crossed!

   

Plus you can read here about the Hilton over at Bonnet Creek that got a new machine that I had posted about earlier.  It definitely seems like Disney has been releasing a lot of new penny press machines in locations they never had before.  I’m hoping this is due to the popularity of these machines and they realize people really enjoy them plus of course they make the resorts some money.

This was quite a bit of walking to start in Disney Springs, and make the long trek to each resort.  But it took about an hour and a half at a leisurely pace.  We tried not to rush and once I was inside these hotels I did want to spend a bit of time checking them out.  I didn’t see any of the guest rooms, but if they are anything like the lobby’s and mail hotel areas I would absolutely keep these in mind when visiting the area.  Plus they have penny machines so that’s always a plus in my books.