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.

Hilton Orlando at Bonnet Creek – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Everyone is pretty familiar with all the Disney owned resorts in Florida like the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, POP Century and so many more.  However there are also some non-Disney resorts on property that are known as Good Neighbor resorts.  They have a lot of the same benefits as a Disney resort but usually without the Disney price tag attached.  For years to my knowledge there has never been pressed penny machines at these Good Neighbor resorts but that has started to change.

As you drive on Buena Vista Drive towards Disney Springs there is a sign for Bonnet Creek Resorts.  Then there is a long winding road that takes you past a Wyndham Home, and then a slight turn for the Waldorf Astoria, and Hilton of Bonnet Creek.

In between these two hotels is a parking garage.  There is a fee for parking however on my trip I was in and out in less than a half hour and there was no charge.  Just be aware that this fee does depending on your length of stay.

This is a very nice hotel.  The grounds are well-kept as you would expect.  I’m sure Disney keeps a close tab on things like that for appearance.  Out back there is a large pool, and even a lazy river which on this hot day did seem like a nice idea.  Too bad I was only visiting and not actually staying here.

When you enter through the main entrance you are on the second floor of the hotel.  This is where the registration area is located, as well as bar / lounge, a few restaurants, part of the conference center as the Disney store.

The Disney store is actually down a long hallway just off of the main lobby but not too hard to find.  If you look closely at the above picture you can see the penny machine just to the left inside the door to the gift shop.

As with most hotel gift shops on Disney property the items inside are pretty standard.  Soda, juice, beer, snacks, t-shirts, mugs, plush toys, pins, etc.

Then just to the left of the checkout area and inside the main entrance is where the penny machine can be found.

The machine is in a plain black cabinet and has just three designs.  It’s almost strange to see this type of machine since lately the fancy touch screen 8 design models have been popping up everywhere.

The designs on these pennies are of Mickey & Minnie with two Mickey Balloons, the Mad Hatter, and Simba from the Lion King.  I really like this set and that first design of Mickey and Minnie is really cute and during my visit was the popular design most people were pressing.

So far this is the only hotel at Bonnet Creek that has a pressed penny machine but hopefully that will change in the near future.  There are some other Good Neighbor Hotels on Resort Boulevard that have new penny machines that I’ll be reviewing very soon.  There has been a lot of new releases and I’m still trying to get caught up after being out-of-town a few weeks ago.  Happy pressing and make sure to try some of these non-Disney resorts they are becoming a nice alternative for your vacation stay.

Town Center Fire House – Disney Springs, FL

Did I just post about a new machine at Disney Springs.  Well with all the changes that have gone on there plus the still to come new restaurants and stores I find myself spending more and more time there and enjoying every moment.  I don’t find myself needing an excuse anymore to go visit the Springs but this past weekend when I heard that another new penny machine showed up I jumped in my car and headed over to check it out.

For anyone thinking about visiting just for this machine as I did, I parked in the Orange lot which brings you down just near the big Coca-Cola store and Planet Hollywood restaurant.  If you walk between these two buildings directly in front of you is a covered area that starts the Town Center.

Behind the construction walls on the right side of the walkway in the picture above is the Wolfgang Puck restaurant coming soon.  But right before that on the right side is the Firehouse also known as the building where the restrooms are located.

This does make for some awkward moments trying to take pictures and video but thankfully I visited early in the more before this area got too busy.

This is a 4-design hang crank machine in a nice full wood cabinet.

The designs that press on the pennies include Firefighter Mickey, Firefighter Donald, Pluto with a fireman’s helmet, and Red the fire truck from the Pixar movie Cars.  As you can see from the picture above the images came out nicely, however this actually took me quite a few tries to get this set to roll properly.

Above is a picture of the seven other pennies I tried to press that didn’t roll correctly.  Considering this is a brand new machine it’s surprising that the machine wasn’t aligned properly.  Just as a tip for anyone that may be using this machine I tried turning the handle fairly slowly and starting to press the design a little earlier that having the arrows completely lined up as per usual process.  It took a little practice but was able to get a full set eventually.  The machines throughout Disney property usually have stickers on them where you can report a message that is broken.  Unfortunately this machine didn’t have that so I tried submitting a note through one of the other machines to see what happens.  It’s not completely a lost cause at this point, but can be frustrating so make sure you bring some extra coins.  Always pays to be a little over prepared.

Food Truck Pavilion – Disney Springs, FL

Fresh off the new release of the 2018 dates set of pressed coins Disney didn’t waste much time getting out another new set of pressed pennies.  The new machine can be found over at Disney Springs which seems to be a popular spot lately for new machines.

Over on the West Side is where you can find the big AMC movie theatre, Cirque du Soleil theatre, a Starbucks and some other interesting stores and restaurants.  This area is under quite a bit of construction right now with the recently demolished Disney Quest building making way for a new NBA Experience, and some other new restaurants.

Just past the Starbucks and across from the Star Wars Galactic Outpost and Marvel Superhero Headquarters is an open area just along the water front.  This area is where you can now find the Disney Food Trucks.

Usually there are three different food trucks here but lately only two have been available with the third one on the move around property.

   

The Springs Street Tacos obviously has various tacos for sale.  The Fantasy Fare truck has things like empanadas, chicken taquitos, and Mexican meatball sliders.  This area also does have live music later on at night and can get quite crowded with spectators.

If you are walking along the main pathway you will see the penny machine just to the center entrance to the Food Truck Pavilion.

The machine has some nice artwork on the cabinet.  The design is of the Disney Springs logo which I think is pretty cool.

This is a cute unique set of pennies that I hope they continue releasing.  The set includes images of Minnie eating an ice cream cone, Chef Goofy with a Turkey, Chef Mickey with a Sandwich and Dopey Dwarf eating Cake.  With the recent changes to Disney Springs and the massive amount of new restaurants now available these coins just fit right in to this area.

Above is a picture I took of the machine at night which you can see the area does get busier, plus there is a mobile bar right beside the machine which usually has a long line. This can cause a little congestion around the machine but people are usually nice to step aside if you ask to use the machine.

As I mentioned before I really like this set and think it’s a great new addition to anyones collection.  Hopefully they continue on this pace of releasing some more creative designs like these ones.  Side note, if you are visiting Disney Springs make sure to check out some of the new restaurants they really are great.  A few of my favorites are Art Smith’s Homecomin’, and Maria & Enzo’s.  Enjoy!

Nightmare Before Christmas Penny Set – Days of Christmas Store in Disney Springs

Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away and Disney has definitely started helping people in Florida get into the Holiday spirit.  It’s still a little strange to be walking through the theme parks with fake snow falling from the rooftops and Christmas trees everywhere you look but I’m still wearing shorts and a t-shirt with mid-70 degree weather.  This is going to take some getting used any.

Of course Disney also has some places that celebrate the holiday’s year round including one store in Disney Springs called the Days of Christmas.  This place is almost always very busy regardless of the time of year.  People just really love Christmas and who can blame them.  While working today I got a notification that a new 8-Design penny machine was just released and located in this store.

Inside is the biggest selection of Christmas ornaments I have ever seen, and they are Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars related.  Some can be customized which is fun to watch the cast members with steady hands working endlessly on these special souvenirs.

The dated ornaments with the year listed on them are always popular with people commemorating their trips.  I’ll admit I am one of them as well.  Towards the back of the main store is another room that has some clothing, Santa hats, and other souvenirs.  This is where I found the new machine just near the door.

I’m not sure if I’m surprise or not but this was another 8-design penny-sized token machine.  These have definitely become the popular option for new machines of late on Disney property and even Universal.

I had to double-check on some of the characters as I didn’t initially remember all their names.  This is a pretty cool set and I’m sure this is a first appearance in coin form for a lot of these characters.  The designs include images of: Jack Skellington, Sally & Jack in the moonlight, Zero, Oogie Boogie, the Mayor of Halloween town, Sally with a veil, Jack clasping his hands, and Barrel.

As usual I have not intel on whether this is a temporary machine or not.  But since this store is holiday themed all year round, and does include quite a bit of Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise I think it’s a same assumption that this machine will be around for a while.  This is a very popular movie, and people really love these characters so I’m sure this machine will be very popular.  Make sure to get your set as this is definitely a nice additional to any collection.

 

Goofy’s Candy Company – Disney Springs

With all the changes that have gone on over at Disney Springs it has really turned in to a great place to visit.  Most of the new “outlet” style retail stores are not really my scene, but the restaurants are right up my alley.  Of course sometimes when you are walking around you need a quick fix and what is better than a Candy Store.

Over on the Marketplace side of the springs right near Rainforest Cafe is a fun place called Goofy’s Candy Company.  I have visited this from time to time especially when my daughters are with me.

Inside this place is like Wonka’s factory.  The walls are covered with bags of candy, and the center of the store is where some cast members create all types of chocolate covered treats.

Once you have chosen what candy to indulge in (if nothing you are a stronger person than I), right beside one of the check out registers is a new penny press.

This may come as a shock to some, but Disney is a very busy place and Goofy’s Candy Co is no different.  The unfortunately layout of this place with the large area in the middle with the hand-made confections makes walking around in here very difficult.  Having this machine near one of the registers doesn’t help, but with a little patience you can press your set without too much difficulty.

The machine has four designs all themed around Goofy.  The images include Goofy with some Balloons, Goofy eating a Sundae, Goofy tossing popcorn into his mouth to eat, and You Friend! Goofy.

When I first hear about this new set I couldn’t get over to the candy store fast enough.  I thought this was a fantastic place for a machine (even though it’s busy) and each design is really fun and unique.  I look forward to having even more new penny press machines show up in Disney Springs.  It will allow me more time to visit Disney Springs allowing me to get a little exercise walking around, and then sitting near the waterfront with a Ghirardelli ice cream, or a chocolate covered Rice Krispie treat from Goofy’s Candy Co.  Thankfully they have some cheaper versions than the ones pictures below.

Click here to see my YouTube channel video on these new designs.

Changes to Once Upon a Toy Store – Disney Springs

The big toy store in Disney Springs known as Once Upon a Toy Store has been a haven in the past for penny press machines and at one point had 3 different machines.  However this store is currently going under some renovations and about two-thirds of the store is closed off.  Due to this two of the machines have moved from this location.

The first machine to move was an 8-Design Star Wars machine.  the designs are still the same but this machine is now located over at Epcot in the Mouse Gears store near the Star Wars merchandise.

The second 8-Design machine shown below was the second machine relocated just down the walkway still in Disney Springs in the World of Disney mega store.

With those two machines gone there was only one last machine still in the Once Upon a Toy store and had the same designs it’s had for quite a while.  Until just recently when these designs were changed out.

This is a 4 design hand crank machine located just inside the main entrance doors.

The images pressed on these coins included Mickey Mouse, Dory & Nemo, Buzz Lightyear, and a Little Green Man Alien.

This store has definitely been a starting point for some new pressed coins machines and I’m curious to see what happens once the entire store if reopened.  Will it get new machines or just have the other ones moved back.  Only time will tell, but I’m crossing my fingers for even more machines.

Click here to see my YouTube channel video on these new designs.