Polynesian Village Resort – NEW Pressed Penny Machine

These 8-design penny machines are taking Walt Disney World by storm.  I received word that one of these new machines was put out over at the Polynesian Village Resort.

This is a resort that I visit whenever possible.  Not only does it have one of my favorite restaurants (Ohana) but the island vibe you get just from walking around the property is a lot of fun.

Once inside the main ceremonial house the friendly staff greet you with a flower lei, and the beautiful flowers all around just put you in the vacation mood.  Something else I usually do when visiting here is walk straight back through the rear doors to the Pineapple Lanai for a dole whip.  But on this trip I had a quick pit stop first.

Previously just to the left of these rear doors was a 3 design penny machine, but as you can see it has been removed.  Now there is a new touch screen machine.

The designs available here are all themed around the movie Moana which makes perfect sense at this resort.

The penny designs include Moana herself in a few different poses, Maui, HeiHei, Pua and even a couple of Kakamora.  I think this is a really cool little set for such a great movie.

Before heading outside for my Dole whip I went upstairs to see if those two machines were still there and they were.  Just outside the Moana mercantile are two machines (one has 3 penny designs, and the other has 3 quarter designs).  The designs on all of these coins have remained unchanged…for now.

With the new coins pressed, and the previous machines checked up on it was time for my treat.  I made my way back downstairs and out the back of the ceremonial house to the Pineapple Lanai.  Amazingly there was no one in line so I got right up to the counter and ordered my Dole whip.  I walked it over to the beach along side the seven seas lagoon and just enjoyed a little bit of island time with my feet in the sand before heading back home.

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – Recently Renovated

Over the past few years it has seemed like the majority of the Walt Disney World Resort property has been under construction.  The roads are being rerouted, new attractions being built, and some of the resorts have been under renovation.  This is not going to change any time soon, and from the sound of it most of this won’t be done for another 3-4 years.  But one of these places that has started to see the finish line is the Caribbean Beach Resort.

I visited this resort about 8 months ago to see how things were going and it was a mess.  Guests had no actual restaurant to eat at, instead there was a tent put up with a buffet inside, or some temporary food trucks near the pool.  However just this past week that all changed when the newly renovated Old Port Royale opened.

In case you aren’t familiar with how this resort is laid out, there are groups of resort room buildings named after different Caribbean locations like Aruba, Martinique, Jamaica and a few others.  This resort is huge and was in need of some TLC.  The main reception area used to be on the outskirts of the property in the Custom House, but that has closed.  Now that has been relocated to Old Port Royale along with some new places to eat.

The new check-in area is wide open with some minimal theming but this seems to be the direction Disney is going with its resorts.

Just inside the main set of front doors is the new penny machine available at the resort.  In years past this resort had quite a few penny machines, but those have all been removed and retired.  This is now the only machine available here.

I wonder if we will ever seen any of the old three design coin press machines anymore?

All of the penny designs have our favorite Disney characters as Pirates.  For some reason all of the pennies also say “Pirates of the Caribbean” which I think is a little strange.  It’s the same logo from the attraction in the Magic Kingdom but now over at this resort.  I get that the Caribbean Beach resort does have a pirate theme at the main pool and in some of the rooms, but this seems like a bit of a stretch.

The rest of Old Port Royale is set up for the new Centertown Market the quick service options.

Walking out the back of the Old Port Royale building you are right next to the main Pirate themed pool, and the new Banana Cabana bar / lounge.  I stopped by here later on at night and they have live music, but there are not many seats available so you may need to get there early or expect to wait for a table.

Beside the lounge is the new table service restaurant called  Sebastian’s Bistro.  This place has received quite a good reception so far in its first two weeks of being open.  I will also admit I have actually eaten here twice in that time period and have been thoroughly impressed.

I’m sure you all remember Sebastian from The Little Mermaid.  First off the inside is really clean and bright, but there are some light fixtures that have not been installed yet so at night there are areas that can be a little dark.  The service I had on both my visits was superb.  They knew that menu inside and out, making some great suggestions.

We tried the Pull-apart bread as an appetizer which came with three accompaniments, Guava butter / Mango Salsa / Jerk favored Oil.  The guava butter was unbelievable.

For  my main course I tried the Jerk chicken, which  are boneless chicken thighs marinated in a Jerk season and served over Cilantro rice and black beans.  This was really flavorful and we really liked it.  We also tried a few other main dishes and they were really fantastic as well.  This is a place I would highly recommend and if you get a chance be sure to head over and try it out.  Plus you can take a nice stroll around the resort afterwards and see what they have to offer, or press a set of the pennies in the lobby.

One last thing you can see when you visit this resort is the nearby resort that should be opened in a couple of years.  It’s going to be called The Riviera and from across the lake looks like it’s going to be huge.  Not sure how it will look inside but I’m anxious to find out.  Plus you know they must have a penny machine inside.

davidscointravels Office Tour

A few years ago when I first got this blog started I had someone reach out asking for me to post about my collection.  From time to time I have posted some info about how I store my collection, or how to scan pennies onto your computer but I’ve never done a full tour of my office.  Lately this seems to be a topic quite a few people are interested in but to be honest I never thought it would be all that interesting.  However now that we have moved to Florida the office has become a place for not just my collection, and where I write the articles, or edit the videos but now it’s also where I keep all my Disney collectibles.  Hopefully this sheds a little insight into where all the magic happens.

I do have a full-time job and the blog and penny collecting are just hobbies.  Thankfully I’m able to work remotely and when we were having our house built we took that into account when we designed the office.  This allowed for additional electrical outlets and network connections for not just the work equipment but all the personal hardware too.  The office is at the front of our house which gets a lot of the Florida sunshine beaming in.

  As you walk into the office my wife found me a print of Hipster Mickey enjoying a Dole Whip float which makes me smile each time I walk in.

When we made our move from New Jersey to Florida along I-95 just over the border into South Carolina is the famous South of the Border.  They have gift shops, restaurants and all stores of other things to do.  We took the opportunity to stretch our legs and check out the gift shop.  I came across this wall mounted Tiki art and just had to have it.  This is also where I hang my ‘Ohana leis.

Over top of the storage closet I have some large prints of some historic Walt Disney World construction images.  I always thought it was interesting to see a Monorail train being listed onto the track, or Epcot’s spaceship earth empty inside.

Along the far wall are some vintage WDW attraction posters like Pirates, or the Monorail / Contemporary Resort.  There are more on the other side that we will get to shortly.  Then I have some floating shelves for my Magic Bands, POP Figures and other miscellaneous collectibles.  If you have a sharp eye you may notice the famous “Chosen One” red cards hanging from one of the shelves, this is actually a replica I got off Etsy that I just had to have.

Continuing on this side of the office is my iMac that does all the heavy workload of the blog and video editing for YouTube.  The dual screens in the corner is part of the hardware for my non-penny related job.  I am also a proud member of Disney’s D23  and have my membership certificate framed for display.  My cork board had my calendar, TEC member cards, and our magic bands that we use primarily at the parks.

One year for Christmas I was given a set of coasters that were themed after the Haunted Mansion.  Each one has a different Tombstone poem from the park attraction.  The one I use most of the time is “Dear departed brother Dave, he chased a bear into a cave.”  Also along the windowsill is where I have my Disney Transportation collection.  There is a scale model of the parking lot Trams, Monorail, different Bus designs, and even a small matchbox car of the Test Track vehicle.

On the opposite wall are more attraction posters for Epcot, Tomorrowland, the Haunted Mansion and the Tiki Room.  The larger cork board over here is where we keep a lot of our pins and lanyards from parks like Universal, Legoland and Disney Pin Trading.

There are two bookcases here that store my frequently used equipment and supplies.  There are more of these bookcases in the closet with more binders filled with pressed coins.

The case on the right side had my Hitchhiking Ghosts figure by Jim Shore.  There is also a model of the Disney Dream cruise ship which my wife and I went on a couple of years ago.  I got this model in the onboard gift shop and ended up meeting the Captain who signed it for me.  Below that is where I store the 2×2 plastic binder pages that hold all my pressed coins.  Next are some coin roll boxes for pennies and quarters, this helps ensure I always have plenty of change for my trips.  Then there are the small plastic bags I use for temporary storage of coins I collect, a flat cinch stapler with staples, and my travel case that is usually in my car.

Below that is my Yesterday’s Elongated guide which is a great resource for some older pressed pennies.  There is my main camera the Sony a6000, and my daughters Wilderness Explorers guidebook from the Animal Kingdom.  On the bottom shelf are the 4 and 5 inch three-ring binders for all my Walt Disney World coins, Disneyland coins, a separate binder just for retired WDW coins.  On the right side is my Disney Pin Trading binder, and a book that has all the Disney park maps since the park opened.

The bookcase on the left has my Harry Potter Elder Wand, and my basic magic band collection.  I actually found an acrylic watch display on eBay which works perfectly for these bands.  On the next shelf down I have the small labels I use for each coin, and packages of the 2×2 elongated coin cardboard holders.

The bottom has some of the binders that store my pressed coin collection.  This is my attempt to keep them as organized as possible.  This is an ever-growing collection that I’ve been working on for years.  I prefer to collect coins at places I have actually been to and pressed in person.  But I do have a lot of friends around the country that know of my obsession and love to send me their local coins as gifts and I cherish each one of them.

See what did I tell you not too exciting, but it’s where I do all the work to share this hobby with everyone.  It’s my sanctuary where I can enjoy the things I love, and help keep my collection organized and from getting too out of control.  Now it’s time to pull the curtain back across the room and get back to work.

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.

Disney Clothiers – Magic Kingdom Main Street USA *NEW*

Tonight I was having dinner at the Contemporary Resort with some friends in town for the week.  During a break in conversation I took a look at my phone and I had some notifications from Instagram (@davidscointravels in case you want to follow along).  Another reader (@followustodisney) had mentioned me in a post about a possible new penny machine.  I took a look and sure enough I didn’t recognize the machine and the designs looks unfamiliar.  After getting some additional details about the location of the machine I checked the Disney park app on my phone to see when Magic Kingdom closed.  Thankfully it was open until 11pm so I had plenty of time to enjoy the rest of our dinner before I bolted over to the park.

Needless to say by the time I got into the park a little around 9:00pm there was quite the crowd trying to leave the park.  It was raining a little bit, but the Happily Ever After fireworks show had finished just a short time before so this was most of the guests cue to leave.

Can you believe they have Halloween decorations up already?  Technically they have started having the Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween parties back in August which seems nuts but people love getting dressed up so Disney knows how to cash in on that. I love these Mickey Jack-o-latern lights and wish they sold them in the gift shops.

After swimming up-stream (Main Street USA) against the crowd I passed the Emporium and after that is another store called Disney Clothiers.  This is connected with the Emporium so if you are instead you probably have walked right through it not realizing it’s actually a separate store.  If you do enter from Main Street through the doors pictures above the penny machine is just inside by the drink cooler.

This area of the store deals primarily in children’s clothing, filled with plenty of Princess dresses, Minnie ears, and anything your young one would probably want to dress up in.

As for me I headed right over to the penny machine.  Well that is after I took a lot of pictures, and video which I will admit was quite the task in this store at this time of night.  The amount of people walking and shopping in here at night is crazy.

This is another 8-Design automatic touch screen machine.  As usual the cost is $1 for 1 design, or $5 for all 8.  The images are a cute set that includes Baby Mickey sitting, Baby Minnie sitting, Baby Donald, Baby Daisy, Baby Goofy, Baby Pluto, Baby Mickey crawling, and Baby Minnie on her back.  This seems to fit right into this store (even though the clothes are not strictly for young babies) but still a fun set and I’m sure it will be popular.

While I was using the machine one of the cast members actually came over to watch how I used it.  I guess they don’t get any special training from Disney on the machines.  She mentioned that the machine was brand new and had only been there for a day or two so hot off the production line.

Thanks again to my friends @followustodisney for the heads up on this new machine.  Be sure to follow them on Instagram as they have a lot of fun Disney adventures over there.  As I always say keep an eye open for new machines you never know when they will pop up.

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort – Vero Beach, FL

It was finally time for a vacation.  In years past our default vacation destination was Florida, but now that we lived near Orlando where should we go?  We had discussed visiting Georgia or Louisiana that would have been within a reasonable drive.  Then after some further discussions we actually decided that Florida still had plenty of places we could visit and eventually chose Miami as our destination.

However with our two young daughters we wanted to try and minimize how much time we spent in the car, so we decided to make a stop about half way.  When I was checking out where we could stop I recognized Vero Beach and remembered that Disney had a Resort there.  I booked a room and we were all set for our week-long trip to Southern Florida.

The drive from Orlando to Vero Beach was pretty straight forward and thankfully our daughters both napped most of the way.  Once we arrive security welcomed us home in standard Disney fashion.

At check-in we received our First time visitor pins, and were shown to our room.

After dropping out luggage in the room we decided it was time to wonder around the resort a bit and get our bearings.  There is a Spa on site which my wife took advantage of.  I took our girls outside for some fresh ocean air.

There is a large Mickey shaped pool with a pretty big water slide.  As we walked by they were actually having water slide races which seemed to be popular with the kids.

There are some tall bushes in between the resort property and beach.  At first I thought it was a little strange but as you find out more about the Sea Turtles that uses these beaches for nesting the bushes service an important purpose.  More on that later.  There was an access path through the bushes that takes you out to the beach.  The Atlantic ocean was beautiful and something we hadn’t seen in a while since leaving Jersey.  This is where we spent most of our time on the beach and in the ocean, our girls just loved it.

Eventually we headed back into the resort and found the quick service dining area and grabbed some dinner.  As you can see from the sign above I was also pleasantly surprised to find they offered Dole Whip which we enjoyed a few times during our short stay.

Remember I mentioned the Sea Turtles and the tall bushes by the beach?  Once we were back in our room we noticed the above card on one of the tables.  It explained more about the nesting sea turtles and requests that guests keep their window curtains closed after certain hours at night.  The baby sea turtles use light reflecting off the water to navigate back to the ocean once hatched.  Any artificial light can cause confusion.  So that is why the request for the curtains, and also for the tall bushes which are part of the nesting groups and also help keep out any noise or stray light.

On our way back to our room we cut through the main lobby and found the two pressed coin machines I had heard were in the resort.

The first machine only had one design that pressed on a quarter.

The image on this coin is of the two famous Pixar Sea Turtles Crush and Squirt from Finding Nemo.

The second machine is the standard three design electric machine that pressed pennies.

The images on these coins were of the Disney Vero Beach Resort Logo, Classic Mickey, and Surfing Mickey.  It had been a long a day, with some fun on the beach and exploring this fantastic resort.  We made our way back to our room and all crashed (after making sure our curtains were closed).

Unfortunately during our trip we didn’t see any turtles, but this place was really a lot of fun.  The resort and staff did feel just like the Disney resorts we are used to but without having to worry about racing to a theme park it was really relaxing.

Day one of our vacation was in the books and we were looking forward to making out way to Miami.  Plus I promise there will be plenty more pressed pennies to find.

(Update) Flashback – 100 Years of Magic 2002 WDW

There are a lot of unique pressed coin sets released by Disney over the years.  Some are easier to located by just checking on eBay or a yard sale, but some others are much harder to find.  One of these sets I’ve been working on for quite a few years.  I wrote about it previously here if you want to get some additional back story.

The 100 Years of Magic pressed quarter set is something I work on periodically.  Some times at night I go through eBay, or other coin selling communities just to see what’s out there.  But I don’t spend too much time on it as these coins don’t show up too often.  This all changed when I received an email one day, and almost seemed too good to be true.  This friendly stranger let me know he had come across a set of the 100 Years of Magic pressed quarters he had acquired when he was younger.  He didn’t have much need for them now but came across my initial post and thought I may be interested in them.  We traded numerous emails and he sent some pictures and he was right this was something I just couldn’t pass up.

Now it’s time to take a look as this wonderful additions to my collection with some really great designs.

I tried to separate these out in to smaller related groups.  The above includes designs from the Magic Kingdom: Cinderella’s Castle, Mickey on Main Street, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland.

Next is over at Epcot.  These designs include Test Track, Body Wars, Living Seas, Innoventions, Imagination Institute, and Honey I Shrunk the Audience.

This set was found over at MGM Studios (before Hollywood Studios).  The images in this group were of the Sorcerer’s Hat, Director Mickey, Tower of Terror, Fantasmic, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, and Beauty & the Beast.

Last but not least was Animal Kingdom.  These had designs of It’s Tough to be a Bug, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Dinoland, Camp Minnie & Mickey, Festival of the Lion King, and Asia.

The icing on the cake was these coins had all been stored in this special release booklet created just for this Disney celebration.  Unfortunately the set is still incomplete, but the addition of these 25 quarters helped fill in quite a few missing pieces.  This was really a lucky find.  Keep your on the lookout as you just never know when you may come across your needle in a haystack.

Best Friends Forever (BFF) Pennies – Disneyland, CA

West Coast Disney is certainly on a roll of late with releasing new pressed pennies designs and this past week added two new machines.  The first machine is in Disneyland in the Main Street Penny Arcade.

The unfortunate consequence of this new machine is that it replaced the Electric Light Parade penny set which was a really cool collection of designs.  But I will admit that these new pennies are not too shabby.

This first set has image of Miguel & Dante from Coco, Linguine & Remy, and Buzz & Woody from Toy Story.  Another interesting thing to notice about these coins is that they all have 2018 listed on them.  So you know this means that they have a limited shelf life.

The second machine released at roughly the same time is found over at the Bonanza Outfitters on the sidewalk.

The pennies at this new machine include Edna & Jack-Jack from The Incredibles 2, Russel & Doug from Up!, and Dory & Nemo from Finding Nemo / Dory.  The images also include BBF, Best Friends and Swim Buddies making for a fun set.  Just like the first set above these pennies also list 2018.

All six of these pennies have the same backstamp that says Pixar Fest which is going on throughout the West coast parks this summer.  These pennies are a cute set of designs and from what I’ve heard they are becoming very popular.  Make sure to get a set before they disappear.

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.