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.

2018 Nickel Set – Main Street Opera House Disneyland, CA

Will all the new 2018 pressed coins released at Walt Disney World in Florida I knew that the new dates coins would be coming soon to the west coast parks.  Thankfully that day has finally arrived.

Just released in the Disneyland Park is the first set of 2018 pressed nickels.  The machine was located at the exit to the Main Street Opera House which is the same location it’s been at for the last few years.

The designs included in this years dated set are of The Walt Disney Store, Main Street Penny Arcade and the Main Street Cinema.

The backstamp on each of these coins is the Disneyland Main Street U.S.A. logo.  Having these dated coins pressed on nickels is really cool and I look forward to them each year.  Hopefully the second set of dated coins over at California Adventure will be available very soon.

Hitchhiking Ghosts – Disneyland, CA

Foolish Mortals.

Ahh some of my favorite words from the Disney theme parks.  They have really created some fantastic attractions and things to do in all the different parks, but The Haunted Mansion has always been my favorite.

One of my favorite ghosts in the mansion is the Hat Box Ghost and I’m crossing my fingers that some day he makes his way over to Florida.  But for now he makes for something different when visited Disneyland in California.

Photo credit: Disney Parks

But my all-time favorite ghosts found among the 999 happy haunts are Gus, Ezra and Phineas better known as the Hitchhiking Ghosts.

If you have ever been to a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party and seen the parade it starts with the headless horseman which is really cool, but I think the effects for the parade float with these ghosts is pretty amazing.

I’m not sure exactly why I like them so much but they I think as a kid I actually liked the idea that they may follow me home.  Unfortunately they seem pretty happy where they are inside the mansion so instead I’ve filled my home office with as much memorabilia as I can get my hands on.

A year or so ago they came out with Tsum Tsums of the trio which I scooped up immediately.

I’m also obsessed with Magic Bands and have quite the collection but my favorite and most used band is the Haunted Mansion version featuring the hitchhikers.

Just this past Christmas my family gave me this Disney Traditions collectible designed by Jim Shore which is really amazing.  So why am I brining all of this up?  Well as you can guess it probably has something to do with pressed coins, and you would be absolutely correct.  However this is just slightly different than the release of a new set of coins.  The eagle eyed fellow collectors over at parkpennies.com figured something out that I just couldn’t resist sharing with everyone.

Photo Credit: Parkpennies.com

This is the story about a set of pressed quarters located in the New Orleans Square area in Disneyland.  As you can see in the above picture from Parkpennies is themed like a large coffin.  The first set of coins was made available in early 2012.

The designs on the front include the Haunted Mansion Banner, the Haunted Mansion Logo, and the Haunted Mansion Ride.  These front designs are really detailed and would be a great set all its own but they each have a special backstamp with some familiar ghosts.

I’m going to reference each coin by the catalogue number that parkpennies.com uses to try and keep everything organized.  The coin on the left is DL0518 has the HM Banner on the front and Phineas on the back.  The middle coin is DL0519 with the HM Logo on the front and Gus on the back.  The third coin on the right is DL0520 with the HM ride on the front and Ezra on the back.

When this set first became available I immediately contacted a friend of mine that lives near Disneyland and grabbed a set as soon as possible.  Then a few months later the machine disappears and returned with the same designs.  I didn’t think anything of it and figured I already had these coins and assumed the machine was just taken away for maintenance.  Little did I know the hitchhiking ghosts were up to their usual tricks and had hitchhiked onto different coins.  What do I mean by that?

Here is the set of coins that were available if you pressed them after the machine had returned in late 2012.  The coin on the left is DL0525 has the HM Banner but now had Guz.  The middle coin DL0526 with the HM Logo now had Ezra, and the coin on the right was DL0527 had Phineas on the back.  The ghosts seemed happy with these locations as they stayed this way for quite a few years until January 2018 when they were on the move again.

The ghosts had one last design to attach to.  The coin on the left was DL0678 with the HM Banner currently has Ezra.  The coin in the middle DL0679 with the HM Logo has Phineas, and finally on the right is DL0680 had Gus riding along.

I wish I had a better way to show both sides at the same time but I guess you will just have to trust me and more importantly Boomer over at parkpennies.com.  This makes for a very cool little subset of coins and one that I think most collectors probably didn’t even realize was available.  Now I’m not sure if they will continue to switch these designs around periodically which I think would be cool, but for now you may be stuck checking eBay for the original sets.

This is a good reminder to always take the time to really inspect your pressed coins and take in the details of the designs you just never know what you may find.  Oh and always remember to “Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts”.

2017 Holiday Nickels – Disneyland and California Adventure

It’s that time of year again and as Christmas is  almost here, Disneyland has released their annual Holiday Nickel sets.  As with previous years the first set of nickels released were available at the Main Street Penny Arcade.

The images are of Mickey & Minnie Seasons Greetings 2017, Donald Duck Happy Holidays 2017, and Tinker Bell Happy New Year! 2018.

The backstamp on each of these nickels is the Disneyland Park logo with a snowflake and mistletoe.

Walking across the promenade over to California Adventure you can find the second set of holiday nickels.

The machine can be found in the Kingswell Camera shop.  The designs are of a Toy Story Alien Ornament Seasons Greetings 2017, Tow Mater Holiday Cheer 2017, and Lightning McQueen Happy New Year 2018.

Similar to the other backstamp this one has the California Adventure logo with snowflake and mistletoe.

I say this every year but these really are a cool little set and looking forward to them has become an annual event that lots of collectors enjoy.  Make sure you get a set of each before they disappear for another year.

Have a very Merry Christmas, and Holiday season!!

The Dream Boutique – Downtown Disney, CA

It seems like quite a while since there has been a new pressed coin machine over on the west coast.  Back in October the Anna and Elsa Boutique in Anaheim’s Downtown Disney converted over to The Dream Boutique.

Photo credit: LaughingPlace.com

This changed the theming and merchandise from Frozen to all things Princess.  The store was open for a bit when the penny machine inside also changed from a set of Frozen pennies to a set of three princesses.  Then just as quickly as the machine showed up, it was taken away and didn’t come back until just recently.

The designs were the same as the pennies before the quick removal, but the machine has been covered to press on nickels.  This was really a cool upgrade as there are not many machines that press nickels and they make for a nice big canvas for these new detailed designs Disneyland has been releasing.

Each coin also has a Disney Princess Disneyland logo which is always a cool feature of the machine.  I wish they did this at the Florida Disney machines.

I wasn’t quick enough to get a set of this set pressed on pennies as it disappeared before I could get a set.  They are probably pretty rare at this point, but these new nickel pressings are a nice tradeoff.

Main Street Electrical Parade – Disneyland, CA

Over the years I’ve seen a lot of fireworks shows and parades.  Some have been fairly entertaining, others really disappointing, but one has stuck with me for years.  Out in Disneyland years ago I was about to leave the park early but was convinced by a friend to stick around for the parade.  Wow and I ever glad I decided to stay, as I witnessed a really amazing show.

Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade is an experience you shouldn’t miss.  With the lights in the park turned off and the floats coming down the street lit up like your crazy neighbor’s house for Christmas mixed with a fantastic Disney soundtrack just blew me away.

There are of course your standard Disney characters, and iconic images from your favorite movies.

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It even includes one of my childhood favorites, Elliott from Pete’s Dragon.  The unique look to these floats with all the individual bulbs just makes them familiar but different at the same time.  Now what does this have to do with pressed coins?  Well just recently a new pressed penny machine was located in the Main Street Penny Arcade celebrating this parade.

When I saw a photo of these coins I just had to have them.  The detail of each design if really amazing and the use of the individual dots recreates that unique bulb look of the floats.  The designs include the iconic Mushroom with Butterfly, Elliott from Pete’s Dragon, and To Honor America.

How could I not include a picture of the backstamp which are becoming a Disneyland standard.  The designs include the Main Street Electrical Parade font, with some nice surrounding trim.

I know all the Disneyland enthusiasts will hunt me down for this, but I hope that some day the Electrical Parade gets packed up and transported over to Florida so I can see it in the Magic Kingdom.  Sorry I’m selfish and really want to see this parade again as it’s just that great, and unfortunately I don’t know when my next trip to California will take place.  For now I’ll have to settle for these new pennies, which as you can see from the pictures isn’t a bad trade-off.

2017 Nickel Set – Main Street Opera House Disneyland, CA

Has it been a year already?  Where has the time gone.

It’s been a little while since a new set of press coins was released in the Disneyland park.  But with the new Guardians of the Galaxy released in California Adventure a couple of weeks ago I’m hoping this is the beginning of a bunch of new sets.  These new coins are a nice surprise as they are pressed on Nickels which don’t happen to often, and are also the dates designs for 2017.

The location of this machine is the same as it’s been all year.  Located at the exit to the Main Street Opera House where you can see Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.  Technically you can get in the exit (naughty naughty) and just use the machine, but if you have the time it’s always great to see one of the original attractions that started it all for Disneyland.

For 2017 this new set of coins has images of all our Main Street favorite snacks.  The Little Red Wagon Corn Dogs, Gibson Girl Ice Cream, and Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe.

The backstamp features a nice nostalgic Disneyland Main Street U.S.A. Logo.  This is really a feature I wish the Florida parks would get into as the backstamps really make the finished product stand out.

Since these are the latest dates coins I’m pretty sure you have about 12 months to collect it but you never know.  I wouldn’t delay as you never know what may happen or when these machines will go down and not come back.  These dates coins are really becoming popular and are always exciting to see what designs are released each year.

Astro Blaster (Buzz Lightyear) Exit – Disneyland, CA

Disneyland has been taking a little time off since the last set of new press coin designs were released.  But just a short while ago this has changed and a couple new sets have made an appearance.  First up is at the Astro Blaster Exit also known as the Buzz Lightyear ride/attraction.

This is a really cool set.  You can see there is the famous Disneyland Monorail, an Astro Orbitor and the Space Mountain Logo.

As with most of the new coins at Disneyland these have a nice backstamp.  The design on the back of these coins represents their location within the park Tomorrowland.

Ever since I was young the Monorail was one of my favorite attractions.  Just for that one design alone this was a must have set I couldn’t wait to get.  Hopefully there will be more on the way.  Disney has a lot of different transportation and ride vehicles throughout their parks and resorts and I always thought that may be a fun mini-set of pressed coin designs.  I’ll keep dreaming and hope someone can make that happen.  Happy collecting!

2016 Holiday Nickels – Disneyland and California Adventure

We are just a few days away from Christmas and as luck would have it my brand new set of pressed nickels showed up from Anaheim.  These annual tradition at the Disneyland and California Adventure have become something collectors look forward to each year.  Thankfully I had a friend in the area that was able to press me a set and ship them back so I could share them with everyone.

dl-holiday-nickels

First up is the set available at Disneyland.  The machine can be found at the Main Street Penny Arcade.  The images include Season’s Greetings Mickey 2016, Season’s Greetings Olaf 2016, and Happy New Year Mickey Ornament 2017. Each coin also says Disneyland Park.

dl-holiday-nickels-back

The back of these coins has a nice backstamp with Snowflakes and Disneyland Park printed in the middle.

ca-holiday-nickels

The second set is available over at California Adventure and can be found in the Los Feliz Five & Dime Store.  These coins include images of Happy New Year Carthay Circle 2017, Season’s Greetings Lighting McQueen 2016, and Season’s Greetings Frozen’s Anna and Elsa 2016.  Each coin also says Disney California Adventure.

ca-holiday-nickels-back

the backstamp for these coins is very similar to the other set.  Snowflakes surround the Disney California Adventure logo.

Another year has (almost) come and gone and these new Holiday coins were definitely worth the wait.  Nice detail, and being pressed on Nickels makes them just a little more unique.  These are only available for a limited time so make sure you pick up a set, and get ready for another great year of pressed coin collecting.

Have a very Merry Christmas, and Holiday season!!

Virtual Magic Kingdom – VMK

In my never-ending quest for all things pressed coins I sometimes come across something that I’ve never seen before.  On a recent hunt through eBay I was just seeing what was out there I came across just such an item, and I had to buy it and then immediately do some research.  The item in question was the below collectible card.

vmk-penny-press-card-front   vmk-penny-press-card-back

On the left is the front of the card and the right image is the back.  I thought this was kind of a cool and unique collectible but was intrigue with what game this was actually from.  As you can see on the card it listed VMK along the sides, and on the back at the bottom was a link to a website VMK.com.  Unfortunately this link doesn’t work and just reroutes you to the Disney Online Games website instead.  But with some google searches I was able to find out some more information.

vmklogo

VMK stands for Virtual Magic Kingdom and was a Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) was a virtual representation of the Disneyland Theme park.  It was initially launched as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Disneyland but had no long-term intentions when initially released.  It first became available in 2005 with three virtual lands to explore: Main Street USA, Fantasyland, and Adventureland.  Then over the next couple years additional lands were made available like Tomorrowland, Frontierland, and New Orleans Square.

vmk-map

In the game you were able to create an avatar to wonder the streets of Disneyland and interact with other players, and play mini-games based on the popular Theme Park attractions.

vmk-jungle-cruise

Places like the Jungle Cruise (shown above) were available over in Adventureland.

vmk-haunted-mansion

Or the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square.

vmk-splash-mountain

Get soaked on Splash Mountain going through the Briar Patch over in Frontierland.

vmk-club-33

They even had the super exclusive Club 33 for a special event.  Now back to my original find the collector card with the penny press on it.  I scoured every corner of the internet I could access trying to find an in-game picture or screen shot showing the machine but just couldn’t find anything.

vmk-main-street

At one point I did think I was on to something.  When I found the above map of Main Street I noticed the Penny Arcade was an area to explore.  Eventually I did find a picture of the inside of the arcade.

vmk-penny-arcade

For those of you that have visited Disneyland in Anaheim this is the jackpot (or at least it used to be I haven’t been in a while) for penny press machines.  But sadly as you can see in the above picture the penny machines are nowhere to be found.

Continuing on the sad note this game was actually shut down in May 2008.  This is really unfortunately as the more I researched this the more I wanted to play.  I’m also surprised I never knew about this.  Sorry to string you along and then drop the bomb that you can’t actually play this anymore, but you never know maybe Disney can bring it back.  There are quite a few fan sites out there with great information and details on the game.  I just thought it was really cool to have a digital version of a penny machine inside a video game.  My imagination is racing as to what the coin designs would have been and if they changed on a regular basis.  Hopefully someone out there knows and can share with us.  Virtual pressed coins sound like a futuristic new idea especially if pennies become extinct…gasp!