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 covered 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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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Or the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

Main Street Penny Arcade – Disneyland, CA

On a recent trip to the Magic Kingdom in Orlando my family was walking down Main Street heading for one of our first fast passes of the day.  Even though the street was crowded with families heading in all various directions and take thousands of pictures I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion.  This magical place was the host to many of my most treasured memories, both when I was a child and also now that I’m older and taking my own children.  This was all thanks to one truly imaginative individual Mr. Walter Elias Disney.

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As I’ve gotten older my interest in the behind the scenes story of the theme parks has become an obsession all its own.  But the biographies of Walt Disney are something I just can’t get enough of.  From his childhood all the way up to his all too early death it’s a true Disney fairytale with lots of ups and downs.  What is truly remarkable is how many times Walt was confronted with failure but instead of giving up it only made him stronger, and learn from his mistakes.  Each time I read about these failures it seems that most people would have given up.  This seemed to be the emotion that took over as I strolled down main street trying to image what life would have been like without Disney.  Too be honest that’s almost too painful to even try to contemplate, but thankfully Walt would not be dissuaded from seeing his dreams come true.  He was a man full of imagination and was always capable of sharing some amazing words of wisdom some of which we will review shortly.

I could go on and on about my admiration for Walt Disney but this is all leading towards a brand new set of pressed quarters that was made available at the Disneyland theme park.  Located in the Main Street Penny Arcade which used to be home to a large assortment of penny press machines.

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Over the last few years all the machines were removed due to some renovations and unfortunately were never replaced.  With this first new machine hopefully many more will be on the way.

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This pressed quarter set is being unofficially called the Walt’s Quotes set.  Each coin has one of Walt’s famous which I think is really a special addition to any collection.

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“Here you leave today and visit the worlds of yesterday, tomorrow & fantasy.”

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“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

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Finally my personal favorite “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”

The next time you visit one of the Disney theme parks beside to take a moment to remember this real world wonderland that millions of people enjoy each year was all thanks to one remarkable person and his team of visionaries and imagineers.  Summer vacations, family movies and yes pressed coin collection would all be very different without him.

Adventureland / Frontierland / Tomorrowland / Downtown Disney NEW Pressed Pennies – Disneyland, CA

It’s been hard to keep up with all the new pressed coins being made available throughout the Disneyland park.  These past few days have seen five new machines (15 coins) put on stage and I figured it would be easiest to go over them all in one post.

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First over in Adventureland is the Bazaar souvenir shop.  Inside this location is 3 machines in total but on this visit we are just focusing on two of them.

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As you can see in the above picture this first new set is all inspired by one of my personal favorite movie franchises (and a great ride in Disneyland by the way) Indiana Jones.  The designs on these coins are the Indiana Jones Logo, Indy’s Hat and Whip, and Indy’s Hat and Whip with Crossed Swords.

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Here’s a shot of the backstamp which is also pretty cool.  The Disneyland parks always have really nice designs on the back of most of their pressed coins.

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The second machine at the Bazaar was kind of surprising since they are available before the movie has been released.  These designs are all about the new Disney animated movie Moana and include images of the star Moana, Maui, and Pau.

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Another really great backstamp.  Wish they would do this more over in the Florida parks.

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With Adventureland behind us we head over toward Frontierland where we find the Bonanza Outfitters store.  This is where the next new set of pennies can be found.

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Unfortunately the pennies I received were a little worse for wear and are kind of hard to see.  These designs include images of Cowboy Donald, Cowboy Mickey and Cowboy Goofy.

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Before leaving this park we had one last stop over in Tomorrowland at the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster attraction.

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The machine is actually located at the exit to the ride so you don’t necessarily have to go on the ride to use this machine.

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These designs are updated images of similar coins that used to be available here.  These definitely have more detail and press really nicely.  You can also see the attraction logo below which is on the back of each coin.

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The last two machine (for now) takes us out of the Disneyland Park and over to Downtown Disney and more specifically the World of Disney Store.  This is the same location that has seen a lot of new pennies come and go over the last year.

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The first set here has images of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy in some nice new designs.

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The second new machine here has designs of Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo, and Pinocchio.  Both of these sets have the same backstamp shown below.

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Whew, always fun but a little hectic when this many new coins show up.  But I’m not complaining and am always up for the challenge.  Stay tuned as I already heard of a few more machines that will be out very soon.

Pieces of Eight Gift Shop – Disneyland, CA

It was only a matter of time before the fantastic 60th Diamond Celebration at Disneyland came to and end.  I’m sad to say I was unable to actually visit during the celebration but from everything I have seen it looked really amazing.  Now that the decorations have started to come down in the parks it also means the special 60th pressed coin designs are beginning to disappear.

The first machine to have a brand new set of designs is located in the Pieces of Eight Gift Shop.  As you may guess this is where you end up after riding Pirates of the Caribbean and is a store filled with all your Pirating needs.  Towards the end of the store is where this machine is located and has some really detailed new images.

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The coins pressed a little long in this set but the images still came out really nicely.  As you can see they have a lot of detail and are a great new set.

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The first penny has an Anchor and says “Dead Men Tell No Tales” which for you Pirates of the Caribbean fans is a familiar warning you hear before boarding the ride.

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The second penny displays a pirate skull with hat and crossed swords in the background.

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The final available design is another skull with a banner saying Pirates of the Caribbean.  I was really impressed with these designs and am exited to have even more new coins to collect.  I don’t know if all the 60th coins machines will be replaced with brand new images and would assume some will be old designs brought back.  But I’ll keep my fingers crossed and will keep you posted.