(Closed) Contest – Win a Set of 2021 Walt Disney World Pressed Coins

** Thank you to everyone that entered.  The contest has closed and the winner has been contacted so check your emails.  Visit us again for future contests.


It’s that time of year again for our annual giveaway!!  See our past winners here.

This is a chance for you to get a complete set of the 2021 Dated Coins that I had written about in a previous post.   If you haven’t already, be sure to click here and you can find out more details on each coin, or check out our YouTube video on these coins here.

 

This will include all 24 coins (19 Pennies and 5 Medallions) as shown above (please note there is an extra medallion in the picture just to show off the back design).

As stated above this is a FREE contest.  To enter just post a comment below with who your favorite Animated Disney Sidekick is.  Simple right!

Post as many times as you like, and be sure to spread the word.  Share this on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or anywhere else that Disney Pressed Penny fans can be found.  This is always a lot of fun when there is a lot of participation. The contest will end on March 17th, 2021.  At that time I will randomly select a winner and will contact you for your mailing information.

If you haven’t already, be sure to stop by our Youtube channel: davidscointravels and subscribe for videos all about pressed coins including updates on new Walt Disney World pennies.  Your support there helps us offer these types of contests.

Good luck and Keep on Pressing!!

**Please note this is just for entertainment purposes.  This contest is not sponsored or endorsed by The Walt Disney Company.

2021 Dated Walt Disney World Pressed Coin Set

It’s the most magical time of the year….well sort of.  Thankfully this year Disney was able to release their new 2021 Dated pressed coins a little earlier than last year.  It’s a lot of work running all over property hunting for these new designs, but I’m always up for the challenge and enjoy every second of it.  Let’s jump right in and I’ll show you all the new designs and where you can find them on your next trip.

Usually these new designs start to show up right between Christmas and New Years so that’s when I started checking out all the usually locations as frequently as I could.

Sure enough I found the first one on December 27th at Disney Springs in the Pin Trader store.

 

I know this isn’t a pressed coins, but I still like to include it as part of the annual dated set.  It’s a Collectible Medallion (hint there are more to come) which I have really come to enjoy collecting.  The larger size of the coin allows for a more detailed image which I really like.  Unfortunately even though this design does have the new 2021 year on it, the rest of the designs is exactly the same as the 2020 version.  Hopefully next year they can work on completely redesigning it.  Fingers crossed!

Just a few days later I received a message from a friend and fellow collector Rob Wilson that he was visiting Hollywood Studios and found the first pressed penny.  I was excited to hear this news.  The only problem was that this time of year is very busy at the parks and getting a park reservation for arguably the most popular park at the time of writing this, I had to sit and wait for a few days before I could check it out.

Thankfully I was given very specific information on where this design was located as it wouldn’t not have been my first stop.  Just after you walk into Hollywood Studios there is faux Gas Station called Oscar’s Super Service.  This is actually where you would go to rent a wheelchair or electric scooter.

 

For a long as I can remember they have had a penny press inside this shop, but this is the first time that one of the dated designs was here.  This design is of the Hollywood Tower Hotel better knows as the Tower of Terror attraction.  This has become a common design each year and I still really like it.  Side note, also take a look at the machine and you may notice this has been updated to the new $1 per penny cost, and the machine supplies a shiny zinc penny.  Another interesting tidbit is that this is the only dated penny available in Hollywood Studios this year.  The penny design used to be in the Rock Around the Shop store but that 3-design machine was removed and replaced with an 8-design touch screen model (Stay tuned for a future post on this).  Then the pressed quarter design was at the Tower Hotel Gift shop, the machine is still available, and still $1.25 to press your quarter but there is no longer a dated design there.

Once I had finished walking all throughout the Studios park to ensure they didn’t release any other new designs, I hopped on the Skyliner to visit a resort.

Have I mentioned before how much I love the Skyliner?  It’s amazing and I don’t really like heights but it’s such a great way to get to and from some of the resorts and parks.  On this trip I ended up over at the Art of Animation resort.

 

In the main building of the resort there is a gift shop and food court which is where you can find the pressed penny machine.  This has been a fairly new location for the dated penny designs, and sure enough they continued this year with a new design.  This design is fantastic and I think it’s my favorite design for this year, just a little bit retro.

Next up we continued visiting resorts and headed over to the Polynesian Village Resort.  They are currently going through some major refurbishments at this resort currently with the monorail station being completely removed and eventually rebuilt, and some of the guest rooms will be converted to a Moana theme.

All this construction does make this resort not quite as amazing as it usually is, especially since ‘Ohana is not currently open.  But the gift shops and quick service locations are still open.  On the second floor is the Moana Mercantile for some grab an go items, and is also where the pressed penny machine is found.

 

 Last year this location also had a dated Minnie Mouse design, but thankfully this year even though Minnie has returned the design itself has been changed for this year.

I do kind of wish that this design had Minnie in her hula costume from down in the Lobby, but maybe next year.

Eventually the New Year did arrive and this was when the rest of the dated designs really started showing up.  I had seen on eBay two penny designs listed as being from Animal Kingdom which was out of the ordinary from previous years.  So I just had to visit every machine to see if that was the cases, and sure enough I found them.

First I headed over to Dinoland USA as this was where the dated design has been located the last few years.  As I passed by the Restaurantosaurus I found a friendly little guy making sure to keep his mask on, but looks like he may have picked up the wrong size.

The penny machine in this area can be found in Chester & Hester’s Dino Treasures.  It’s a pretty large gift shop over near all the carinal games.

 

The trend continued with this machine getting the new 2021 design with a really nice image of the Tree of Life.  Plus you can see this machine has fallen pray to the new price increase and you can no longer use your own pennies to press.

That was one penny down, now to try and find the next one.  I headed all around the park visiting each machine that I knew about and ended up back near the front of the Tree of Life at the Island Mercantile.  If you look at the above picture you can see the machine just to the left of the door which is on the side closest to the Pandora area of the park.

 

This machine is really amazing, and the wood carvings are so fun to look at.  The detail is amazing, and who doesn’t like the giant crab on top holding a penny.  Plus the little cup where the pressed coin drops out into is the mouth of a lion with some pretty intimidating teeth.  The 2021 design you can get at this machine has Pluto on it, and also now costs $1 to press.

With the two pennies found at Animal Kingdom it was time to visit the next park on our list EPCOT.  This park has been under quite a bit of construction this past year and finally some of those projects have started to end.  One of these is the front plaza just as you enter into the park.  They have brought back an amazing retro EPCOT fountain and this area is now so wide open and very beautiful.

The rest of Future World is still a bit of a mess and hopefully that will get better as 2021 continues.  Once you get past that area and into the World Showcase you need to look for the Disney Traders store.

 

This store has also been the home to an annual dated penny for quite a few years and that continues this year as well.  The design here is of Chip and Dale.

The second pressed penny is in a bit of a unique location.  In years past the second EPCOT dated design was found in the Mouse Gear gift shop back towards the front of the park.  But in 2020 when they gutted and began completely renovating the store the penny disappeared for quite a long time before reappear in the Norway Pavilion.

This is the gift shop you exit into if you take a ride on the Frozen Ever After attraction.

 

This is a really nice looking machine.  The art work on the cabinet is wonderful and I would assume Norwegian but that’s just a guess.  The design here is of Spaceship Earth and this is another design I really like for this new year.

Only one last place to visit and that’s my personal favorite park the Magic Kingdom.  But there are not just two dated designs here as in years past, but instead there is 12 pennies and 4 medallions.  So if you can only visit one park on your trip and want to get some 2021 dated designs this is the park to hit up.

 

The first machine is not too far inside the park and can be found just underneath the Main Street Railroad Station.  To be honest these are kind of hidden, but trust me it’s down there and just behind the double staircases that would take you up to the train platform.  This is a 4 design hand crank machine but all 4 designs have been swapped out for 2021 images including Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Cinderella Castle in the style of the new Mickey Mouse cartoons currently running on Disney+.  I wasn’t a fan of this style at first, but those cartoons are so much fun it’s hard not to like them and I’ve eventually come around.

Just a little further down Main Street the final few machines are all inside the Emporium.

Due to all the social distancing the stores have specific doors that you have to enter and others for exiting only.  For the emporium you basically need to walk about half way down Main Street before you can enter, even though you pass about 4 other doors along the way.  That does however bring you into the store and right near the first machine located near the big wall of Disney Pins.

 

This was another interesting turn of events with having new 2021 dated designs in an 8-design penny machine.  Upon closer inspection the vendor of the machines made a brilliant design choice to have the dated designs on one of the die rings, and the 4 non-dated designs on the second die ring.  This allows them to change out the dated designs without disturbing the rest of the machine.  So even thought his machine has 8 designs in total only the 4 dated designs were changed out.  The images on the new pennies include Mickey & Minnie, Donald & Daisy, Chip & Dale and a second Cinderella Castle that looks identical to the one we just found at the Main Street Railroad Station.

 

The second machine inside the Emporium has their collectible medallions.  This machine was placed here in 2020 shortly after the parks reopened from being temporarily closed for Covid.  All 4 of the front designs are the same as before including Mickey & Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Pluto.  It’s only the back image that was changed and has Cinderella Castle with 2021 on them.

 

Finally our last machine it back up towards the front of the Emporium as if you were heading towards the exit to the theme park.  This is another 8-design machine, but only the 4 dated designs were replaced.  The new images include Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Pluto and a Pirate Ship (maybe Captain Hooks?).

 

Well that’s all of them and above are pictures of all the new 2021 dated pennies and medallions.  Now I will say that with a bit of trepidation as I was scored a bit last year.  Initially I thought we had found all the 2020 designs and then over the course of a few more week / months they released more and more designs.  So I guess I should say, for now these are all the designs.

Before we go I did have a few items to go over.  First you may be thinking, hey there aren’t any 2021 pressed quarters and you would be absolutely correct.  I’ve chatted with some fellow collectors and we think they will be a thing of the past.  The overall number of pressed quarter machines is very low at the moment and I do think they will eventually just be removed completely.  Not having dated designs on quarters just seems to be another sign of that eventually happening.  Next you may be questioning that we didn’t visit the All-Star resorts which have had dated designs the last few years.  That unfortunately is due to those resorts not currently being open, they were shut down for Covid last year and are not scheduled to reopen for another few months and even at that time I believe only one will be reopening.  I am anxious to get over there and check out the machines once they reopen and I’ll share all about what I find.  Will there be more new 2021 dated designs there?  Maybe, but I also wouldn’t be surprised to see a few new 8-design machines there instead.  Only time will tell.

Thank you again for checking in and I hope this helps you with your collection or maybe even just as a checklist for which new pennies you collect throughout the year.  It is obviously early on in 2021 so there should be plenty of time to pick these up at the parks and resorts, but  remember what happened with that 2020 Spaceship earth penny that disappear and collectors were going nuts wondering if it would be back.  Get these before they are gone!

Stay tuned for a future post coming soon as our annual Contest will be happening where you have a chance to win a complete set of these dated coins.  Click here to see our past years winners.

Have a fantastic week and Keep on Pressing.

Wreck-It Ralph 2 NEW Pressed Penny Set – Epcot

Just a week or so ago I headed over to Epcot for one last visit to the International Food & Wine Festival.  I had tried most of the items but there were a few that topped my list so I wanted to go back one last time and indulge.

After our tour around the World Showcase, we were heading back towards the front of the park and headed along the pathway just near the Canadian Pavilion.  As we walked my daughter asked, “Isn’t the Figment rides near here’s?”…Ugh!

She was referring to of course the Journey into Imagination attraction featuring a purple dragon called Figment.  Now I will admit I’m not the biggest Figment fan.  I do enjoy Figment as a character but the ride is terrible and in my opinion, he’s pretty annoying.  My fingers are crossed that they will “eventually” change this ride.  In the meantime, I indulged my daughter and went on the ride with her.  Thankfully it’s not a long ride but I always come out of there humming that song.

After exiting the ride you find yourself in the ImageWorks area of the pavilion.  Pre-Covid days this place would be packed with kids enjoying some of the interactive exhibits or more than likely to meet some characters like Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope.  Unfortunately for now there is nothing going on inside this space.  Guests just walk right through it into the gift shop and then back outside to the park.

For no apparent reason, we decided to just take our time in this area and enjoy it with no one around.  Eventually, we did head out towards the gift shop and I noticed that a new penny machine was placed here.  This location used to have a 3-design electronic machine but that had disappeared a couple years ago.

The designs of this design are all themed around the Animated movie Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet.  This would match a little better in this area if Ralph still had a meet and greet here, but currently, he is not here so the machine seems a bit out of place.  They have started to renovate a pavilion on the other side of Future World that will become the Play Pavilion and seems to be themed around movies like Inside Out, and Wreck-It Ralph so I would think this machine will be relocated over there once construction is completed.

Just on a quick side note, for anyone that would rather skip the Figment ride you don’t need to go through that to get the pennies.  Just walk around the side of the Imagination Pavilion and you will find the exit/entrance to the ImageWorks gift shop.  Head inside the penny machine is just past the merchandise area.

I do like this set and think the designs are cute, but find it kind of strange that this is the movie they are opted to released penny designs for.  Are there any other pennies with designs from another movie sequel?  I’ll have to think about that but I don’t think so.  Leave me a comment if you can think of one.

Thank you for checking in this week and I hope you had a fantastic holiday last week.  Enjoy, stay safe, and as always Keep on Pressing!

The American Adventure NEW Pressed Pennies – EPCOT

On a recent trip to Epcot, I was primarily looking for the new Mission Space penny machine.  If you haven’t read about that trip you can check it out here.  After finding that machine the rest of our day was set aside to try some of the Food and Wine Festival food booths, and we also did a Ratatouille Scavenger Hunt.

As we made our way around the World Showcase the crowd level was higher than I had anticipated and many of the food booths had very long lines.  That mixed with the hot Florida sun made waiting in those lines seem very unappealing.

We did periodically come across a booth with either a short or no line and we took advantage of those.  Above was from the Africa booth and was the Piri Piri Skewered Shrimp with Citrus-scented Couscous.  This was really good, the shrimp were a little overcooked but the flavors were great with just a little spice to them.

A little further along our travels, we visited the Spain booth and tried a couple items.  First, we tried the Charcuterie which was a selection of imported Spanish Meats, Cheeses, and Olives with an Herb Vinaigrette.  My wife absolutely loved this one.  I did try a bit of it and the meats and cheeses were really flavorful, but olives are just not my thing.  The second item we got was the Spanish-style Paella with Chorizo and Shrimp.  This was probably my favorite so far of the festival with lots of flavors.

By this time we were getting a bit tired and in need of a break.  The American Adventure pavilion just nearby so we headed in that direction for some downtime in the shade.

While we sat under the shaded pavilion rehydrating with some much-needed water, I spied something across the patio.

I quickly headed over to investigate and sure enough, it was a brand new penny machine.

It is a newer version of the 4-design hand-crank machine.  Each design costs $1 and you can use either cash, credit card, or digital payment like ApplePay.  The machine supplies the penny to be pressed so you are not able to use your own preferred pennies, unfortunately.

Here they are the pressed penny set.  I really think this is a cute set and love the design of the Mickey-American Flag, but they are all great new designs.  I did walk around the rest of the pavilion just to check on the old machine but it was nowhere to be found and I’m going to assume it’s been retired.

We eventually finished our visit to Epcot and had a great time.  I did check the other Pavilion penny machines but didn’t see any other new ones so far.  This is an interesting change since it’s one of the first times we have seen a 3-design ($0.50 per penny) machine completely replaced by these new 4-design ($1.00 per penny) machines.  Fellow collectors have been anticipating this change and it may be finally coming to fruition.  This would be a huge overhaul of machines since most of Disney property has those older 3-design machines.  This change over could take years and I’ll be very interested to see if we get all new designs or if they will just install the old designs back into the new cabinets.  Only time will tell but I’ll be sure to document them as quickly as I can.  Keep on Pressing!!

Mission Space NEW Pressed Pennies – Epcot

It’s been almost a month since my last visit to a Disney Theme Park.  This was partly due to my own feelings of safety and looking to ensure I kept my exposure limited whenever possible.  But another factor has also been playing a part in this decision and that is the Disney Park Reservation system.  Basically, if you want to visit one of the parks you need to make a reservation in advance.  With the parks having the limited guest capacity (currently, it’s around 30%), and that is also divided between On-site Resort Guests, Day Guests (not staying at a resort), and Annual Passholders.  Unfortunately, Annual Passholders book up these reservations pretty quickly and it’s been a bit difficult to get one.

Photo Credit: Disney

Prior to all this, whenever I heard about a new pressed penny machine or design I would just head into the park that evening or the following weekend at the latest to document the new coins.  But with this new reservation system, it makes spontaneous trips almost impossible.  I took that as a sign to just take a break from the parks.

Eventually, I was able to secure a reservation for Epcot and as my luck would have it, there was a new penny machine released.  It was very nice to be back in the parks, but since it was Labor Day weekend the crowds were definitely larger than I had anticipated.  Plus Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival was in full gear and weekends are a busy time for these Festivals.

My family was anxious to get back into the World Showcase for some rides and more importantly Festival Food booths.  But first I needed to stop by my arch-nemesis Mission Space.  Here’s a quick story.  Years ago when I still lived in New Jersey I had visited Walt Disney World for vacation and had a reservation for my favorite restaurant on property ‘Ohana at the Polynesian Resort.  That day I had decided to visit Epcot to kill time before my dinner, and my friend wanted to try Mission Space.  I’m always a bit nervous about new attractions but decided to go on with him.  Basically, it’s a centrifuge where it simulates you blasting off from Earth into Space.  Because it’s a centrifuge you are in these little capsules that spin around really fast to simulate the g-forces you would encounter on this type of trip.  Our flight was a bit delayed due to someone getting sick as they exited the ride.  That should have been my notice to skip this one but I didn’t and afterward, my stomach was upset and I was so out of it I had to just go back to our resort.  The thought of food would make me nauseous so I had to make the difficult decision to skip my ‘Ohana reservation.  It’s such a popular restaurant that I was unable to reschedule for any other time during our visit.  So my hatred of this attraction all stems back to that trip and how it made me miss dinner at my favorite restaurant.

Years have past and that scar still runs deep.  I haven’t been on this attraction since, and they even now have a “less intense” version but I’m still not ready to experience it again.  However, even though the penny press machine is located in the gift shop you do NOT need to experience the attraction if you don’t want to.   When facing the front of the building just walk over to the left and you will find the gift shop.  I always liked the above picture which is in the shop just behind the checkout desk.

Just inside the doors to the gift shop is where the penny machine could be found.  Not too long ago there was a 3-design machine here that had Mission Space theme designs.  But that was recently removed and had a Star Wars machine here instead.  I always thought that was a bit of a stretch to have Star Wars with Mission Space but hey what do I know.

I was glad to see the new designs were all inspired by Mission Space.  Above is the marquee from the machine and the price has remained the same for now.  $1 per penny or you can get the entire set of 8 for $5.

The large plexiglass window on the front allows for a fun view of the inner workings of this machine which I always enjoyed watching.  They also have pressed pennies from the machine on display so you can see what the final results will be.

This is a nice set and I’m glad we were able to get over to Epcot for them.  Eventually, I’ll bury the hatchet with this attraction and go on again but I’ll be sure to not have any special dining reservations afterward.  We enjoyed the rest of our day at Epcot and did come across another new penny machine but you’ll just have to stay tuned to read all about that one shortly.  Happy Pressing!!

Epcot Reopening Preview – NEW Pressed Pennies!!

A week after Disney reopening the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom theme parks, they were ready to open their other parks Hollywood Studios and Epcot.  Not only was Epcot reopening but they were also kicking things off with their Food and Wine Festival that will now be running longer than any previous year.  I was able to snag a Park Reservation to check out Epcot and see how things had changed.

Just like the other parks, there is a required temperature screening before you can enter the park.  It was quick and simple with no line when I had arrived.  Afterward, I headed through the security check and then up to the main entrance.

A really nice thing that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before at the parks is that all of the entry touchpoints were open.  This helped prevent any line from forming while you scan your magic band or park ticket.

As I mentioned above the Food and Wine Festival officially started July 15th and will run through the Fall.  This is also the 25th anniversary of the festival.

Walking back towards the World Showcase you can see the very light crowd level in the park.  The nice thing about Epcot is that it a large property and allows guests quite a bit of room to spread out.

One thing that I thought was interesting is that not all of the Festival food booths were open.  Quite a few of them had signs stating they will open in the “Fall”.  Also, there was next to no Food and Wine merchandise available, instead, they were still trying to sell through the Flower and Garden Festival items from before the parks had closed in March.

I decided to head towards the Mexico Pavilion and start my way around the World Showcase in that direction.

The first open booth I encountered was the Mexico booth and I just had to stop and try something.  The Ribeye Taco was just calling my name.  It was really good but the portion size was really small and at $6.95 seemed overpriced.

I continued my trip around the world by next visiting the Norway Pavilion.  The line for the Frozen Ever After attraction was around 30 minutes which wasn’t too bad compared to normal operating days.  However, I was more interested in visiting the Relaxation Station in this area that is located in the Akershus restaurant.  Previously this was a Character Dining buffet but with all the current restrictions that are not happening.  Instead, you can come inside for a break from the sun for some air conditioning and a chance to remove your mask for awhile.  I have never been to this restaurant but I was really amazed at how beautiful it was.  The decorations and theming were really great and I hope to actually eat here sometime in the future.

Next up was the China food booth with the above menu available.  The offerings do seem limited this time around.  I’m not sure if this will change as the festival continues.

They also have some variation of a Bao Bun at this booth which I’m obsessed with.  This year it was a Mongolian Beef version so I picked it up with a cup of the Happy Peach drink.  This was another winner for me, the beef was flavorful and the bun was soft and pillowy.  Even though the bun was $6.75 I felt it was a much better value than the taco I had earlier.  The peach drink was just okay and at $11.50 due to it containing alcohol was pretty pricey.

As I stood to the side of the China Pavilion enjoying my food, all of a sudden the music ramped up and I was greeted by a Character Cavalcade featuring Elsa and Anna.  I mentioned this in the Magic Kingdom review but I wanted to say again that I really think this is a great way to enjoy the characters.  These impromptu experiences are not scheduled and just happen randomly throughout the day.  They don’t last long unless you follow them around the Showcase.  But within just a few minutes they had passed by where I was standing and then everyone went back to what they were doing.  I hope they keep these up in the future.

I continued around the Showcase and as you can see the crowds continued to be really light and in my opinion very enjoyable.  All too often, I’ve visited the parks with massive crowds and it can take some of the fun out of your day.

Over in the Japan Pavilion with the Matsuriza Traditional Japanese Drummers no longer performing it was really quite.

The Morocco Pavilion was also extremely quiet.  I walked through the marketplace and think I saw only 2 or 3 people.

Next up was the France Pavilion.  My wife loves the Chocolate Croissants available in Les Halles Patisserie and I was going to surprise her with one, but unfortunately when I went inside the Patisserie was closed.  I have seen that a few days after my visit it has reopened with a limited menu.

One completely new experience for me on this trip was the ability to check out this large Pavilion building that I’ve only ever seen from a distance.  It’s located between the United Kingdom and Canadian Pavilions.

Usually, this is reserved for special events, but during the Festival it’s been opened to guests and houses a few different food booths.  This place was huge!  Plenty of space inside, lots of high top tables that were all appropriately spaced out, and live music were playing.  Plus there was plenty of Air Conditioning, always important during summertime in Florida.

The food booth all the way in the back of the Pavilion was dedicated to Macaroni & Cheese which sounded pretty good to me.

I opted for the Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese which was also really fantastic.  The Buffalo flavor was not very spicy and I would have preferred a little more spice for my taste.  Since Disney wants to make sure as many people can enjoy it their spicy level is usually pretty low.  But in any case, I reall[y did enjoy this and was on quite the roll this trip with Festival foods.

After enjoying a bit of a break in this Pavilion I headed back out to the Showcase and finished my tour.  I headed back towards Future World and visited a few areas like the Imagination Pavilion, The Land, and The Seas with Nemo and Friends.

Nothing new in any of those areas, so I headed to the other side of Spaceship Earth and headed towards one of my favorite attractions Test Track.  Unfortunately, this ride was not working when I got there, but I decided to go around the side to the Simporium (gift shop).

I spoke with a Cast Member who confirmed that the store was open even though the ride was down.  There usually is a 3-design penny machine inside and I wanted to make sure it was still there, but to my surprise, it was gone.

In its place was a new 8-design touch screen pressed penny machine.  First I had to do my usual photoshoot with the machine and then I went up and pressed my set.  The Cast Member told me I was the first guest (other than the tech who installed it) to use the machine.  I felt so honored to be the first!

This was a nice set of designs all themed around Test Track.  There are a few with Mickey and his friends as well as a couple with some unique Test Track logos.  I was so happy to find some new pennies on this visit and it was a great way to end my day.

My plan was only to try a few food items this time around as I really wanted to spend most of my time reviewing the pressed penny machines.  I’m planning on going back maybe in August to do a full Food and Wine Festival tour with my wife and friends which is something we do every year.  As for the penny machines around the World Showcase, they were all pretty much still in their usual locations, only a couple were not open like in Germany and Canada.  Those machines are located in the gift shops which were not open that day.  The machines in Future World were all the same and available other than the new one at Test Track.  It was definitely a great day and so much fun to be back in Epcot.  I’m looking forward to visiting again to really dive into the Food Festival and hopefully, we will see some more new pressed pennies soon.

ESPN Club – Disney’s Boardwalk

Years ago when I had been visited Walt Disney World on vacations we always spent most of our time obviously in theme parks.  Whether we were going on rides, eating snacks, or big meals, and especially when penny pressing we were more often than not in those parks.  After we moved down to Florida I was able to try and explore more of WDW property since we didn’t need to spend all of our time in the parks anymore.  Some of these trips had us find some hidden gems like the Sebastien’s Restaurant over at Caribbean Beach Resort or the secret dinner menu over at the All-Star Movie Resort.  But one place had ended up being my go-to spot when I just want a bit of Disney pixie dust without heading into a park, and that ended up being the Disney Boardwalk.

The Boardwalk wraps around about half of Crescent Lake just outside of Epcot.  Directly across from the Boardwalk is the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts, the Swan & Dolphin Resorts are also just a quick walk away.  Then right on the Boardwalk is the Inn  (Resort) that you can stay at during your visit and is a beautiful place is you don’t mind the creepy clown slide by the pool.

Along the Boardwalk are some carnival-style games where you can win prizes, along with plenty of restaurants, bars, and live entertainment at night.  I have visited most of the restaurants and shops along here, but one that I had never experienced was the ESPN Club.  This place can get very during televised sporting events.  Finally it was time to go and see what this club was all about, so I made sure we went shortly after it opened on a Saturday to try and avoid the crowds later on.

They do list the upcoming games on the marquee out front so you can keep an eye out for your favorite team.  But as you will see inside there are plenty of TVs to cover any game you may be looking for.

This is not some secret club and you don’t need to sign up for anything ahead of time.  This is open to the public just like any other restaurant or bar.

As you walk inside past the check-in stand the main bar is straight ahead.  Notice all those TV screens around the bar, that’s just the tip of the ice burg.

The sports memorabilia is also in full force here and amazing to see their collection.

This was the main dining room that was set up like a basketball court which was neat, and lots more autographed items all around the walls.

They had items from all different teams among the major sports like Baseball, Football, Hockey, and Basketball.

The autographed jerseys are all nicely framed and I’m pretty sure that no matter who your favorite player is they probably have his jersey.  The amount of stuff in here is amazing.

This wall had some Hockey jerseys of some players I remember from when I was younger.  I especially liked the Chiefs one in the middle of the famous Hanson Brothers from the Paul Newman movie Slap Shot.

 

I had wondered around to see all the memorabilia while I waited for my lunch which did arrive pretty quickly (a perk of going early).  For an appetizer I tried their House Made Chili which was okay nothing I would go out of my way for.  Then as my main entree I had the Reuben sandwich.  It was fine but again nothing extraordinary and I wouldn’t rush back for it.  They did have a big menu so I would definitely come back again to try something else.

Once my lunch was done I skipped dessert and paid my bill.  This way I was able to spend a little more time checking out the decorations.  In the little hallway that connects the main entrance to the larger dining room I was seated as is where the pressed penny machine was located.

This is also part of the waiting area for guests in the restaurant.  There were a few seats along the sidewall and I would anticipate this area gets pretty crowded if all you are looking to do is use the penny press.  Pro-tip: go early!

Here is a picture of the marquee on the machine with the designs for each available penny.

My original set of pressed pennies from here were in pretty bad shape and I had used crumby pennies.  So I used this as an excuse to get a fresh new set.  The images are of Mickey playing Football, Donald playing Basketball, and Daisy playing Softball.

Overall I had a fun time here and as much as I make it sound like I want to avoid crowds, I think this would be a great place to watch an important playoff game or even the College Basketball tournament.  Having all the screens with different games, and plenty of beer on tap plus I’m sure the crowds inside would just add to the atmosphere.  I may have to try this out sometime in the future.  The food is fine and I did enjoy what I got but would be interested in trying something different next time like some Buffalo wings…mmm wings.

The pressed pennies hadn’t changed in the years since I last stopped in, and it would be nice to see some updated designs at some point.  I do like the ESPN Club logo on each design which made a unique touch to this set.  After I left the restaurant I enjoyed the rest of my morning just taking in the sights along the Boardwalk which really is a great place to visit when you need a little break from the parks.  Keep on Rollin’!!

2020 Dated Walt Disney World Pressed Coins Set

Happy New Year!!  Ok sorry I know it’s February but I have some great news, all the 2020 pressed coins have been released at Walt Disney World.  Well, most of them are available…but we will get to that in a bit.  This year was a bit chaotic, we came out of the gate early in January with a hand full of new coins, then it took some time for the rest to appear.

Just recently the last few 2019 designs were finally removed and replaced with old retired designs, not new 2020 ones.  I was trying to hold out as long as I could before writing this to keep all this information in one post.  I’ve spoken with some fellow collectors and we believe that the 2020 dated designs have all been released.  As always if anything changes I’ll be sure to update everyone.

We will star over in Epcot at the Mouse Gear store.  This is the main gift shop just behind Spaceship Earth and has been home to a dated penny design for quite a few years.

   

The penny machine can be found along a wall covered in the 2020 merchandise like t-shirts, sweaters, snow globs, picture frames and so much more.  The penny available here was of Spaceship Earth.

Remember at the beginning when I said most of the designs are available well this is the one exception for now.  I was at Epcot the day this design was released.  But for some reason about a week, later this store was closed up for a lengthy refurbishment.  As of the date, I’m writing this penny machine has not been moved and is currently unavailable.  There is a new “Temporary” Mouse Gear store behind the Electric Umbrella quick service restaurant, but the machine hasn’t been placed there yet.  This design has become a highly sought after design for now since it was only available for a few days not many people were able to get one.  Rumors are that the machine cabinet is being rethemed and will then return.  I’ll be sure to post an update if it shows up again.

   

Epcot also had a second penny design available back in the World Showcase at the Disney Trader’s gift shop.  The design is of Chip and Dale carrying what I think is Donald’s hat.  After pressing this penny I headed over to the International Gateway and grabbed the new Skyliner over to Hollywood Studios.

   

The first new design is back in the Rock Around the Shop the gift shop for Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  I really like the design of this machine’s cabinet and hope they don’t change it.  It just really fits in well here.  The penny design here was of Chip and Dale in 2020.

 

Not too far away was the next coin in the Tower Hotel Gifts which is the store for the Tower of Terror attraction.  This pressed quarter has a similar design from previous years of the Tower of Terror.

With Hollywood Studios completed we headed over to the Animal Kingdom.  Back in Dinoland USA at the Chester and Hester Dino Treasures gift shop is where the penny machine is located.

 

The penny in this store is of the Tree of Life the icon of the park also with 2020 at the bottom.  Animal Kingdom used to have a dated pressed quarter located at the Harambe Train Station but this machine did not get a 2020 design.

Now we were off to check out some of the resorts for new coins.  First, we stopped at the All-Star Sports resort.

 

The machines are located in the main lobby building just outside the Arcade.  There is one-quarter machine available and the design here is of 2020 Goofy.

A little further down the road, we visited the All-Star Music resort.  These machines are also located in the main building just outside the Note’ Able Arcade.

 

The pressed quarter design at this resort is of Pluto with 2020 on it.

The last All-Star resort is Movies and ended strong with two pressed coin designs.

 

These machines are found in the World Premier Food Court and can be a busy place if you visit during common mealtime.  The pressed quarter design is of Donald Duck.

 

Just a few steps to the right is the penny machine with the new 2020 design of Pluto.  This completed the All-Star resorts so we jumped back in our car and headed over to the Art of Animation resort.

This resort has one of my favorite food courts called the Landscape of Flavors.  When you first walk in there is a pretty big gift shop, then the food court is just beyond that.  The penny machines are just past the gift shop.

 

The design available at this machine is another horizontal image of Donald Duck in 2020.  There was just one more resort we needed to visit and it probably my all-time favorite.

I love the theming at the Polynesian Village Resort, and the food options are great.  Inside the main lobby building called the Grand Ceremonial House, up on the second floor is the Moana Mercantile and the penny machine is right outside the store.

 

Of all the designs this year I think this one is my favorite, 2020 Minnie Mouse.

After a quick ride on the Monorail, we were inside the Magic Kingdom.  I headed right down Main Street, through the Castle and into Fantasyland.

Near the carousel is a store called Sir Mickey’s.  This is also the store you exit into after you experience a Princess Meet and Greet.

 

In previous years this machine has been my archnemesis.  I think in 2019 I had to visit this machine about 3-4 times before it was finally working to press the penny.  This year I lucked out and it was working without any issue.  This is another cute design of 2020 Mickey Mouse.

In previous years the Main Street Emporium had a dated penny and quarter, but not in 2020.  This year those old designs were replaced with previously retired designs from other locations.  But I did find another machine at the Main Street Train Station.

 

This was a new machine placed here in 2019 and all four of the designs were replaced with new 2020 penny designs.  This set has images of Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Cinderella’s Castle.  We had just one more place to visit to finalize all the 2020 coins, we grabbed a bus over to Disney Springs.

   

In the Pin Traders store, there is a collectible medallion machine.  This has moved around a bit over the last year, but this seems to be it’s new “permanent” location.  There was a 2019 design here and it has been replaced with a new 2020 medallion.

Wow, I don’t know about you but that was quite a trek around WDW property.

This year there are only 4 pressed quarter designs.  It does seem like these pressed quarter machines are slowly being removed as quite a few of them were taken away last year and have not returned.  There were 12 pennies and 1 collectible medallion, making for a grand total of 17 dated coins.

Keep in mind that penny from Epcot’s Mouse Gear is not currently available, and is also a prime example of making sure you try to get these coins as soon as you can.  With so many things changing around Walt Disney World property these machines seem to come and go periodically which can leave holes in your collection.

Have a great 2020 and I’ll be sure to keep you up to date with any changes to this setup or if that pesky Mouse Gear penny shows up somewhere.  I think this is going to be another big year at WDW with new coin released so we will definitely be busy.

Keep on Smashing!!

(More) Frozen Pressed Pennies – Epcot Norway Pavilion

It’s 2020 and Disney has started released their dated pennies and quarters so I’ve been focused on that for the last couple weeks.  Then all of a sudden in the middle of that they decide to release a brand new penny machine in Epcot.  We are in between festivals so I was intrigued about what designs could be in this machine.  Then I got a message from a fellow collector on Instagram about the new Norway machine.  Uh oh, I think I know what this new set is going to be themed.  Wasn’t there just a new Frozen movie released?

Over in the Norway Pavilion, there are two separate sections.  If you are coming from the Mexico Pavilion, the first area has the Anna and Elsa Royal Sommerhus which is a meet and greet area.  Then if you go a bit further the second area is where the Frozen Ever After ride is located along with some shopping and the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.  I, of course, headed to that main section near the Ride with all the shops but couldn’t find this new machine.  Eventually, I checked the first section and remember there was a gift shop at the exit to the Anna and Elsa meet and greet.  This store is called The Wandering Reindeer.

They even have a cute cross-stitch of a reindeer up on the wall.  Not for sale that I could tell, but give them time.

Inside is all Frozen all the time.  I don’t think I saw one piece of merchandise that wasn’t Frozen related.  But I guess that’s to be expected as you would normally just be finishing your visit with Anna and Else before exiting in here.  Please note that you do not actually need to do the meet and greet to get in here, there is a door right from the outside as I pictured above.  Once you walk inside all the way in the back left is where I found the machine.

I apologize for the picture, the lighting inside was terrible and with parts of the machine backlit it made getting a good picture very difficult.  As you can see the machine is our new standard 8-design machine.

The machine does still supply new shiny pennies for you and these came out pretty nicely.  The designs include Else, Anna, Olaf, Kristoff, Hans and some of the characters together.  After I got home I took a further look at these and honestly couldn’t tell if these if there were technically a Frozen II set or not.  I didn’t think Hans was in the second movie, but my daughters said otherwise so I’m not sure what to call them other than just a new set of Frozen pressed pennies.  As a collector, I’m surprised for more Frozen designs, but again with the popularity of the new movie, I guess this does make sense. Kids will be looking for souvenirs with their favorite Frozen characters, and the parents will be happy to only drop $5 for a souvenir.  Not too bad in my book.

Festival of the Holiday’s 2019 – Epcot

Happy New Year!!
Unfortunately, I had planned to write the below post a couple weeks ago but I got sick and some family events happened during the holidays.  I apologize for the delay and this festival has completed for 2019 but the next festival will be upon us before too long.
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Epcot doesn’t waste any time transitioning from one Festival to the next.  It seems like just a few weeks ago I was enjoying the Food and Wine Festival, and then just this past week everything changed over to the Festival of the Holidays.

I will admit this is not one of my favorite festivals, but it still gives me an excuse to head over to the park and try some new food items, or experience the Candlelight Processional which is actually a great show.

This year my two daughters wanted to try and complete the Cookie Stroll.

Last year I had attempted it but only got through a couple cookies before I felt sick from all the sugar and holiday spice.  This year my plan was to break up the sweetness with some savory dishes and hopefully not go home with my tail between my legs utterly defeated and embarrassed.

My two girls were excited and ready for some cookies.  After we got inside the park we picked up our Festival Passport so we knew where to go and headed for the first cookie.

 

The booth over near the Canadian Pavilion was called the Yukon Holiday kitchen, and they had the Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie.  I am not a huge peppermint fan, but this cookie was actually really good.  It was soft, moist and didn’t have an overwhelming amount of peppermint flavor which was a plus for me.

If you are going to try the cookie stroll, make sure you get your passport stamped after you pay for the cookie.

 

The second cookie was at the Fest of the Three Kings booth and was a Chocolate Crinkle Cookie.  This was just okay for us, my girls didn’t really like it.  To be it was almost more like a cake than a cookie, it was a bit dry but had plenty of chocolate flavor.

 

We then had to take a bit of a stroll around the World Showcase until we got to the German Pavilion and the Bavaria Holiday Kitchen booth.  They had the Linzer Cookie which was filled with raspberry jam.  This was fantastic and was my clear favorite of all the cookies we tried that day.

 

Over in the American Adventure pavilion was the American Holiday Table booth.  Here you could try a classic Gingerbread Man cookie.  I do not enjoy gingerbread myself so this was a miss for me, but my girls raved about this cookie.  They liked it so much they begged for a second one to enjoy on the way to our next booth.

 

In between the Morocco and France pavilion was a very popular food booth called L’Chaim! Holiday Kitchen.  They had a Pastrami on Rye sandwich which I had tried last year and was really good, as well as a couple different potato Latkes.  But we were here for a cookie and got the Black and White cookie.  This has a nice lemon flavor to it, but nothing too exciting.  My youngest enjoyed eating all the frosting from the top and she said that was her favorite part.

We had done it.  After the Black and White cookie, it was time to head over to the Holiday Sweets and Treats booth for our complimentary Completer cookie.

 

It was a cute Santa Mickey-shaped Sugar Cookie and we even got a free bottle of white milk.  We each took a small bite just to say we tried all of them, but by this time we were sick of cookies and couldn’t really enjoy it so we packaged it up and took it home.

To try and celebrate our glorious victory over the cookie stroll we headed into the Port of Entry gift shop to see what Festival merchandise was available.  There were the standard t-shirts, sweaters, and candy cane flavored popcorn but nothing really called out to me this year.  Then as we wandered around the store I found something.

The collectible coins/medallions were back.  The Food and Wine versions had been removed and replaced with the new Festival of the Holidays designs.

The machine looks exactly the same, but had a new marquee and was filled with the new coins.

They are still the same cost at $5 each, or 3 for $10.

The designs are Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, and Chip & Dale.  The back of the coins has the Festival of the Holidays logo.

I was originally against these coins mostly due to their very high cost, but now that these seem to be coming out for each festival I’ve grown to enjoy.  With everything going on this time of year I actually forgot these may even be available so it was a happy coincidence to come across them.

Later that evening the rest of our family arrived at Epcot and we had dinner in the France Pavilion at Chefs de France.  Then we finished our evening enjoying the Candlelight Processional with guest host Gary Sinise.  He was fantastic, the music was wonderful and the singing just topped off our amazing day.

I hope you have a wonderful Holiday.  Please stay safe and enjoy your special time with family and friends.