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!

Harry Potter Pressed Pennies – Universal Studios Florida

Click here to watch our video on these new machines.
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Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m a Harry Potter fan.  Not a super fan, but I do really enjoy that whole world that surrounds Harry.  I remember watching the first movie and just needing to know what happens next so I ran out and brought books 2 and 3.  Read those, then went back to read book 1 because the book is always so much better than the movie.  Then the waiting started, for each new book in the series to be released every couple of years.  I would pre-order my book and get to the start for the midnight release.  Dressing up in character was not my thing, but I just wanted my hands on that new book and would have it completed in a few days.  That was me trying to take my time.

Eventually, the entire story came to an end, but with Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Diagon Alley, I could experience it in a whole new way.  Now I have visited every nook and crannies of both Harry Potter areas of the parks, drank my share of Butterbeer (Hot is my preferred version, followed by Frozen, and then Cold) drinks, ice cream, and fudge.  I’ve ridden all the rides except Dueling Dragons which is now closed.  All sorts of merchandise adorn our house, oh and by the way, my wife and I are both Ravenclaws in case you were wondering.  Basically, I’ve done almost everything there is to do here around Harry Potter.  But one thing I never thought I would be able to do is Press some special Harry Potter-themed pennies!

Years ago I remember asking someone about pressed pennies in these areas of the park but was always told it was something J.K. Rowling didn’t want in the parks.  I have nothing to back that up with other than just internet rumors.  But it did seem to hold true for a long time and I had pretty much given up on ever seeing them.

Then all of a sudden a few weeks ago I received a message on Facebook from a fellow collector Les G. who told me that new Harry Potter penny machines were being released at Universal.  I thanked him for the info, and immediately started checking other resources for confirmation but couldn’t find anything.  Then I received a message on Youtube from Kimmy M stating the same thing.  Now my interest was really piqued and decided what the heck, let’s go to Universal and check it out first hand.  I started over at Universal Studios and immediately went back to Diagon Alley.  Walking everywhere I could think of, in every store, around every corner, in the Leaky Cauldron but couldn’t find the machine.  Then I had a crazy idea that maybe the machine wasn’t in this area of the park due to that long ago rumor of J.K. Rowling not wanting them here, but maybe the workaround was to have the machines nearby.

I checked all the usual places and eventually headed into the main Universal Studios Store up near the front of the park.  Inside the store are different areas for all the different merchandise like The Simpsons, Trolls or The Secret Life of Pets and of course there is a big area of Harry Potter items.

Everything was pretty standard stuff, but I didn’t see a penny machine right away but after weaving in and out of the aisles I found it.

Thankfully I had come to the park pretty early so this store wasn’t too busy, and I was able to really take in this moment.

The machine had a nice wood cabinet that fits this area of the store, but in my mind just wasn’t quite as Harry Potter-esque as I would have thought/liked.  It would have been fun to see this slanted to one side as all the buildings in Diagon Alley or may be covered in wands or the Hogwart’s House Shields.  But that wasn’t going to stop me from getting these coins.

The designs in this set include each of the Hogwart’s House Shields (Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, and Slytherin), a Snitch, the Nimbus 2000, a Dementor, and Fluffy the 3-headed  dog.

Some of the information I had gathered prior to visiting was that there were to be three penny machines in total, one at Universal, one in Islands of Adventure, and the third in CityWalk.  What better way to get from Universal to Islands than to enjoy the Hogwart’s Express.

After departing the train, I entered the Wizarding World of Harry Potter but knew in my mind that the machine wouldn’t be back here.

However, that didn’t deter me from walking through anyway just to enjoy this place.  It’s really amazing and so much fun just like you are walking into the movies.

The machine was eventually found up at the front of the park in the main gift shop called the Trading Company.

Head inside and just make your way to the Harry Potter section.

The machine is situated near the School Robes up along one of the walls.

This second set of pennies has designs of the Nimbus 2001 Broom, The Tri-Wizard Cup, a Phoenix, a couple Dragons, the Golden Egg, and the Mirror of Erised.  These are definitely images that you would need to be quite the fan to recognize.  While I was pressing my pennies one of the team members came up and asked if I worked for the machine company because of all the pictures and video I was taking.  I said no just a collector and she was very nice to let me know about the other machines.

I mentioned I had the Universal set already and was heading to CityWalk next but she informed me that the third machine wasn’t available yet.  I thanked her and headed out but wanted to double-check CityWalk just to make sure, and she was absolutely correct.

Skip forward a week or so and I come across a post on Facebook in a Universal Passholder’s group mentioning the Harry Potter pennies.  In the comments someone mentioned that only 2 machines were available, but as the comments kept rolling in suddenly someone posted that the third machine was just released that day.  Well, that’s all I needed to hear and headed over after work.  Once I passed through security I headed directly to the Universal Store.

The Harry Potter section of this store kind of takes over about half of it.

Near the check out register area is a wall of Wizard Wands and the penny machine was just tucked away in that area.

As you might have guessed the wands are a hot item and this little area of the store got quite crowded shortly after I started using the machine.  This machine had the same cabinet design as the other two but in a lighter color.

As much as I liked the pennies with the Hogwart’s School Shields on them, this set overall was my favorite.  It just had a great selection of designs including Harry’s Glasses and Scar, the 9 3/4 Platform, the Deathly Hallows, the Sorting Hat, a Wand, the Firebolt Broom and of course Dobby the (Free) Elf.

I truely never thought I would see the day when Harry Potter pressed pennies would be released, and not just one set but three intotal.  That’s huge!  Of course I wish the machines were a little more themed, I would have loved to use my wand to active the machine, but I really don’t want to complain.  I’m so happy they were able to get these released and I know collectors and just casual park guests are going to love these.  Hopefully if they are as popular as I’m assuming they will be, we may see more in the future.

Have a great week and Keep on Pressing!

Aladdin NEW Pressed Penny Set – Magic Kingdom

Earlier this week I made a quick trip over to the Magic Kingdom so I could press some pennies for a friend of mine.  Other than getting these pennies I didn’t have much of an agenda which was supposed to make for a nice leisurely trip to the park.  All too often I’m rushing around the park, and you kind of forget about what a magical place you are in.  It is nice to every so often take your time and enjoy where you are.

On Main Street USA I stopped into the Starbucks for a coffee and then headed towards Adventureland.  I’m not sure why this is my preferred path, but I do find this is the direction I head more often than not.

There are quite a few great attractions in Adventureland, but one that holds a bit of sentimental value for me is The Magic Carpets of Aladdin.  This was the first ride we had taken our oldest daughter Hanna on when we first took her to the parks when she was small.  We don’t go on it very often anymore but I always look fondly on this ride every time I pass by.

Even though I was taking it easy on this visit, I still find myself visiting each penny machine just to make sure they are still there, or if any changes have been made.  In between the Swiss Family Tree House and the Magic Carpet ride is a machine that can be easily missed due to its location at the Island Supply Breezeway (restroom area).

This is a high traffic area most of the time since there are restrooms here and it’s a shortcut from Adventureland over to the Liberty Square area of the park.  But about halfway through this breezeway is where the penny machine is located.  When I walked into this area I immediately noticed the machine had been changed.  Previously this was a 3-design electronic machine with a change machine attached all in one cabinet.  That is no longer here (even the change machine is gone) and now a new 8-design machine is available.

The machine cabinet is just plain white and nothing overly special about the design or theme.  It is the newer touch screen versions we have come to know so well and are definitely becoming the new normal in the parks.

The designs on the pennies are all themed around one of my favorite animated movies Aladdin.  The images include Aladdin, Princess Jasmine, Genie, Iago, Abu, and more.  This is a really great set and I’m so glad it was released.  I think this will be a very popular machine.

After pressing the pennies I made the executive decision to jump in line and take a spin on a magic carpet.  It would have been more fun if my daughter was with me, but that’s okay it was still fun and I’ll be sure to take her on the next time we are in the parks.  Happy Collecting and Keep on Pressing!

Island Market & Export NEW Pressed Pennies – Universal’s Islands of Adventure

October over at Universal Studios Florida is full of spooky decorations and amazing haunted mazes with plenty of scare zones.  Unfortunately in 2020 with everything going on their usual Halloween Horror Nights events were not happening as usual.  But as a nice surprise, they did open two of the Mazes to regular day guests without a separate ticket required.

Throughout the month of October, I headed over to visit these mazes as often as I could and really enjoyed them.  Even though there were only two houses, no scare zones, and took place during the day.  But they still had plenty of amazing design work and scares throughout.  The first house was Revenge of the Tooth Fairy.

The second maze was The Bride of Frankenstein Lives.  One perk from this year was that the wait times were never more than 10 minutes when I visited mid-week and I was able to basically walk right into the mazes throughout the day and I loved it.

During one of these trips, I took a break from the Halloween fun and headed over to the Islands of Adventure park just to see what was going on.

After scanning my ticket and heading into the park I always cut through the Island Market & Export store just to get some cool air plus they have a couple pressed penny machines inside.  But on this trip, something about one of the machines caught my eye.

Last year you may remember I wrote about a whole bunch of machines that had stickers places on the advertising that certain penny designs were going to be retired.  Then over the next few months, the machines were updated with new designs.  One of these machines was in this store, but the strange thing was that it originally got one of those stickers.  Then after all the other machines were changed, this machine was kept the same and the retired sticker was removed.

That has finally changed.  When I walked by the machine the designs immediately stuck out to me and I was shocked to see they were new.  The cabinet of the machine is the same, and unlike the Disney machines, it still costs just 50 cents plus you can use your own penny (collectors rejoice).

Thankfully I always carry around extra pennies and quarters for just this situation.  You never know when you may come across a new machine and need to press a new set.  The designs at this machine include Kong, E.T., and a cute Hello Kitty.

I’m surprised it took this long to update, and assume that it was scheduled to change last year but maybe there was a licensing issue that delayed these from being released.  But whatever the situation was it’s done and we have a fun new set of pennies.  After collecting this set I did check on all the other machines in this park to verify if there were any other new penny designs, and it appeared this was the only new set for now.  Hopefully, we will see some more new ones in the future, but for now, it seems that Universal is done swapping out their penny designs.  Happy Collecting!

Main Street Emporium NEW 2020 Medallions – Magic Kingdom

I know a few years ago when Disney first released a collectible Medallion machine that I was at first intrigued enough to get a set but tried to convince myself I wouldn’t keep getting them.  But as time has gone on, and more and more of these machines are released I have found my medallion collection growing a bit out of control.  The Festival medallions over at Epcot are probably my favorite and I have been keeping an eye on that machine, but then out of the blue, we got a report about a new set not too far away at the Magic Kingdom.

After work, I took a quick trip over to the park to try and find these new medallions.  I always enjoy walking under the Railroad station and having Main Street USA just reveals itself.  In my mind, it’s always a fun way to be welcomed into the park.

I continued up Main Street towards the Emporium.  Just a quick note on this store, with the current situation in the park they are trying to keep everyone moving in one direction so many of the doorways here are listed as “Exit Only”.  To get into the store you do need to head about halfway up Main Street and enter near the Disney Clothiers store.

Brace yourself when you enter this store as it can be quite chaotic.  It gets worse later on when the park is closing down for the night, with people trying to get their last-minute souvenirs.  The medallion machine is tucked away near the area of the store that has a big selection of Plush toys (sorry it’s hard to be more specific).  Just around the side of one of the checkout counters.

The machine is in a pretty plain cabinet but does actually blend in well with the aesthetics of the Emporium.

The cost is the same as the other machines around the property.  $5 per medallion or you can get all 4 for $15.  This is a slight change from before, where if you were paying with a credit card it would only allow you to get 3 of the coins for $10, and then you had to come up with cash for the 4th design which was pretty inconvenient.  Now they let you get all 4 at once which is much nicer.

The designs on each medallion include Mickey & Minnie holding hands, Pluto, Donald, and Goofy.  On the front of the coin with each character are the words Magic Kingdom, and Walt Disney World.  On the back of each coin is the 2020 Cinderella Castle logo they have been using this year.

This is another great set of medallions, but wow they get expensive.  Especially since pressed pennies are now increasing to $1 each, and medallions at $5 each I may need to get a second job to keep up with my collection.  I did find it a little strange that it’s October and they are releasing another set of dated 2020 medallions but figured these were probably already in the pipeline to be released earlier this summer but got delayed due to all the shutdowns.  Guess in a few months we can look forward to seeing what 2021 designs we get.

Happy Collecting!

The Jungle Book NEW Pressed Penny Set – Animal Kingdom

It’s been a little while since we were over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park, so we had scheduled a reservation to visit this past weekend.  It seems that it was just meant to be as I was informed on the drive over to the park that there were reports of a new pressed penny machine sighting.

We did have a whole day planned at the park, but it didn’t take too long for us to find the new machine.  Just over the bridge when you first see the Tree of Life there is a pretty large gift shop on the left called the Island Mercantile.

I usually cut through these stores just for some quick Air Conditioning, but this time we were on the hunt.

The inside of the store is really beautiful with all sorts of theming and unique carvings on the walls and up in the ceiling.  Plus there is a ton of merch, but we will revisit this shortly.

After wandering around the entire inside of the store more than a couple times I headed outside, and sure enough, there was the machine.

The cabinet of this new machine was gorgeous, with some cool wood carved creatures on the front and both sides.  Plus I really liked the blue color.

I pressed a set of the new pennies and was a bit surprised to notice that they were all themed around the Disney classic animated movie The Jungle Book.  There are designs of Mowgli, Baloo, Shere Khan, Kaa, Bagheera, and more.

Now just a quick note, after getting these pennies I headed back into the store and was just curious to see what type of merchandise they would have for The Jungle Book.  I checked every shelf and display I could and the only items I found were a couple collectible pins.  It is a bit sad to know that this movie doesn’t have much available, but at least we have a nice new pressed penny set.  Keep on Pressing!

Frontierland Railroad Station NEWish Pressed Pennies – Magic Kingdom

Fresh off a couple new penny machines over at Epcot, it now was time to head back over to the Magic Kingdom for a NEW-ish machine.  What do I mean by that…well we will get to that in a little bit.

I was able to get a park reservation for a Sunday and above is a picture of the entrance to the park.  It was pretty quiet on this visit.

We headed back towards Frontierland only stopping once for a Dole Whip (I’m so weak), then back to Splash Mountain.

As you stand in front of the entrance to Splash Mountain, if you look up you will see the Frontierland Railroad Station.  Unfortunately due to the Tron Coaster construction currently underway the railroad is not running.

But that’s okay since the place we are actually heading is not up to the railroad platform.  Instead, you walk just to the right of Splash Mountain underneath the train station.

If you decide that you would rather take a trip down the Briar Patch by riding Splash Mountain first that’s no problem.  Once you exit the ride you will have to walk underneath the train station as well to get back to the park.  Which is perfect since this is where you will find the new penny machine.

Previously this location had a 3-design electronic penny machine that was removed fairly recently.  Then with the latest news that Splash Mountain will be rethemed to Princess and the Frog, I assumed this machine may not return until after that retheming.  But I was wrong.

As you can see from the image above the machine has returned but is noticeably different.  For one it is now a 4 design manual press machine.  It has also been updated to the new $1 per penny price point, and the machine supplies a shiny new zinc penny.

Here is a look at the new set of pressed pennies from this machine.  Now if you have been collecting Walt Disney World pressed pennies you may be like me and at a glad recognized these designs.  After I had pressed this set I was pretty sure these were previously retired designs that were just brought back.  But once I got home I took a closer look to compare these with the older designs I remembered.

 

First, we will look at the Br’er Vulture design.  It was originally at this very same location under the Frontierland Railroad Station.  However, when I put the two pennies together (New is on the Left, and Old is on the Right) you can see there are some differences.  There is now a notch at the top of the design that splits the dot border, and the Magic Kingdom banner is in a different location.

 

The second penny with Br’er Rabbit was also at the old machine in this same location.  The notch on the left is now splitting the dot border, Br’er Rabbit looks to be a little smaller, the Magic Kingdom banner is larger and the (c) Disney is now on the left of the design.

 

The third penny design that has Mickey and Minnie splashing in some water is STILL available at the Splashdown Photo Preview area.  This is located at the exit of Splash Mountain where there is a wall of video screens showing the ride photos.  In this same area is a sort of hidden penny machine.  That notch is splitting the border again on the new design, the Splash Mountain logo looks a little different, and Mickey & Minnie are more spread apart.

 

The last penny design used to be inside the Country Bear Jamboree waiting area but was recently removed and replaced with an 8-design touch screen machine.  That notch is again splitting the border, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad appears to be a new font, the Train and tracks look a bit more detailed, and the Magic Kingdom banner has been raised a bit and isn’t as wide.

As you can see these are technically new penny designs, but upon closer look, they are very similar to other designs just with some slight variances.  I obviously still picked up a set for my collection and many other collectors enjoy finding variant designs so I’m sure these will be popular.  However, if you remember I did mention above that Splash Mountain is going to be rethemed shortly so I do find it a bit odd that they kept some of the Splash Mountain designs.  You may want to get a set of these before this machine inevitably changed for some new Princess and the Frog designs.

Happy Collecting!!

Bass Pro Shop – Gainesville, FL

Recently we took a trip up to Gainesville Florida on the hunt for some pressed penny machines.  Earlier on our first day, we had visited the Florida Museum of Natural History, then on our way back to our hotel, I found our second stop.

Right off of I-75 was the Celebration Pointe shopping and dining area, which is where the Bass Pro Shop was located.

Over the years I’ve visited a lot of these stores as they almost always have a pressed penny machine inside.  Plus I’m completely obsessed with these stores, they are just amazing to me.

The stores are huge and have such a wide array of products.  I could spend an entire afternoon just walking around inside.

I’m not much of a fisherman but holy cow this place would be where I went if I needed to stock up on fishing poles or lures.

It’s almost like a museum combined with a store with all the taxidermied animals around, plus numerous fish tanks and did you notice the trees in the above picture.

Even though this store has thousands of items, my favorite area is the BBQ section.  With all the different smokers, grills, and accessories it’s a grill masters paradise.

My grilling skills are not so great but this is where I picked up a few things to try and help myself out.  They have a huge selection of rubs, spices, and sauces available for pretty much any palate preference.

They also always seem to have a wide selection of Moonshine products.  On one of my first visits to a Bass Pro Shop in New York State, I found Moonshine Hot Sauce which was really good.  Each location seems to have something different, and this was no exception.  Moonshine Peanut Brittle, how could I resist.  Quick product review, I did buy the brittle and tried it when we eventually got back home.  It was good but didn’t have a moonshine taste so I think I may have been deceived.

After wandering around the entire store I did find the pressed penny machine towards the back near the large fish tank and waterfall.  Unfortunately, when I found it they were just getting ready to put on a Grilling class and the machine was blocked.  I took this as a sign to sit and watch the class which was not too long and had some interesting information that I will need to try.

 Eventually, they did move all the things out of the way and I was able to use the machine.

One thing I thought was really great was this little business card holder that was located on the machine.  It was filled with a handful of pennies that were free to SMASH!  Over the years I’ve visited hundreds of pressed penny machines and this is the first time I’ve ever seen this and I think it was fantastic!  I had a few extra pennies on me so I made sure to add some for other collectors.

The designs on the pennies came out pretty nicely.  Each Bass Pro Shop does have similar designs which are almost always a group of animals that would be indigenous to the area where the store is located.  The other nice thing about these pennies is that they always list the store location allowing me to distinguish among the different Bass Pro Shop locations.

This was another fantastic trip to my guilty pleasure store, and the pressed pennies will be a nice addition to my collection.  We left the store and headed out to get some dinner before retiring for the night at our hotel.  Tomorrow we had one last stop to make before we would be heading back home.  Stay tuned beacuse the next place is really unique and one of a kind.  Keep on Pressing!

Florida Museum of Natural History – Gainesville, FL

On my continuing exploration of Florida on the hunt for Pressed Penny Machines, I’ve exhausted the locations around the Orlando area and now was going to head north a bit to the next city on my list which was Gainesville.  Online I’ve seen that there are three reported locations with penny machines and so throughout a weekend I made it my mission to find them all.  Our first stop was over at the University of Florida.

The Florida Museum of Natural History is located on the University campus and did offer free parking.  This area of the campus was very nice and pretty expansive with a couple large outdoor sculptures that I always enjoy.

Inside the Museum you are greeted with a short queue area and a gift shop on the right side but we will revisit that on our way out.  The Museum is Free of charge to visit the main exhibits but donations are welcome and I would encourage that if you are visiting.  They do offer some special exhibits throughout the year that does have an admission fee.

The first large area just beyond the front desk was like the main hub.  There were different hallways in all directions taking you to the various exhibits in the Museum.  This area also had a large Mammoth fossil along one wall, and there was also a table with an Alligator Skeleton that the kids seemed to really be intrigued by.

The next area I visited was the Discovery Zone which is kind of a kid’s area with plenty of interactive things to do and learn.

It kind of looked like we had been shrunk down to the size of a bug with the large trees looming over us from the ceiling.

There was also a large bug collection on display and plenty of dinosaur fossils that you could actually touch and examine.

My youngest daughter loved this area and I did have to drag her out of here eventually so we could continue our tour.  The next hallway we encountered led us to the South Florida People and Environments exhibit.

This was another interesting area that was set up like you were walking along a boardwalk with trees and wildlife on either side of you.  Just beyond this area is a large exhibit showcasing Florida’s Indian tribes the Seminole and Miccosukee who lived in South Florida.  There were displays of their beautiful ceremonial clothing, woodwork, and artifacts from early Seminole sites.

We did then run into an interesting hallway that was called The Hall of Florida Fossils: Evolution of Life and Land.  As you can see from the above picture one of the walls was filled with some pretty intimidating teeth.

At the back of the Museum was the West Gallery with visible collections and labs.

Most of the labs back in this area did have people working mostly on paperwork during our visit.  But I found this really cool that you could see into their labs while they worked on their research.

One of these areas along the West Gallery was their Butterfly collection and I was completely blown away by this.  The above room had plenty to see but there was so much more around the corner.

This entire hallway was set up for their Butterfly exhibits.  The glass cases on the walls extended from just about floor level all the way up to the ceiling.  Some of the butterflies were small, and others were huge.

The total number of butterflies they had on display was just amazing, and the range of colors was so beautiful.  This area was worth the trip in itself, and I’ve never seen anything like this before.

After spending a lot of time in the butterfly area we found ourselves back near the main entrance of the Museum and headed into the gift shop to see what they had.

We did buy a few things to help support the museum and then walked just outside the gift shop to where the pressed penny machine was.

The machine had a nice sleek looking cabinet.  I do find this style presses pennies a little short sometimes and this was also the case here.

Most of the design did come through but you can see a bit was cut off on the ends.  These museum pennies are also great as they usually showcase specific exhibits from inside that museum making them a little more unique.

Even though this museum would have been quite a drive just from the Orlando area, it was a fun place to explore.  It’s not very big, but we did spend a couple hours inside and wow that butterfly exhibit was really amazing and highly recommended.  This was just our first stop in Gainesville and still has a few more stops to make on this trip.  Be sure to check back for more on this trip.  Keep on Pressing!