2018 Holiday Nickels – Disneyland and California Adventure

This is going to be a quick post because well the holiday’s are over and we have a  lot of other things to see and do with the new year upon us.  But these coins were part of a strange situation that we don’t know much about and made them a bit of a hot commodity this year.

On December 21st it was reported that the pressed nickel set was released in the California Adventure park at Jolly Trolley Treats on Buena Vista Street.

As always they have a nice backstamp on each of the pressed coins with a bit of holiday decoration.  I only noticed after taking the above pictures of this set that the Mickey and Minnie designs go together with Mickey holding some Mistletoe and Minnie leaning in to give him a kiss.  Kind of a cute set within the set.

Then Christmas came and went with no Disneyland set.  Followed shortly after by New Years coming and going and still no Disneyland set.

Then on January 2nd the Disneyland Holiday Nickel set finally appears in the Main Street Penny Arcade.

Similar backstamp for the Disneyland coins, and to be honest even the front designs are very similar with the characters just in different positions.

The strange thing is that these coins were then pulled off-stage only a week later on January 8th.  So these sets were only available for a very short time, especially the Disneyland set which was only a week.  Luckily I was able to get a set from a friend in California, but just be aware that if you are looking for these on eBay or another aftermarket merchant the cost may be higher than usually due to this limited availability.  I’m not sure if there was a problem getting the designs made, or if they had to scrap other designs and that’s why we got similar ones.  Either way it was still nice to keep this annual tradition going and hopefully next year the machines will be available for just a bit longer allowing more people to press a set.

Festival of the Holidays & France Pavilion Penny Machine Returns

Quick side note.  The below is something I wrote up earlier in December but just didn’t get a chance to post it.  I had planned on writing something else for this week, BUT Walt Disney World decided this was the week they were going to release all their new 2019 pennies and quarters.  So all week I’ve been heading in and out of the parks and resorts looking for the coins.  Full review will be coming as soon as I can.   In the meantime enjoy the below even though it’s a bit late in celebrating the holidays.
Have a wonderful 2019!!
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Still being relatively new Floridians, my family is still finding it hard to get into the Holiday spirit.  Coming from New Jersey we had the transition from summer into fall with the changing of the leaves and cooler weather, then into winter with lots of snow.  But now in Florida it pretty much seems like summertime all year round.  There are some things we have found that help, but our favorite has been the Festival of the Holidays and Candlelight Procession in Epcot.

The decorations around the park are always a nice touch, and the topiary that are common for each festival in Epcot are always really amazing.

As you head through the middle of Future World you can see the top of the Christmas tree just near the entrance to World Showcase.

You always want to make sure you pick up the passport for the Festival.  This will contain information about the different Holiday storytellers, show times, and most importantly the food booths.

We checked out a few of the booths this year.  One we always visit is near the Canadian Pavilion and this year is called the Yukon.

We tried the French Canadian classic tourtiere which is like a meat pie filled with Beef and Pork with a housemate ketchup.  To offset the savory dish we tried some Ice wine from a winery called Inniskillin located in the Niagara Falls region of Canada.  The tourtiere had the familiar holiday spice and flavor I remember from my childhood in Canada and it was a nice treat.

There is also a cookie stroll you can partake in.  There are six cookies available at specific food booths around the World Showcase.  The cookies were only a few dollars each.  When you purchase your cookie, make sure they stamp your festival passport.  Once you have had all your cookies there is one last Completer cookie to get which is accompanied by a cold bottle of milk.

I mentioned previously about the Holiday Storytellers.  These are done by performers in some of the pavilions that tell stories or sing songs about the holiday celebrations from their home countries.  We headed to France and loved the stories told by Père Noël.

As a side story this our Holiday adventure through Epcot, I had heard a rumor that the pressed penny machine in the France Pavilion had returned.  So I took a quick trip into Les Halles the gift shop and patisserie to check it out.

Sure enough in the back of the shop where it used to be was the machine.  The cabinet has changed but the two designs were still the same.

The two designs are of Mickey with the Eiffel Tower, and the France Pavilion.

Now if you have been following my travels there was a post a year or so ago about a secret penny that was available here in the France Pavilion.  You can read about it here.

As I pressed a new set of pennies at this machine I watched the dies inside the machine turn and noticed the third secret die was still inside.  I was hoping this would mean that the Agent P interactive game that you used to play to get this coin would be reactivated.  However after chatting with some fellow collectors online the rumors are that the Agent P game will be going away in the near future and replaced with something else.  So unfortunately for now it appears there is no way to press this special coin.

After visiting the patisserie in Les Halles for my wife’s favorite chocolate croissants we headed to one last Festival food booth for a couple of items that we had been hearing good things about.

At the L’Chaim! booth there was quite a line which seemed to be a good sign.

First we tried the potato knish which I remember having in New York City on many visits.  This wasn’t as good as the authentic ones in NYC, but it was still really good.

The second items we tried at this booth was the Pastrami on Rye with a housemate picket.  This was really good.  I’m a sucker for Pastrami or Corned beef and really like this one.  I did with the portion was larger, but this is pretty standard size for the Epcot festivals.

We enjoyed the rest of the Festival around the World Showcase and eventually ended up in the China Pavilion at Nine Dragons restaurant for dinner.  We had booked a dining package for the Candlelight Processional that evening.  After dinner we headed towards the American Pavilion for the show and it was amazing. Our celebrity narrator was Neil Patrick Harris, but the stars of the show were the orchestra and choir.  The music and singing were really fantastic.

On our way out of the park after the candlelight procession I overhear someone say, “If that doesn’t get you in the Holiday spirit nothing will”.  I couldn’t agree more.

Jungle Adventures – Christmas, FL

Merry Christmas!!

Ok this is a bit of a stretch I’ll admit but when I was trying to figure out something to write about for this holiday season I was kind of drawing a blank.  I did find a new online penny vendor with some new holiday designs but that’s what I usually do, and this year I wanted it to be a bit different.  As I scoured the internet I was trying to see if there was a local Christmas festival or anything that may have a pressed penny design but kept coming up empty.  However eventually I did notice something on a map of central Florida during these searches, and found a little town called Christmas.

Yes you read that right, Christmas Florida is an actual place and it was only about an hour away from our house.  Plus the icing on top was that there was a roadside attraction in this town that had a penny machine.  The pieces were all falling into place.  Pennies, Christmas, and Alligators…sure why not.

Jungle Adventures is where we were headed.  It was a nice Florida “winter” day in the high sixties (sorry if you are from up north), and the as a nice change of pace from the usual Orlando traffic, there were not many cars on the road in this part of town.

As we turned off the highway we were greeted by Swampy the World’s largest Gator.  This is just the design of the main building that includes the gift shop and admission desk.  Quite the roadside attraction.  We got parked, headed inside to buy our tickets to the park and started our Adventure.

After leaving the main building we came to the Golden Gator Bridge that takes you over the water to the Wild Animal Island.  The green stuff on top of the water is called Duckweed that is a flowering aquatic plant that floats on still or slow-moving wetlands.  While walking over the bridge we could see quite a few gators just floating along very slowly.  Then on the other side we came face with some really big ones.

As you can see from the above picture the walkway allows you to get right up close to the fence but there are signs everywhere stating not to put your fingers in the case.  Seemed like good advice.

The fence is only 5 feet or so high, and I was able to reach over for some pictures.  The big guys didn’t flinch at all.  I was worried they may move around a bit as we got closer but they must be used to all the attention.  There is staff all around to answer any questions and you can also buy various bags of food in the gift shop for feeding all the different animals.

There were a couple Florida Panthers here as well, but just like our cats at home they were enjoying a nap which I’m sure is how they spend most of their day.

There is an elevated nature walk along this boardwalk.  Thankfully it’s all screened in at the bottom to keep you safe.  This literally takes you right through the swamp.

There were a large amount of vultures here when we visited.  I’m sure they are there for the scape of food left behind, but they can be a little intimating as they are pretty big when you get close to them.

I saw this little guy resting on a branch just above the water and thought he looked pretty comfortable.  It was a little surprising that all the gators weren’t more active, and I think I maybe saw one moving slightly but that was about it.  A few times my daughter even asked if they were real, which I assured her they were.

After feeding some of the animals, and having a nice afternoon visit we headed back into the main building.  Inside the gift shop area was where the penny press machine was located.

It was a nice old school three design electric model.  The machine worked great and the pennies pressed very nicely.

The set of pennies included the Jungle Adventures Logo, a Gator and a Florida Panther.  This place isn’t huge, but does have a nice big collection of animals to visit with and learn about.  We have visited Gatorland which I believe has more gators, but at Jungle Adventure I felt like we were able to get much closer to the gators which may or may not have been a good thing.    They do offer a boat tour that gets you even closer to some of the gators, but it unfortunately was not operating during our visit due to inclement weather.

This was a classic Florida attraction, with some fun things to do and there was practically no one there.  I think we only saw 2 or 3 other families there which is a nice change from the more popular theme parks.

As I said at the beginning this was a bit of a stretch for a Christmas post but hope you enjoyed it.  Have a great Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.  Stay safe and remember 2019 is just around the corner.  So many more pennies still to find and we have lots of things planned for next year.

2017 Holiday Nickels – Disneyland and California Adventure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a very Merry Christmas, and Holiday season!!

Merry Christmas 2017

Just like every year it’s late night / early morning and I’m wrapping some last minutes gifts.  But I wanted to take a quick break to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  Thank you for coming back each week and following my adventures, and enjoying the fun of pressing pennies.  All the feedback is wonderful and I truly appreciate everyone that follows along.

Please have a safe holiday and enjoy the festivities with your loved ones, and I hope Santa brings you everything you asked for.

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

As the years go by I’m always amazed at just how quickly times seems to fly by.  At lot has happened this past year for my family with a big relocation move, and adjusting to a new city and state.  My family has been enjoying our new surroundings and I’m thankful they were willing to partake on this big change with open minds and open hearts.

Photo credit: StudioTwelve 28

A special Thank you to everyone out there reading this.  I’m always thankful for all of you that come back week after week and follow my adventures as I aimlessly wander around trying to find pressed penny machines.  Keep all those comments and messages coming I love hearing from all of you and always enjoy answering any questions you may have about the hobby.

The above pressed penny is in my collection (somewhere) but I just couldn’t find it for some reason.  But the image above is from StudioTwelve28.com that has a wide variety of special occasion designs available.  I have quite a few of their coins in my collection and use them quite often for gifts and special thank you.

Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Nightmare Before Christmas Penny Set – Days of Christmas Store in Disney Springs

Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away and Disney has definitely started helping people in Florida get into the Holiday spirit.  It’s still a little strange to be walking through the theme parks with fake snow falling from the rooftops and Christmas trees everywhere you look but I’m still wearing shorts and a t-shirt with mid-70 degree weather.  This is going to take some getting used any.

Of course Disney also has some places that celebrate the holiday’s year round including one store in Disney Springs called the Days of Christmas.  This place is almost always very busy regardless of the time of year.  People just really love Christmas and who can blame them.  While working today I got a notification that a new 8-Design penny machine was just released and located in this store.

Inside is the biggest selection of Christmas ornaments I have ever seen, and they are Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars related.  Some can be customized which is fun to watch the cast members with steady hands working endlessly on these special souvenirs.

The dated ornaments with the year listed on them are always popular with people commemorating their trips.  I’ll admit I am one of them as well.  Towards the back of the main store is another room that has some clothing, Santa hats, and other souvenirs.  This is where I found the new machine just near the door.

I’m not sure if I’m surprise or not but this was another 8-design penny-sized token machine.  These have definitely become the popular option for new machines of late on Disney property and even Universal.

I had to double-check on some of the characters as I didn’t initially remember all their names.  This is a pretty cool set and I’m sure this is a first appearance in coin form for a lot of these characters.  The designs include images of: Jack Skellington, Sally & Jack in the moonlight, Zero, Oogie Boogie, the Mayor of Halloween town, Sally with a veil, Jack clasping his hands, and Barrel.

As usual I have not intel on whether this is a temporary machine or not.  But since this store is holiday themed all year round, and does include quite a bit of Nightmare Before Christmas merchandise I think it’s a same assumption that this machine will be around for a while.  This is a very popular movie, and people really love these characters so I’m sure this machine will be very popular.  Make sure to get your set as this is definitely a nice additional to any collection.

 

Happy Thanksgiving 2016!

The Holiday season is officially upon us.  As I sit here in my dining room I can smell our turkey cooking, and my children are running around exited to see all their cousins.  I can’t help but just sit back and just be thankful for my family and friends.

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To all of you out there I would like to say thank you again for coming back week after week to continue our adventures in pressed penny collecting.  It means a lot to know that so many of you share this hobby and are just as obsessed as I am.

Have a fantastic Thanksgiving, and please be safe if you are traveling.

Happy 4th of July 2016

Happy 4th of July!!

I always enjoy trying to find new coins that represent some of our holidays and this year I luckily found a wonderful brand new set.  Being a member of TEC allows me to also join the TEC Yahoo Group which is an easy way for members to communication with each other.  Sometimes tips are sent out, or missing coins get requested, and my favorite new unique pressed coins made available.  This year Tyler Tyson put together this fantastic set of 4 designs.  I opted to receive all 4 designs in a denominational set which just means you get them on pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.  Considering the hard work Tyler put into these sets the fee was very reasonable and I appreciate everything he did make these available.

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The designs include images of a Liberty Head Profile, Eagle Head, a Rocket, and Uncle Sam’s Top Hat.  I wanted to make sure you could see all the detail so here are some close-ups.  First is the set of Pennies.

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Here are the images pressed on Nickels.

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Rare to find pressed Dimes so I always get them when I can.

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Last but certainly not least is the set of Quarters.

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I hope everyone has a great 4th of July and more importantly a safe holiday.  Enjoy your time with family and friends with some great food and hopefully fireworks.  If anyone needs me I’ll be in the pool enjoying the sun and some BBQ.