Mickey’s Star Traders – Magic Kingdom, FL

In years past when I would hear about new penny press machines becoming available in Disney World I would have mixed emotions.  Mostly excitement that there were not coin designs available, but a little sad knowing that it may be over a year before I could get down there to use the machine in person.  Thankfully I have a great network of fellow collectors that help me acquire these coins to keep my collection up to date, but there is nothing I like better than using the machines myself.  But now that we live down in the Orlando area it actually took me a moment to realize that hey I can just get up and go to the park after work and get these new coins.  It’s kind of been a slow learning curve but makes for some fun little evening adventures.  This past week was one of the first where I was checking my favorite press coins.com website and was surprises to see a new 8-design penny machine in the Magic Kingdom.  It took all my strength not to just bail out on work immediately, but I managed to complete by shift and then head over to the park to get these brand new designs.

After driving over to the ticketing and transportation center, going through security and jumping on the monorail into the Magic Kingdom I started heading down main street.  The castle is always so beautiful in the background even with the ominous clouds gathering overhead.  Now that I can go more often I like the opportunity to take my time getting to places inside the park instead of always having to run to our next fastpass or dining reservation.  It makes for a much more enjoyable visit.  Once over in tomorrowland I walked past Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and Stitch’s Great Escape and hung a left past the Merchant of Venus store (click the link to see the penny machine located in this store).  Sort of across from the speedway and beside Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe is a little store called Mickey’s Star Traders.

Inside as always are bottles of soda, candy, plush characters, t-shirts, et al.  This was home to one of the few Quarter Press machines on property and thankfully that machine is still here but it was moved to the entrance closer to Cosmic Ray’s.

Confession on the picture above, I had visited the park about a week before this current trip I’m writing about and took the above machine picture.  This is in the old location, but the machine and designs are still exactly the same.  I know there are some eagle-eyed readers that would have called me out on this being the old spot so I figured I better cop to it immediately.

It’s funny on this machine there is still a sticker that says “All Brand New Designs” but these designs have actually be here for quite a while now.  They include Mickey & Pluto in a Spaceship, Zurg from Toy Story fame, and the Tomorrowland Logo.  Now it’s on to the new machine.

This machine is located where he old machine used to be, and is at the entrance closes to the restroom area.  It’s still inside the store which is nice so you can get a break from the heart in some blasting AC.  The machine is an 8-design touch screen version.  You can get 1 design for $1, or all 8 for $5.  I’m sure you know what I got.

As I’ve mentioned before these are penny like tokens that usually press pretty consistently and are nice and shiny.  I’m still waiting to see how they hold up over time.  The designs in this set are of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Buzz Lightyear, Stitch, and Mr. Incredible all with the Tomorrowland Logo and in some form of spacesuit or space travel.

While using this machine I overheard a couple talking about it and they said something I hadn’t heard of and tested out to make sure I wasn’t wrong.  They said that if you only pick to press 1 design you don’t get to choose the design, but rather the machine randomly picks it for you.  This is NOT true.  I actually pressed a single design just to try it out, and actually let the couple watch while I did it.  If you are either short on extra change (this does accept credit cards or Apple Pay) and you only decide to press 1 coin you do get to pick which one you want.  I wasn’t sure if this was a common misnomer people thought happened with these machines so I figured I would bust that myth immediately.

It was starting to get dark, thankfully the rain had held off and as I headed through the Tomorrowland terrace I got a quick look at the new castle projection and fireworks show “Happily Ever After”.  This took over for the much beloved “Wishes” fireworks show but from what I have seen and hear this is a much needed upgrade and will just blow you away.  I haven’t seen the whole show yet and have it on my to do list to get out there one night just to check it out.  But here is a shot I got as I was heading back to my car.  Until next time keep on collecting!

Merchant of Venus – Magic Kingdom, FL

Recently it seems like Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom has been getting some much needed new pressed penny machines.  First over at the Speedway, then at Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, and now over at a store that you have probably cut through to get a quick Air Conditioning break, Merchant of Venus.

This store is located just beside Stitch’s Great Escape and Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies.  As with most of the other stores in the Magic Kingdom they sell pins, plush toys, and all your usual march.  They do try to specialize in Space themed movies, so there is a lot of Stitch and Tomorrowland stuff here to collect.  Just inside one of the doors is where the latest penny machine is now located.

I should really stop referring to these as penny machines, and rather the new 8-Design touch screen pressed token machines.  I still have come to like these machines (the additional designs helps).  They are easy to use, and the finished coins that drop out of the machine are nice and shiny.  Not sure if they will hold up like that after numerous years but only time will tell.

As you can see from the machine itself this is another set of Star Wars themed coins.  The designs include: Star Wars Logo, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, R2-D2, Stormtrooper, Tie Fighter, Millennium Falcon, and an X-Wing Fighter.  These coins are similar to some of the other Star Wars themed designs available around the Disney property.  I’m hoping they start to come out with more obscure character designs but then maybe casual collectors are less like to press a set.  But with more Star Wars movies on the way each year for the foreseeable future I’m sure there will be many more pressed coin designs on the way.

2016 WDW Trip Day 6 – Wedding Pavilion / Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

The Wedding Day was finally here.  My brother-in-law’s sister was getting married and being the huge Disney fan that she is there was nowhere else in the world to get married.  But we had a few hours before the ceremony so we got up early and headed over to the Grand Floridian Resort for breakfast.

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1900 Park Fare is located on the first floor of the resort and is a character breakfast buffet.  The characters we met included Marry Poppins, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Alice.

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The food was pretty standard and nothing overly exciting.  There was a kids area that had candy dispensers which Hanna enjoyed but who wouldn’t be excited about endless gummy bears.  After breakfast we headed over to the Wedding Pavilion which is right on the Grand Floridian property.

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This really is a beautiful place to get married, and as you can see from the above picture the day they had was as perfect as anyone could have wished for.

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Inside the area where the ceremony was held was decorated for a magical event.  It’s hard to see in this picture but the big window in the middle at the back where they exchanged vows looks right out towards the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella’s Castle.

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Our niece Ava and nephew Luke were the flower girl and ring bearer.  How cute are they?  They did a great job and was a great way to star the ceremony.  The entire ceremony was really just like a fairy tale, and Disney had completely outdone themselves.  Before we knew it the vows had been exchanged, rings blessed, and we were outside ready to toss flower petals at the newlyweds.  Up next was the reception, and Disney did include a bus to transport everyone over, but since we had driven we just got back in our car.

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As luck would have it the reception was near the Boardwalk Resort which was right across from our resort.  We took the opportunity to walk along the Boardwalk towards the Dance Hall.

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Inside is where the reception was held.  Our table assignments were designed like the old fashion paper fastpasses which I thought was a really cool touch.  The cocktail hour was very nice and we got to catch a glimpse at the cake.

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Eventually it was time for the wedding party to make their grand entrance, and then the first dance, bride and father dance, and just a whole lot of fun.  The dinner was a buffet style which was nice, and the food was a nice assortment of options.  The dance hall was definitely rockin’ once the meal was over and the DJ was really fantastic.  I’m still not sure if he was from Disney or not but either way he did a really great job.  Before we knew it the festivities were coming to a conclusion.  As we left my parents headed back to their car to drive it around to our records, but I took the change to visit a few penny machines on the boardwalk.

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Inside the Boardwalk Resort just near the main lobby is a set of elevators and right there you will find the two penny machines.  The cabinets of these machines are pretty cool looking and look like they came out of Atlantic City in the ’20s.  the first machine has images of Chip, Winnie the Pooh, and an Elephant squirting Donald Duck.

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The second machine had designs of Mickie in a Tux, Ariel, and Lilo with a doll.  We headed back outside to the boardwalk and found the next machine right along the waterfront.

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This machine had 4 designs available and included images of Goofy juggling on a unicycle, Mickey with a Surrey Bike, Mickey as a Strongman, and Mickey & Minnie on the Boardwalk.  I’ve been on the boardwalk during the day and it’s nice, but it definitely gets interesting at night with a lot more going on.  A little further down the boardwalk was an ESPN Zone restaurant and bar.  I headed inside real quick as a machine is located just near the check-in desk.

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The pennies at this machine all included the ESPN Club logo and had images of Football player Mickey, Donald twirling a Basketball, and Daisy swinging a bat.  The Boston Red Sox’s where in a close playoff game and the bar was getting a little crazy with fans so I headed back outside so we could finish making our way over to our resort.

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This was a picture I took of our Beach Club resort from the Boardwalk.  The resorts really do come alive at night and this was just a really nice way to cap of a wonderful day.

BONUS: Day 7 – Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

The next was the our last full day of our trip.  We had scheduled to take it easy this day so we could be ready for the Halloween party at night in the Magic Kingdom.  For breakfast we headed back to the Polynesian Village Resort to meet up with my sister’s family at ‘Ohana.

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The breakfast here includes characters and we were able to see Lilo, Stitch, Pluto, and Mickey.  The food was endless jumbo sized skilled filled with bacon, eggs, sausage and biscuits.  This sounds like a standard breakfast but for some reason it was really fantastic and I would definitely come back here again to start a day.  After we ate we all headed back to our resorts for some pool time, and naps in the afternoon.  By late afternoon we headed over to the Magic Kingdom for the party.

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This is a special ticketed event that we had to set up ahead of time.  We had printed tickets for the entrance gate, but were given special wrist bands so the cast members knew who was allowed in after the park closed for non-party guests.

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I posted this before but the castle was all lit up for Halloween and was really cool looking.  Our kids didn’t want to get into their costumes until we were in the park so it was about now that they decided to transform.

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Hanna had recently coming interested in Sleeping Beauty after watching it a few times.  To be honest I think it’s just because the dress is pink, but she really got into it knowing that candy must be nearby.  Since we were allowed in a little early we had made dinner reservations over at the coveted Be Our Guest restaurant.

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For dinner this restaurant is a standard table service setup where a wait staff comes to take your order.  For lunch there is touch screen kiosks to place your order.  We were seated in the darker West Wing room which is also where you find the famous rose with the falling petals.  We experience lunch the year before, and to be honest I think I preferred it.  The foods I had for dinner was okay but the sandwiches for lunch just seemed to be a lot more enjoyable.  For dessert make sure the “Try the Gray Stuff” and it was delicious.

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After we were done eating we were escorted into a private room to visit with the Beast, and take some pictures.  With dinner done the Halloween party was just about to start.  We headed over to Adventureland so we could ride Pirates and check out the first of many trick or treating spots throughout the park.

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There was a bit of a line at most of these places but it moved pretty quickly, and the cast members were not shy about giving fistfuls of candy.  It only takes Hanna a few times to get the hang of it and was rushing us to each of the candy stops.  When we got over to Splash Mountain our niece Ava wanted to ride it.  My family didn’t want to go so I went with my sister, and brother-in-law and got a log all to ourselves.

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My sister and I were in the second row, and Ava was in the front enjoying every moment of the ride.  I’m holding out hope that my youngest Melody will go on this with me when she’s older.  My sister used to drag me on this when we were kids so it was kind of fund to have an updated picture.  Once we were soaked we met up with our family and had perfect timing for the start of the first parade.  We were pretty close and had a great view.  I’m a big fan of the Haunted Mansion so my favorite part of the parade was the Hitchhiking Ghosts.

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 The rest of the evening continued on with us getting as much candy as we could, and riding more attractions than usual.  The nice thing about this after hours party is that since there are only a limited number of tickets sold the crowds levels are much smaller and wait times for rides are really, really short.  Eventually we were over in Fantasyland to ride The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train again, and then a short walk to ride Dumbo.

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I got to ride with my nephew Luke who didn’t want it to end, and I was able to snag a quick selfie with him.  We got off the ride and my dad and I went to check out the Big Top Souvenirs shop.  My dad wanted to get one of the limited edition Halloween Party Magic Bands and I went to use the penny machine.

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This is one of the few 4 design hand crank machines available in the Magic Kingdom.  The designs are all circus inspired and have images of Donald lifting a heavy weight, Minnie on the Trapeze, the Great Goofini, and Ringmaster Mickey.

Just as if we had planned it when we met back up with our group the fireworks started and we had a pretty good view area for the show.  When they were done there was still about an hour or so before the party was over, but our group was exhausted and already falling asleep.  We headed towards the front of the park, back to our car and eventually to our resort.

The next morning was our flight back to Jersey, and unfortunately back to reality.  It had been another wonderful vacation filled more amazing memories we won’t soon forget, and a whole lot of press coins to review.

2016 WDW Trip Day 3 – Magic Kingdom

After long night out at Epcot the following morning we got up early and headed over to the Magic Kingdom.  This was also our daughter Hanna’s 4th birthday and we had a special lunch scheduled for her but I’ll get into that a little later.  We hopped on one of the Transportation buses and it dropped us off just outside the main gates.  We made it through the new security lines but unfortunately were just a little too late to see the classic opening ceremony for the park.  But that’s okay just means we get to head right inside.  One thing I love is that as soon as I scanned my magic band I headed over to the Newsstand that is located to the left side of the main entrance to use the first machine of the day.

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This machine has designs of Cinderella, Tinker Bell, and Peter Pan.  As I finished using this machine the rest of my family had already headed towards main street.

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What walk down main street would be complete without a picture of the castle.  I have hundreds of these pictures but just can’t stop taking more each visit.  My family is definitely creatures of habit and every time we visit this park we always go clockwise through the different lands.  I’ve mentioned starting with Tomorrowland but to us it just seems weird and we always head to Adventureland first.  Jungle cruise is always a must, and our kids insist on riding Aladdin’s magic carpet ride.  After hitting up these two attractions I needed to make two quick stops.  First was the Verandah Breezeway (Also knows as the restroom area by the Island Supply shop) which has two machines available.  These used to be separate machines but have recently been combined into one large cabinet.

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The machine on the left presses quarters and has designs of Nala, Simba, and Timon & Pumbaa all from The Lion King.  The machine on the right presses pennies and has images of The Adventureland Logo, Olaf from Frozen, and the Jungle Cruise attraction.   An interesting update on this machine, the Adventureland Logo design was removed shortly after I had visited the park.  Disney was slowly removing all pressed coin designs that had image of guns in them.  As you can see below this design included Mickey above the logo with a rifle.

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This coin was replaced with one of the 2016 designs which had been relocated from the Splash Mountain Splashdown Photo Preview area.

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This makes for a perfect transition into the next few machines which include one underneath the Frontierland Railroad, and the two machines at the exit of Splash Mountain.  I wrote about these in a previous separate post which you can check out here.  Taking Hanna on Splash Mountain may have emotionally scarred her, but our niece Ava loved it and by the end of our trip probably rode it a half-dozen times.  As we left the Frontierland area it was just about time to turn in our Pirates of the Caribbean fastpasses.

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This is another favorite of ours, and all the kids seemed to enjoy it.  As we exited the ride you always end up in a gift shop somewhere in Disney and as everyone picked out some pirate swag I used the next machine shown above.  The pennies here were of Pirate Mickey with a Treasure Chest, Pirate Micky with a Parrot, and a Pirate Ship.  Next on our list was to take a chance to cool down and rest by watching the Country Bear Jamboree show.  We headed back towards the Aladdin Magic Carpet ride to use the little bypass that sneaks you over to Frontierland.  This was done on purpose because I felt it was about time for a snack.

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Aloha Isle Refreshments is where you can find the magical Dole Whip.  I have come to really love the Dole Whip floats that have pineapple juice added.  My entire family has joined into this obsession so I had a large order to place and did a fantastic balancing act to ensure I didn’t drop or spill any of them.

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Here’s my Dole Whip float which didn’t last too much longer after this picture.  With our internal temperatures now a few degrees lower thanks to this refreshing treat we headed over to the Country Bears.

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In the waiting lobby of this attraction is a penny machine.  Technically you can just go in use the machine and exit without watching the show, but we always thought this was a cute show and a nice way to take a little break.  The pennies here were of Little Ole Tennessee Bear, Big Al Bear, and the Frontierland logo.  Check out this last penny design below.

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Another gun included in the design.  As with the penny I mentioned above at the Island Supply store this was also removed shortly after our trip was over.  It was replaced with a penny showing the Big Thunder Mountain Train.  I could have sworn I had this design in my collection, but the only one I have doesn’t match what is listed online at the CTM Group’s (The Penny Men) website.  Below is a picture of the design they show was added to this machine.  Guess I’ll just have to make a trip over to the park and get myself a copy.

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Now that we were over near Liberty Square it was time for our next favorite ride the Haunted Mansion.   After our escape from the mansion it was time for a pit stop and I knew just where to go.

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You may recognize this as Rapunzel’s Tower from the Disney movie Tangled.  Now before anyone complains this is also technically considered Mother Gothel’s tower where she kept Rapunzel locked up.  Whatever you want to call it this is a pretty cool little area of the park.  This is about as close to the tower as you can get, but be on the look out for hidden Pascal (Rapunzel’s chameleon friend).

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I’m showing it for assistance, but will not explain exactly where to find him (what fun would that be).  Hint: there is also more than one to find.  Good luck!  Now that we were over in the Fantasyland area there were a lot of attractions we visited all in a row.  It’s a Small World, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, and Hanna’s favorite the carousel.

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Our special lunch for Hanna’s birthday was quickly approaching so we needed to head towards the castle.  I had one stop to make before checking in for our reservation.

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The above machine was located in the Sir Mickey’s shop.  This is where you end up after visiting with the Princess meet and greets in the castle.  The pennies here have designs of 2016 Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey, Snow White, and Elsa from Frozen.  Now it was time for lunch.  Our reservation was at Cinderella’s Royal Table which we have never experience before.

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When you first enter you are greeted by the famous princess herself Cinderella.

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There is then an elevator you can take upstairs, but to be honest it’s worth it to walk up the winding staircase as the architecture and design is incredible as you head upstairs.  We were sat at a large table that looked out through large stain glass windows overlooking Fantasyland.  Throughout our meal various princesses came by to say happy birthday and of course take lots of pictures.  Here’s one of our favorites Princess Jasmine.

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The other princesses that came by included Snow White, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), and Ariel.  Once our lunch was over I had requested before our visit that a special dessert be sent for Hanna.

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There was a dark chocolate Cinderella slipper filled with chocolate mousse, fresh berries, and a nice birthday with written in chocolate sauce.  Everyone was really surprised and impressed with this really wonderful place to have a special occasion.  The food was good, the princesses were fantastic, but knowing we were experiencing all of this inside the castle was just the cherry on top.  It was sad to say goodbye but we still had places to visit.  We headed over to Tomorrowland so the kids could try the Tomorrowland Speedway and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger spin.  Both of these places had penny machines that I wrote about earlier and I included links to both by clicking on the attraction names above.  By this time everyone was starting to get tired, and our pace through the park had started to slow.  We decided it was time to head back towards Main Street and get some final souvenirs for the day.

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About half way down (or up) Main Street is the Hall of Champions clothing store.  They have two machines her but is kind of out of the way if you aren’t looking for them you may go right past them.  The machine on the left had pennies with Goofy wearing Mickey ears, Mickey Minnie Donald & Goofy, and Scrooge McDuck.  The second machine on the right is more sports oriented and has pennies with designs of Baseball Mickey, Tennis Goofy, and Soccer Mickey.  A nice feature of this store is that it’s interconnected with the other shops along the one side of Main Street.  Just a few steps (in Air conditioning yay!) and you find yourself in the huge emporium.  This place has three machines but there was only one I needed to visit.

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This machine is located by the set of doors closest to the front of Magic Kingdom.  This machine had the 2016 Castle design, Let the memories begin, and Anna & Else from Frozen.  We had quite the selection of souvenirs collected as we wandered through the stores.  After checking out we headed towards the exit but I had one last stop to make at the Main Street Train Station.

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This machine had quarters with a similar 2016 castle design, Pinocchio & Jimmy Cricket, and Mickey in the Train Engine.  I met back up with my group as we exited the park and headed over to the bus area so we can get back to our resort for a much needed rest.  After a nice late afternoon break we headed over to Epcot for dinner at the China Pavilion’s Nine Dragons restaurant which was really nice.  The crowds were getting a little crazy at night due to the Food and Wine festival so we didn’t stay long, but were able to catch a beautiful sunset before heading back to our room.

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2017 Walt Disney World Pressed Coins – Follow Up

** See below for contest to win a free set of 2017 WDW coins **

For those of you that read my original post with the concept design pictures of the new 2017 pressed coin designs this is a quick follow-up.  Shortly after that post I was contacted by a representative at CTM Group (The Pennymen), and we traded a few messages back and forth.  They were nice enough to offer a copy of the entire set of coins fresh from the machines throughout the resort so I could post pictures of the actual coins.

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Above is a picture of all the coins together.  There are the same number as last year but I think the designs this year have definitely gone up in detail.

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Here I have a picture of all the penny designs together.

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Next are all the quarter designs.

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The picture above shows a close up of a cool little sub-set within the 2017 dates set.  Each theme park had one design with Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey in the middle, and an icon from each park above his head.  For Epcot there is Spaceship Earth, Animal Kingdom has the Tree of Life, Hollywood Studios has The Tower of Terror, and the Magic Kingdom of course has Cinderella’s Castle.  These four designs are a numbered set which is listed directly on each coin.

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All of these designs are really nice this year, but I must say the one listed above is my personal favorite.  When I first saw it I just thought it was fantastic.  This design is located in the Magic Kingdom at the Main Street Railroad Station.  It’s cool that all four of the park iconic symbols are all on one coin along with the 2017 year.  This is really a great way to start off the new year.

Obviously these will be around for the entire year, but do not hesitate to get yourself a set.  These are a great addition to any collection and will be gone before you know it.

**Thank you to the CTM Group team for all their work on these new designs, and for taking the time to reach out.  It was very much appreciated!

CONTEST:
This is a chance for you to get a complete set of the 2017 Coins listed above.  This will include all 15 coins (8 Pennies and 7 Quarters).

All you need to do is post a comment below with any ideas you have for the 2018 annual set that you would like to see for next year.  This can be a set of movies, characters, ride or attractions, food (Mmm…Dole Whip Penny), let your imagination run wild.

Post as many times as you like.  Then at the end of the month (3/31/2017) I’ll randomly select a winner and will contact you for your mailing information.

Good luck!!

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin – Magic Kingdom, FL

My back and neck were still a little stiff from my Speedway drive with Hanna, but that wouldn’t stop us from continuing on through Tomorrowland.  I’m not a Space Mountain fan but some of my family are so we made a stop for them to get their fix.  Once that was done we headed over to an attraction more my speed and enjoyable for the kids.

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.  Now I was concerned when I first rode this years ago because the famous Tea Cups are my worst nightmare.  I hate being dizzy and with Spin in the title of this attraction had me worried.  But it’s nothing like the Tea Cups.  This is really more like laser tag but you are sitting in a ride vehicle taking you through the alien attack and you need to zap as many evildoers as you can.

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You accumulate points for each alien you zap and at the end it’s always fun to see your final score ranked against the rest of your family.  Once the ride is over you exit into a photo preview room where you can see your picture mid-ride along with your final scores.  Then just beside the exit doors is another new 8-design touch screen machine.

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This is the same price as the others, 1 design for $1 or all 8 for $5.  This machine also supplies the blank tokens that the designs are pressed on.

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This set included a lot of Buzz Lightyear with a few other characters.  They include images of Little Green Toy Alien, Buzz Flying to the Right, Buzz with his Arms Raised, Buzz Pointing to the Sky, Buzz Flying straight Ahead, Buzz Space Ranger Spin Logo, Buzz with his Arms crossed, and Evil Zurg.  Wow that’s a lot of Buzz!

It was getting dark and the kids (and adults) were starting to get cranky so it was our queue to head back to our resort to rest.  But I promise there were many more penny machines to find and I’ll walk you by all of them.

Tomorrowland Speedway – Magic Kingdom, FL

I remember as a kid visiting the Magic Kingdom and wanting to ride in the race cars that go around the track.  It was my first taste of freedom on the open road, except of course for the bar in the middle of my tires preventing me from crashing off the road. I eventually found it funny to purposely jerk the steering wheel to the left or right so the car jolted against the rail and watching my father try to prevent whiplash.

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The Tomorrowland Speedway is just plain fun or least I remember it being that way.  On our recent trip I decided to take my daughter Hanna on this ride and I think she tried to pull the same stunt I did with my father.  After we got out of the ride my neck was stiff and my back needed realigning.  Darn the bar in the middle of the road.

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With a chiropractic visit needed I slowly wandered away from the Speedway as if we were heading towards Space Mountain.  Just past the Speedway there are some souvenir carts around and this is where we found one of the newly placed penny machines.

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As you can see this is a 4-design hand crank model which at Disney are pretty rare, and after my drive with Hanna using this machine was going to be a bit of work.

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The pressed pennies dropped out and had some nice updated designs on them.  This set had Pluto with a Trophy, Minnie in a Speedway Car, Race Car Driver Mickey, and Mickey with a Checkered Flag.

With my new pennies stored away we headed further into Tomorrowland to see what we could do next, and I’m sure you can guess there were more pennies to be found.

Splash Mountain – Magic Kingdom, FL

My family got back from a Wedding in October that was held at the Grand Floridian hotel on Walt Disney World properly in Florida.  We took the opportunity to extend this trip into a week-long vacation.  As you can probably imagine I took every opportunity I could to visit the parks and collect some pressed coins.  Mostly I was updating my picture collection of the machines, also updating some coins that I had collected years ago and were in need of a fresh pressing.  I’ll go over all of my adventures in some upcoming posts, but for now I wanted to review some of the new machines that were recently made available.  First up let’s check out the Magic Kingdom.

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We visited the Magic Kingdom twice on this visit, and one of those times was to attend the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  Above is the Castle all lit up for the party.

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Back on our non-party visit we started bright and early with Splash Mountain.  I’m sure most of you know about this ride whether you love it or hate it the adventures of Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox is definitely a classic.

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This is not usually a ride I enjoy as the stomach in my throat feeling is not my favorite sensation.  But this year my daughter Hanna was old enough and wanted to try it out so I obliged.  I’ll spare her the embarrassment of posting our ride photo here but needless to say she wasn’t a fan this time around.  Once your ride is over you walk by the Splashdown Photo Preview area where you can get a glimpse of your ride photo.  While we waited for our photo to show up I took the opportunity to use the penny machine located right next to the preview screens.

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On a side note for those of you that don’t want to ride Splash Mountain you can still access this machine.  You just have to walk back through the gift shop and will find it near the large crowd looking at their ride pictures.

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Earlier this year this machine had one of the 2016 yearly design pennies available, but recently this coin has been removed.  The above designs are what you will find there for now: Mickey/Pluto/Donald/Goofy riding Splash Mountain, Minnie splashing water on Mickey, and Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear riding Splash Mountain.

Now you remember me just talking about a gift shop?  That’s right what Disney ride would be complete without forcing you to exit through a gift shop full of wonderful souvenirs you just can’t live without.  In my case this wasn’t a t-shirt or snow globe but instead a new 8-Design penny machine.

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I was amazed at how many of these new touch screen machines there were throughout all the parks.  The price has gone up a bit, and you can’t supply your own pennies but I still think the tokens these machines use are pretty nice and make for a nice finished product.

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The pressed coins here were of Big Thunder Mountain, Frontierland Mickey/Donald/Goofy, Splash Mountain Donald/Goofy/Pluto/Mickey, Br’er Bear, Br’er Rabbit, Mickey & Goofy riding Splash Mountain, Br’er Fox, and Mr. Bluebird.  When you exit the gift shop with your pocket jingling with new pressed coins there is a large set of restrooms nearby and just a short walk back towards the entrance to Splash Mountain takes you underneath the Frontierland Railroad Station.

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On this trip was the first time I was actually able to use this machine as it always seems to be broken for some reason.  I always loved this machine’s cabinet design.

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The designs are sticking with our friends in the briar patch: Br’er Vulture, Br’er Rabbit and Br’er Bear.  With our clothes soaking wet we met up with the rest of our family to see where we were off to next.  Check back often as there are many more pressed penny machines to visit.

2017 Walt Disney World Pressed Coins

We are just a couple of days away from a brand new year and just this evening I was browsing some websites and came across an early surprise.  On one of my trips to WDW last year I noticed that a lot of the pressed coin machines had a website address listed to get the most up to date locations of all the machines across property.  I took a picture so I wouldn’t forget about it when I came home.

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This website has become just another routine I go through a few times a week.  I check out the website to see if anything has changed, moved or best of all a new machine is available.  Just a short while ago I was checking out the website and almost fell off my couch when I started to see new 2017 coins all around the parks.  Unfortunately I am not currently near Orlando and won’t be for a few weeks so I cannot actually confirm that these machines are up and running.  But I’m sending out requests to friends in the area to try to get pictures but most importantly press these beautiful new coins.  As I acquire the coins I’ll update this post with the actual pictures, but for now I wanted to share the images that are available on the above CTM Group website.

mk-emporium-2017   mk-sir-mickeys-2017

These first two coins are available in the Magic Kingdom.  The penny on the left is in the Emporium Store, and the penny on the right is at the Sir Mickey’s Gift Shop.

ept-disney-traders-2017   ept-mouse-gears-2017   ept-the-land-2017-qtr

The next three coins are located in Epcot.  The penny on the left is from the Disney Traders Gift Shop, the penny in the middle from the huge Mouse Gears Gift Shop, and the quarter on the right is from The Land Pavilion near the Garden Grill Restaurant.

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Over at Hollywood Studios there is just one coin listed at this time.  It’s available at what I call the Muppet’s Gift Shop but is technically referred to as the Stage One Company Store.

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Located in Animal Kingdom are the next couple coins.  The penny on the left is at Chester and Hester’s in Dinoland USA.  The quarter on the right is at the Wildlife Express Train Station.

rst-contemporary-resort-2017-qtr   rst-contemporary-resort-2017

The last batch of coins are available at various resorts.  However the resort locations have not changed from last year.  At the Contemporary Resort are the above two coins and are right near the Monorail station.

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A quick Monorail trip over to the Grand Floridian will get you to the next machine.  It’s still located on the second floor just inside the doors that lead to the Monorail station.

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Finally the last two quarters are over at the All-Star Resorts.  If you aren’t staying at these resorts they can be a bit out of the way to get.  The quarter on the left of Goofy is over at the All-Star Music resort just outside the Note’Able Games Arcade.  The quarter on the right of Donald is at the All-Star Sports resort outside the Game Point Arcade.

UPDATE:

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Found images of the “last” two 2017 designs that will be available.  I’m just assuming they are sticking with the 15 designs but we can always hope for more.  The above penny on the left is located at Hollywood Studios in the Rock Around the Shop, and the quarter on the right is in the Magic Kingdom at the Main Street Train Station.

Happy collecting, and have a great New Years!!

Virtual Magic Kingdom – VMK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Or the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square.

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

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

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

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

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