Disney Springs / WDW Resort Machines Converting to $1 per Penny Design

The below was all documented prior to the closing of the theme parks.  With the recent announcement that Disney Springs will have a limited reopening on May 20th only time will tell if the machines are still available or if using them will change due to new health concerns.  When I feel it’s safe to revisit I’ll go back and post an update.  Enjoy!
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With all the Disney Theme parks changed over the conversion finally made it’s way to Disney Springs and the Disney Resorts.  This did seem to be a much longer transition for some reason, but I was keeping a close eye on them and was able to document the last few machines before all the park closures.

Let’s start this tour over at Disney Springs which is really one of my favorite places to visit on property.  Mostly because I love food and there are so many great restaurants there, but they do also have plenty of penny machines.

I parked my car in the Orange Parking garage since it’s closest to the Westside of Disney Springs near the AMC Movie Theater.  Not too far from the parking garage is the Food Truck Pavilion where the first machine was located.

 

I usually mention this at some point in each of the conversion blogs but wanted to make sure I didn’t forget to mention that all these machines were converted to $1 per design.  The machine supplies a shiny zinc penny, however, the designs have not changed and are the same as they were before the change.

Next, I headed towards the Town Center area which is where you can find Planet Hollywood, the Coca-cola Store, Guy Fieri’s Chicken Guy, and one of my favorites Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill.

 

In between the Coke store and Wolfgang Puck is the Fire House Restrooms and a Pressed Penny Machine is just outside.

I had a bit of a walk to the next machine which is outside the big World of Disney store at the Marketplace Stage.

 

Not much changed with the machine other than maybe a fresh coat of paint, and new signage for how to use the machine and the updated payment system.

Continuing through Disney Springs I miraculously passed by the Ghiradelli’s store without buying any ice cream, pass the Dockside Margarita stand, and instead over to the Once Upon a Toy store.  Wow, I have very interesting priorities!

 

This was a machine I thought would need more work to have converted just due to its different shape and design.  But the vendor somehow figured out a way to do it while keeping the overall look of the machine pretty similar.

After leaving the toy store I cut through the Pin Trader store, and then through the Star Wars Trading Post.  It does surprise me this store doesn’t have a penny machine, but exiting out this store I could see the next machine up against the outside wall of Goofy’s Candy Co near a Winnie the Pooh photo spot.

 

These machines do accept cash and credit cards or digital payments like Apple Pay.  Please note that if you are only looking to press one coin the only option is to use cash.  If you opt for a credit card or Apple Pay you are automatically charged $4 and get the entire set.  This does cause confusion for some people and I’ve seen them leave after only pressing one penny and I always call them back to try and help ensure they get their full set.

Right around the corner is the main entrance for Goofy’s Candy Co.  I try to avoid this place whenever possible as it’s just too tempting when you walk inside.

 

But on this trip, I needed to face my candy enemy and head inside to check on the penny machine and maybe buy a piece of Cookies and Cream fudge..or maybe two pieces I can’t help myself.

That finishes up all the machines at Disney Springs, but next, I wanted to check out the machines at the Resorts.  Thankfully there are only two 4-design machines on property.  Since my car was all the way on the other side of Disney Springs I decided to grab a Bus over to the first resort.

My first stop was at the Port Orleans French Quarter resort.  This is one of my favorite resorts.  My wife and I spent a week here years ago and really enjoyed the resort plus we made sure to pick up beignets each day after visiting the parks so we had a snack in our room.  I’m sure housekeeping wasn’t happy with the excessive amount of powdered sugar we managed to get all over the floor.

 

Inside the main Lobby of the Resort just outside the Scat Cat’s Club near the restrooms is the penny machine I was looking for.  Since my two pieces of fudge at Disney Springs didn’t satisfy my sweet tooth I headed to the food court and picked up an order of beignets for the road.  I waited for the Resort bus to Epcot to arrive and enjoyed my snack on the bus.

Once at Epcot, I cut through the park and over to the International Gateway where I headed towards the Boardwalk Inn.

 

During the day the Boardwalk by the water doesn’t have a lot of entertainment going on, but this is a fun place to be after the sun sets.  There are buskers doing all sorts of shows for passersby.  The penny machine is located near the dock where you get the Friendship boats back to Epcot, Hollywood Studios, or a couple of the other resorts along the waterway.

That was the last 4-design machine on property and they have now all been converted to $1 pre-loaded machines.  This was a fun day trip, but I always enjoy checking out the penny machines and just enjoying the resorts and parks. Will they decide to change the 3-design electronic machines I truly don’t know but kind of think it may be inevitable.  It will be very interesting to see what happens with all the machines once the parks open up again after this longer than anticipated closure.

Stay safe and Happy Collecting!

2020 Dated Walt Disney World Pressed Coins Set

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

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

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

   

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

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

   

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

   

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

   

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

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

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

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

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

Keep on Smashing!!

Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort – Pressed Penny Design Changes

This small change to one of the penny press machines over at Disney’s All-Star Sports resort almost went unnoticed due to all the other new machines on property.

I took a quick drive over to the All-Star Sports resort which is one of the value resorts on Disney property.  When I was younger and taking trips down to Florida on my own, these were the resorts I stayed at most.  The majority of my days were spent at the parks or resort hopping as I tried to press all the pennies and quarters on property.   So I spent very little time in my room and it seems like a waste to spend more on a resort with better accommodations that I really wasn’t going to be using.  They are still a lot of fun to stay at, but they are no frills and fighting the crowds in the food court style eatery is not a great experience.

After parking my car I headed into the main building of the resort.  Past the check-in area towards the back of the building is where the End Zone food court is found and across from that is the Game Point Arcade.  Just outside the arcade is the above group of penny press machines.  There is one pressed quarter machine, and the other three are penny machines.  A nice addition here is the change machine which is a nice way to load up on quarters if you didn’t get enough before your trip.

The machine located all the way on the right is the one that received some new/old designs.

I say as they are new to this machine, but these designs were actually located at Hollywood Studios a few years ago and had been retired.  Or so we thought.  The two Beauty and the Beast designs were originally at the Once Upon a Time store along Hollywood Boulevard, and the Mickey Film Strip design was at the Pizza Planet restaurant near Muppets Courtyard.

It just goes to show you just when you think something may be retired and no longer available they may surprise us and bring them back.  Although it’s probably just a good idea to try and get them the first time around just in case.

Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa – Orlando, Fl

This was a penny machine I had heard about a few months ago but wasn’t sure I would be able to visit.  The Westgate Lakes Resort & Spa is located in Orlando on Turkey Lake Road not too far from the Universal Studios parks.

Westgate resorts are part of a timeshare company.  I’ve been through a timeshare presentation it was not really something I wanted to go through again.  At first I thought maybe I would just pay full price for a room for a staycation with my wife.  But before shelling out that kind of money I thought I would just head over and see if I could visit without actually staying there.

There is a security area that you check in with.  They were very nice and I said I was just looking to check out the resort.  That was no issue and they gave me some detailed instructions on where to park.

The parking garage had no fee to park during the day.  Not sure if this is different if you are staying at the resort, or if you visit at night.  However the garage was pretty full and we ended up parking almost at the very top.  From up there got a nice overview of the resort and it did look really nice.

Down on ground level there was an arcade, a gift shop / souvenir shop / deli that had pretty much anything you could want on your stay.  There was also a sports bar that wasn’t opened yet when we got there but looked like a lot of fun.

I’m not sure how many pools they have in total, but this one seemed to be the largest we could find.  It was behind a locked gate so you do need to be staying at the resort to access the pool.

After we had walked around most of the property we headed into the main reception building.  There was a larger front area to the building that had valet parking available, but we entered in through the back near the above pool.

Inside was a nice large lobby area with lots of things going on.  People were checking-in, or getting help with park tickets.

Along one side of the lobby was a little gift shop, and a cafe with some grab and go food items.  Just outside this cafe was where we found the penny machine.

The machine only had one design available.  It was the standard $0.50 plus your penny.  As soon as you push your change into the machine it automatically comes to live and pressed your coin.

The image on the penny is the Westgate Resorts logo, and the machine pressed it really nicely.

So after this experience I will say a few things.  Timeshare companies have a bad reputation for those high pressure sales meetings.  I did not sit through one at this resort so I don’t know how it would compare to others, but I was worried that I may get dragged into one while here but that wasn’t the case.  Whenever I visit places looking for pressed pennies with all my cameras and other equipment I’m always very up front with what I’m doing.  This resort was very welcoming, many of the guests and staff were friendly and I didn’t have any security escorting me off property for taking my pictures.  Sometimes when there is someone wandering around taking pictures it raises some concern.  In any event this resort was very accommodating with my quick little visit so don’t be afraid to try and stop by yourself sometime.

I was hoping the penny design would be location specific and actually say Orlando on it which would make for a nice collection when visiting other Westgate Resorts. The coin was still a nice addition to the collection and I may actually try staying at the resort in the future.

Disney’s Boardwalk NEW Pressed Penny Machine

I’ve mentioned in the past that I used to live in New Jersey and we had our fair share of Boardwalks at all the different beaches by the Atlantic shores.  During visits to Walt Disney World one of the last places we would have thought to visit was the Disney Boardwalk Inn (Resort) since it’s themed around Atlantic City New Jersey.

But now that we have moved out of New Jersey I find myself visiting the Boardwalk more often as I kind of miss it, and the Disney version is much cleaner and safer.

There are a few ways to visit the Boardwalk if you aren’t staying at the actual resort.  Probably the easiest would be if you are over at Epcot you can use the International gateway between France and the UK pavilions, and is about a 10 minute walk.  Or you can take the Friendship boats from Epcot or Hollywood Studios.  When I heard that a new penny machine was available at the Boardwalk I was over at the Swan and Dolphin resort for lunch and just walked over.

The boardwalk during the day is pretty quite, and most of the restaurants aren’t open yet.  But later in the day this place really picks up.  They have carnival type games along the water, a dueling piano bar called Jellyrolls, and buskers performing all along the boardwalk.

On this visit to the boardwalk it was still a little early in the day before the real fun begins, but I had another mission any ways.  Down near where the Friendship boat dock is located you can find the Screen Door General Store.

This is actually a couple of stores all connected inside.  We started in the Screen door General Store that was just that  and is where you can find bottles of soda, snacks and other miscellaneous food items.  The next store has some t-shirts and your more common Disney souvenirs.

This is was the area that the penny machine was found just inside the middle set of doors.

This store is called the Character Carnival gift shop.

The machine has 8 designs and cost $1 for 1 design, or $5 for all 8.  Pretty standard right now for these new style machines.

The designs on these pennies are off Classic Mickey and his friends including Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale.  I was hoping they would have the Boardwalk logo on then, but that was not the case and just have the Disney logo.

After collecting this new set I was headed back to the Swan and Dolphin for a bit but was definitely happy I had the chance to visit the boardwalk for a bit.  If you haven’t visited here be sure to check it out.  There are some nice places to eat and plenty of entertainment for a relaxing day on vacation.

2019 WDW Dated Pressed Quarter Change

In a bit a strange move, this past weekend the 2019 pressed quarter design of Minnie Mouse that was at the All-Star Music resort has been removed.  So far it hasn’t been moved to another location (although we are keeping an eye out for this).

The machine is still located just outside the Note’Able Games arcade, but now has a new 2019 design.

The design is the same Fantasmic / Maleficent Dragon image that is on a penny in the Rock around the Shop.

Technically this makes 17 designs released as part of the 2019 dated set.  But with the Minnie Mouse quarter design missing, there are still just 16 designs available for pressing.  Hopefully you got one of the Minnie Mouse designs before it was removed.  This may make for a limited release design and something not everyone would have been able to acquire in the month or so it was available.

Follow Up – 2019 Dated WDW Coin Replacements

This is a follow-up post to the one I wrote last week about the new 2019 pressed coins at Walt Disney World.  As I mentioned in that review there were four machines that had 2018 designs, but not 2019 designs.  So that meant that something needed to go into those machines to fill the gap.  It didn’t take too long after all the 2019 designs were released before we found out.

   

The first machine is over at the Magic Kingdom in the Main Street Train Station.  This is a pressed quarter machine that has had a dates design for the last few years.   For 2019 the quarter design was relocated to the Emporium, and the die was basically just swamped with this machine.

The Tinker Bell design has now been moved from the Emporium to the Main Street Train Station.

The next machine was kind of all over the place last year (2018).  Initially the 2018 pressed penny design was located at the Grand Floridian Resort.  Then about half way through the year the machine was moved over to the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts outside the Lafferty Arcade.

   

Now for 2019 the dated penny design was moved over to the Polynesian Resort in the penny machine on the second floor of the Grand Ceremonial House near the Moana Mercantile.

The penny design at the Polynesian Resort of Pocahontas and John Smith has now been moved to the Yacht & Beach Club machine.

The last two machines are over at the Contemporary Resort, one quarter design and one penny design.

   

The 2018 quarter design was replaced with a design of Mickey, Donald and Goofy that was part of the Friends mini-set.  This design was previously located at the Grand Floridian Resort outside the 1900 Park Fare restaurant but had been removed last summer.

Lastly is the pressed penny machine at the Contemporary Resort.  Unfortunately the machine wasn’t working when I initially visited earlier this week.  But the nearby market had some extra on hand when I mentioned the machine wasn’t working.  This may not always be the case, but if you run into this situation it doesn’t hurt to ask.

   

The penny design was replaced with an old design of Jafar from Aladdin that was part of a Villains mini-set.  This design was removed over 5 years from Cap’n Jack’s Oyster Bar in Downtown Disney (yes that long ago).

This is what I was hoping they would do and bring back some of these numbered mini-set designs that have been taken away over the last few years.  These mini-sets made for some fun trips around property to collect but unfortunately now most of these numbered mini-sets are incomplete unless you happened to press some of the designs years ago.

Well that completes the 2019 machines and the removal of all the 2018 designs.  Be sure to check back often for updates on new machines or any existing designs that are relocated.  Happy Collecting!

2019 Dated Walt Disney World Pressed Coins Set

Here we are in 2019 and as we all knew was going to happen, the new dated pressed coins have made their appearance all over Walt Disney World property.  But first let me go over how I first found out the new designs were being released.  My daughter and I were over at Epcot just enjoying a day at the park and we decided to head over to The Land pavilion where Soarin’ is, however my daughter prefers the Living with the Land boat ride through the greenhouse.  As we walked inside and back towards the Garden Grill restaurant I noticed the penny/quarter double machine was pulled out from the wall and being worked on.

My daughter was anxious to ride the boat attraction but I asked her to hold tight for a bit.  I knew the 2019 designs were going to be released at any moment, but was amazed that I may have walked upon this actually happening first hand.  Once the machine was put back together and moved against the wall I leaned in and sure enough saw the new quarter design.  The woman who was changing out the design was very nice and spoke with me for a bit about the machines she had already changed out.  She mentioned that more would be out over the next few days.

And so it had begun and I made it my project over the next week to visit all the machines and document the new designs.

   

That first design at The Land near the Garden Grill was in the same location as last year.  The design has Chip and Dale on it and as I mentioned above is on a pressed quarter.

   

I didn’t forget to take my daughter on the Living with the land ride so we did enjoy that, but I was antsy the entire time just thinking about all the new designs around property that I couldn’t wait to find.  With the ride over we quickly headed to the other side of Future World and into the Mouse Gear Shop where we found the first new pressed penny with Spaceship Earth on it.

Something I’m not sure I ever noticed in previous years is that near all these new pressed coin machines was a large selection of 2019 merchandise like photo albums, cups, mugs, t-shirts and more.  I usually stay away from the dated t-shirts, but the one pictures above is calling my name.  I really like the colors this year and may just have to pick one up.

   

We then headed into the World Showcase to the Disney Traders gift shop and found the next penny machine.  The image is of the year 2019 and Mickey is jumping out of the Zero.  (Note: there was a new penny machine over at the Mexico pavilion we found but I’ll review that in an upcoming post.  Stay tuned!)

Those were all the 2019 coins available at Epcot.  Using the intel I had received from the penny machine attendant earlier we headed back to our car and drove over to Hollywood Studios.

   

Once in the park we headed right now Sunset Boulevard towards the Rockin’ Roller Coaster, and went in to the Rock Around the Shop to find the above machine.  The penny design was of the Fantasmic Dragon.

   

Just across the courtyard underneath the Hollywood Tower Hotel is the Tower Hotel Gift shop.  Towards the back of the store where the Tower of Terror exits is where the next machine was found.  This was a nice design with the Hollywood Tower Hotel pressed on a quarter.  Unfortunately that was all we had time for on Saturday and had to head home which worked out well anyways as I was running low on spare coins I always bring “just in case”.  Sunday we got up early and headed to our first stop.

   

The All-Star Sports resort has a whole wall of pressed coin machines just outside the Game Point Arcade.  The first machine had the new 2019 design of Goofy pressed on a quarter.

   

Just a short drive away we headed into the All-Star Music resort for the next pressed quarter with Minnie Mouse.  This machine can be found just outside the Note’Able Arcade.

   

The third resort is the All-Star Movies and the machines are all in the World Premier Food Court.  This resort had another pressed quarter design, but this time with Donald and a box of popcorn.  I will admit that I screwed up at this resort.  I just pressed the quarter design and left for our next stop.  After I got home I found out online that there was also a new 2019 penny design here.  So I had to go back the next night after work to get it.

   

Here is that pressed penny of Plus that I completely overlooked.  This should have planted a seed in my mind that maybe this year some of the locations would change (some in fact did) but I wouldn’t realize that until a few days later.

   

Next we drive over to the Animal Kingdom park (it’s not a zoo) and found the new penny in the same spot as last year at Chester and Hester’s Dino Treasures store.  The design is of the Tree of Life.

   

We then walked almost to the far opposite side of the park into Africa near the Harambe Railroad Station.  Currently the train is not operational as they are renovating Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and the pathway back to the train station is now where you can find a handful of Wilderness Explorer tables to earn badges (a free activity you can do in the park).  The cast will question why you are heading back to the train station that isn’t working, but just let them know you are using the penny press machines and they will let you by without any issue.  Thankfully the machine is now outside the station so it can be easily used.  The design is of Pluto on a pressed quarter.

   

A few days passed before I heard about the next machine which was at a new location, the Art of Animation Resort.  This resort has a pretty good food court so I headed over after work for some dinner and to check out the machine.  It’s located right as you walk into the Landscape of Flavor food court.  This is also a bit of a unique dated design.  Not only does it have the year 2019 with Daisy Duck but it also has the Art of Animation resort logo on it.  Guess this one won’t be relocated any time this year.

   

The next pressed penny was also at a  new location this year the Polynesian Village Resort.  On the second floor of the Grand Ceremonial House just outside the Moana Mercantile store.  The penny has an image of Minnie Mouse.

   

As you can probably guess the last three designs were in the Magic Kingdom.  First was in the Main Street Emporium the same place as last year.  The image on this penny is of Chip and Dale.

   

The second machine is about halfway through the Main Street emporium which is another new location for a 2019 design.  This is a pressed  quarter machine and the image is of Mickey in the Zero of 2019 just like the penny design in Epcot at Disney Traders.

   

This last penny machine was found in Fantasyland behind Cinderella’s Castle at the Sir Mickey’s gift shop (same as last year).  However this machine proved to be quite a pain for me to acquire.  The first time I visited it was jammed, so I went back a couple of days later and it was out-of-order again.  I waited a few more days and finally on my third visit I was relieved to find it quite operational.  The pressed penny has Mickey Mouse strutting his stuff over the year 2019.

So that makes for a total of 7 pressed quarter designs.

and 9 pressed penny designs.  For you math wizards out there that is a total of 16 press coins for 2019 which is one more than last year.  I’m not going to lie, I was actually hoping they may release 19 designs for 2019 but I’m happy with what we did get.  Plus with a few of the designs at different locations this made finding them a bit more challenging that I actually enjoyed.

Here is a picture of all 16 of the pressed coins for 2019.  There are a few designs that are the same on a penny and quarter, but I think it’s still a really nice set for this year.  At the time of this posting all the 2018 designs have been removed and retired so if you were missing any you will most likely have to check out eBay.  I say this every year with these dated sets, but make sure you get them before they are gone.

We have almost a full year but you never know what could happen.  Plus 2019 is going to bring us Star Wars Land (Galaxy’s Edge) and I’m hoping maybe I can use the force or a light saber to press some new coins but we will find out later this year when that new land opens.  Last year was a record number of new pressed coins released in WDW and I’m hoping 2019 will be even bigger.  Stick around and I’ll be sure to share news of all new pressed penny machines through the year and of course we will go on some other adventures along the way.

Polynesian Village Resort – NEW Pressed Penny Machine

These 8-design penny machines are taking Walt Disney World by storm.  I received word that one of these new machines was put out over at the Polynesian Village Resort.

This is a resort that I visit whenever possible.  Not only does it have one of my favorite restaurants (Ohana) but the island vibe you get just from walking around the property is a lot of fun.

Once inside the main ceremonial house the friendly staff greet you with a flower lei, and the beautiful flowers all around just put you in the vacation mood.  Something else I usually do when visiting here is walk straight back through the rear doors to the Pineapple Lanai for a dole whip.  But on this trip I had a quick pit stop first.

Previously just to the left of these rear doors was a 3 design penny machine, but as you can see it has been removed.  Now there is a new touch screen machine.

The designs available here are all themed around the movie Moana which makes perfect sense at this resort.

The penny designs include Moana herself in a few different poses, Maui, HeiHei, Pua and even a couple of Kakamora.  I think this is a really cool little set for such a great movie.

Before heading outside for my Dole whip I went upstairs to see if those two machines were still there and they were.  Just outside the Moana mercantile are two machines (one has 3 penny designs, and the other has 3 quarter designs).  The designs on all of these coins have remained unchanged…for now.

With the new coins pressed, and the previous machines checked up on it was time for my treat.  I made my way back downstairs and out the back of the ceremonial house to the Pineapple Lanai.  Amazingly there was no one in line so I got right up to the counter and ordered my Dole whip.  I walked it over to the beach along side the seven seas lagoon and just enjoyed a little bit of island time with my feet in the sand before heading back home.

Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort – Recently Renovated

Over the past few years it has seemed like the majority of the Walt Disney World Resort property has been under construction.  The roads are being rerouted, new attractions being built, and some of the resorts have been under renovation.  This is not going to change any time soon, and from the sound of it most of this won’t be done for another 3-4 years.  But one of these places that has started to see the finish line is the Caribbean Beach Resort.

I visited this resort about 8 months ago to see how things were going and it was a mess.  Guests had no actual restaurant to eat at, instead there was a tent put up with a buffet inside, or some temporary food trucks near the pool.  However just this past week that all changed when the newly renovated Old Port Royale opened.

In case you aren’t familiar with how this resort is laid out, there are groups of resort room buildings named after different Caribbean locations like Aruba, Martinique, Jamaica and a few others.  This resort is huge and was in need of some TLC.  The main reception area used to be on the outskirts of the property in the Custom House, but that has closed.  Now that has been relocated to Old Port Royale along with some new places to eat.

The new check-in area is wide open with some minimal theming but this seems to be the direction Disney is going with its resorts.

Just inside the main set of front doors is the new penny machine available at the resort.  In years past this resort had quite a few penny machines, but those have all been removed and retired.  This is now the only machine available here.

I wonder if we will ever seen any of the old three design coin press machines anymore?

All of the penny designs have our favorite Disney characters as Pirates.  For some reason all of the pennies also say “Pirates of the Caribbean” which I think is a little strange.  It’s the same logo from the attraction in the Magic Kingdom but now over at this resort.  I get that the Caribbean Beach resort does have a pirate theme at the main pool and in some of the rooms, but this seems like a bit of a stretch.

The rest of Old Port Royale is set up for the new Centertown Market the quick service options.

Walking out the back of the Old Port Royale building you are right next to the main Pirate themed pool, and the new Banana Cabana bar / lounge.  I stopped by here later on at night and they have live music, but there are not many seats available so you may need to get there early or expect to wait for a table.

Beside the lounge is the new table service restaurant called  Sebastian’s Bistro.  This place has received quite a good reception so far in its first two weeks of being open.  I will also admit I have actually eaten here twice in that time period and have been thoroughly impressed.

I’m sure you all remember Sebastian from The Little Mermaid.  First off the inside is really clean and bright, but there are some light fixtures that have not been installed yet so at night there are areas that can be a little dark.  The service I had on both my visits was superb.  They knew that menu inside and out, making some great suggestions.

We tried the Pull-apart bread as an appetizer which came with three accompaniments, Guava butter / Mango Salsa / Jerk favored Oil.  The guava butter was unbelievable.

For  my main course I tried the Jerk chicken, which  are boneless chicken thighs marinated in a Jerk season and served over Cilantro rice and black beans.  This was really flavorful and we really liked it.  We also tried a few other main dishes and they were really fantastic as well.  This is a place I would highly recommend and if you get a chance be sure to head over and try it out.  Plus you can take a nice stroll around the resort afterwards and see what they have to offer, or press a set of the pennies in the lobby.

One last thing you can see when you visit this resort is the nearby resort that should be opened in a couple of years.  It’s going to be called The Riviera and from across the lake looks like it’s going to be huge.  Not sure how it will look inside but I’m anxious to find out.  Plus you know they must have a penny machine inside.