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.

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort – Vero Beach, FL

It was finally time for a vacation.  In years past our default vacation destination was Florida, but now that we lived near Orlando where should we go?  We had discussed visiting Georgia or Louisiana that would have been within a reasonable drive.  Then after some further discussions we actually decided that Florida still had plenty of places we could visit and eventually chose Miami as our destination.

However with our two young daughters we wanted to try and minimize how much time we spent in the car, so we decided to make a stop about half way.  When I was checking out where we could stop I recognized Vero Beach and remembered that Disney had a Resort there.  I booked a room and we were all set for our week-long trip to Southern Florida.

The drive from Orlando to Vero Beach was pretty straight forward and thankfully our daughters both napped most of the way.  Once we arrive security welcomed us home in standard Disney fashion.

At check-in we received our First time visitor pins, and were shown to our room.

After dropping out luggage in the room we decided it was time to wonder around the resort a bit and get our bearings.  There is a Spa on site which my wife took advantage of.  I took our girls outside for some fresh ocean air.

There is a large Mickey shaped pool with a pretty big water slide.  As we walked by they were actually having water slide races which seemed to be popular with the kids.

There are some tall bushes in between the resort property and beach.  At first I thought it was a little strange but as you find out more about the Sea Turtles that uses these beaches for nesting the bushes service an important purpose.  More on that later.  There was an access path through the bushes that takes you out to the beach.  The Atlantic ocean was beautiful and something we hadn’t seen in a while since leaving Jersey.  This is where we spent most of our time on the beach and in the ocean, our girls just loved it.

Eventually we headed back into the resort and found the quick service dining area and grabbed some dinner.  As you can see from the sign above I was also pleasantly surprised to find they offered Dole Whip which we enjoyed a few times during our short stay.

Remember I mentioned the Sea Turtles and the tall bushes by the beach?  Once we were back in our room we noticed the above card on one of the tables.  It explained more about the nesting sea turtles and requests that guests keep their window curtains closed after certain hours at night.  The baby sea turtles use light reflecting off the water to navigate back to the ocean once hatched.  Any artificial light can cause confusion.  So that is why the request for the curtains, and also for the tall bushes which are part of the nesting groups and also help keep out any noise or stray light.

On our way back to our room we cut through the main lobby and found the two pressed coin machines I had heard were in the resort.

The first machine only had one design that pressed on a quarter.

The image on this coin is of the two famous Pixar Sea Turtles Crush and Squirt from Finding Nemo.

The second machine is the standard three design electric machine that pressed pennies.

The images on these coins were of the Disney Vero Beach Resort Logo, Classic Mickey, and Surfing Mickey.  It had been a long a day, with some fun on the beach and exploring this fantastic resort.  We made our way back to our room and all crashed (after making sure our curtains were closed).

Unfortunately during our trip we didn’t see any turtles, but this place was really a lot of fun.  The resort and staff did feel just like the Disney resorts we are used to but without having to worry about racing to a theme park it was really relaxing.

Day one of our vacation was in the books and we were looking forward to making out way to Miami.  Plus I promise there will be plenty more pressed pennies to find.

Part 2 Hotel Plaza Boulevard – Disney Springs Area, FL

If you read my post a few weeks ago about the Good Neighbor hotels near Disney Springs in Florida this is a follow-up.  In the post I had mentioned that five of the seven hotels had received new penny press machines.  Well just a short while ago those remaining two hotels finally got their machines.  I had been told by a few cast members that they were coming, and it seems they were absolutely correct.

I had been working that day and received the message on my phone that these new penny machines were available.  So this was going to be a night trip over to Disney Springs.  Just as I did the last time I parked in one of the garages and then just walked over to the good neighbor hotel area.  It is a bit of a hike so if you aren’t up to it (or have spent all your energy at the parks) see if someone can drop you off, or you could probably use the short-term check-in parking spots if they are available at each hotel.

First was the Wyndham hotel at Lake Buena Vista.

Make sure you are careful walking around these hotels as it seemed like there was even more traffic at night with people coming back to their hotels.

Once inside the main lobby area just to the right side is the Disney gift shop.

As soon as you are inside the store the penny machine is right near the main door.

The designs available at this machine are of Goofy with a tire around his neck, Pluto, and Tinker Bell.

The next hotel was a little further of a walk than I had remember the first time around.  For some reason I thought it was right next to the Wyndham but there are a few other buildings in between.

Eventually I did make it to the Best Western.  I also just heard recently that they are adding a second tower so they must be doing pretty good business at this hotel.

As you walk into the Best Western there are two stores one on the left and a another on the right.  The store on the right is where you can get drinks, and snacks.  The Disney gift shop is the one on the left side.

The store has two doors but is not very big.  If you are inside looking at the register check-out counter the machine is on the left side.

I thought this set of pennies was pretty cute.  It includes Mickey and Pluto driving in a car, Goofy in his PJs and another Tinker Bell.

With all the pennies pressed I had the long walk back to my car.  It is nice to see these good neighbor hotels getting in on the pressed penny craze.  They are not the easiest places to get to unless you don’t mind walking.

Grand Floridian Resort – Another NEW Pressed Pennies

I kind of lucked out with this new set of pressed pennies.  Last weekend my two daughters wanted to visit the Magic Kingdom so we could ride their new favorite attraction Peter Pan’s Flight.  Thankfully I was able to book us fastpasses so we could avoid the usual 60 plus minute standby wait.  After flying with Peter to Never land and saving Wendy from Captain Hook we enjoyed a fun afternoon in the park.

If you have read some of my previous posts about the Magic Kingdom I’m always on the look out for new snacks or food items.  One of my all time favorite is the famous Dole Whip floats available over in Adventureland.  On this trip I had heard about a new version available at Storybook Treats in Fantasyland.  This new snack is called the Peter Pan Float, and consists of Key Lime Soft serve with Sprite soda.  There was also a chocolate feather included.  This was definitely unique and very refreshing on a hot summer afternoon.

Then we wandered over to the Sleepy Hollow quick service for my kids favorite fresh fruit waffle.  As we waited in line I saw something else that I just had to try.  A churro ice cream sandwich.  This was really amazing.  The churros were hot and covered with cinnamon and sugar, then the ice cream was nice a cold making for that classic combination.  I don’t know how long this will be around but it is worth a try if you are visiting soon.

Now that we had our fill of snacks, we enjoyed a few other attractions before heading out for the day.  It always seems to take quite a while to get out of the park, across the lake and then back to our car in the parking lot.  My two girls were quickly falling asleep in the back seat while I drove towards home, but just as we got on Western Way near the Coronado Springs resort my phone buzzed with a message.  Thankfully my car has Apple CarPlay so Siri read the message out loud.  “New Penny Machine reported at the Grand Floridian Hotel & Spa”.  At that exact moment I was roughly half way home so I had a moral dilemma.  Continue heading home or make a u-turn and get some new pennies.

I asked my girls what they wanted to do, and they responded with some inaudible mumble since they were partially asleep by this time.  But I took their response as acknowledgement we should go get some new pennies.  I cautiously made the next available u-turn and headed back towards the park and eventually pulled into the Grand Floridian parking lot.

This is a really beautiful hotel and I always love being able to visit.  Maybe some day I can actually save up enough to stay here, but for now as I usually do I can continue to pretend I’m an actual guest.

Once inside the main first floor lobby, the check-in area is to your right, but if you turn towards the left you will see a hallway not too far away.  Down this short hallway are some restrooms, and also the exit doors for the 1800 Park Fare restaurant.

This is where two previously penny machines used to be located.  One was a 3 design electric penny machine, and the second was also a 3 design electric machine but pressed on quarters.  These two machines are no longer at this resort (see bottom of post for more info).

In their place now is a new 8-design touch screen penny press machine that is really taking over.  This resort already had a machine similar to this with different designs installed back in May that you can read about here.  So far the Grand Floridian is the only resort to have the 8-design machine model, and now they have two of them.

The machine pressed penny sized token blanks which are nice and shiny, but we are still waiting to see how they hold up over time.  The designs available in this machine include Alice, the Mad Hatter, Jaq & Gus, Cinderella, the White Rabbit, Ariel, Tigger & Pooh, and Princess Jasmine.

Even though this resort now only has 3 machines there are a total of 19 designs available for pressing.  This new machine located in the first floor lobby, the second 8-design machine is still on the second floor lobby near the doors to the monorail station, and the third machine is out near the bus stop with 3 designs.  Not a bad haul if you have some free time to stop by this resort.

Remember above I mentioned the two machines that used to be in this location.  Well I was over at the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts just last night for dinner and afterwards we usually like to walk around the resort to work off our meal.

As we headed around the resort pool we passed by the Lafferty Arcade which is near the Beaches and Cream Ice Cream shop/restaurant.  I knew they had two machines here previously but suddenly a third machine caught my eye.

The machine pictures above to the far left is the penny machine that used to be near the exit to 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian.

The designs are still the same and have not changed.  They still include Jaq & Gus from Cinderella, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, and Prince Charming from Cinderella.

There was no sign of the quarter machine from the Grand Floridian but with the above relocation I’m hoping that the quarter machine will show up somewhere else soon.

Hilton Orlando at Bonnet Creek – Lake Buena Vista, FL

Everyone is pretty familiar with all the Disney owned resorts in Florida like the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, POP Century and so many more.  However there are also some non-Disney resorts on property that are known as Good Neighbor resorts.  They have a lot of the same benefits as a Disney resort but usually without the Disney price tag attached.  For years to my knowledge there has never been pressed penny machines at these Good Neighbor resorts but that has started to change.

As you drive on Buena Vista Drive towards Disney Springs there is a sign for Bonnet Creek Resorts.  Then there is a long winding road that takes you past a Wyndham Home, and then a slight turn for the Waldorf Astoria, and Hilton of Bonnet Creek.

In between these two hotels is a parking garage.  There is a fee for parking however on my trip I was in and out in less than a half hour and there was no charge.  Just be aware that this fee does depending on your length of stay.

This is a very nice hotel.  The grounds are well-kept as you would expect.  I’m sure Disney keeps a close tab on things like that for appearance.  Out back there is a large pool, and even a lazy river which on this hot day did seem like a nice idea.  Too bad I was only visiting and not actually staying here.

When you enter through the main entrance you are on the second floor of the hotel.  This is where the registration area is located, as well as bar / lounge, a few restaurants, part of the conference center as the Disney store.

The Disney store is actually down a long hallway just off of the main lobby but not too hard to find.  If you look closely at the above picture you can see the penny machine just to the left inside the door to the gift shop.

As with most hotel gift shops on Disney property the items inside are pretty standard.  Soda, juice, beer, snacks, t-shirts, mugs, plush toys, pins, etc.

Then just to the left of the checkout area and inside the main entrance is where the penny machine can be found.

The machine is in a plain black cabinet and has just three designs.  It’s almost strange to see this type of machine since lately the fancy touch screen 8 design models have been popping up everywhere.

The designs on these pennies are of Mickey & Minnie with two Mickey Balloons, the Mad Hatter, and Simba from the Lion King.  I really like this set and that first design of Mickey and Minnie is really cute and during my visit was the popular design most people were pressing.

So far this is the only hotel at Bonnet Creek that has a pressed penny machine but hopefully that will change in the near future.  There are some other Good Neighbor Hotels on Resort Boulevard that have new penny machines that I’ll be reviewing very soon.  There has been a lot of new releases and I’m still trying to get caught up after being out-of-town a few weeks ago.  Happy pressing and make sure to try some of these non-Disney resorts they are becoming a nice alternative for your vacation stay.

Grand Floridian Resort NEW Pressed Pennies

As luck would have it I go out-of-town for a week and when I get back home there was a bunch of new penny machines released.  I’m not complaining but it did make for a busy few days as I tried to get caught up on what I had missed.

For this first stop I headed over to the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.  If you aren’t staying at this resort or have a dining reservation parking here is usually off-limits.  Depending on who you get at the security booth sometimes they let me park for 10 minutes to run in and use the penny machines.  But don’t bank on this every time as I’ve only been able to do that a couple of times.  In most instances I park over at the Ticket and Transportation Center and take the monorail over.

To access this new machine that was just released you need to head up to the second floor of the main building.  However, as mentioned above if you take the monorail over you will enter the resort already on the correct floor.

Just inside the doors to the monorail station is where the new 8 design machine can be found.

The plain white cabinet of this machine fits right in with the style of this resort.

All of the designs say “Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort” on them which is already nice to have included.  The images included in this set are of Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Mickey & Minnie, Pluto, Tinker Bell and Bambi.  This was a nice new set to have released and I’m curious to see if more of these 8 design machines start showing up at other resorts.  They definitely seem to be the machine of choice at Disney lately.

Before we go, some of you eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that this machine is located in the same place a previous 3 design machine was.  Well as part two of this adventure I headed over to the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts which is where that machine had been moved to.

The machine can be accessed from either the Yacht Club or Beach Club resort as it can be found outside the Lafferty Arcade which is pretty much in between both resorts.  This is also just a short walk from the famous Beaches and Cream Soda Shop.  As you can see in the picture above to the far right is Beaches and Cream with the original penny machine found at this resort.  In the middle is the Arcade and on the left side is the penny machine relocated here.

The machine is the same, and the three designs are also unchanged.  For those of you still trying to collect the 2018 dates pressed coin set this is where the 2018 Chip & Dale penny can now be found.

This was an interesting choice of locations for this machine, but it does kind of fit with the design of these moderate resorts.  I’m just happy they didn’t make this disappear for a while as it would be inconvenience to lose out on the 2018 penny.

As I mentioned before there are still some other new machines out there that I’m working on visiting and documenting.  I should have details on those shortly, and will be sure to share with everyone what the new coins looks like and where they can be found.

Niagara Falls Canada

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I went to my cousin’s wedding near Niagara Falls Canada.  We had visited Niagara Falls a few times but always during the warmer time of year.  This was the first time we were going to adventure there in the middle of January.  I’m originally from Canada but have been located in the states long enough to have forgotten how brutal winters can get up there.

When we left Orlando it was about 60 degree, but we were headed to Buffalo Airport which ended up being around 4 degrees and quite a bit of snow.  We got our rental car and headed towards the border.

The temperature seemed to get colder as we got further into Canada.  The roads weren’t too bad, but the wind just cut right through whatever clothing you had on.  After about an hour and a half we were near St. Catharine’s Ontario which is where the wedding was going to be.  On the first day we were invited to the rehearsal dinner which wasn’t until later on in the day.  So I took the opportunity to try and find a penny machine.

Just on the out skirts of Niagara Falls I found a place called Souvenir City.  This is basically the biggest gift shop I’ve seen with all stuff Canada and of course the Falls.

If you like maple syrup they have a whole wall of it and things made from it.  There is also a lot of Ice Wine products (yum!), T-shirts, sweaters, stuff animals and more.

In the middle of the store right near the check out area is a “Penny Crusher” machine.  This was a little unique as it had a bright road light running inside the machine flashing different colors while you use the machine.  It was a little distracting up close, but from a distance looked kind of cool.

Now please note, that this machine cost $1 Canadian which if you are not familiar is a coin called  Looney (there is a Loon design on the coin), and you then supply your own penny.  However you are NOT to use a Canadian penny as it’s against the law.  Also on a side note Canada has stopped created pennies so most stores don’t even have them to give out.  So make sure to bring some of your own American pennies for pressing.

The designs at this machine are of attractions all around the Falls.  The White Water Walk, the Butterfly Conservatory, Maid of the Mist, and a Good Luck Center with horseshoe and maple leaf.  By the time we were done picking up some gifts we headed back to our hotel and had a great time at the rehearsal dinner catching up with our family.  The next day we got up early, had a quick breakfast and decided to try and check out Niagara Falls before the wedding later that afternoon.

Not many people were out on this cold morning which made visiting the falls kind of enjoyable.  We parked near the side of the street and just ran over to see the falls partially frozen.

Seeing the river frozen, and the ice forming along the sides of the falls was really unique and something we had never seen in person before.  After we were pretty frozen through we got back in the car and had time for one quick stop.

Near the falls is a Great Wolf Lodge resort.  A few years ago I had visited one of these near the Poconos in Pennsylvania and was blown away at how cool it was.  This location was no different and fully themed.

There are animatronic characters all over the place, and of course these resorts are known for their indoor water parks.  Even thought it was freezing outside the water park did look pretty enticing.

Just outside the gift shop in the main lobby of the resort was a penny machine.  This one also took $1 Canadian coins, and right beside it was a change machine if you needed help getting Canadian money for the machine.

These pennies were designed around the Lodge and the falls.  The images included a Wolf dressed like a Mountie, a Barrel going over the falls, a Paw Print, and Violet one of the Lodge characters.  This happens a lot when I’m on a roll (ha) pressed coins, and was running out of time.  We quickly (but carefully on the ice) got back to our hotel, changed and made it to the wedding ceremony with just a few minutes to spare.

The wedding was wonderful and the reception was a lot of fun.  By the end of the day we were pretty tired and had to get an early start the next day.  Up early we said goodbye to our family staying in the same hotel, and made our way back to the US Boarder.

Eventually we were back in Buffalo and got to the airport in plenty of time for our flight.  But this is where our adventure home really got crazy.  Because of the bad weather in Buffalo our flight was canceled and another wasn’t available for 3 days.  We decided to drive to New Jersey and stay with my sister until we could get a different flight out of Philadelphia the following day.  It took a little longer than anticipated but we finally got back home to Florida and were happy to see the sun and warmer weather.

Our trip was definitely a unique adventure but it was nice to see the falls in the winter, collect some new pressed pennies and of course visit with family.

2018 Dated Walt Disney World Pressed Coins Set (Completed)

Click here to see my YouTube channel video on all these coins
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They’re here!!  It’s that time of year again and the 2018 dated pressed coins have started showing up all over property.  I spent the good part of my weekend driving to all the parks and resorts in an attempt to get all these new coins.  But unfortunately not all of them have been made available.  Just like the last few years there will be a total of 15 designs.  I was able to get 11 of them, and will be updating this post as I acquire the last 4.  I’m sure these final few designs will be made available in the next couple weeks at the latest.  So let’s get started.

My trip started early Saturday morning at the Animal Kingdom.  To my surprise the large crowds were there to visit Pandora and not get these brand new coins.  But I guess that works out better for us collectors.

   

Located in Dinoland USA in a store called Chester & Hester’s Dino Treasures.  The penny at this machine has 2018 with the new slogan “The Year to be Here” and a small Tree of Life.

   

The second machine in the Animal Kingdom is at the Harambe Railroad Station platform.  This train will take you to Rafiki’s Planet Watch but is not required to use the machine.  This machine pressed a quarter of Pluto and the year 2018.

After leaving Animal Kingdom my next stop was over at the All-Star Sports resort.  Located just outside the Game Point Arcade is where the machine is found.

   

This machine had 2018 Donald Duck pressed on a quarter.  Thankfully the next machine wasn’t too far away and just down the street in the All-Star Music resort.

   

Spending more time just outside the Note’able Games arcade to use the machine and press a quarter with 2018 Minnie Mouse.  I grabbed a quick snack in the food court and hopped back in my car for the next stop.

I was making pretty good time heading all over Disney property and found myself at Epcot for the next three machines.  First was in the Mouse Gear gift shop.

   

This penny design is similar to the one I collected earlier at the Animal Kingdom except it has Spaceship earth and 2018 The Year to be Here.  Somehow I managed to leave this store without buying anything which almost never happens, but my wallet definitely thanked me.  After leaving the store I headed towards the World Showcase and into the Disney Traders store.

   

Every time I use this machine I think it should do more than just press pennies as it looks pretty fancy.  But alas is just pressed pennies which is still fine with me.  The design from this machine is on a penny and is the main mouse himself Mickey leaning on the 2018.  With the penny safely stored away I checked my Disney Parks app and was able to grab a fastness for Soarin’ which is one of my favorite rides.

Over at the Land pavilion I headed in to use my fastness, but once done I headed upstairs towards the Garden Grill which is a revolving restaurant where you can meet Mickey, Pluto and Chip and Dale.  Right beside the restaurant is also where I found the next machine.

   

Just like in the restaurant this pressed quarter has the dynamic duo of Chip and Dale underneath a Mickey ears hat and 2018.  For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to leave my car in the Epcot parking lot and take the monorail over to the next two stops.  Once back at the Ticketing and Transportation center I switched monorail and decided to check out the Contemporary Resort first.

For anyone that has taken the monorail over to the Contemporary you exit onto a planform and then need to take an escalator down to the fourth floor concourse.  This is where you can find Chef Mickey’s or the Contempo Cafe for something to each.  But this is also where the Game Station arcade.

   

The first machine here had a design of Goofy with 2018 The Year to be Here.

   

A few steps to the left and I was face to face with the second machine offering a 2018 design.  This machine had an image of Minnie Mouse and The Year to Be Here pressed on a quarter.  I left the arcade and headed back up to the monorail platform so I could head into the Magic Kingdom.

   

Immediately upon entering the kingdom I headed underneath the Main Street Railroad station.  There are two machines down here but only the quarter machine had a new 2018 Cinderella’s Castle design.  A little further up main street I headed into the Emporium for the last available 2018 design.

   

This one is probably my favorite this year.  It has 2018 with the soon to be famous tag line for this year (I promise not to type it down again).  But the big winner on this penny is the image of Walt and Mickey holding hands.  This is based on the famous Partners statue that is a reminder to all how this all started.

Update 01/09/17:
I made it over for a quick follow-up visit to Disney’s flagship Grand Floridian Resort & spa.  About a week ago I visited here and the design hadn’t been updated, but on this visit the change had finally been made.  It’s on the second floor concourse right near the doors that led out to the monorail platform.  This design is of Chip & Dale under a Mickey Ears hat and the year 2018.

   

Update 01/10/17:
After work I took a quick drive over to Hollywood Studios to try to get the penny that was released in the Rock Around the Shop.  This is the gift store at the exit to Rockin’ Roller Coaster.  However, if you are a chicken like me and don’t want to ride the coaster, you can just walk in the “Exit” and up the ramp into the store.  The design is of Mickey’s face with 2018 and the new slogan.

   

Update 01/13/17:
Since we are just out of the holiday season I don’t want to say this is a slow time at the parks but it is a little less crowded.  Due to this the parks all have much shorter operating hours during the week so it was hard to get into the Magic Kingdom after work.  However I was finally able to get over there today and get the pressed penny at Sir Mickey’s

Updated 01/24/2017:
The last pressed quarter finally showed up today but it wasn’t where we were anticipating it to be.  It was rumored that this coin would be available in the same location as last year which is the Stage 1 Company (Muppets) gift shop in Hollywood Studios.  But due to this location being partially under construction and the machine mysteriously behind a construction wall this design was moved (temporarily?) to the All-Star Movies Resort.  Right alongside the other 3 machines in the World Premier Food Court is where you can find this last design.

 

This design may not be here all year and potentially could move over to the Muppets store in Hollywood Studios once construction is completed, but only time will tell.

Here’s a look at the eight pressed penny designs.

and the seven pressed quarter designs.

These new 2018 pressed coins are really nice again this year.  This has become one of my favorite times of year for collecting pressed coins.  It’s exciting to see the new designs and of course a lot of fun to trek around property collecting them all.  Make sure to grab a set or two for your collection before the year ends.

Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground – Lake Buena Vista, FL

I mentioned in a previous post about a last-minute trip to Disney my wife.  One downfall with a last-minute vacation especially at Disney is you don’t have the 180 day window to book dining reservations or 60 days out to book fast passes for rides.  You end up just winging it which has the potential to be disastrous.  But thankfully for us we managed to try out some new dining locations that are kind of hidden gems and are much easier to get a table at without calling ahead.  One of these places we still talk about is the Trail’s End Restaurant located in the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.

First off I’ll say this place is huge.  It’s so expansive that there is an internal bus system with various routes taking you throughout the campgrounds and cabins.  On this more recent afternoon trip back I did manage to make a reservation for lunch, but before heading all the way to the marina I had a few stops along the way.

After parking in the guest lot I headed into the Reception Outpost (Registration Lobby).  All of the buildings here look like log cabins and tend to be a little dark inside but I enjoy this place immensely.  It’s just fun to be here.

Up against the back wall of this registration area is the first pressed penny machine.

The set of pennies here are all from the Pixar movie Monsters, Inc: Waternoose, Celia, and Boo in her Monster Costume.  With these pennies in my pocket I walked back outside and across the parking lot to the bus stop.  There are three different routes trough the campground, but they all end up near Pioneer Hall.  But note that if you want to get all the pennies available here you do need to take the Orange bus as it’s the only one that stops at the Meadow Trading Post.

This is kind of like a general store for a certain area campsites, and is where you can get all your snacks, food and souvenir needs.

There are some cool things in here like S’mores kits and popcorn which always seem to taste better over a campfire.

At the back of the settlement post near the check out register was the second penny machine.

This second set of pennies has designs of Pioneer Mickey with a Musket, Chip & Dale, and Western Goofy all tied up.  I headed back outside to the Bus Stop and hopped on the next bus that came by.  After a short ride I hopped off on the final stop which was up at Pioneer Hall.

There are a lot of things going on up here, including Tri-Circle-D Ranch, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, and Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue.

This is also where the Marina is located where you can take a nice boat ride over to the Wilderness Lodge Resort, Contemporary Resort and/or the Magic Kingdom.  There is also another shop called the Settlement Trading Post.

Inside this place is very similar to the Meadow Trading Post, and sells pretty much the same stuff.

The third penny machine is located just outside the main set of doors to this Trading Post.

This machine has a classic set of designs including Mickey, Minnie and Goofy.  By this time it was getting pretty close to my lunch reservation and thankfully I didn’t have far to go.

The Trail’s End Restaurant was still as good as I remember and really hit the spot.  It’s a buffet with a fairly unique set of options, and I still recommend this place highly.  After a busy morning of collecting pressed coins the filling lunch was a nice end to my visit at the campgrounds.