Hitchhiking Ghosts – Disneyland, CA

Foolish Mortals.

Ahh some of my favorite words from the Disney theme parks.  They have really created some fantastic attractions and things to do in all the different parks, but The Haunted Mansion has always been my favorite.

One of my favorite ghosts in the mansion is the Hat Box Ghost and I’m crossing my fingers that some day he makes his way over to Florida.  But for now he makes for something different when visited Disneyland in California.

Photo credit: Disney Parks

But my all-time favorite ghosts found among the 999 happy haunts are Gus, Ezra and Phineas better known as the Hitchhiking Ghosts.

If you have ever been to a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party and seen the parade it starts with the headless horseman which is really cool, but I think the effects for the parade float with these ghosts is pretty amazing.

I’m not sure exactly why I like them so much but they I think as a kid I actually liked the idea that they may follow me home.  Unfortunately they seem pretty happy where they are inside the mansion so instead I’ve filled my home office with as much memorabilia as I can get my hands on.

A year or so ago they came out with Tsum Tsums of the trio which I scooped up immediately.

I’m also obsessed with Magic Bands and have quite the collection but my favorite and most used band is the Haunted Mansion version featuring the hitchhikers.

Just this past Christmas my family gave me this Disney Traditions collectible designed by Jim Shore which is really amazing.  So why am I brining all of this up?  Well as you can guess it probably has something to do with pressed coins, and you would be absolutely correct.  However this is just slightly different than the release of a new set of coins.  The eagle eyed fellow collectors over at parkpennies.com figured something out that I just couldn’t resist sharing with everyone.

Photo Credit: Parkpennies.com

This is the story about a set of pressed quarters located in the New Orleans Square area in Disneyland.  As you can see in the above picture from Parkpennies is themed like a large coffin.  The first set of coins was made available in early 2012.

The designs on the front include the Haunted Mansion Banner, the Haunted Mansion Logo, and the Haunted Mansion Ride.  These front designs are really detailed and would be a great set all its own but they each have a special backstamp with some familiar ghosts.

I’m going to reference each coin by the catalogue number that parkpennies.com uses to try and keep everything organized.  The coin on the left is DL0518 has the HM Banner on the front and Phineas on the back.  The middle coin is DL0519 with the HM Logo on the front and Gus on the back.  The third coin on the right is DL0520 with the HM ride on the front and Ezra on the back.

When this set first became available I immediately contacted a friend of mine that lives near Disneyland and grabbed a set as soon as possible.  Then a few months later the machine disappears and returned with the same designs.  I didn’t think anything of it and figured I already had these coins and assumed the machine was just taken away for maintenance.  Little did I know the hitchhiking ghosts were up to their usual tricks and had hitchhiked onto different coins.  What do I mean by that?

Here is the set of coins that were available if you pressed them after the machine had returned in late 2012.  The coin on the left is DL0525 has the HM Banner but now had Guz.  The middle coin DL0526 with the HM Logo now had Ezra, and the coin on the right was DL0527 had Phineas on the back.  The ghosts seemed happy with these locations as they stayed this way for quite a few years until January 2018 when they were on the move again.

The ghosts had one last design to attach to.  The coin on the left was DL0678 with the HM Banner currently has Ezra.  The coin in the middle DL0679 with the HM Logo has Phineas, and finally on the right is DL0680 had Gus riding along.

I wish I had a better way to show both sides at the same time but I guess you will just have to trust me and more importantly Boomer over at parkpennies.com.  This makes for a very cool little subset of coins and one that I think most collectors probably didn’t even realize was available.  Now I’m not sure if they will continue to switch these designs around periodically which I think would be cool, but for now you may be stuck checking eBay for the original sets.

This is a good reminder to always take the time to really inspect your pressed coins and take in the details of the designs you just never know what you may find.  Oh and always remember to “Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts”.

1893 Columbian Exposition Elongated Seated Dime

Among elongated coin collectors there are always discussions about when the first pressed coin was made.  The common answer that most accept is that during the 1892-1893 Columbian Exposition that was held in Chicago, Illinois there were a few different designs available to press during the event.

My collection primarily consists of designs I pressed myself during vacations or day trips with my family and aren’t much older than the early to mid-90s.  However as a collector I always have my eyes open should any of these early coin designs become available.  Unfortunately finding these can be a little difficult and when you do come across them especially online it can be hard to ensure they are authentic and not a reproduction.  But just recently I was able to acquire one through a very trusted and source.  The version I received is the Columbian Exposition 1893 design and was pressed on a 1891 seated dime.

Columbian Ex 1893 Front

Above is an image of the front design for the coin, and below is a shot of the back where you can see the year of the coin 1891.

Columbian Ex 1893 Back

I was able to get my hands on this coin and a few others from a very well-known gentleman in the elongated collectors community.  Mr. Ray Dillard has been a past President of the TEC club, an active enthusiast and an amazing ambassador of the hobby.  His elongated coin collection is really one of a kind.  I was able to meet Mr. Dillard during the ANA Convention that was held in Philadelphia a few years ago.  He was more than happy to take some time and talk with me about various elongated coin related topics and I really appreciated the time he spent with me that day.

Recently Mr. Dillard has offered a list of elongated coins for sale.  There are some really great coins on this list and you know they are coming from a very credible source.  Here is a link to the list (ray-dillard-pricelist5315).  If you see any you are interested in Mr. Dillard’s contact information is included on the first page.  But be quick as many of these items may not be available for very long.

A special thank you again to Mr. Dillard for everything you do for our hobby, it is all very much appreciated.