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.

Hall of Champions – Magic Kingdom Main Street USA *NEW*

The weekends in our house is usually what we call our park days.  Usually by Wednesday or Thursday I try to come up with a plan of what parks we will visit that coming weekend, but there are always asterisks with those selections.  The options can change depending on weather, special events, or more often than not due to a new penny machine.  That was the situation that happened this past weekend.  I had everything setup to check out Universal Studios so we could see some of the Halloween Horror Nights areas in the safety of day light.  But then I heard about a new penny machine and I dropped that plan like a bad habit and instead we headed into the Magic Kingdom.

After a quick trip on the run down Monorail (hopefully new ones are on the way according to rumors), we were found ourselves surrounded by pumpkins and other really cute Halloween decorations.

I was told this new penny machine was in a store down Main Street USA.  My fingers were crossed that this wasn’t mistaken for the machine recently released in the Disney Clothiers store.  Thankfully this was not the case.

Instead this new machine was just a few doors down at the Hall of Champions store.  This place used to house sports themed clothing and merchandise with the usual Disney spin, but now it just seems to be another extension of the Main Street Emporium with pretty standard shirts and clothing.

In this store kind of jammed into a corner between two racks of merchandise were two 3-design penny machines.  Those have been removed and replaced with a new 8-design touch screen machine (the new Standard).

This new machine is literally in the exact same location as the other 2 machines but now has a little more room to stretch out.  This is over against the wall closest to Casey’s Corner the famous hot dog quick service restaurant.

The machine cabinet is a plain wood grain, that looks nice but I do miss some of the fancy cabinet designs or theming that the old 3-design machines would sometimes have.

I pressed a few sets for some fellow collectors, but found that a few of the designs rolled a bit short.  The images in this set are of your favorite Disney character playing various sports.  Baseball Mickey, Tennis Minnie, Golfer Goofy, Golfer Daisy, Mickey & Donald playing Basketball, Baseball Tigger, Soccer Mickey and Football Donald.

This side of Main Street USA currently has a total of 5 pressed coin machines which is great, but these stores from the Emporium to the Hall of Champions gets extremely busy.  It makes trying to use these machines a little difficult from time to time.  After we finished using this new machine and headed outside I glanced across the street and realized that there are a lot of stores over there with no penny machines.  There is the Confectionary, Uptown Jewelers, the Main Street Bakery, Crystal Arts, and the Chapeau store.  These would all make for great locations and hopefully some fun themed designs for store.  I’m crossing my fingers this may be part of their plan.

It’s always fun to have an excuse to visit one of the Disney parks.  This is something I never want to take for granted and feel extremely lucky to have the opportunity to visit as often as I do.

Collectible Medallions – Art of Disney Store in Disney Springs

This is not quite pressed penny related, and I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t usually collect the Medallions that are found at zoos and theme parks.  But just released in the last couple days was the first Disney themed Collectible Medallion machine.  I couldn’t resist so I raced over to Disney Springs to check it out and get a set for myself to investigate this new possible collectible.

In the Marketplace area of Disney Springs just beside the Rainforest Cafe and Days of Christmas gift shop is The Art of Disney store.  I visit this location almost every time I’m in this area as it’s filled with things I can only hope to own some day.

The items found inside range from paintings, to sketches, figurines, prints and a whole lot more.  The selection is always changing so you never know what you may find inside.

They also usually have quite a nice selection of Haunted Mansion items that I have been slowly acquiring whenever I can.

In the back corner past the huge wall of art work is where I found the Souvenirs Medallion machine.

Since these are not pressed the inner works are pretty simple.  All the medallions are already pre-loaded and just drop into the collection cup at the bottom.

The biggest difference you may notice is the cost, these are pretty expensive.  They are $5 for one medallion, or you can get 3 for $10.  So for those math majors out there if you wanted to get all 4 designs it will run you $15.  Similar to the 8-design press penny machines you can use cash, a credit card or ApplePay.  However, if you are using a Credit Card or ApplePay those payment types are only available for the 3 designs $10 option.  Individual medallions have to be paid for with cash and the machine does not offer change.

Above are the 4 designs that are currently available.  There is a 2018 Mickey, the Partners Statue (Walt & Mickey), the Fab Five (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto), and the Frozen sisters Anne, Elsa and their snowman buddy Olaf.

You may notice the first design of 2018 Mickey is the same image that was released earlier this year as part of the 2018 Dated Set of pressed coins.  Above is a picture of the medallion next to the pressed quarter and pressed penny for comparison.

Another nice feature of these medallions is that the back of all the coins has the Disney Springs logo.

These are a fun new collectible but I’m still not really sold on the cost.  These coins are roughly the size and weight of a US Silver Dollar so they do have some heft to them, and I’m sure the manufacturing cost is higher.  But $15 for 4 medallions is still a bit steep especially if some of the designs are going to be duplicates of pressed pennies or quarters I may have already collected.  I’ll be curious to see if any more of these machines appear around the parks or any of the resorts.

Disney Clothiers – Magic Kingdom Main Street USA *NEW*

Tonight I was having dinner at the Contemporary Resort with some friends in town for the week.  During a break in conversation I took a look at my phone and I had some notifications from Instagram (@davidscointravels in case you want to follow along).  Another reader (@followustodisney) had mentioned me in a post about a possible new penny machine.  I took a look and sure enough I didn’t recognize the machine and the designs looks unfamiliar.  After getting some additional details about the location of the machine I checked the Disney park app on my phone to see when Magic Kingdom closed.  Thankfully it was open until 11pm so I had plenty of time to enjoy the rest of our dinner before I bolted over to the park.

Needless to say by the time I got into the park a little around 9:00pm there was quite the crowd trying to leave the park.  It was raining a little bit, but the Happily Ever After fireworks show had finished just a short time before so this was most of the guests cue to leave.

Can you believe they have Halloween decorations up already?  Technically they have started having the Mickey’s Not so Scary Halloween parties back in August which seems nuts but people love getting dressed up so Disney knows how to cash in on that. I love these Mickey Jack-o-latern lights and wish they sold them in the gift shops.

After swimming up-stream (Main Street USA) against the crowd I passed the Emporium and after that is another store called Disney Clothiers.  This is connected with the Emporium so if you are instead you probably have walked right through it not realizing it’s actually a separate store.  If you do enter from Main Street through the doors pictures above the penny machine is just inside by the drink cooler.

This area of the store deals primarily in children’s clothing, filled with plenty of Princess dresses, Minnie ears, and anything your young one would probably want to dress up in.

As for me I headed right over to the penny machine.  Well that is after I took a lot of pictures, and video which I will admit was quite the task in this store at this time of night.  The amount of people walking and shopping in here at night is crazy.

This is another 8-Design automatic touch screen machine.  As usual the cost is $1 for 1 design, or $5 for all 8.  The images are a cute set that includes Baby Mickey sitting, Baby Minnie sitting, Baby Donald, Baby Daisy, Baby Goofy, Baby Pluto, Baby Mickey crawling, and Baby Minnie on her back.  This seems to fit right into this store (even though the clothes are not strictly for young babies) but still a fun set and I’m sure it will be popular.

While I was using the machine one of the cast members actually came over to watch how I used it.  I guess they don’t get any special training from Disney on the machines.  She mentioned that the machine was brand new and had only been there for a day or two so hot off the production line.

Thanks again to my friends @followustodisney for the heads up on this new machine.  Be sure to follow them on Instagram as they have a lot of fun Disney adventures over there.  As I always say keep an eye open for new machines you never know when they will pop up.

(Update) Flashback – 100 Years of Magic 2002 WDW

There are a lot of unique pressed coin sets released by Disney over the years.  Some are easier to located by just checking on eBay or a yard sale, but some others are much harder to find.  One of these sets I’ve been working on for quite a few years.  I wrote about it previously here if you want to get some additional back story.

The 100 Years of Magic pressed quarter set is something I work on periodically.  Some times at night I go through eBay, or other coin selling communities just to see what’s out there.  But I don’t spend too much time on it as these coins don’t show up too often.  This all changed when I received an email one day, and almost seemed too good to be true.  This friendly stranger let me know he had come across a set of the 100 Years of Magic pressed quarters he had acquired when he was younger.  He didn’t have much need for them now but came across my initial post and thought I may be interested in them.  We traded numerous emails and he sent some pictures and he was right this was something I just couldn’t pass up.

Now it’s time to take a look as this wonderful additions to my collection with some really great designs.

I tried to separate these out in to smaller related groups.  The above includes designs from the Magic Kingdom: Cinderella’s Castle, Mickey on Main Street, Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland.

Next is over at Epcot.  These designs include Test Track, Body Wars, Living Seas, Innoventions, Imagination Institute, and Honey I Shrunk the Audience.

This set was found over at MGM Studios (before Hollywood Studios).  The images in this group were of the Sorcerer’s Hat, Director Mickey, Tower of Terror, Fantasmic, Rockin’ Roller Coaster, and Beauty & the Beast.

Last but not least was Animal Kingdom.  These had designs of It’s Tough to be a Bug, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Dinoland, Camp Minnie & Mickey, Festival of the Lion King, and Asia.

The icing on the cake was these coins had all been stored in this special release booklet created just for this Disney celebration.  Unfortunately the set is still incomplete, but the addition of these 25 quarters helped fill in quite a few missing pieces.  This was really a lucky find.  Keep your on the lookout as you just never know when you may come across your needle in a haystack.

12-Design Princesses / Heroines Penny Machine Available again

This is going to be just a quick update post.  I’ve received a lot of message from reading (Thank you all by the way) about the whereabouts of the famed 12-Design Princesses / Heroines penny machine.  Here’s the history as I’ve written quite a bit about this machine.

You can read about my initial use of this machine back in 2015.  Then a few years later the machine was changed from using actual pennies to the penny sized tokens and I wrote a comparison about it here.  However the most recent post was just a few weeks ago when I discussed my first visit to the new Toy Story Land.  In that post I mentioned that the store where the 12-design machine “was” located was transformed into a Toy Story gift shop and this machine was removed so the Toy Story themed machine could be placed there instead.  At that time I didn’t know where the machine was moved to, and I did inquire with several Disney Cast Members about it and they didn’t know what was going to happen to it.  Then this all changed just a couple of days ago.

Word on the street was this machine had received a fresh coat of paint and was relocated over to Disney Springs which recently has become quite the place for pressed coins.

Over in one of the newer areas of Disney Springs called the Town Center (which is really just an outlet mall) is a newer store called The Disney Corner.

The store has multiple floors.  The first floor is primarily everything you can image Princess related.  This does continue up on the second floor but there are some other Disney characters available in certain areas.

There is an elevator is the stairs are too much (there are quite a few) but otherwise if you do attempt the stairs once you get to the second floor the missing penny machine is right in front of you.

As mentioned the machine does have a bit of a different paint job, but the 12 designs are all the same.

I pressed another set just to see if they were still dispensing the penny sized tokens instead of real pennies and that was still the case.  I’ve said it before and I hold to it this is a really nice set to be able to collect all in one place.  Usually in the past to get something like this you would have to visit various machines throughout the parks and resorts.  At $10 for this set it is a little pricy, but hopefully everyone that was inquiring about it can rest assured the machine is back and ready for some pressing.

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.

Toy Story Land – Hollywood Studios, FL

The below is based on my visit that took place Tuesday July 3rd, 2018.  Things may change and I’ll try to keep everyone updated.
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As we all knows penny machines can and often do change or move all over Walt Disney World property.  Just a couple of days ago (on July 3rd) I was able to head over and check out the brand new Toy Story Land over at Hollywood Studios.

Online since the new land opened on June 30th, there have been all sorts of unconfirmed rumors of new penny machines, or didn’t see any machines but wasn’t really looking scenarios.  So on this, my first trip to the new land I was making sure to check every nook and cranny hunting out new or maybe just relocated machines.

For those of you that are interested in where this new land is located.  After you enter into the park you head straight back down Hollywood Boulevard towards the Chinese Theatre.

Then you enter into Animation Courtyard and head left past the Voyage of the Little Mermaid show.  This is basically the same area where the Toy Story Midway Mania ride was located.  But just before that building you will see the crown turning right.  Plus there is a lot of cast members guiding the way.

As you walk up a big friendly face is waiting to great you into Andy’s backyard.

The idea is that we are all shrunken down to the size of toys and are a part of Andy’s imagination that he has set up in his backyard.

This includes the main attraction which is the Slinky Dog Dash family roller coaster.

The pathways are illuminated by Christmas lights, and tinker toys.

As you can see from the above picture the crowds are busy but not totally crazy.  When I visited it was the fourth day this new land was open, and I got there around 9am.  The pathways were pretty wide open, but the standby lines for the rides were pretty long.  Slinky Dog was about a 90 minute wait, and there is not much shade or cover in any of these areas.

The second new attraction is the Alien Swirling Saucers.  This had about a 60 minute standby wait, but thankfully I had been able to find a fastness online and didn’t wait more than 5 minutes.

This ride has you as the passenger of a space ship piloted by the little green men from the Toy Story movies.  The ride kind of moves in figure eights, and the ship kind of whips you around the corners as they turn.  I don’t do the tea cups in Magic Kingdom, but was able to ride this without any issue.  It’s pretty tame, but still very cute and entertaining.

After the ride I headed over to Woody’s lunch box for a late breakfast.  This is the quick service food option available.

I opted to try something a little different that grabbed my eye.  It was a S’Mores French Toast.  Marshmallow and Chocolate ganache on Brioche french toast encrusted with graham cracker crumbs.  It was very sweet, but still interesting and enjoyable.  I’ll have to come back some day for lunch or dinner and try some of the other items as this place is definitely intriguing.

With breakfast done I was back on my hunt and passed by the new entrance to Toy Story Mania.  I had gone down each pathway I could find, near all the attractions, and Woody’s lunch box but couldn’t find any pressed penny machines.

Just to be sure I made a second walk through and still nothing.  There isn’t a standard gift shop in this new land which would have been the most probably location for a new machine.  But currently there are only merchandise carts located near each of the attractions.  Unfortunately I have to say as of this day no machines (new or old) were to be found inside Toy Story Land.

Feeling a little disappointed at not being able to discover a new set of pressed pennies I decided to make sure the existing machine was still available.  I headed out of Toy Story Land and down into Pixar Place.  There is still some things going on here like a meet and greet with Buzz Lightyear or Cruz Ramirez from Cars 3.  But this area pretty much just dead-ends and forces you to u-turn back the way you came.

I did take a quick look at the old entrance to Toy Story Midway Mania and it is all boarded up.

Directly across from this is the Story Department store which is where the previous machine was located.  But as you can see from the above picture it’s no longer here.  Now I needed to figure out where it had gone.

Thankfully I found it pretty easily and didn’t even ask a cast member.  Back in the Animation Courtyard near Star Wars Launch Bay is a gift shop called In Character.  This place used to be all princesses all the time (trust me I know, this was my daughters favorite place).  But now it’s a make ship Toy Story Land gift shop.  I don’t know if this will be permanent or not, but for now it’s all about Toy Story.

   

This machine is exactly the same as it’s been for a while.  The designs include Hamm, Wheezy, Rex and one of the Little Green Men.  Now those of you that recognize where this machine is located may be saying, but what happened to the 12-Design Heroines penny machine.  Well I thought the same thing so I asked a cast member where that machine went.  I was told it was removed completely (gasp!).  Is this forever, I don’t know and honestly don’t think so.  That was a pretty popular machine and was always busy whenever I visited it.  Just to make sure it wasn’t moved somewhere else without the cast member knowing I wondered the rest of the park and sure enough didn’t see it anywhere.

One of the last places I checked was the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost shop.  As I mentioned above it wasn’t here, but they did have a design that I thought fit into today’s events so I pressed a copy just for the heck of it.

   

Good old Buzz Lightyear, but so far away from the new Toy Story Land I wonder why.  Maybe Woody had something to do with this.  Anyways, this does seem kind of strange to be so far away, but maybe he will get moved in the weeks to come.

Well that was my Toy Story day in Hollywood Studios.  I am definitely disappointed that there were no new machines, but am hopeful they are still on the way.  If the existing machine had just been moved into the land then I would be more apt to assume no new machines are coming.  However since this machine was moved to another spot outside the land I think this is a good sign at least one new machine is on the way.  As always only time will tell and I’ll be sure to check back.  I do have some days scheduled to go back with my family a few times in the next couple weeks.  I’ll be sure to keep my eyes open and will share any new info I find.

Toy Story Land is definitely a fun place and the new rides are entertaining for all ages.  Nothing too extreme, but still enjoyable.  I don’t think it’s as immersive as Pandora over in the Animal Kingdom which is truly amazing.  Toy Story land is fun, just not a place I see people spending their entire days inside.

Hotel Plaza Boulevard – Disney Springs Area, FL

First off I’ll apologize for the delay in getting around to writing about these new penny press machines.  These were released weeks ago while I was out-of-town on a Family vacation.  It’s amazing how just a week away can put everything so far behind.  I’m still trying to time to write about our trip.  But in the mean time I figured I needed to try and catch up on some of these “newer” machines.

I’ve mentioned in a previous post about these hotels that are located on Walt Disney World property but are not Disney owned.  They are usually referred to as “Good Neighbor” hotels.  You get most of the same benefits (fast passes, early park hours, and transportation to the parks) but usually at a much lower price which is nice.  Located to the east of Disney Springs right along Hotel Plaza Boulevard are these seven hotels.  Each of these hotels does have a Disney gift shop located inside, but in the past none of them ever had a pressed penny machine.  Then all of a sudden five of these hotels received machines and I had to head over as soon as I was back in town to check them out.

Since I had never visited these hotels before I wasn’t sure what the parking situation would be like and was worried about high hourly parking rates.  So instead I parked (for free) in one of the Disney Springs parking garages and walked to each of the hotels.  I walked through the Marketplace and just beside the Once Upon a Toy Store is a walkway that allows you to cross the busy Buena Vista Drive.

These walkways were actually pretty nice, and my daughter had a great time watching the cars pass by underneath our feet.  Eventually we ended up on the far side of Hotel Plaza Boulevard and headed into the first hotel.

The Hilton Orlando Buena Vista was out first stop.  Heading inside through the main lobby area we hung a right and down the hallway we saw the familiar Disney Store sign.

There is nothing unique about these stores.  After visiting all of them they pretty much carried the same items, standard souvenirs, plush character, drinks, snacks and toiletries.

   

Just inside the store on the right side was the penny press machine.  The cabinet was painted the classic Mickey red which was a nice surprise.  The designs available in this machine were of  Mickey & Pluto, Lilo with a  Camera, and Stitch playing a Ukulele.

The hotels are next to each other, but there is still quite a walk in between each one.  It was a nice walk although this time of year the Florida sun and humidity can get to you pretty quickly.

The second hotel was the Holiday Inn Orlando.  We headed inside past the check-in area, hung a left and just near the lounge area was the gift shop.

As my daughter checked out the souvenirs (although I think by now she has pretty much all of them) I found the machine along the sidewalk and pressed my coins.

   

The designs at this machine were of two new designs: Chef Minnie with a Cake, and Goofy fishing, but the third design was of Lumiere & Cogsworth from Beauty and the Beast.  This last design used to be available at the Once Upon a Time gift shop in Hollywood Studios.  It had been removed back in July 2017 when two new 8-design touch screen machines were located there instead.

Still on the same side of the boulevard the next stop was at the B Resort & Spa.  Strange name, but this was a beautiful looking hotel.

I was only able to check out the lobby and gift shop but from what I could see this looks really nice and I’d be interested in checking it out in the future.

As I walked into the gift shop I noticed a large mural behind the check out area.  I’m sure it was just an interchangeable piece of wallpaper but it was still fun to look at with the Magic Kingdom and it’s landmarks depicted in the image.

Plus the penny machine was right beside it so while I used the machine I took a closer look at it.  I’ve seen some t-shirts and other merchandise in some of the park stores with this style drawing so I’m sure this is the new 2018 design.  I may have to pick something up the next time I’m in the parks.

   

The designs at this machine were of Minnie with her hands together, Pluto jumping on Mickey.  Both of which were brand new images.  The third design is of Anna & Elsa from Frozen.  This used to be at the Puffin’s Roost in Epcot at the Norway Pavilion but had been removed a year or so ago.

The last hotel on this side of the boulevard was the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton.

This was an interesting designed building, but the lobby area was not very big.  As soon as I walked in the check-in desk was to the right, and the Disney store was to the left.  Pretty easy to find.

   

While I used this machine to press the pennies the cast member in the store came by to  talk.  She mentioned the machine has just been brought in a few days prior.  I asked if she knew whether all the “Good Neighbor” hotels were getting them and she wasn’t sure, but more on that in a bit.  The designs in this machine were of Minnie Mouse, Donald in a Tuxedo, and Jiminy Cricket.

Once I had left the DoubleTree suites it was time to cross over the boulevard.  This is a very busy street so be careful crossing.  I didn’t want to risk just running across especially with my young daughter along for the visit.  So we waited, and waited and waited for the traffic light to change.  But made for a much safer crossing.  On the other side were a couple of hotels but we had to head all the way back towards Disney Springs.

At this intersection of Hotel Plaza Boulevard and East Buena Vista Drive is where the overhead walkways where that we had initially taken to cross the street.  On this side of the boulevard there was a sidewalk so we just headed to the right down East Buena Vista Drive.

After a bit of a walk we found the last hotel on this trip the Hilton Palace Buena Vista.

This Disney store is a little more difficult to find.  If you come in through the front main entrance of the hotel you need to take the elevator down a floor.  In this area is where the food court section is and the gift shop is just nearby.

This was yet another beautiful looking hotel and I was really surprised.  I’m not sure why I just assumed these would be a little run down or outdated but they were definitely not what I was expecting.

   

This was the last machine to use and unfortunately it was a little temperamental.  It seemed like the slide the finished pressed penny uses to eventually end up in the cup at the bottom wasn’t lined up correctly.  The machine seemed to press the coins fine, but once they slide down they apparently ended up in the bottom of the cabinet.  I asked the cast member for help but they said they didn’t have the key to open up the machine.  Thankfully I had a few extra sets of quarters and pennies for just this type of situation.  After a few test runs I found that if I kept my hand just inside the bottom cup it would help keep the pennies from dropping inside the machine.  Hopefully this has been fixed as the cast member said they would bring it up with their manager.

With all these new pennies stored away in my pocket we decided to make our way back over the walkways to Disney Springs.

Now I did mention that I had asked the cast member at the DoubleTree Suites about other machines in the area.  As you can see from the picture of the area map I found along the sidewalk there are seven Good Neighbor resorts.

As of this visit I made there were only five of these resorts with penny machines.  However I have read online that rumors are swirling about the remaining two hotels (Best Western and Wyndham) will be getting machines in the near future.  Fingers crossed!

   

Plus you can read here about the Hilton over at Bonnet Creek that got a new machine that I had posted about earlier.  It definitely seems like Disney has been releasing a lot of new penny press machines in locations they never had before.  I’m hoping this is due to the popularity of these machines and they realize people really enjoy them plus of course they make the resorts some money.

This was quite a bit of walking to start in Disney Springs, and make the long trek to each resort.  But it took about an hour and a half at a leisurely pace.  We tried not to rush and once I was inside these hotels I did want to spend a bit of time checking them out.  I didn’t see any of the guest rooms, but if they are anything like the lobby’s and mail hotel areas I would absolutely keep these in mind when visiting the area.  Plus they have penny machines so that’s always a plus in my books.