A SATURDAY SIX Look at Walt Disney World PRESSED PENNIES

This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Walt Disney World! Regular readers of this fine blog series know how much we love theme park souvenirs (both real and imagined) and one of our absolute favorite items is pressed pennies. Not only are they one of the most affordable pieces of merchandise in the parks, they are easily collectible, and don’t take up much space. Pressed pennies are also items you can get at other places in Florida (including the Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld, and Legoland) as well as tourist locations across the country.

Now Disneyland – whose guests are already spoiled by having parks with tons of rides, nighttime parades, and seasonal churros – is hands down the worldwide leader in pressed pennies. For example, for the Disneyland 60th anniversary, the park debuted 60 new pressed penny designs. Meanwhile at the Animal Kingdom, guests can still get a Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade pressed penny, a design which spotlights a parade that ended in 2014. THAT SAID, Walt Disney World still has a whole bunch of reasons you, Dear Reader, should get into the pressed coin game, and let’s start off with…

# 6 – Pressed Coin Books

Until recently, Disney lagged behind its competitors when it came to the actual books for guests to put their pressed pennies in. Legoland, SeaWorld, and Universal all offer books that came with an exclusive penny design. However, a couple years ago Disney came out with a new design that is artistically a true gem. In a great touch, the new books also contained spots to hold change that you are going to use in the pressed penny machines. The previous book design used a minimalist-style of art to represent various attractions across Walt Disney World. An even newer book features some classic characters along with parks, including Mickey Mouse and Daisy Duck. These are E-Ticket pressed penny books.

Pressed coin book.
Pressed coin book.
Pressed coin book.
New style of pressed penny book. (photo by Brian Carey)
Disney pressed coin book. (photo by @TheDCLBlog)

 

As we covered in our Six Things Your Family Needs To Pack For Your Disney Vacation, having quarters and pennies with you will save a lot of time and frustration trying to find a Cast Member to break your cash while in WDW.

In the words of Scar from the Lion King , “BE PREPARED!”

 

While we are the types who like “running into” various machines on our travels, there are several ways to find out ahead of time where all the pressed coin locations are in WDW, including Disney’s own website. For even more convenience, a pressed penny machine locator was added to the My Disney Experience app.

Screenshots from My Disney Experience app.
My Disney Experience shows a whole bunch of machines, and you can narrow it down to individual parks and resorts.

 

# 5 – Disney Springs

Believe it or not, there are lot of pressed penny machines in Disney Springs. Even better, there are a good amount of new machines and new designs thanks to the rebranding from Downtown Disney to the Springs. I’m personally a big fan of pressed penny designs that incorporate the logos of places I enjoy, so while we had to pour out a 40 for the DisneyQuest penny, there’s still a great design at the World of Disney store. Keep your head on a swivel while walking through the shopping/entertainment district as there are machines inside several stores, outside others, and can be found in several restaurants. One of the newest machines is located next to restrooms by the Coca Cola store. The restrooms themselves are themed to the Disney Springs Fire Dept, and the coin designs have characters dressed up as firemen.

Disney Springs coins, including a great one featuring Donald Duck wearing a pair of Mickey Ears.
Disney Springs penny designs featuring the characters as firemen.
The “Disney Springs Fire Dept” themed restrooms.
Fireman Mickey.
Disney Springs penny.

 

# 4 – The Water Parks

While cooling off this summer, take advantage of the pressed penny machines located at Disney’s Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. Each water park only has one machine, but both contain designs unique to the individual water park. Both parks also have a penny design featuring something pretty rare in the world of Disney merchandise: pictures of Mickey Mouse not wearing shoes. That’s right, in these deigns Mickey is wearing flip flops and you get the kinda-weird look at the top of his feet.

Blizzard Beach pressed pennies (photo by Captain Cruiseline Scott Sanders of The Disney Cruise Line Blog)
Location of Blizzard Beach machine. (photo by @TheDCLBlog)
Blizzard Beach penny designs. (photo by @TheDCLBlog)
Typhoon Lagoon designs. (photo by @TheDCLBlog)
Typhoon Lagoon. (photo by @TheDCLBlog)

 

# 3 – The Resorts

As much as I love staying onsite at the Universal Orlando Resorts, because Universal doesn’t run the hotels none of them have pressed penny machines. Meanwhile, at WDW, just about every single resort has pressed coin machines. Personally, I love getting mementos of places we’ve stayed at, but I’ve never been a big magnet or keychain guy. Pressed pennies give me that small souvenir that helps instantly bring back memories of each trip.

Mickey in his amazing Davy Crockett outfit design at Fort Wilderness. Can’t imagine many designs going forward will have Mickey holding a gun of any type.
How INCREDIBLE are these Old Timey designs at the Boardwalk?
Boardwalk pressed pennies.
You know you’re at a classy place when there is a pressed penny machine at the Bus Stop, like here at Disney’s Grand Floridian.
Mickey dressed to the nines in this penny design at the Grand Flo.
Pressed coin bank at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. INDESCRIBABLY BEAUTIFUL. (photo by Brian Carey)

 

Unfortunately, some of the resorts – including the Polynesian – have the resort’s “official” design only available on a pressed quarter instead of a penny. That means instead of the standard 51 cents (2 quarters and 1 penny), these designs cost $1.25 (5 quarters.)

Awesome Jose Carioca design at Disney’s Coronado Springs.

 

# 2 – The Parks

The four Disney theme parks are a pressed coin fan’s dream come true. There are machines EVERYWHERE and some of them are incredibly themed. Granted, most machines are just like all the others, but occasionally you’ll run into a machine that is a marvel of design in and of itself. As for the actual penny designs, here is where you can even take your collection to an even more insane level by collecting certain characters or groups. You could look for just princess themed pennies, or Duck family members (Donald, Daisy, Uncle Scrooge etc), or Chip & Dale, The Fab Five, and more. The overall amount and variety of designs available is staggering. The Magic Kingdom has 34 machines alone, including a pressed dime machine in Tomorrowland. In Epcot you can find a penny design referencing a now defunct Future World Pavilion from the old EPCOT Center along with some really neat options in World Showcase featuring your favorite characters.

Themed pressed penny machine in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  (photo by Brian Carey)
Talk about an E-Ticket pressed penny machine. (photo by Brian Carey)
An absolute insane level of detail for a pressed penny machine. (photo by Brian Carey)
Another awesomely themed machine found at the fire station in Magic Kingdom’s Main Street USA. (photo by Brian Carey)

This Minnie Mouse design may be the weirdest looking penny in the entire Disney pressed penny universe. Something is just not right. It feels more like the Minnie Mouse you meet for pictures in Times Square than the one in Florida.

Blink Twice if you need help Minnie. (photo by Brian Carey)

 

Two of my favorite attractions to collect coins from are Country Bears and Splash Mountain, but it is interesting that this particular Splash design features Mickey and Minnie playing in the water.

Maybe this Minnie got E Coli from playing in the Splash Mountain water and ended up looking like the Minnie Mouse in the penny design above. #Backstory (photo by Brian Carey)
Unlike pressed quarters, pressed dimes I can get behind. (photo by Brian Carey)
A pressed coin from every machine in the Magic Kingdom. (photo by Brian Carey)
The Living Seas design is A+. Would love to see more references to Disney’s past. (photo by Brian Carey)
The Living Seas pressed penny. (photo by Brian Carey)
Mexico Pavilion designs.
Mexico Pavilion pressed pennies.
Some wonderful designs available at the China Pavilion in World Showcase. (photo by The Man Who Took Down DisFlix @Schmoofy)
Absolutely LOVE these Tower of Terror designs. (photo by @schmoofy, who you’ve seen before in several pieces of Burgan Fine Art)

 

# 1 – Disney Cruise Line

While not technically “Walt Disney World,” the Disney Cruise Line terminal in Port Canaveral can be considered an unofficial annex of WDW in a way that, say, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort isn’t (although major props to Vero for their incorporation of Crush the turtle in their main pressed coin design.) A sailing on the high seas with the Disney Cruise Line is a special experience, and it’s fantastic that they also offer pressed penny options for those sailing out of Port Canaveral (there are no machines for the Disney ships sailing out of Miami.) There are designs for each of the current four ships, one for Castaway Cay, and one for the Disney Cruise Line as a whole. I’m a huge fan of Royal Caribbean, but these penny machines are just one of the examples of “the Disney Difference” and why sailing on DCL may be for you.

DCL penny machines. (photo by Captain Cruiseline at the Disney Cruise Line Blog
DCL penny designs. (photo by Captain Cruiseline of the Disney Cruise Line Blog)
DCL penny designs. (photo by Captain Cruiseline of the Disney Cruise Line Blog)
DCL pressed pennies. (photo by Captain Cruiseline of the Disney Cruise Line Blog)

 

Honorable Mention – Minigolf Courses

Some of you reading this may not realize Disney has not one, but two highly themed minigolf areas in Fantasia Gardens (located next to the Swan & Dolphin) and Winter Summerland (located next to Blizzard Beach.) Like the water parks, each area has one machine with three designs. Of everything we have looked at so far, Fantasia Gardens has by far the weakest selection of any venue. None of the designs say “Fantasia Gardens” and only one really has any real connection to the area at all (outside there is a neat Sorcerer Mickey topiary, and the machine offers a Sorcerer Mickey design.) All three of Winter Summerland’s options are themed to the actual venue, and there is also one of those rare designs with Mickey’s feet being shown.

Fantasia Gardens pressed pennies. (photo by @TheDCLBlog)
Sorcerer Mickey pressed penny at Fantasia Gardens. (photo by @TheDCLBlog)
Winter Summerland pressed penny designs. (photo by @TheDCLBlog)
Winter Summerland pressed pennies. (photo by @TheDCLBlog)
Closer look at Winter Summerland pressed pennies. (photo by @TheDCLBlog)

 

Double Secret Honorable Mention – runDisney

These pennies may be the “white whale” for some pressed penny enthusiasts. At Wide World of Sports, at the Visa Athletic Center, is a runDisney themed machine that many encounter only when there is a Health & Fitness Expo during a  race weekend. Its important to keep in mind that the location of this machine may change since it is a temporary install for the races.

Pressed penny machine for runDisney races. (photo by Scott Sanders of the Disney Cruise Line Blog)
runDisney pressed penny. (photo by @TheDCLBlog)
Run Disney pressed pennies. (photo by @TheDCLBlog)

 

So there you have it: The SATURDAY SIX Looks at PRESSED PENNIES! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).

If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following:

The Best PRESSED PENNIES at the Universal Orlando Resort

A look at the Disney Cruise Line Pressed Pennies

6 Pieces of Disney Merchandise That Don’t Exists (But Totally Should)

Are Disney’s Hotels Going To The Dogs? A Review.

Special Thanks to our spirit animal Brandon Glover, Captain Cruiseline Scott Sanders of the Disney Cruise Line Blog along with the help of intrepid intern Isabella, the sommelier of Tony’s Town Square Brian Carey, the SAT SIX Fun Squad of Parkscope Joe and Nick, and blogger to the stars Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. Be sure to also check out Brandon on The Park Blogger podcast with goofballs co-hosts Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde , while fellow Potterheads may enjoy Meg’s work on the Central Florida Slug Club.

FINAL PLUG! Did you know The 2018 Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando has a special edition of the SATURDAY SIX in it? Finally, someone came up with an actual reason to read a book. ORDER this baby now!

Liver Lips McGrowl wonders why this pressed penny machine in Frontierland is push button instead of the old fashioned crank. We don’t have the heart to tell him about the even newer machines that take $5 bills. (photo by five star author Josh Humphries Josh Humphries.)

13 thoughts on “A SATURDAY SIX Look at Walt Disney World PRESSED PENNIES

  • June 30, 2018 at 9:30 am
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    This is one of my daughter’s favorite souvenirs. She loves looking for the pressed penny machines. To her, it’s like a scavenger hunt. I’m so glad to hear that they’ve added the penny presses to their website. It will make it easier to find them.

  • June 30, 2018 at 9:48 am
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    In preparation for our trip, I would make a big deal in the presences of my DD9 when we found a shiny new penny and how we could use it in the penny machines. Yes, I know it’s not a pre-1982 copper penny, but that’s not the point. The point is the anticipation of getting that special souvenir that is not available anywhere else makes it more special.

    One thing you are wrong about is pressed pennies are not available EVERYWHERE. There are no Pandora pressed pennies or Harry Potter pressed pennies. Both have similar, in-story reasons as told to us by cast and team members. At Pandora, the Na’vi do not use money, therefore there are no penny machines. (They apparently have no issue with selling off baby Banshees for $60 a pop and taking them out of their world, though, but a I digress). At Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, a team member told us there are no pressed pennies because the Goblins at Gringott’s won’t allow the manipulation of money, even muggle money. I hope this doesn’t translate to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge next year and Disney can find a way to incorporate the machines.

    • June 30, 2018 at 10:00 am
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      Something tells me that if the acquisition of FOX goes through giving Disney control of the Avatar franchise, “ACE” will find a way to transport pressed penny machines to Pandora along with their shipments of Bud Light and Coca Cola.

      • June 30, 2018 at 10:13 am
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        FOX distributed the original movie and Disney/FOX will distribute future movies, but the franchise is in the control of James Cameron.

        When Disney licensed Star Wars from George Lucas, we got Star Wars dance parties with a singing Emporer and Darth Vader dancing to Michael Jackson music. Once Disney owned Lucasfilm, that all disappeared and the franchise was handled in a more immersive manner at Hollywood Studios. I can’t imagine Disney would go backwards from an immersive environment in Pandora with FOX’s acquisition.

        • July 1, 2018 at 2:51 am
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          I think the official line was “character integrity” but – in my opinion – the actual case is DHS couldn’t logistically hold Star Wars Weekends with all the construction going on in and around the park. There are still Star Wars pressed penny machines in DHS, including those featuring Disney characters dressed up as Star Wars characters. There are still tons of other types of Star Wars items that you can buy various gift shops across that park and WDW in general that don’t follow the “only canon” edict.

  • June 30, 2018 at 10:01 am
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    I suggest that you use only pre 1982 pennies. All Post 1982 and some 1982 pennies are made of zinc with a copper plating on the outside. 1962 – 1982 pennies are made of a copper zinc alloy. You won’t find many older that 1962. If you do, set them aside as they are collectible. Some feel that the copper plated zinc pennies look cooler or prettier when pressed, but zinc pennies are susceptible to zinc pest. What is zinc pest?
    This is from wikipedia: “Zinc pest (from German Zinkpest), also known as zinc rot, is a destructive,
    intercrystalline corrosion process of zinc alloys containing lead impurities. While impurities of the
    alloy are the primary cause of the problem, environmental conditions such as high humidity
    (greater than 65%) may accelerate the process.”
    While I’m sure it is a fairly rare occurrence, I have seen some post 1982 penies that have shown to have suffered from zinc pest. Mainly the copper plating has started to flake off.
    Well, how do I get the “good pennies”? This is what I do: I sort through my change and cull out all the pre 1982 pennies. I have been doing that for several years now and have a few hundred pre 1982 pennies ready for pressing.
    Is it worth the time and effort? I think it is because of the time and effort put in to pressing all those pennies only to have them ruined by zinc pest.

  • June 30, 2018 at 11:12 am
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    How much are those cute pressed coin souvenir books?

    • June 30, 2018 at 12:29 pm
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      I believe the books were $12.95 or $14.95 when we purchased 2 weeks ago.

  • July 1, 2018 at 8:47 pm
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    And, if you soak your pre-1982 pennies in Coca-Cola before you go…

    • July 1, 2018 at 11:19 pm
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      You’ll have sticky pennies.

  • July 2, 2018 at 3:15 pm
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    Am I the only one who misses actually having to crank out your own penny? Somehow the button press feels less satisfying!

    But I LOVE the new books! My old ones are overflowing with doubled up pennies.

  • July 7, 2018 at 8:32 pm
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    +1 for the Christmas Story shout out in the caption for the bank of machines at the Contemporary.

  • July 8, 2018 at 11:45 am
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    Where can you purchase the books to hold your pressed pennies?

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