Marketplace Fun Finds – Downtown Disney Florida

Last week I had received new that there were two new penny machines put on stage at Downtown Disney (soon to be renamed Disney Springs).  There is a lot of changes happening to Downtown Disney in addition to the name change, there are new restaurants and shops opening over the next year or so.

As with any new machines I find out about I immediately reached out to some of my contacts in Florida and was able to acquire the pennies from one of the new machines.

This new machine is currently located at the Marketplace Fun Finds store which is over by the Rainforest Cafe and next door to Goofy’s Candy Co.  This is a great little shop that has inexpensive gifts and the famous Grab Bags with mystery items inside.

My friend told me that the penny machine worked without any issue, and as you can see from the picture below the designs came out great.

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The four designs are of Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy with a nice dotted border and their names in block letters.  The designs are pretty simple but still have great detail.

The second new machine is located down in the West Side of Downtown Disney at the Cirque du Soleil gift shop.  I’m still trying to acquire these new coins and will be sure to share details about them as soon as I get my hands on them.

With everything going on at Downtown Disney it’s great to see some new penny machines going on stage. I visited a few years ago and collected all the coins at that time and none of the designs had changed since then.  Hopefully these aren’t the only new machines to appear before Disney Springs is completed.

Molly Pitcher Service Area – NJ Turnpike

Another weekend and another trip along the New Jersey Turnpike.  We didn’t have any specific plans but I was looking to revisit a nearby service area to see if the penny machine had changed.  The good news what that the service area is pretty close to our house so I didn’t have to go too far out of my way to check it out, the bad news was that the machine designs hadn’t changed.

The Molly Pitcher Service area is located on the southbound side of the turnpike between exits 8 (Cranbury) and 8A (Hightstown).  On the first day of spring (a few days ago) we had received almost 6 inches of snow, but that didn’t seem to deter to many people from traveling the turnpike.  There wasn’t any bumper to bumper traffic but the service area was busy with people getting a caffeine kick or an overpriced lunch.

At all these service areas the penny machines are located either right by the main entrance or by the restrooms.  As soon as I walked inside I saw the first machine right by the front door but someone was using it so I made my over to the restroom area and used this machine instead.

NJ - Molly Pitcher 01

The unfortunately issue with this machine being by the restrooms is that it’s in a high traffic area.  There are almost always people hanging all over the machine or leaning on it while they wait for the rest of their family.  A gentleman was standing next to the machine but he kindly moved out of the way as I walked up to press the designs.  The machine works great and the man even leaned back towards me for a moment to see what I was doing.  With the designs pressed I showed them to him and smiled.

NJ - Molly Pitcher 01 Pennies

 The designs from this machine had The Statue of Liberty, Good for a Hug and a Kiss (I’m definitely using this), The Lord’s Prayer, and a My Lucky Penny with a Shamrock on it.  Next I moved back over by the main entrance and checked out the other machine.  It was near some of the lines for the quick service food counters but I still had enough room to press the coins.

NJ - Molly Pitcher 02

This machine was also working great and pressed the designs nicely.  The designs included: My Lucky Penny with a Shamrock, a Unicorn, the Lord’s Prayer, and I Love You.

NJ - Molly Pitcher 02 Pennies

As I mentioned in a previous post about these service area locations, many of the designs are the same.  I believe there are about 16 unique designs in total but there are a lot more machines so duplicates are a guarantee.  It was a nice little drive to the service area but seeing how busy it was I didn’t stick around longer than I had to.  I grabbed a Starbucks coffee and jumped back in my car and headed home.  I’m planning on checking out more service areas over the next few weeks and will report back on what I encounter.  You never know what you may find on the Jersey Turnpike.

2015 Walt Disney World Resort Coins – Part 5 (Set Complete)

Here we are three months into 2015 and I have finally finished collecting the new 2015 pressed coin designs from the Walt Disney World resort.  In total there are 15 coins that were scattered throughout the theme parks and resorts.  A reliable seller on eBay I have used in the past came through and had the last two coins I was missing available and I snatched them up as quickly as I could

Mickey QTR 2015

First is a pressed Quarter design of Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey holding a Mickey ice cream.  This design is available in the Contemporary Resort on the 4th Floor concourse near the escalator up to the monorail platform.

Tinker Bell QTR 2015

The last design of this extensive set is of Tinker Bell flying and is available as a pressed Quarter.  This design is located in Hollywood Studios at the Mickey’s of Hollywood store.

2015 Complete Set

Here is it the complete 2015 set including 7 Quarters and 8 Pennies.  As I mentioned in the very first post about this set it really does make for a fantastic mini-set.  It would take some time to get to all the machine locations but I think would be definitely worth the effort.  Below I have the design descriptions and current locations for each design in this set.  When I visit the resort in a few weeks I’ll be visiting each of these locations to press another set (or two) and will update the below list if any locations have changed.  Happy hunting!!

Magic Kingdom:
Emporium Store – 2015 Cinderella’s Castle (Penny)
Main Street Railroad Station – 2015 Cinderella’s Castle (Quarter)
Splashdown Photos – 2015 Chip & Dale (Penny)
Sir Mickey’s Store – 2015 Apprentice Mickey (Penny)

Epcot:
Mouse Gears Souvenir Store – 2015 Donald Duck (Penny)
The Land (near the Garden Grill) – 2015 Nemo (Quarter)

Hollywood Studios:
Mickey’s of Hollywood – 2015 Tinker Bell (Quarter)
Prop Shop – 2015 Minnie Mouse (Penny)

Animal Kingdom:
Chester & Hester’s – 2015 Nemo (Penny)
Harman Railway Station – 2015 Pluto (Quarter)

Resorts:
Contemporary Resort (4th floor concourse) – 2015 Apprentice Mickey (Quarter)
Contemporary Resort (4th floor concourse) – 2015 Tinker Bell (Penny)
Grand Floridian Resort (2nd floor Lobby) – 2015 Goofy (Penny)
All-Star Music Resort (Note’Able Games Arcade) – 2015 Daisy Duck (Quarter)
All-Star Sports Resort (Game Point arcade) – 2015 Donald Duck (Quarter)

Joyce Kilmer Service Area – NJ Turnpike

This weekend we spent some time up in the Woodbridge area with my wife’s family.  We don’t live to far away but with everyone having busy schedules we don’t get to see them as often as we would like.

As with most places in Jersey whenever you need to get somewhere it is usually easiest to just take the Turnpike.  Although it can be a gamble on whether you will hit massive traffic (more often than not), or the biggest potholes you have ever seen or possibly driven into.

HOLIDAY TRAFFIC

Luckily for us it seemed that everyone must have been avoiding the turnpike as it was nearly deserted which I don’t think I’ve ever encountered in the 15 years I’ve lived here.

If you do encounter the usual traffic on the turnpike you can take advantage of the numerous service areas on both the north and south bound sides about every 15-20 miles.  As an added bonus if you are a pressed coin collected each and every one of these service areas has at least one machine pressing anywhere from one to four designs.  Unfortunately there are a lot of duplicates, and I believe there are only about 16 unique designs but almost 20 service areas (including locations on the Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway).  A few years ago I took a few weekends and traveled up and down the entire state driving every mile of the Turnpike, Parkway and AC Expressway to collect and document all the machines and designs and as I mentioned above I ended up with a lot of duplicates.

On our recent trip up the Turnpike even though there was no traffic I took the opportunity to stop at the one service area that could be accessed between the half-dozen exits between our house and our destination.  I do this every so often just to see if the penny designs have changed, or have moved locations.  As soon as I walked inside the machine was in the exact same place as last time, these machines are almost always located right outside the restrooms.

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After taking a picture of the machine I went and pressed a new set of pennies (you can never have too many duplicates for trading).  Unfortunately these machines seem to get so much use that they are not always in perfect working condition.  This machine however was working perfectly and all four designs came out great.

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Even though this service area was on the New Jersey Turnpike, for some reason the designs are almost all New York landmarks.  The designs included The Empire State Building, the New York Skyline, My Lucky Penny with the New York Yankees logo, and the Statue of Liberty ( which is technically located in New Jersey but always associated with New York).

This summer as I take my family to the shore, or Cape Map wherever we may decide to go I’ll be sure to stop in to any service area we pass by.  This way I can see how the machine is working, if the designs and have changed, and also to post on this site.  You never know when you may be traveling through New Jersey along the Turnpike, but if you are make sure to stop at one of these service areas to fill up on some expensive gas, a Cinnabon and even a few pressed pennies.

2015 Walt Disney World Resort Coins – Part 4

Trying to collect these last three 2015 coins from the Walt Disney Resort has proven a little more difficult than usual.  I’ve explained the past that I almost always have a friend or family member visiting Disney at some numerous times during the year.  Or if not I check eBay or some other online merchants, but this has proven a little more difficult and I’m not sure why.  It could be due to the total number of new coins, or that they are spread out all throughout the entire property not just in the parks but also in certain resorts.

About a week ago I found an eBay auction with one of the last few coins I had been trying to acquire.  I was able to win the auction and the coin arrived just this afternoon in the mail.

MK - Splashdown Photos 2015

This design is on a penny and has Chip and Dale riding Splash Mountain with the 2015 year listed.  The machine that has this design inside is located at the Splash Mountain gift shop near the photo preview area where the riders exit the attraction.

13 coins down and only two left.  I’ve been keeping my eyes open for these last few designs but with just over a month to go until our family trip to Florida that may be the only way I can get these remaining coins.  I can’t wait to get there and start pressing these coins.