China Pavilion – Epcot WDW

In all my time collecting pressed coins from Walt Disney World I don’t remember a time when there was a machine located at the China Pavilion.  To be honest I didn’t go through each and every penny I have in my collection, but just from memory if there were coins here it was a long time ago.  Now all of a sudden as this beautiful pavilion they have not just one but two penny machines.

This really is one of the more picturesque pavilions located in Epcot’s World Showcase.  Unfortunately since my family usually starts by the Canadian pavilion and work counterclockwise around the Lagoon.  I’m not sure why other than we are Canadian, but in any case we are usually pretty tired by the time we get to the China pavilion and don’t spend much time here.  Which is really a same because this is a great place to check out.  When you do visit the pavilion you will want to stop by the House of Good Fortune Gifts.

Good Fortune Gifts

This place has all sorts of great goodies from China, including a large selection of souvenirs, candies, and of course tea, tea pots and beautiful tea sets.  Also located in this store near the doors that lead to the promenade is the first penny machine.  I will say that these coins did prove to be a little elusive for me, and I eventually found a set on eBay from a seller I use quite often.

EPT - China 01

It’s an electric three design machine that includes inmates of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Pluto.  If you are visiting this pavilion and use this machine you can walk out into the promenade towards the museum building and you will find the second machine.

EPT - China 02 Pennies

The second machine is a 4 die hand crank model with images of Donald Duck “Strength”, Goofy “Good Luck”, Mulan in front of the China Pavilion, and Goofy pulling a Rickshaw carrying Mickey and Minnie.

After getting these two sets I am really impressed with the designs.  They make for a nice additional to the World Showcase series, which now includes designs for all of the country pavilions.  It’s the United Nations of pressed coins and fits neatly in your pocket.

Downtown Disney Decades Set – Anaheim, CA

It’s been a few weeks since the last Decades set was available, and just a few days ago the next set in the 60th Diamond Celebration were put on stage.  As with the other Decades sets this machine is located at the World of Disney Store in Downtown Disney, and can be found in the middle set of doors.

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This set has the following designs: 1975-84 Thunder Mountain, 1975-84 Jiminy Cricket and Space Mountain, and 1975-84 Statue of Liberty.

Including this set the total number of 60th Diamond Celebration coins that have been released so far is 51.  The rumors are that there will be 60 in total which would make a lot of sense.  So that means there are 3 more sets still to come.  I’ll be sure to keep my eyes open for these last few sets and will share them as soon as I have them.

2016 WDW Pennies & Quarters

They’re here!!!

It’s that time of year again and Walt Disney World has released their new 2016 pressed penny and quarter designs at various locations throughout the resort.  Just like last year they have released 15 designs in total.

2016 WDW Complete Set

As you can see above there is a nice variety of designs including the famous Disney Characters, the castle and even the ones with just the 2016 year listed.

2016 WDW Pennies All

Here is a shot of just the penny designs which just like last year have 8 designs in total, and below is a picture of the 7 quarter designs.

2016 WDW Quarters Complete

Now let me go over each individual coin so you can see a close up and I’ll review where to find each one.

2016 Magic Kingdom Penny 02

First up we will visit the Magic Kingdom where you can find 4 of these designs.  The picture above is of Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey with his hands outstretched is pressed on a penny and available at Sir Mickey’s Store near Cinderella’s Castle.

2016 Magic Kingdom Penny 03

The penny on the left is of Cinderella’s Castle and can be found at the Emporium on Main Street.

2016 Magic Kingdom Penny 01

The third design is also on a penny and shows Apprentice Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Pluto surrounding the 2016.  This penny is available at the Splashdown Photos Preview at the end of Splash Mountain (Tip: You don’t need to actually go on the ride but can walk back trough the gift shop towards the exit of Splash Mountain to access this machine).

2016 Magic Kingdom QTR 01

The only 2016 quarter design available in the Magic Kingdom can be found at the Main Street Railroad Station at the bottom of the stairs.  The image is of Cinderella’s Castle above the 2016.

2016 Epcot Penny

Over at Epcot they have two designs available.  The first is located in the huge Mouse Gears gift shop in Future World.  The penny had Apprentice Mickey controlling the waves surrounding him.

2016 Epcot QTR

A short walk over towards The Land is where you will find the second coin at Epcot.  It’s located right outside the Garden Grill revolving restaurant and has Donald with a Tuba wrapped around his neck.

2016 Animal Kingdom Penny

At the Animal Kingdom park the penny design is available at Chester & Hester’s Dino Treasures.  Are you noticing a theme here?  This design also has an image of Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey with his magic wand.

2016 Animal Kingdom QTR

The second coin is available at the Harambe Railway Station.  Here you will find the quarter design which has Pluto playing a saxophone.

2016 Hollywood Studios Penny

So far Disney hasn’t released the new name of this park so for now I’m still going to call it Hollywood Studios.  This park also has two designs available.  The first is a penny located at the Prop Shop along with about 12 other machines (not really but pretty close).  This is a nice image of 2016 with the Sorcerer’s Hat on top of the zero.

HS - Mickeys of Hollywood 2016 QTR

UPDATED: This quarter design is in a machine that was originally located at the Mickeye’s of Hollywood store, but was moved to the Pizza Planet in Hollywood Studios.  My friend was able to find the machine at the Pizza Planet but recently it seems to have gone missing.  If any of you have been keeping up with Disney renovation news the Pizza Planet is about to be closed down (maybe moved) to make room for the new Star Wars and Toy Story lands.

2016 Contemporary Resort Penny

Time to ride the monorail.  First stop is the Contemporary Resort, and the awesome wall of pressed coin machines located on the 4th floor concourse directly below the monorail platform.  The penny design has 2016 in the middle surrounded by 6 different Disney characters.

2016 Contemporary Resort QTR

The machine with the quarter design is also located on the 4th floor concourse.  This is a really nice coin.  2016 is in the middle and surrounded by Music, Magic, Memories (2016’s theme) and a banner that says Where magic lives.

2016 Grand Floridian Resort Penny

Three monorail stops later and we are at the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa.  Taking the monorail will have you on the exact floor of the resort you need to be for the penny machine.  It’s located on the 2nd floor Lobby and has an image of Goofy playing a drum.

2016 All-Star Sports QTR

These last two will require a trip on a bus (or take your car) over to the All-Star Resorts.  The first stop is at the All-Star Sports Resort to find the above quarter design located at the Game Point Arcade.  The image is of Minnie Mouse playing a Bass Violin.

2016 All-Star Music QTR

Just one resort over and you arrive at the All-Star Music Resort.  The quarter machine is located at the Note-able Games Arcade and shows Daisy playing a violin.

Whew!!  That’s the whole set for this year, and as I said last year it looks like they are really trying to up the ante each year which I think is completely awesome.  I like that there are no duplicate designs this year and can’t wait to see what is in store for the rest of the year.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not! – New York, NY

Have you ever hear a story about an event that was so unbelievable you had an internal debate with yourself about whether it maybe, possible could be true… or may not?  For me it was always urban legends that would get me.  At the beginning I would completely convince myself for sure they were fake, then as I heard more and more people retelling the same story I started to think otherwise.  In either case these stories are entertaining if nothing else.

Now why do I bring this up?  Well my next stop in New York city is part of a franchise that deals in just these sorts of things.  Ripley’s Believe It or Not! was founded by Robert Ripley who documented bizarre events, people, animals or items that would have people to this day still questioning their authenticity.  Ripley’s started as a cartoon “penal”, and eventual spanned numerous media formats like radio, TV, books, and eventually museums.

Ripley's 01

These museum are located all over the world and I will admit I have visited quite a few of them in the past.  To be honest I’m not sure exactly why I keep going into them as most of the items inside are the same in each of the locations, and some are pretty hard to look at.  I don’t have a week stomach but do tread lightly when visiting these locations.  However on this trip I had a location right next door that I did want to spend more time at so I didn’t actually go into this museum other than to press the pennies that are located in the gift shop (no admission required).  But as I walked inside from 42nd Street I did take a look at some of the “free” exhibits available by the front entrance.

Ripley's 03

As you can see the Auditorium included plenty of skeletons, creatures that can’t possibly exist (or did they?), pictures, things floating in jars full of fluids, tall people, short people, and plenty of people with physical anomalies.

Ripley's 02

The gift shop was to the right of the ticket area just next to the two-trunked elephant on the wall.  The doors slid open and the machine was located right inside.

Ripley's Machine 01

This machine was a little unique in that the gear ratio was pretty light.  Meaning that it was very easy to turn, but you needed to turn the handle about 10-12 times per penny. Also each penny cost twice as much as standard machines.  It was $1.00 per penny plus obviously your penny.  Luckily I had brought along some extra quarters just in case of a situation like this.

Ripley's Believe It NYC Pennies

These designs were really nice I must admit.  In my past trips to these museums they almost all have penny machines but these were the first nicely detailed coins I have found at a Ripley’s.  The designs included: The Ripley’s Odditorium Marquee, a Shrunken Head, the World’s Tallest Man, and a Two-headed Goat.

Another set in my pocket and it was time to get out of here.  I could feel the oddities calling my name, but I had other places to visit and more coins to collect.  Thankfully I didn’t have far to go as the next place was right next door.

Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum – New York, NY

When visiting New York City we are almost always drawn right to Times Square.  It’s a place you’ve seen on TV and in the movies so many times that when you are there for the first time it seems like you’ve been there before.  But over the years each time I visit the crowds just seem to get bigger and bigger and my patience grows smaller and smaller.  On this trip I did have a few places near Times Square to visit but first I was taking a break from the crowds.  As I walked down 12th Avenue towards the Lincoln Tunnel I saw a sign that told me I was closed to my next stop.

USS Intrepid 01

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space museum has been on my to-do list for years, but it is a little out of the way from where we usually visit in NYC.  This trip I was making sure to head over because I couldn’t wait to step aboard an actual Aircraft Carrier.

USS Intrepid 03

The museum was originally founded in 1982, but was closed in 2006 for a two-year renovation.  It is a military and maritime museum that houses numerous aircraft on board for visitors to see and learn about.  A recent additional to the museum that opened to the public on July 19th, 2012 was the Space Shuttle Enterprise and is now located in the Space Shuttle Pavilion on the top deck of the Intrepid.

Intrepid Space Shuttle

The Intrepid has some tight security before you can access the pier.  I had paid for my ticked online the night before so I was able to skip that line, and head right out onto the pier where the sheer size of the Intrepid became apparent.

USS Intrepid 06

Before boarding the Intrepid there are some things to see and do along the pier but still require admission.  The submarine USS Growler was a cruise missile submarine whose mission was to provider nuclear deterrent capabilities.  This was done off the west-coast of the Soviet Union during peak years of the cold war.

USS Growler

I was about to check out the Growler but something else on the pier caught my eye and was immediately drawn to it.

USS Intrepid 07

The British Airways Concorde SST.  It was a supersonic passenger jet that featured a maximum speed over twice the speed of sound at Mach 2.04.  First flown in 1969, and eventually entered service in 1976 and continued commercial flights for 27 years until 2003 when it was retired.  This aircraft was beautiful and really mesmerizing.  After taking my pictures and reading all the information they had on display I turned around and came face to face with a penny machine.  What can I say I’m obsessed!

USS Intrepid Machine 01

What was even better was that this coin set was all about the Concorde.  I put my first set of coins in the slider and as I pushed it in….it jammed.  I couldn’t believe it.  Taking a few minutes I tried to get the slider back out, but didn’t want to make things worse.  So a little dejected I had to move on without getting this set.

USS Intrepid Machine 01a

As you can see from the above picture of the machine marquee the four designs included the Concorde in various views of flight.  I was a little bummed about the machine but quickly remembered that I had a huge Aircraft Carrier in front of me that I hadn’t even stepped onto yet (oh and there were two more machines somewhere).  I decided to take the elevator up to the stop deck and work my way back down.

USS Intrepid 09   USS Intrepid 10

After getting off the elevator I snapped the above two pictures in an attempt to show how big the flight deck was by the number of aircraft located here.  In the picture on the right in the back you can see the Space Shuttle Pavilion “Tent” that houses the Shuttle.  I walked onto the deck and saw another aircraft I had been obsessed with as a child.

USS Intrepid 11

The Lockheed A-12 was a reconnaissance aircraft built for the CIA by Lockheed and had the internal code name “Archangel”.  It was the precursor to the famous SR-71 Blackbird also created by Lockheed.  Also on the deck from the US Air Force was an F-16 Fighting Falcon.  From the US Navy was an A-4 Skyhawk, F-8 Crusader, an A-6 Intruder.  From the US Marine Corp was an AV-8C Harrier which is really cool, this plane can take off and land vertically.  Lastly from the US Army a Vietnam-era UH-1 Iroquois.  These were just some of the amazing machines that you could get up close and personal with.  I actually spent a lot more time here than I had initially planned for but I just couldn’t pull myself away.

USS Intrepid 12

Due to time I didn’t go check out the Space Shuttle but I really kick myself now for not doing so.  There is a separate admission to see it, but after coming home I have seen some pictures online and it just looks amazing.  This just means I’ll have to go back and see it in the future.  Anyways, with the top deck done I took the elevator down to the next level.

USS Intrepid 14

Inside there were more plans, and as you can see from the above picture even one of the ships propellers that made this monster craft move.  Towards the far end was the Exploreum that has some interactive exhibits for the young (or young at heart) to play with.  Over in a small alcove I found the next penny machine.

USS Intrepid Machine 02

To be honest if I wasn’t specifically looking for this machine I probably would have missed it.  It just off to one side underneath a kind of platform.

USS Intrepid 02 Pennies

The four penny designs at this machine were an image of the U.S.S. Growler, an American Flag “Honor, Educate & Inspire”, the U.S.S. Intrepid, and the U.S.S. Intrepid 1943 Bell.  After storing these pennies away I began to look for the last machine located on the Intrepid.  I had a rough idea where it was but wasn’t exactly sure how to get there.  My online research said it was near the mess hall / food court but the map I was given didn’t really say how you got it to.  I eventually asked someone and they pointed me towards a door that revealed a set of stairs.  After doing down a few flights I came out in the food court.

USS Intrepid 16

As you can see in the above picture the machine is located on the right side just outside the restrooms.

USS Intrepid Machine 03

This place was pretty deserted even though the rest of the museum was fairly busy.  I assume from the lack of signage not many people know how to get here.

USS Intrepid 03 Pennies

The images on these pennies were the Lockheed A-12, the H019A Sikorsky, the A4 Skyhawk, and the Grumman F11 Tiger.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one looking for this machine.  As I started to pretty my set there was another couple that entered from the stairwell and came right up beside me. We spoke for a little bit and I found out they were new to collecting pressed coins but were having a great time coming across machines throughout the city on their weeklong trip.  I immediately welcomed them to the hobby and told them all about TEC (The Elongated Collectors) and Pennycollector.com for all their future trips.  They were very thankful for the information which I’m always more than happy to pass along.

With a smile on my face I headed back to the stairs and went all the way back down to the pier and towards the exit.  For anyone in military history, or airplanes in general this is really a great place to check out.  Unfortunately I had put off Times Square as long as I could and started to head back in that directly.  There were still a bunch of places I had to visit and the large crowds weren’t going to make it easy.

** Updated:  After I got back home I waited about a week and then sent my letter to the Intrepid explaining that the machine by the Concorde had been out-of-order and asked if someone would mind pressing me a set.  I had included a set of quarters and pennies as well as a self-addressed stamped envelope to aid in returning them to me.  I kind of forgot about it for a couple of weeks until one day I came home and there was a FedEx package on my front step.  I opened it to find a very nice letter from one of the management staff at the Intrepid.  They apologies for the machine not working and send me a set of the coins, but also returned my quarters and pennies because of the inconvenience.  This just made my day and I always really appreciate when these placed take the time to help our their guests whenever possible.  Thank you Intrepid Crew!!

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World of Disney Decades Set – Disneyland, CA

It’s that time again!

Disneyland has put the latest set of 60th Anniversary designs at the World of Disney gift shop in Downtown Disney.  This is the fourth three coin set in the “Decades” series.  The machine is located by the center set of doors.

DL - 60th DTD 05

This set is celebrating 60 years of Holiday Magic.  The designs include: a Snowy Castle, Frozen’s Olaf, and a Toy Soldier.  All three coins have the “Est. July 17, 1955 60D” backstamp just like all the other coins in this special collection.

With the rumors that a total of 60 coins would be issued for this special Diamond Celebration we are only a few sets away from the complete set.  As I collect the remaining designs I’ll keep you posted.

Happy New Year 2016

The ball has just dropped and I wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year.  As I watched the festivities in Times Square New York it dawned on me that I had the perfect pressed pennies for just such an occasion.

New Years Eve 03

Millions of people watch the famous ball drop every New Years Eve in the most famous city in the world.  Sometimes I forget just how  close to that special place I actually live. Now I’ve never had the slightest urge to actually go into the city to watch the ball drop live, but have walked right through that area numerous times over the years.

New Years Eve 02

Times square is located at Broadway and West 42nd Street as shown in the penny design below.  There is also a Times square information center which is where I pressed these designs about 6 years ago.  Unfortunately the machine at this location has been removed but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share them as we celebrate the starting of 2016.

New Years Eve 01

Be safe and make sure to complete your resolutions.  Mines easy collect more pennies how can I possibly not fulfill that goal.  Thanks for a great 2015 and here’s to a fantastic 2016!!