2017 Walt Disney World Pressed Coins – Follow Up

** See below for contest to win a free set of 2017 WDW coins **

For those of you that read my original post with the concept design pictures of the new 2017 pressed coin designs this is a quick follow-up.  Shortly after that post I was contacted by a representative at CTM Group (The Pennymen), and we traded a few messages back and forth.  They were nice enough to offer a copy of the entire set of coins fresh from the machines throughout the resort so I could post pictures of the actual coins.

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Above is a picture of all the coins together.  There are the same number as last year but I think the designs this year have definitely gone up in detail.

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Here I have a picture of all the penny designs together.

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Next are all the quarter designs.

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The picture above shows a close up of a cool little sub-set within the 2017 dates set.  Each theme park had one design with Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey in the middle, and an icon from each park above his head.  For Epcot there is Spaceship Earth, Animal Kingdom has the Tree of Life, Hollywood Studios has The Tower of Terror, and the Magic Kingdom of course has Cinderella’s Castle.  These four designs are a numbered set which is listed directly on each coin.

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All of these designs are really nice this year, but I must say the one listed above is my personal favorite.  When I first saw it I just thought it was fantastic.  This design is located in the Magic Kingdom at the Main Street Railroad Station.  It’s cool that all four of the park iconic symbols are all on one coin along with the 2017 year.  This is really a great way to start off the new year.

Obviously these will be around for the entire year, but do not hesitate to get yourself a set.  These are a great addition to any collection and will be gone before you know it.

**Thank you to the CTM Group team for all their work on these new designs, and for taking the time to reach out.  It was very much appreciated!

CONTEST:
This is a chance for you to get a complete set of the 2017 Coins listed above.  This will include all 15 coins (8 Pennies and 7 Quarters).

All you need to do is post a comment below with any ideas you have for the 2018 annual set that you would like to see for next year.  This can be a set of movies, characters, ride or attractions, food (Mmm…Dole Whip Penny), let your imagination run wild.

Post as many times as you like.  Then at the end of the month (3/31/2017) I’ll randomly select a winner and will contact you for your mailing information.

Good luck!!

2016 WDW Trip Day 2 – ‘Ohana and Monorail Resorts

I wanted to take the chance to review our night-time side trip on Day 2 of our vacation. We had spent the day checking out every corner of Epcot, and with our stomachs crying out for some food we had reservations at one of our favorite places.  We had to take the monorail from Epcot over to the Ticketing and Transportation Center, then transfer to the resort line for one quick stop.  The Polynesian Village Resort is where my sister and her family were staying.  This is a resort I have always wanted to stay at but haven’t not yet had the chance.

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I can’t remember a visit to WDW without us going over to ‘Ohana for dinner.  In years past we were even able to just walk up without a reservation, but those days are long gone.  The foods it always really filling, and the Lapu Lapu drinks always reminds me that we are on vacation.

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This tropical drink is made up of Myer’s original dark rum, Bacardi 151 Rum, and tropical fruit juices all served up in a hollowed out Pineapple.  While I enjoyed 2 or 5 of theses we always enjoy the endless skillet of Pork stickers, and awesome sticky chicken wings with mounds of Polynesian noodles.  Then to top it off there are skewers of beef, chicken and shrimp constantly being dropped off on our plate.  Every so often the entire restaurant prepares for the young guests to partake in the famous coconut races.

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I needed to try to work off some of my dinner so I jumped at the chance to try to keep Hanna and her two cousins from knocking someone out with their coconuts.  Music is played while the kids try to use the broom to push the coconuts around the restaurant.  It’s not really a race just a fun way for the kids to entertain the crowd of onlookers.  After another few rounds of food we finally had to wave the white flags.  This was another great experience for us but it was time to let the next group of gluttons in to enjoy their dinner.  We headed back out to the main lobby area of the resort.  My wife, youngest daughter melody and my parents all decided they were ready to head back to our resort.  Hanna and I had other ideas and decided to hop on the Monorail and visit a few resorts.

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For those of you that are familiar with the Monorail loop you can visit the Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Village Resort and the Grand Floridian Resort with the TTC (Ticketing and Transportation Center) and Magic Kingdom squeezed in among the resorts.  This is actually a fun free attraction to do when visiting, and if you haven’t ever taken time to just wander around some of the resorts you are definitely missing out.  We started at the Poly so our first stop would be the Grand Floridian Resort.

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Once you step off the Monorail you enter the Grand Floridian on the second floor.  Just inside the sliding doors of the resort is the first of the penny machines located here.  This machine is home to the 2016 Goofy penny, Classic Mickey’s Face and Pearl from Finding Nemo.  This resort is really gorgeous and I would spend hours just looking at all the details of this place.  We were headed down to the first flood but instead of just taking the boring old elevator we take the grand staircase.  At certain times they actually have Cinderella make a grand entrance down these stairs with an entourage of young guests with her.

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Across the lobby over towards the exit area of 1900 Park Fare restaurant is where we were headed.  We ate here later in our trip and I’ll go over it in more detail than.  On this stop we were just here for the two machines.  The one on the left used quarters and had designs of Mickey Donald & Goofy, Mulan & Mushu, and Timon & Pumbaa.  The second machine pressed pennies with Cinderella’s Mice friends Jac & Gus, Alice, and Cinderella’s Prince Charming.  The last machine is in kind of a strange spot, you actually have to go outside, and down a pathway to the resorts Bus Stop.

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It’s located right near where guests get on and off the buses for the different parks.  If you end up trying to use it while a bus is emptying out you may get run over as this is right in the middle of the exit area.  The pennies here are of Mickey in a Tuxedo, Winnie the Pooh & Tigger, and the Siamese Cats from Lady & and the Tramp.  After visiting all he machines here at the Grand Floridian it was time to head back up to the Monorail.  We jumped on the next one that arrived and just a couple stops away we got off at the Contemporary Resort.  This in my option is one of the coolest resorts, not necessarily the most up to date or fanciest, but where else do you have a Monorail driving straight through the middle of your resort.  We got off the Monorail and headed down the escalator one floor to the main 4th Floor concourse.  If you are a pressed coin collector this is one of the must do stops to make.

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Look at this wall of awesomeness.  There is even a change machine nearby which is great because otherwise your shorts would probably be falling down with all the quarters and pennies it would take to press all of these in one trip.  As you can see from the picture there are six machines in total, three penny and three quarter machines each with three designs.  That’s 18 designs in total at all one place and you don’t have to wonder around the entire resort.  Let me take you on a tour of these machines.

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Starting from the far left side of this wall there are the first two quarter machines.  The first machine has designs of Ariel, Sebastian, and Flounder from The Little Mermaid and all have the Contemporary Resort Logo.  The second machine has designs of Aladdin & Jasmin, Peter Pan, and Tinker Bell also with the Contemporary Resort Logo.

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The third quarter machine has images of Walt Disney World 2016 Where Magic Lives, Snow White, and Dumbo.  The fourth machine changes to pennies and has designs of Winnie the Pooh & Eeyore, Buzz Lightyear, and the Contemporary Resort.

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Almost there.  The fifth machine has designs of Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort, Mickey in a Tux, and Marlin & Dory from Finding Nemo.  The last machine had another 2016 Music Magic Memories design, Mickey Minnie Donald Goofy & Pluto all one penny, and Stitch from Lilo & Stitch.  Phew!

By this time it was getting late and we still had a way to go to get back to Epcot and then over to our resort.  This was definitely a fun little side trip to take and Hanna always looks forward to riding the Monorail whenever possible.  This is a quick way to acquire a lot of pressed coins in a relatively short period of time.  It probably took us about an hour or so to do these resorts but that also included a little wandering around and souvenir shopping.  By the time we got back to Epcot things were getting ready for Illuminations and the crowds were getting a little heavy around.  We made a quick stop back over at the France Pavilion for some snacks and decided on the Macaroons and Chocolate Croissants.

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I could barely wait to dig into these, but forced myself to wait unit we got back to our room.  Once there my family tore into these pretty quickly.  The macaroons were good, but the chocolate croissants were fantastic.  My wife took advantage of our close proximity to Epcot and had me go over to France a couple more times during our trip for more croissants.  I was always more than happy to oblige.

2016 WDW Trip Day 2 – Epcot

I mentioned previously that our Resort this time was the Beach Club.  Due to our party size we were assigned one of the villas which are primarily for the Vacation club members.

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The villas include two bedrooms, a living room area and dine-in kitchen which made for plenty of room since we were a group of six.  The villas were a little bit of a hike from the main lobby and we actually got lost the first time trying to find them.  But ran into a very nice cast member that was more than happy to walk us over and make sure we found it.

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There was actually a private pool for villas guests which was just a quick elevator ride down to the main floor.

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The resort was under a bit of construction but we really didn’t run into any inconveniences.  One of the really nice perks of the villas was a pathway that lead right over towards Epcot and in about a 10 minutes walk we could be in the park.  On our second day we took advantage of this and had planned to spend the day here.  When we arrive at the back/side entrance to Epcot we scanned our MagicBands but had to wait a few minutes for the park to open.  As you would assume Disney has this area strategically setup with a gift shop called the World Traveler.

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We decided to spend a few minutes wandering through this store and I came across the first machine of many this day.

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This machine’s cabinet struck me a quite unique.  It wasn’t overly flashy or themed but was just a nice looking piece of hardware.  It worked very well and gave me a nice set of pennies.  The images on the coins were of Mulan, the China Pavilion, and Elsa from Frozen.  We saw people starting to move around outside and realized they were about to drop the rope.  Now something to remember is that the International Gateway opens up later in the morning so you are somewhat ushered towards the front part of Epcot where Spaceship Earth and Test Track are located.

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One of our guilty pleasures at Epcot is Spaceship Earth.  It’s not the most thrilling ride but always entertaining and reminds me of visiting this park as a child.  We then headed over to the Land Pavilion for our Soarin’ Fastpass.  This year Hanna was tall enough to ride this with us and this was also our first time seeing the new Soarin’ Around the World experience.  I have heard a lot of negative things about it but I just try to enjoy it for what it is and not be overly critical.  Some of the in your face transitions between scenes are obviously heavily CGI, but it’s still enjoyable and Hanna was really amazed with it and talked about it for the rest of the day.  Some of our group needed a pit stop so I always take these opportunities to find nearby machines.

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Just outside the Garden Grill revolving restaurant are three machines.  I had documented all three last year, and this year only one of the designs had changed.  This is one of the locations that has the new yearly designs.  This machine pressed the images on quarters and shows 2016 Donald with a Tuba, Merida with her Three Bear Brothers, and Mickey Donald & Goofy Soarin’.  Just a short walk from the Land Pavilion is the Journey into Imagination with Figment attraction.  I know I had been on the original version back when I was a child, and to be honest don’t think I’ve been on it in over 10 years.  I thought this would be fun for the kids this time around and they really seemed to like Figment.  After the ride was over we found ourselves checking out the Image Works store.

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I had used this machine about 5 or 6 years ago and I must have been desperate for pennies because the ones I had used were almost completely black and the images were next to impossible to make out.  This time around I made sure to use much better quality coins and they came out great.  The designs had Imagination Institute Logo, Figment, and an Epcot Logo.  By this time the World Showcase had opened and we were on a missing to hit as many of the Pavilions as we could before the kids needed a break back at the resort.  One event we weren’t prepared for was that the Wine and Food Festival was going on and the crowds were crazy, at least crazier than we were used to.  To try to bypass the bottleneck of people flooding into this area of  the park we immediately jumped on the ferry from the Friendship port that transported us over to the France Pavilion.  We stopped inside for a quick-lunch and I went to find the penny machine located in Les Halles Patisserie.

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This machine is located in the back of the gift shop.  The designs are of Mickey with the Eiffel Tower, and the France Pavilion.  Wait only two pennies?  I’ll let you in on a secret, there is a hidden third coin available here.  But as you can see from the picture above of the machine there is no button for a third design.  There is actually an in park game called Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure.  Agent P is a secret agent platypus from the Disney cartoon Phineas and Ferb.  You get an interactive phone that gives you clues taking you around the World Showcase trying to catch the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz.  One of the locations you go to is the France Pavilion and you use the phone on the penny machine to press the hidden design.  Now another quick tip, the game is random and you may not get the France clue so sometimes it takes a few games before you can get the coin.  Below I have a picture of this secret penny from my collection.  Kind of a cool way to make a special souvenir.

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Right next door to France is Morocco,  sorry not geographically just Epcot Pavilion wise.  This is a really cool pavilion that I enjoy wandering through as the shops are really unique and the details of the architecture are really intriguing.  Hidden away in one of the side shops is their penny machine.

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The penny available here have pictures of Mickey wearing a Fez hat, the Morocco Pavilion, and Mickey with a Suitcase and Globe.  A little further around the lagoon we stopped into the American Adventure.

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In the gift shop (as with pretty much all of the pavilions) the penny machine was just inside the main door.  These pennies had designs of Uncle Same Mickey, Baseball Mickey USA, and Duffy Bear wearing a Baseball uniform.  Next up was the Italian Pavilion which has a nice wine shop that you cut through to the main gift shop.  They do have a very nice wine selection of imported Italian vino.

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The penny machine in the Italy pavilion has very similar designs to many of the other pavilions.  These included Mickey with the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Italy Pavilion, and Mickey’s Face / Italy.  The next stop has always kind of seemed out-of-place in the World Showcase, it’s not a full pavilion but is knows as the African Outpost.  There are some carts along the walkway with things for sale and a little shack/shed type building with some more items for sale.

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This place has one of the few 4 design hand crank machines available.  The images are of Rafiki’s drawing of Simba, Pumbaa Simba & Timon, Safari Donald, and Tracker Mickey.  Another short walk away was the China Pavilion which is always fun to check out.  We actually ate dinner here one night at the Nine Dragons restaurant.  I had heard mixed reviews about the food and service, but on our visit everything was really wonderful and my family said it was one of the more memorable meals we had on this trip.  Make sure you stop by and give it a try.

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I had written about these new designs earlier in 2016 and you can read about them here.  This stop just gave me the change to take some pictures of the new machines I wasn’t able to get previously.  Now we were at the big one, Norway.  I only say that because this pavilion has gotten crazy with the recent opening of the new Frozen Ever After ride that replaced the fan favorite Maelstrom.  We actually had Fastpasses to check out the ride but just as we got there all our phones started buzzing with notifications.  Apparently the ride was temporary down (broken) and we could either try coming back later and use our Fastpasses or we could experience any other attraction instead.  Not knowing exactly when this ride would be operational again we opted to ride Test Track once we were done with the pavilions.  So for now we just checked out the gift shops now filled with even more Frozen merchandise.

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The first machine is located in the Puffin’s Roost shop and has designs of Mickey with a Viking Hat, the Norway Pavilion, and Mickey Holding lot of different Country Flags.  The second machine is an 8-design touch screen that was moved here recently.  This machine used to be located at the Once Upon a Toy Store in Disney Springs.  The images haven’t changed and it’s still a numbered set all with Frozen characters.  Feel up for a Margarita?  By this time of day we definitely were in need of some tequila and luckily the Mexico Pavilion was right next door.

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This penny machine is right in the middle of the pavilion and this place is pretty dark inside.  I’ve tried on various occasions to take pictures of this machine and they always come out terrible.  This time was a little better, but I included a photo of the marquee so you can see the designs a little better.  You can see they have Mickey with a Sombrero, Duffy Bear wearing a Poncho, and the Mexico Pavilion.  We were almost done with the pavilions but wanted to head over to use our Fastpass for Test Track I mentioned earlier.  Hanna wasn’t a fan of this ride but it’s still one of our favorites.  I quickly headed over to the Mission Space attraction gift shop.  Years ago I rode this ride and it was pretty intense for me so I haven’t ridden it since.  But that doesn’t stop me from heading into the gift shop to press the pennies here from time to time.

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This machine has a nice themed cabinet but I find the coins press a little short every so often.  The pennies have pictures of Mickey and his team in Space Suits, the Mission Space Logo, Mickey Minnie and Pluto in Space Suits.  With an upcoming dinner reservation at the Polynesian Village Resort’s O’Hana we needed to get moving towards the front of the park to hop on the Monorail.  Cutting through the huge Mouse Gears gift shop was our next stop.

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Interested in more of the 2016 annual designs?  Good because this is where to find one.  This machine has Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey with Spaceship Earth, Anna from Frozen, and Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey 2016 all pressed on pennies.

I’ll review our dinner at ‘Ohana and our trip to all the Monorail resorts to get more coins in the next post.  For now we will just skip forward a few hours and we are cutting through Epcot heading back to our resort.  Along the way through there were a few final machines I needed to visit.  Right where Future World and the World Showcase meet are two gift shops.

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The machine on the left is from the Disney Trader’s store.  I’m not really sure what is going on with the design of this machine, but it pressed pennies perfectly so I’m not going to complain.  The images on these coins are Jessica Rabbit, Jack Jack from The Incredibles and a Large 2016 with Sorcerer’s Hat.  The machine on the right is from the Port of Entry store, and has coins with Tourist Mickey, Uncle Sam Mickey, and Duffy with a Chinese Outfit on.  We made a quick stop by the Canadian Pavilion (a must for us former Canadians) and finished our trip around the world at the United Kingdom Pavilion.

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As far as I know this machine has never moved in all the years I’ve been visiting.  But it always is the hardest one for me to remember where it is located.  Most of the gift shops here are all interconnected but it’s in one towards the back of the pavilion.  If you ask the cast members here will be more than happy to show you where it is.  These pennies have pictures of Mickey with Big Ben, the UK Pavilion, and Duffy wearing a Kilt and Hat.

I’m sure you can image that by this time our little ones (and big ones myself included) were pretty exhausted.  Thankfully we only had a short walk back past the World Traveler store, over the bridge (and through the woods, just kidding) back to our resort room.  Everyone crashed pretty quickly without much complaint.  We had more parks to visit and a whole lot more machines to check out.

2016 WDW Trip Day 1 – Travel Day / Disney Springs / Resorts

As I sit here trying to detail out our Family Trip to WDW we took almost four months ago, we are bracing for a severe winter storm up in Jersey.  I could think of nothing better on a snowy day that to finally get around to reviewing our trip in sunny Florida.

I’ve mentioned this before in an earlier post but figured I’d just give a quick review.  This trip actually started as a destination wedding for my brother-in-law’s sister.  She and her fiancé (now husband) are huge Disney fans and wanted nothing more than to be married in the most magical place on earth.  We decided to extend our scheduled stay for the wedding into a week-long vacation.  As I’ve posted in the past there is a lot of pre-planning for a Disney vacation that goes on and makes the time before your trip almost excruciating to wait through.  I won’t put you through those details this time as they haven’t changed (dining reservations, attraction fast passes, etc) but instead jump right in.

On this trip I did have scheduled to visit a lot (and I truly mean a lot ) of pressed coin machines.  Although since I had visited for a week-long trip just a year previously in 2015, and a few shorter trips earlier this year there weren’t a lot of new coins I needed to collect.  Instead I decided to take this opportunity to replace some of my old coins.  Back when I first started really getting into collecting the coins my selection of pennies was not the best so I have a lot of very tarnished or pennies in just terrible condition.  This was my chance to get these replaced and up to a higher standard.  Without further ado, we pick up our story just as we disembark the airplane in Orlando.

As with most air travelers as soon as we were off the plane everyone needed a quick bathroom pit stop.  I took the opportunity to visit the Disney EarPort store again and make sure the penny machine hadn’t changed.

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The machine was still in the same location (near one of the exits) and had the same three designs.  You can read out these coins in further detail here.  Next we headed to our rental car and were off to our next destination.  We had some time before our resort was going to be ready so we took the opportunity to check out something we have been working on for the last year or so.  My family is actually in the middle of relocating to the Orlando area.  As you may know from earlier posts I’m originally from Canada, moved to New Jersey in ’96 and am now heading even further south to Florida.  We are having a new house built about 30 minutes from Orlando which is why we have been making numerous small trips down to Florida this year, and helped keep up with all the new pressed coins.

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Above is a picture of our daughter Hanna on our future home site.  The building should start shortly and we are very excited about the move.  We stopped by just to check up on things and ensure everything was progressing which it was.  This was also the first time that Hanna and our younger daughter Melody were able to see the model home we picked and we got their stamp of approval.  As the day went on we were surprised to not receive our TXT message from Disney with our room assignment, so we decided to head over to Disney Springs for some shopping and dinner.

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For those of you that haven’t been to Disney Springs yet please go check it out.  It’s definitely a busy place but I feel the added Marketplace area has helped spread the crowds out a little bit.  The new Marketplace area is really nice to wander around, and see all the changes.  I remember years ago visiting Pleasure Island before it was changed, and they have definitely been making some great new additions.  The new restaurants by the way are fantastic and make for a lot of new choices.

We didn’t have any dining reservations, and just decided to wander around to kill off some more time before our room was ready.  There has recently been a bunch of new pressed penny/token machines placed here and I wanted to get some updated pictures.  First stop was the Marvel Superhero Headquarters.

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As you can see above this is one of the new 8-design touch screen machines, and you can read more about the coins I acquired previously here.  Right next door is the Star Wars Galactic Outpost which is a personal favorite of mine.

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This is another 8-design machine that I had previously collected.  Unfortunately my phone was dead on my earlier trip so this was a nice opportunity to get a picture of the machine.  These new machines are very cool to watch in action, and you can check out these coins in more detail here.

Since we were visiting during October we were able to get tickets to the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party which I’ll write about in a future post.  But we had to stop in at the World of Disney Super Gift Shop to find our girls costumes for the party.  But before heading in there was a new food stand I wanted to try.

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The Daily Poutine was one of the first new food spots in the Disney Springs transformation.  Being from Canada I know all about Poutine and have missed it dearly in all our years in Jersey.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with Poutine it is usually a pile of french fries, covered with cheese curds and a thick brown gravy.  Not the most waistline friendly but helped us bulk up during a frigid Canadian winter.  This new stand has quite a few different options but I went for a special they were offering just to try something different.

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All-Day Breakfast Poutine how could I not try this unique offering.

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I will admit when they first gave it to me the gravy on it looked a little unappetizing, but I dug in and it was really good.  The gravy was very flavorful, and when you cut into the fried egg the runny yoke it all came together.  I don’t know how often this may be available but if it’s on the menu be sure to give it a try.

While I worked on my Poutine the rest of my family had already gone into the World of Disney looking for some souvenirs but primarily the Halloween costumes.  After checking out a lot of different dresses and tiaras Hanna decided to be Aurora from Sleeping Beauty, and Melody was going to be Tinker Bell.  With costumes paid for we headed a little further to the Once Upon a Toy Store which is currently the location of three machines.  I wrote about them previously and you can check out the details here.

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There is a 4-design hand crank machine, and then two 8-design touch screen machines.  Definitely a must stop to get a quick boost to your coin collection.  By this time it was starting to get dark and we were in need of some food.  We really wanted to try one of the new restaurants and were hoping to avoid a long wait.  Over in the new Marketplace area we stopped in at the D-Luxe Burger which had a fairly short line (10 minutes to order) and ended up having some really great burgers.

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After dinner we still hadn’t heard anything from our resort but figured the room had to be ready.  We headed over and were told they were having some system issues, but that our room was available.  By this time most of my family was exhausted and just wanted to relax in the room for the rest of the night.  I had received a phone call from my sister that her family had also made it to their resort and asked if we wanted to stop over for a visit.  My daughter Hanna was immediately revived with the notion of seeing her cousin Ava.  They were staying over at the Polynesian Village Resort so Hanna and I hopped in the rental car and headed over.  After parking we first stopped into the grand ceremonial house (main building of the resort).  We started on the second floor over near the new Moana Mercantile there were two coin machines.

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The first machine had 3 penny designs.  The designs included Pocahontas & John Smith, Pocahontas kneeling, and Bruce the Shark from Finding Nemo.

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The second machine was also a 3 design model but pressed quarters.  The images were of Lilo dancing, Lilo & Stitch, and Lilo & Stitch eating ice cream.  These machines are right near the check in for O’Hana which is one of our favorite restaurants.  It was tempting to head over to the bar and get a Lapu Lapu (I’ll explain this later or you can google it) but there was another penny machine to find and a special treat we were looking forward to instead.

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We took the stairs down to the first floor and just inside the sliding doors that led out back towards the main pool was the last machine at this resort.  It has 3 penny designs of Sneezy, Buzz Lightyear, and Scar from the Lion King (Disney Villains set).  With the coins stored away Hanna and I walked through the sliding glass doors and made an immediately left turn.  We came face to face with the Pineapple Lanai which is one of the only placed to get the famous Dole Whip outside of the theme parks.  There were a few people ahead of us but we knew it was worth it.  Hanna and I each got a Dole Whip and we gobbled them down.  This is absolutely a must have snack if you are in Disney, it’s Pineapple non-dairy soft serve.  I’ve tried to make it at home and have gotten pretty good results, but there is nothing like getting it straight from Disney.

After we devoured our Dole Whips we finally made it over to my sister’s room and were able to visit with her family for about an hour.  By that time the long day had start to hit the kids and they all were staggering around half asleep.  We said goodnight and we headed back to our resort.  I don’t think I mentioned this but we were staying at the Beach Club Resort over near Epcot.

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Hanna was asleep in the stroller so I took the opportunity to try to get one last machine before we turned in.  We headed out the back of our resort toward the Yacht Club resort and right beside the Beaches & Cream Soda Shop was the Lafferty Arcade.

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When I visited this arcade a few years ago to collect the pennies it was located inside the arcade but this time around the machine was outside.

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The images on these pennies are of Mickey with a Surf Board, The Yacht Club logo, and Bashful Dwarf.  We had been up early and it was now getting pretty late.  Hanna was completely out in the stroller so I quickly made my way back to our room.  When we got inside we were greeted with a special gift from the resort staff.

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These were some amazing hand craft chocolates, and a cute chocolate lighthouse.  It was late to dig in this first night, but made for an exquisite pre-breakfast snack the next morning.  Day 1 was pretty busy and I was able to check off a nice batch of machines from my to-do list but there were lots more still to come.

2017 Walt Disney World Pressed Coins

We are just a couple of days away from a brand new year and just this evening I was browsing some websites and came across an early surprise.  On one of my trips to WDW last year I noticed that a lot of the pressed coin machines had a website address listed to get the most up to date locations of all the machines across property.  I took a picture so I wouldn’t forget about it when I came home.

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This website has become just another routine I go through a few times a week.  I check out the website to see if anything has changed, moved or best of all a new machine is available.  Just a short while ago I was checking out the website and almost fell off my couch when I started to see new 2017 coins all around the parks.  Unfortunately I am not currently near Orlando and won’t be for a few weeks so I cannot actually confirm that these machines are up and running.  But I’m sending out requests to friends in the area to try to get pictures but most importantly press these beautiful new coins.  As I acquire the coins I’ll update this post with the actual pictures, but for now I wanted to share the images that are available on the above CTM Group website.

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These first two coins are available in the Magic Kingdom.  The penny on the left is in the Emporium Store, and the penny on the right is at the Sir Mickey’s Gift Shop.

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The next three coins are located in Epcot.  The penny on the left is from the Disney Traders Gift Shop, the penny in the middle from the huge Mouse Gears Gift Shop, and the quarter on the right is from The Land Pavilion near the Garden Grill Restaurant.

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Over at Hollywood Studios there is just one coin listed at this time.  It’s available at what I call the Muppet’s Gift Shop but is technically referred to as the Stage One Company Store.

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Located in Animal Kingdom are the next couple coins.  The penny on the left is at Chester and Hester’s in Dinoland USA.  The quarter on the right is at the Wildlife Express Train Station.

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The last batch of coins are available at various resorts.  However the resort locations have not changed from last year.  At the Contemporary Resort are the above two coins and are right near the Monorail station.

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A quick Monorail trip over to the Grand Floridian will get you to the next machine.  It’s still located on the second floor just inside the doors that lead to the Monorail station.

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Finally the last two quarters are over at the All-Star Resorts.  If you aren’t staying at these resorts they can be a bit out of the way to get.  The quarter on the left of Goofy is over at the All-Star Music resort just outside the Note’Able Games Arcade.  The quarter on the right of Donald is at the All-Star Sports resort outside the Game Point Arcade.

UPDATE:

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Found images of the “last” two 2017 designs that will be available.  I’m just assuming they are sticking with the 15 designs but we can always hope for more.  The above penny on the left is located at Hollywood Studios in the Rock Around the Shop, and the quarter on the right is in the Magic Kingdom at the Main Street Train Station.

Happy collecting, and have a great New Years!!

Coin Collecting Packages for my Friends – Follow Up #3

Earlier this year I was aware of some friends and family making some trips to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and I wrote about some packages I put together and you can read out it here.  My pressed coin collecting hobby is so well-known among friends that anytime someone goes on vacation they always ask if there are any coins they can get for me.  I’m a truly lucky guy to have some amazing friends.  In the past I have also mentioned that I do really appreciate them going out of their way to get these coins for me but I never want to take away from their own holiday enjoyment.  So I try to make collecting these coins as easy as possible with these little packages.

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Just recently a co-worker of mine let me know they were taking a very last-minute trip to Disney and were going to be staying at the Coronado Springs Resort.  This is a location I have visited in the past to acquire the coins there, but it has been a few years and I always jump at the opportunity to get a fresh set.

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Years ago when I had graduated high school my parents sent me to Disney and I stayed at this resort.  I remember it being a nice place to stay with a really cool pool, but it was huge and there was lots of walking.

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There were numerous bus stops inside the resort and it always seemed we were either the first picked up (last to the parks) or last to be dropped off at the end of the night.  Then there was more walking to the room.  But I was young and walking is always good for you so I shouldn’t complain.  My co-worker did mention the walking so that hasn’t changed, but I still think this is a nice Moderate resort to check out.

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Located in the main building of this resort where the check-in area is, and the main food court and restaurants is a place called Panchito’s Gift’s and Sundries.  This is the main gift shop for this resort and from what I remember this is pretty big.  Just outside the main entrance is where the two coin press machines were situation.

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The first machine is a 3 die electric model that presses the designs on pennies.

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The set includes Cinderella, The Fairy Godmother, and Dopey Dwarf.

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The second machine located right beside the first and has one image that presses on a Quarter so the over cost is $1.25 for this one.

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The image is of Jose Carioca who you may recognize from the Three Caballeros movie.  Even though these weren’t new designs it was nice to get a fresh set for my collection.  The resort is really beautiful and if you are in the area it does make for a nice place to wonder around.  Just make sure you bring some comfortable walking shoes.

Samoa Snacks – Polynesian Village Resort WDW

On our various trips to Walt Disney World we always make sure we book a reservation to eat at O’Hana in the Polynesian Village Resort.  It is just one of our all time favorite places to eat, with fantastic entertainment, wonderful food and we have (knock on wood) always had excellent service.  On a sad side note we have yet to actually stay at the Polynesian and end up having to settle for staying at another resort and making the trek over just for dinner.  But it’s absolutely worth it to us.

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Being the obsessed pressed coin collector that I am I have acquired the 3 machines located at this resort many years ago.  Sadly these designs have rarely changed.  However I’m sure yo can guess that since I’m writing and entry about this place that must not be the case any longer and you would be absolutely correct.

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On the second floor (same floor you are already on if you take the monorail over) which also is where O’Hana is located there is a nice little place called Samoa Snacks.  As the name implies this is a convenience store of sorts that has drinks, candy, snacks, and since it’s Disney some themed merchandise.  Just outside this little store is one of the machines that presses quarters.  For years this machine has only had 1 design to be pressed on a quarter but no longer.

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This machine has been upgraded to now have 3 separate designs still all pressed on quarters.  The machine does require $1.25 in quarters for each design.  These images are very similar to existing ones, but have been enhanced in detail and two of them now have a dotted border.  All of these are Lilo & Stitch themed and also have the Polynesian Village Resort Logo included.

Of course knowing there were new coins available I had to pick these up as soon as possible, but if the previous machines are any indication here these are probably going to stick around for a while.  But I never say never so make sure to pick these up just on your next trip over to the Poly, and since you’re there check out O’Hana you won’t be disappointed.

Coin Collecting Packages for my Friends – Follow Up #2

Here’s follow-up #2 of my Coin Collecting Packages for my Friends but this has a little twist.  After my parents successfully collected the coins I had requested in packet #1, I wrote about it in a follow-up post you can check out here.  Initially this second package was for a co-worker of mine that annually visits Florida and always stays at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.  I made the assumption she would be going again, but unfortunately she was saddened to inform me that they were going to have to skip this years trip.

Initially I wasn’t too concerned since my family had planned to go down to WDW for a wedding in October, and this would just mean I’d needed to take a special trip over to this resort to press the coins.  Then as luck would have it my wife and I ended up scheduling just last week an impromptu trip to Orlando for a couple of days (more details to come in some future posts).  It also ended up that we would be visiting during my birthday so I used that as an excuse to book a reservation at the Whispering Canyon Cafe located in … you guessed it the Wilderness Lodge.  Funny how things work out like that.

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I will start out by stating that I have never stayed at this particular resort, but it was always on my to-do list.  We have stopped in every so often when collecting coins in the past, but this would be the first time for an extended visit.  We parked in the guest lot and as we walked up towards the main entrance this place is really enormous and beautifully built.  With all the logs and stone work it looks like a huge log cabin, but with every amenity you can think of.

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Here’s the Resorts logo on the welcome mat as you enter the main entrance.

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The main lobby area just towers over you as you walk inside.  The theme of this resort as with all of the Disney resorts is really amazing.

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I took the stairs up to the fourth or fifth floor to capture the above picture of the light figures that look like a little teepee.  How cool is that.

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Just beyond the resort check-in area is the gift shop ..er sorry the Mercantile.  I couldn’t resist the Mickey and friends totem pole located just outside.

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We had only arrived about 15 minutes before our dining reservation so after a quick look around we headed over to the Whispering Canyon Cafe to check-in.  After a few moments they escorted us to our table.  Now a word of warning for anyone not familiar with this restaurant, it is listed as a Unique/Themed dining experience.  What does this mean?  Well it’s all in fun, but there could be some shenanigans with the wait staff.  An experience I had was when we ordered drinks mine didn’t have a straw so I asked our waitress for one and she told me to “Hold my horses I’m working on it” which was then followed by about 20 straws being thrown at me.  Again this is all part of the act and was actually quite funny at least to my family.  For those of you that are not interested in participating fear not this restaurant has recently made a change.  When you are first seated your table is given a coaster which is green on one side and red on the other.

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If you turn it to Green then your wait staff knows you want to play, but if you turn it to Red you just want to watch.  But to be honest you’re in Disney so why not just relax and have some fun.  There are stick pony rides every so often for the kids, and ask for ketchup at your own risk.

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The table beside us in the picture above asked for ketchup and their waitress yelled out for the entire resort to hear that “We neeeeeed ketchup!”.  A family a few tables away that had asked for ketchup previously had to walk over about 30 bottles of the red stuff.  Each time someone asked for ketchup the last table with the bottles has to pass them along.  During all this fun the food here is pretty much themed towards the inner cowboy in all of us and consists mainly of barbecue.

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I opted for the all you can eat skillet which contained generous portions of brisket, ribs, chicken, sausage, corn, mashed potatoes and baked beans.  The food comes in the skillet pictured above and as soon as you finish one off they will bring you out another until your pants no longer fit.  After stuffing ourself on the food, and being picked on a little further by the staff we decided to try to walk off our food by wandering around the resort a little bit.

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Outside the report has a beautiful waterfall that runs down stream, under a bridge and eventually into the main pool.

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Being that we were in central Florida it didn’t take long before the sky opened up and it started to drizzle.  We walked around a bit more but eventually the rain really started coming down so we quickly headed back inside.  I then took this opportunity to search out the pressed coin machines that were to be found inside.

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Almost directly across from the entrance to the Whispering Canyon Cafe was the first set of machines.  These two were combined into one nice looking cabinet and consisted of three penny designs and one quarter.

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The penny designs had images of Snow White (Disney Princesses Set #5 of 6), Winnie the Pooh and Tigger too.

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The quarter design had Pocahontas and John Smith with the Wilderness Lodge Resort Logo above them.  I always like the coins that get this special treatment for the resorts. This makes a really cool souvenir for visiting this specific location.  Since not all resorts have designs like this I started collecting Coffee Mugs from each of the resorts I visit, but that’s a whole other collection we won’t get into.

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Back near where the mercantile (gift shop) was located are a set of doors that led out to the covered walkway that leads to the resort’s bus stop.  This is where you can get the bus to take you to the different parks or Disney Springs.  Another great feature of this resort were these walkways which I though were really cool.

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Out by the bus stop I hit the jackpot.  There was a three machine cabinet just waiting to be used.  This included one quarter machine, and two penny machines each with three designs.  Seven coins in one location must be a record or something.

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First up was the quarter design which showed Woody and Buzz Lighyear which is part of the Friends set #5 of 8).

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If nothing else this resort has quite the variation of coin designs covering a wide range of Disney characters.  The first penny machine had Simba from The Lion King, Gill from Finding Nemo, and Happy from Snow White.

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The last machine had Pocahontas kneeling, Meeko (also from Pocahontas) and Winnie the Pooh & Piglet counting honey pots.  As I turned to head back inside I noticed one other new piece of technology at the bus stop.  I really liked this idea and when I had visited last year these were still a rumor but not anymore.

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Each resort bus stop now has a screen that gives the times of when the next buses will arrive for available location (Parks, Water parks, Disney Springs).  I was happy to see this finally in use and can’t wait to try it out when we visit again this fall.

Unfortunately since we didn’t stay overnight I can’t attest to any of the rooms but can only image if they are anything like the rest of the resort I’m sure they are amazing.  This has definitely moved up on my “Want to stay at” list.  But even if you don’t stay overnight definitely come check out the resort you could easily spend an afternoon wandering around and check out the Whispering Canyon Cafe for some food.  But don’t forget to make your kids ask for Ketchup!

Coin Collecting Packages for my Friends – Follow Up #1

My parents just got back from their annual trip to Florida for some spring break Major League Baseball.  During their trip they had decided to visit Orlando and stayed at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.  This allowed them quick access to the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Disney property where the Atlanta Braves play during spring training.

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Knowing that my parents would be staying at a resort with a nice assortment of penny machines I put together a Coin Collecting Package which I had written about previously.

After getting back in town they stopped by to see the grand kids and also drop off some gifts they had picked up.  As my children eagerly sat on the couch waiting for their gifts I was doing the same thing.  My dad handed me the ziptop bag and I eagerly tore into it to see how the coins turned out.

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The Caribbean Beach Resort had four pressed coin machines available on property.  Just as a FYI you do NOT need to be a resort guest to access the machine.  I have visited numerous resorts to collect the coins and just let the security guard know you are there to use the machines.  They are more than happy to let you through.  Since my parents had a busy schedule my father wandered around the resort late one night to visit each machine for me.

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First up was the machine at the Custom House.  This is really just the registration building for the resort.  In years past you would check in here to get your room assignment.  But starting just last year you can sign up for online checking which triggers a text message on your cell phone with your room number when it’s ready.  Makes this custom house kind of obsolete but thankfully there’s still a penny machine available inside.

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The pennies at this machine included images of Lilo & Stitch eating ice cream, Jafar from Aladdin, and another Lilo &Stitch playing a ukulele.  Thankfully for my father’s sake the other three machines were all located at the same place.  Near the big resort pool and recreation area is the Goombay Arcade.

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As you walk in along the far wall is a nice cabinet containing the three machines.  There are two penny machines that surround a quarter machine.

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Starting with the machine on the far left as I mentioned was a three design penny machine.

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The pennies at this machine has some familiar faces from one of my favorite Pixar movies Cars.  Lightning McQueen, Mack and Miss Sally.

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The middle machine has one quarter design available.  As a reminder the quarter machines take five quarters to use, four are the price to press and the fifth is the lucky one to be pressed.

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This is an interesting design and nicely themed for the Caribbean Beach Resort.  It has Goofy dressed up like a Pirate with a Jolly Roger flag.

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The last machine on the right side of the cabinet and also had three penny designs.

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These designs came our very nicely.  There is Nemo obviously from another Pixar favorite Finding Nemo, Mickey in a Tuxedo, and Sleeping Beauty aka Princess Aurora.

Overall I think my dad did very well.  In previous trips I usually only give him one or two machines to collect, but he found all four and came back with some great additions for my collection.  He did say that the map, and penny design images I included did help make it easier for him.  As always I appreciated him taking the time out of his vacation to help me.  He said it gave him an excuse to check out the entire resort, and he was happy to help anytime.  Bwahaha (Evil laugh) he’s in trouble now!

Coin Collecting Packages for my Friends

It’s finally happening.  The cold weather is slowly starting to leave us here in Jersey.  This is the time of year that a lot of us collectors look forward to as we can start planning our trips for new pressed coins.  I usually get a little over zealous and have trips scheduled for most weekend along with at least one week-long trip somewhere.  But then reality strikes and some of the short trips need to be bumped or canceled.

Something else that also starts to happen at least for me is that my friends and family start to let me know about trips they are taking.  They know of my pressed coin collection and don’t seemed to concerned about being enablers and feeding into the obsession.  Deep down I think they actually like the adventure of finding the machines and using the machines but they’ll never admit it.

The downside of this knowledge is that I can easily go overboard requesting they collect every coin within a 100 mile radius.  However I really do feel guilty sometimes as I know how my own vacations are schedule and there isn’t always a lot of extra time available.  Usually I end up just picking a few machines that are as close to where their hotel is or a theme park, zoo or other attraction they are already visiting.  I never want them to have to make a special trip just to use one machine that worst case scenario may be out-of-order.  Over the years I have come up with different ways to ensure my friends and family have enough coins to press, and now even take the time to get images of the coins I’m looking for.

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I’m mentioned in the past that my parents are big New York Mets fans and go down to Port St Lucie in Florida for Spring Training Baseball season.  This years trip has them in Port St Lucie for the first half of their trip and then they are heading to Orlando.  The picture above is of the package I created for them as they informed me they would be staying on Walt Disney Property for a few nights at the Caribbean Beach Resort.  Everything is put into a gallon size ziptop bag for easy storage and can just be placed in their luggage.

2016 Caribbean Beach Resort Map

One of the first things I did was do a google search for a copy of the resort map.  I use just basic photo editing software on my computer.  As you can see above I then insert boxes with the locations of each machine and some details about the coins located there.

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Next using my computer’s word processor I create the above table.  This is really just to help keep everything spaced and organized.  In each box I list the location and then grab a picture of the coins from various websites available online.  Once printed I then cut out each box and insert it into little ziptop bags that have the appropriate number of quarters and pennies needed for that machine.

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In the past I know my friends and family mean well but sometimes a location would have multiple machines and they didn’t always understand my hand written notes.  This was something I started doing just a few years ago and it has worked like a charm.  Obviously there is a bit of work to be done on my end but to me it’s all part of the fun.

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Once I have the map completed and all the little bags filled I always double-check them with each other to make sure I didn’t overlook something.  Then I fold it all up and put in the larger ziptop bag.  All that’s left is to wait for them to return so I can see how they turned out.

I have a friend at work that always goes to Walt Disney World around July 4th and stays at the Wilderness Lodge Resort.  In anticipation of her trip I already put together a package for her which is pictured below.  This is a little risky to do this far in advance as the coins can change at any time but I always like to try to be as prepared as possible.

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These two above examples just happen to both be for Disney, but I do the same for other attractions.  Most zoos, aquariums and theme parks have digital versions of their maps available online that I just download and use the same process listed above.  I’m always very appreciative to all my friends and family for taking the time out of their vacations to press some extra coins for me and the least I can do is make it as easy for them as possible.  Hopefully it doesn’t take up too much of their time and they can get back to what they had originally intended to do.