It wasn’t supposed to be this way. I was only ten, what did I know?

My family and I had just ridden Splash Mountain. We looked for, and found, our on-ride photo and were about to head back out into Frontierland when I saw a curious machine standing by itself against a wall.

The instructions told me to put two quarters and a penny into the machine then choose one of three designs to be pressed onto the penny. I fished through my pockets and found the change I needed. Roughly a minute later, I held this in my hands:

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It was the beginning of the end for me. It’s been 20 years since that fateful day, and this is what my collection looks like now:

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(By the way, if you’re concerned about the legality of manipulating currency, you can go here for an explanation of why it’s ok.)

Some of the machines let you choose the design you want by pressing a button and some require you to turn a crank. One of the most appealing aspects of the pressed pennies/coins is the cost. It is one of the few souvenirs that I could afford as a kid and thus didn’t have to get my parents’ permission before purchasing. In fact, my main criticism of the new penny machines that they’re trying out in Disney Springs and Hollywood Studios is that you have to use a credit card or dollar bills to pay for them. You don’t have to supply your own penny. Where’s the fun in that?

You can find pressed coin machines all over Walt Disney World: the theme parks, water parks, resorts, Disney Springs, mini-golf courses. You name it, there will probably be a machine there. Most of the machines press pennies, but a number of them will press quarters as well. There’s even a pressed dime machine in the Space Mountain gift shop.

Here are some of my favorites from over the years, including my most recent trip from a couple of weeks ago. (I even broke down and used one of the new machines because I am a sucker for Marvel)

Pressed Pennies - Eve and Wall-E

Wall-E and Eve

Pressed Pennies - Finding Nemo Seagulls

Finding Nemo Seagulls

Pressed Pennies - Space Mountain

Space Mountain

Pressed Pennies - Epcot and Animal Kingdom

Epcot and Animal Kingdom Chip & Dale

Pressed Pennies - Epcot

Epcot Chip & Dale

Pressed Pennies

Vintage Pressed Pennies

 

Pressed Quarters - Marvel

Assorted Marvel Coins

(All photos from the author’s personal collection.)

What is the coolest pressed coin in your collection?  Which one was the most difficult to find?  Do you have a place in Walt Disney World that you wish you had a pressed coin from? Let us know in the comments section below!

Chris grew up during the Disney renaissance of animation and took his first trip to Disney World when he was ten. Even though he has loved Disney his whole life, his obsession didn’t start until he began planning a trip for his honeymoon. Right now, his primary job (at least the one that doesn’t pay the bills) is to indoctrinate his daughter with his love of Disney while at the same time convincing his wife to move to Orlando so he can become a tour guide in the parks.

 

Comments

comments

7 thoughts on “Pressing Coins at Walt Disney World”

  1. Ruby says:

    I love pressed coins. I will always remember being at the contemporary & the grand floridian, asking for change to get some! I can smell the lobby right now and its wonderful.

  2. Kristin says:

    We just started this tradition with our kids. They love it and I love how cheap it is! Each time we go, they have their “51 cents piles” ready to go. We love looking out for new designs and its a great way to pass the time at many of the resort buss stops. The Grand Floridan has a great one at their bus stop that we use every time!

  3. Wade says:

    We started this year’s ago with our daughter.
    Here are some useful tips we have gotten over the years.
    Try to use pre 1984 pennies they have more copper and make cleanest prints. Modern pennies are a zinc alloy in a thin copper shell and tend to smear the image.
    Mini m&m tubes perfectly hold pennies and quarters. We Alternate two quarters with one penny.
    This also holds a finite amount of money so our daughter knows how many she can get on one trip.

  4. Shelley says:

    We started collecting these when my kids were little. Since my kids are older and me and my husband are retiring, and have Annual Passes to WDW, I think I will keep on collecting them. Someday I will give each of my sons half😊

  5. Andrew Prince says:

    Even though I’m not a big pressed penny collector, I do have some WDW pennies.

  6. richard hartford says:

    is there anywhere i can go to get a list of all the pressed coins done just with marvel characters…probably not possible but it would help me start collecting if i know what i am looking for

  7. Chris says:

    You can Google “pressed pennies at Walt Disney World” and find lists for every where on property.

    As for Marvel specific pennies, the only place I know that has them is the Marvel store at Disney Springs.