You will not need a penny to hear my thoughts on the ever-popular pressed coin machines located in and around the Disneyland Resort because I am here to share with you everything I’ve discovered about this fascinating art of collecting. Pressed coin machines can be found throughout Disneyland Park, California Adventure Park, Downtown Disney District, and the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort.
With over 50 machines and over 150 images to choose from, the Disneyland Resort pressed coin machines offer the serious (and not-so-serious) coin collector a variety of affordable and unique options when it comes to elongated coin souvenirs. So grab a handful of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters
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Penny Machines at Disneyland: A History of the Pressed Coin Machine
Can you believe that the fascinating art of pressed pennies dates back over 200 years? This phenomenon is believed to have been invented in 1818 by a Viennese jeweler from Austria. However, the art of pressing pennies surfaced in the United States in 1892-1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. The very first images to be pressed into coins from those coin machines celebrated the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival in America.
Nearly one hundred years later, in 1987, the Disneyland Resort set the precedent, introducing two fully automated, coin-operated pressed penny machines located in the Penny Arcade. The first of its kind, these classic machines, sans an attendant to assist Guests in cranking out a unique commemorative penny, revolutionized the elongated coin souvenir industry. Not surprisingly, Mickey Mouse’s head, along with “Disneyland” was one of the first images to be immortalized and forever etched into a penny. The second image was of Big Al from Bear Country.
Just How Do Pressed Coin Machines Work?
Select your image, drop your coin into the slot, push in the lever and watch as your penny (or coin) is dropped into the machine and stops on top of two steel rollers. The two steel rollers then squeeze the coin through, the image, which is etched in reverse (like a mirror image) presses into the coin that is flattened into an oval shape.
Locations of the Pressed Penny Machines at Disneyland
Scattered throughout the Resort, pressed penny machines at Disneyland can be found in almost in every land. Download the Disneyland App to find where they are located. It can get a little tricky finding these machines through the app. All you have to do is launch the app and click on the map. Select “Shops” under the “Select Category” feature, click “Show List,” and select “Pressed Coin Machines.” Here you will be directed to all the pressed penny machines at Disneyland. You may be disappointed to learn that the locations feature on this app does not give specific images of each machine. But think of all the fun you will have discovering all the images once you arrive at each machine!
For your convenience, the following list is where you can find all the pressed pennies machines at Disneyland:
On Main Street:
- Nickel and penny presses can be found at the exit in the lobby of the Disneyland Story
- Quarter and seasonal nickel press can be found at the Penny Arcade
- Penny press can be found in the Adventureland Bazaar
Penny press – Bonanza Outfitters
- Penny press – Pioneer Mercantile
- Penny press – Westward Ho Trading Company
New Orleans’s Square:
- Penny press – Pieces of Eight
- Quarter press – Port Royal Curios and Curiosities
- Penny press – Pooh Corner
Penny press – Professor Barnaby Owl’s Photographic Art Studio
- Quarter press – Royal Reception
- Quarter press – “it’s a small world” Toy Shop
- Dime press – Gag Factory
- Penny and quarter press – Little Green Men Store Command
- Quarter press – The Star Trader
Disney California Adventure Park
- Buena Vista Stree
- Penny press – Los Feliz Five & Dime
Nickle press – Kingswell Camera Shop
- Penny press – Big Top Toys
- Penny press – Atwater Ink & Paint
- Penny press – Julius Katz & Sons
- Penny press – Trolley Treats
- Penny press – Humphrey’s Service & Supplies
- Quarter press – Rushin’ River Outfitters
- Penny press – Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff
Penny press – Knick’s Knacks
- Penny press – Gone Hollywood
- Penny press – Off the Page
Penny press- The Collector’s Warehouse
Downtown Disney District:
- Penny press – World of Disney
- Penny press – The Disney Dress Shop
Paradise Pier Hotel
- Penny press – Disney’s PCH Grill
- Penny press – Disney’s Fantasia Shop
Penny press – Goofy’s Kitchen
Collecting Pressed Coins is Convenient, Practical, and Fun!
Let’s face it, souvenirs can get expensive at the Disneyland Resort! Why not start a new tradition and commemorate your vacation with souvenirs that are inexpensive? Collect all your loose change and start a new tradition: $.51 cents for the penny machines ($.50 for the purchase and a penny for the souvenir), $.85 for the dime machines (three quarters for the purchase and the dime to squeeze), and $1.00 for the quarter machines ($.75 for the purchase and one quarter to be pressed). And don’t forget to purchase your very own foldout pressed coin booklet to hold your new collection. These fancy books can be purchased in shops around the Resort.
Tips to Start Your Pressed Coin Collection
Do you want to know more about pressed penny machines at Disneyland and the treasures they hold? Here are some tips to get you started!
- Most of the pressed penny machines at Disneyland (with a few exceptions) are tailored to the specific land they are placed in. Check out the spooky coffin-shaped quarter machine at Port Royal Curios and Curiosities in New Orleans Square where you might find some haunting images to add to your collection!
- Visit the quarter press machine at The Star Trader to see a visually stimulating machine that may tempt you to join the dark side with such images as Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, and the First Order symbol. Or you can play it safe and join the Resistance with such images as Rey, Chewbacca, and the Resistance symbol!
- Two must-see machines are located in Critter Country where you will find the Splash Mountain pressed penny machine that is a miniature of the actual attraction. It is super fun to watch the penny make that iconic drop just as Guests do on this attraction! Another super cool pressed penny machine is located in Adventureland Bazaar where you will find Rajah’s Mint which has three pressed penny machines built into an enormous stone façade. The theme for these machines are the Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, and Moana!
- Some pressed coin machines still have the iconic crank. Did you actually think I would give away their secret location? Search out these legendary machines!
- Coin machine plate images are changed every so often which makes pressed coins more desirable to collect! But hurry! Once image plates are removed, they are gone forever!
- Unlike Walt Disney World’s pressed coin machines, the coin press machines at the Disneyland Resort do NOT take credit cards!
- Flip some of your pressed coins around to see another etching on the backside of your coin (hint: the penny machine at Pieces of Eight gift shop in New Orleans Square and the penny machines in Tomorrowland located at the Little Green Men Store feature double-sided etchings). If you are interested in finding more of these double-etched coins, you may have to investigate the coins in each machine yourself!
- The best pennies to use should be dated before 1982 because of their high-copper content. But really, any shiny penny will do in my book!
- Pressed coins make awesome jewelry pieces to display around your neck, angle, or wrist! The possibilities are endless with what you can create with pressed coins!
- City Hall in Disneyland Park, Chamber of Commerce in Disney California Adventure Park, or the front desks of the Disneyland Resort Hotels can assist out-of-country Guests looking to exchange foreign currency into American dollars (and change!) to use at the press coin machines!
- As of yet, unfortunately, no pressed coin machines have landed on Batuu in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.
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