I have returned from a quick visit to Disney World. Here are some updates:
Fourteen out of fifteen dated 2018 coins are available in the same locations as last year. The Stage 1 Company store quarter machine at Hollywood Studios is the only one not available. Although the back half of the store is open (and the Muppets penny press is accessible), the front half of the store (which includes the quarter machine once found at Mickey’s of Hollywood) is closed for renovation. No word on when that machine will become available.
The PizzeRizzo restaurant at Hollywood Studios (it replaced Pizza Planet) is only open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Plan accordingly if you want to hit the two penny presses (one on the first floor, one on the second floor). I was able to gain access after hours, but be aware the doors may be locked when you arrive!
The Run Disney penny press will be hard to get to. Its location at ESPN Wide World of Sports is open only periodically, and the on-line schedule of events at that building is unreliable (an event for this week had a link to a 2016 event). The building is now called the Visa Athletic Center; it was recently changed from Jostens Center and J Center.
New signs at the Magic Kingdom tell guests they can get change at cashiers.
The new 8-die zinc-dispensing machines at Hollywood Studios (two at Once Upon a Time, Tower of Terror, Celebrity 5 & 10) are not pressing well. The vast majority of coins roll slightly short, cutting the design off at or before the border dots. A fair number of coins are also pressing off center, although the full design remains visible.
The Cirque du Soleil machine is retired. The building will be used again for a new show with more of a Disney theme (date uncertain), but Disney Security tells me the interior has been completely gutted to prepare for the new show. Nearby, DisneyQuest was demolished in late 2017 and its two DQ machines retired. The Wreck-It Ralph machines were transferred to the Art of Animation Resort.
The two Port Orleans presses added in 2017 are easy to access. One is in the French Quarter lobby; the other is adjacent to the lobby outside Scat Cat’s Club (it’s not at the food court). Both are accessible 24/7.
For those who like to bend the rules, I was able to manipulate the dime press at Space Mountain/Tomorrowland Light & Power Co. to accept pennies. I’m selling a couple sets pressed on zinc pennies on the website.
Penny books update: Although I have seen Ebay listings for a new Disneyland book, all the merchandise locations at Disney World were still selling the 2016 version and the Pixie book. For samples (as well as other Disney penny books) see the link here.
The store at Test Track (Epcot) is now called SIMporium.