Six new penny designs have been placed to commemorate Animal Kingdom’s 20th anniversary. They also jointly promote the Disney Conservation Fund.
All three coins at the Conservation Station machine (in the Rafiki’s Planet Watch area of the park) have been replaced. In addition, at the Outpost shop at the AK entrance,
one coin in one machine and two in another have been replaced. Update: the 3 coins were originally distributed in 2 Outpost Shop machines, but were rearranged a few days later and now are found in a single machine
Conservation Station: adult Simba; Timon; Pumbaa
Outpost Shop (all from Up movie): Russell; Dug; Kevin the bird
Conservation Station: Donald with map; Goofy & giraffe; Simba & friends
Outpost Shop: Safari Minnie Mouse; Shere Khan; Safari Pluto
Will the old designs re-appear after the anniversary year? It seems Disney has changed the name of the conservation fund, so I’m not sure they’ll bring back the Conservation Station designs.
It’s always a challenge to determine the appropriate catalog numbers for designs that have been repeated many times in the parks. We don’t always know which machine created the coins unless we pressed them ourselves and kept track.
I have been sorting through the Disney World Rainforest Cafe pennies lately, trying to make sense of the similar designs. What follows is a set of identifiers for 5 of the retired penny designs. It is important to develop identifiers that do not require you have samples of competing coins in hand. I relied on the photos (and catalog numbers) from Presscoins.com to make comparisons and then examined the known examples in my collection. The down side: For every two coins, I had only one of the pair. Therefore I was entirely dependent on the attributions made at the Presscoins website.
When analyzing photos, it is important to take into account different lighting, focus, and die wear. In addition, coins can roll short, so we have to avoid relying too much on details along the edges. Sometimes we have no choice, though .
With that in mind, here are my comparisons for:
- The gorilla coin, AK0061 & DTD0021
- The jumping frog coin, AK0063 & DTD0022
- The butterfly coin, AK0066 & DTD0018
- The reclining frog coin, AK0067 & DTD0019
- The goldfish coin, AK0068 & DTD0020
Some other coins are proving more difficult to analyze:
- The frog logo coin with the head beyond the border, AK0064 & DTD0024
- The frog logo coin with the head inside the border, AK0065 & DTD0017
- The parrot coin, AK0062 & DTD0023
Presscoins.com is reporting that as of December 27 the new 2018 coins have already been placed at the All Star Resorts and Animal Kingdom. It is expected there will be 15 coins again (8 pennies, 7 quarters) in the same locations, but the quarter machine found in 2017 at the Stage One store (near the Muppets show) is currently unavailable due to construction. Since Disney did a good job with the dated coins in the past, we expect the machine will be moved somewhere else.
Meanwhile, in California the holiday nickel sets are on stage at Disneyland and California Adventure, reports Parkpennies.com.
UPDATE: Presscoins.com reports that, as of January 2, three 2018 coins were not yet on-stage: the Grand Floridian 2nd-floor lobby (penny), the Rock Around the Shop store at Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster (penny), and the quarter machine at Stage 1 Company Store (the “Muppets” store), which is closed off behind a construction wall.
I confirmed visually and by talking with a manager that there are no penny presses in Pandora – the World of Avatar.
The manager mentioned I was the second person that day to inquire about penny presses, and he promised to inform the merchandising department that there seems to be interest among collectors.
I visited Disney World this week and have many small items to report:
Despite its inclusion on the “official” maps, the Pioneer Hall machine is gone.
The arcade machines at the Yacht & Beach Club and Animal Kingdom Lodge have been moved outside the doors from inside the arcades, offering 24-hour access.
The reason the Contemporary Resort machines were moved inside the arcade: the lobby where they used to reside has been taken over by Disney Security to screen bags and people before they get on the monorail. The other resorts on the monorail line have also introduced screening at the monorail entrances.
Although the camera shop and Celebrity 5 & 10 have fully reopened at Hollywood Studios, the machine that used to occupy the corridor between those two stores is gone.
The “official” maps fail to disclose the two machines at Animal Kingdom’s Outpost Shop, but they’re still there.
The Legends of Hollywood machine featuring Cinderella designs is gone, and has been for some time.
The Port Orleans machines have been moving around. Here’s the current status:
- the music themed machine is inside the Jackson Square store at the French Quarter
- the Winnie the Pooh machine is still in Fulton’s General Store at Riverside
- the machine with Steamboat Willie is in the Riverside lobby
- the machine with Grumpy is at the other end of the Riverside lobby
- the machine with Sleepy is at the back of Fulton’s General Store next to the package delivery service counter
- there are no machines in the food courts at either Riverside or French Quarter
At Caribbean Beach Resort, the food court area is being renovated. All machines located in that area (outside Goombay Games arcade) are inaccessible.
Pandora: World of Avatar opened yesterday and there are still no reports of penny presses in Animal Kingdom’s new land. Apparently there is a queue to get into the land, and then additional queues (200-250 minutes) to ride its two attractions.
I will try to get in next week and report my findings.
Disney announced that its new land at Animal Kingdom, “Pandora – World of Avatar” will open to the public on May 27, 2017. It’s still too early to know if penny presses will be placed in that area.
Above: photos showing entrance bridge and construction wall to Pandora