June 16: still there
The two penny presses that had been moved to the ticket area at DisneyQuest are gone, and likely retired. The Wreck-It Ralph machines are also gone, and may be retired.
When I visited on June 16, Inoventions was down to one machine – the one that includes Figment was located in Innoventions East. By July 7, though, Presscoins.com was reporting that the Figment machine was retired, and the other Innoventions machine had been brought back from retirement and placed at the Epcot Pin Trading station (a new location for a penny press). The official CTM Group maps still show a machine at Innoventions and none at Pin Trading, though. (Those maps are not necessarily accurate)
The D23 convention in Anaheim had lots of news. There was, however, no penny press at this year’s show.
All six presses at the Contemporary have been moved inside the arcade. This means there will no longer be 24-hour access to these machines.
. . . and that means the conversion of the 2016 to possible 2017 dies.
When the dated coin program started at the Emporium, January 1 was the conversion date. As the program expanded to other locations (now 15 machines in the four main parks plus many hotel/resorts), the conversion took longer. For the 2014 series (14 coins), it took five weeks. In 2015 and 2016, it took about four days – the 2016 coins started appearing a couple days before New Year’s Eve.
If you go to the parks, start watching – even before January 1.
Machine locations in 2016:
Penny machines: Magic Kingdom: Emporium, Sir Mickey’s, Splashdown Photos; Epcot: Mouse Gear, Disney Traders; Hollywood Studios: none – machine was moved to Epcot; Animal Kingdom: Chester & Hester’s; Hotels: Grand Floridian, Contemporary Resort
Quarter machines: Magic Kingdom: Main Street railroad station; Epcot: The Land; Hollywood Studios: Stage 1 Company Store (Muppets); Animal Kingdom: Harambe Railroad station; Hotels: Contemporary Resort, All Star Sports, All Star Music
So, if you collect only pennies, you would need to visit 3 parks and 2 hotels (both on the monorail loop) if the locations remain the same. If you also collect quarters, you need to add one park and 2 hotels (both in the All Star area near Animal Kingdom).
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It is a constant struggle to convince new collectors that zinc pennies are not as durable as copper. They think “shiny” means good.
Here’s vivid proof of the problem with zinc pennies. Zinc pennies (in the U.S., they were produced from 1982 to date) are zinc with a thin coating of copper. That thin coating can flake off and often has the appearance of waves. It is unstable and unsightly.
The pennies below were pressed on “shiny new pennies.” You can see that a longer roll stretches that thin copper coating beyond its capacity.
Four multi-die electronic machines have been added in 2016, joining 8-die and 12-die machines.
In addition to the two Star Wars machines at Disney Springs (see separate post), a Marvel machine was placed in the Marvel Superheroes Headquarters store at the Disney shopping district in May.
(above: Marvel set, Frozen set, and Frozen machine)
The fourth machine is another Frozen set, found at the Frozen Fractal Gifts pop-up store in the Echo Lake area of Hollywood Studios. The designs there are different from the other Frozen-themed coins at other locations. The machine was installed in July.
All four machines continue the sins found at the other electronic machines: they charge too much ($1 for a single coin, $5 for all 8), and they supply zinc coins so users cannot use their own preferred copper cents. Nonetheless, I can appreciate the convenience of having the machine press coins while you wait (instead of turning a crank in 95-degree heat) and the acceptance of bills and credit cards to reduce the number of quarters guests must carry.
Downtown Disney at Disney World has been renamed as Disney Springs. The character coins with the Downtown logo have been replaced by coins with the new name. The machine outside Marketplace Fun Finds is the only machine directly affected by this name change, and those coins were replaced in October.
Keep in mind that Disney Quest is slated for permanent closure some time in 2016, so the two machines at that location will become obsolete. The future of the two Wreck-it Ralph machines in that attraction is uncertain.