Disney World Pressed Penny Collecting Guide
Pressed pennies often get touted in ‘cheap’ Disney World souvenirs for kids lists, but most guests overlook just how many different designs are available and how much fun it can be to hunt down a favorite character or collect a series. I admit, I never paid a lot of attention to the machines over the years even though we always seemed to pick up a couple pressed pennies each trip. While staying at the Grand Floridian on our last trip, my wife and daughter went over to the machine located at the bus stop and discovered they had a Si & Am coin. Not only are those my wife’s favorite characters, but it is also rare to find any Si & Am merchandise. After this find I decided to see what else was out there. To my surprise there are around 100 pressed coin machines on Disney World property with well over 300 designs! Looks like I found yet another reason to spend time at Disney World.
OK, so now where to begin? There are some great resources, which I’ll list below, that show locations, designs, and even checklists. But first the details. To make a pressed coin you insert coins for the fee plus the coin for pressing, for example 2 quarters plus a penny for a pressed penny machine, then press the coin. Sadly, many of the hand cranked machines have been replaced with fully automated versions where you just push the button. That takes a lot of the fun away for kids since they don’t get to ‘make’ the coin themselves. Also, some of the automated machines drop a penny from a bin instead of directly feeding yours into the die, so you can’t always expect that shiny coin you brought will be the one which pressed.
- Pressed pennies cost 51 cents
- Pressed dimes cost 85 cents
- Pressed quarters cost $1.25
Where to find pressed coin machines and specific designs
The company that owns the machines at Disney World, Create the Memories, has a full listing on their website with maps and individual designs pictured. Click here to go to the main page of their website, then select a specific park or resort to see what designs are available.
Need a printable checklist? Disney posts an updated pdf file every so often which lists the machines and designs (no images though). These lists are handy as a quick look up when trying to find a specific character or marking off designs you are collecting on a trip. Click here for Disney World and Disneyland lists.
Another great source, PressCoins.com, keeps tabs on the elongated coin machines around Disney World and reports changes on their blog.
Tips for Collecting Pressed Coins
- Collect some pre-1982 pennies for pressing. 1982 and later pennies are mostly zinc and don’t always have a uniform finish when pressed.
- Shine up your pennies before pressing. Brasso works well, though my favorite cleaner is Taco Bell hot sauce. Soak them a few minutes and wipe off; good as new! Do not use anything acidic to clean 1982+ pennies after pressing as it can turn the zinc streaks black.
- Find a handy carrying tube for your pennies that will easily fit in your pocket. Best options will hold quarters & pennies in a stack for easy use. Candy containers, old pill bottles (wash & remove labels), etc.
- Look over the charts and come up with a scavenger hunt based on favorite characters, series, etc. while you’re touring the Parks.
- Check souvenir shops at Disney World for pressed penny albums to store your pennies.
- Wash your pressed pennies with a mild soap or dish detergent, dry thoroughly, and store in a Ziploc or other airtight container to help prevent oxidation.
- Use your pressed pennies for scrap booking or make some jewelry! There are plenty of tutorials available on the internet for making charms, bracelets, etc.
Collecting pressed pennies in the Disney parks, or anywhere you travel, is a cheap and easy way to take home a unique souvenir. They also don’t take up much room! If you have any tips of your own feel free to post them in the comments below. Happy hunting!