You can't find a better Disney World souvenir for kids than a pressed penny. Not only are they inexpensive (at 51 cents each, they are one of Disney's best souvenir bargains); they are also fun to make. You can make pressed pennies at many different resort and theme park locations. While the machines all look alike, each has a different collection of images, so you can choose just the character or picture you want for your penny.
How to make a pressed penny:
Insert two quarters and a single penny into the slots indicated on the front of the pressed penny machine. Slide the bar with the coins into the slot and pick the design you want printed on your penny. Your penny will drop down into the gears and be flattened and embossed with your chosen design. Your finished penny will drop into a drawer for easy retrieval. The whole process takes less than a minute to complete.
Tip: some machines offer pressed quarters as well, so if your machine isn't working, double check to be sure you are using the correct coin in the correct slot!
Where to find pressed penny machines:
Look for pressed penny machines featuring your favorite Disney rides, characters and attractions in all of the theme parks and resorts. The images offered usually relate to the machine location, so expect to see Splash Mountain-inspired images in Frontierland and country flag images in the World showcase at Epcot.
Pressed penny machine spotting tips:
- You may spot a single machine inside small retail locations. Look for a machine featuring Mickey Mouse wearing a Viking hat at The Puffin's Roost in Norway while you wait to attend the Princess Storybook character meal.
- Most resorts have pressed penny machines — you can spot Safari Minnie and Mickey penny images at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
- Look for pairs of machines at busy restaurants like the Whispering Canyon at the Wilderness Lodge, where you'll find Winnie the Pooh inspired images.
- Visit the Contemporary Resort and find an entire wall of pressed penny machines in a single location, just below the monorail depot. These machines feature classic Disney characters and Contemporary Resort logos.
- Look inside the queue areas of your favorite rides; some rides offer pressed penny machines near the exit or photo pickup area as well.
What to do with pressed pennies:
The pennies are very thin once pressed, so you can use them to accent your Disney scrapbook, autograph book, or just punch a hole in them to make a simple charm. String a set of pennies on a necklace or charm bracelet for an inexpensive and easy Disney boutique project, or simply display them in a folio. You can find pressed penny folios featuring your favorite Disney characters at many theme park and resort retail locations.
Swapping and trading:
If you collect pressed pennies and have a duplicate, or simply want one from another location you may be able to swap for it. Bring your pennies along to pin trading and Vinylmation swap meets and see if you can spot other penny collectors to trade with.
Warning: Pennies, like Disney pins and Vinylmations are addictive, so be prepared with a rolls of coins if your kids begin a collection!