Welcome to The Disneyland® Guide for Families (Unofficial). You don't have to be part of a family to use this reference guide. By all means, anyone is welcome to use it. Just find what is useful for you and your situation.

This blog began it's life as a manuscript for a book that was never published, so there is a ton of content here. The bulk of the information that is only occasionally updated is listed under the "Chapters", and will probably be where you spend most of your time. The "home" page has additions that are more like comments on current events related to the Disneyland® Resort, or just fun things that I continue to find.

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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pressed Pennies: Inexpensive and Collectable Souvenirs

Since my name is “Penny” you’d think that pressed pennies would’ve been a life long collection. Nope. It started for me at Disneyland in 1989. I got my first two smashed pennies (Mickey Rays) at the penny arcade on Main Street USA. I wore them in a pair of penny loafers during my college years. Finally the shoes wore out, and I had the presence of mind to salvage my “Mickey” pennies. They floated around in a jewelry box until I got serious about collecting the elongated pennies and purchased a collectors album. Over the years I just happened to acquire 35th anniversary and 45th anniversary pennies. So I was eagerly looking forward to getting a penny celebrating the 50th anniversary. I wasn’t able to attend that year, but my sister (who truly loves me) promised to look for one for me. Come to find out, they had an entire collection that celebrated the 50th anniversary. Fifty different pennies, one for each year. My sister set about the enormous task of collecting the entire set for my birthday. Here we are only 5 years later, and I’ve seen a 51 penny, 50th anniversary set (one extra penny to display the engraved back, which my sister also got for me), for sale on-line for $300. I kid you not, Three Hundred Dollars. I looked on Ebay and did find it for less, only a mere $175. Considering it costs fifty-one cents each for the pennies, for a total of about $26 and another ten or so for the book, somebody is making a killing on these things.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Elongated coins, pressed pennies, or smashed pennies, whatever you call them; they are a great little souvenir. First of all, they are cheap, 51 cents. Two quarters and the penny you are smashing. There are machines all over the park now, unlike in 1989 when I smashed my first, so there are lots of collecting opportunities. They are easy to carry around with you after you purchase them. And in some cases, they can become worth more than what you paid for them.

I often enjoy the challenge of just stumbling upon the machines as I tour the park, but if you are serious about finding them all, stop by City Hall on Main Street USA and pick up a listing of machine locations throughout the entire resort complex. The time I did, opened my eyes to machines that were in less obvious places like the Disneyland Hotel. Since that was a visit when we were staying at the Disneyland Hotel, I was very happy to acquire that penny.

Oh, and a tip before I end. Use pennies from before 1982, they are all copper and not mostly Zinc like more modern pennies. That way you won’t end up with a “silver” line around the pressed image.

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