Thursday, April 8, 2021

More Pressed Pennies, & Other Souvenir Coins From Disneyland

Back in March of 2016, I did a post about "pressed pennies" from various amusement parks and tourist attractions. In that post, I stated, "Believe it or not, I don't own one single pressed penny from a Disney park."  Well, I was wrong! I can't believe it, but I somehow managed to forget about the following pressed pennies within my collection of Disneyland souvenirs. I came across these recently and of course after seeing them, NOW I remember them!

Okay, these are actually pressed nickels, instead of pennies, but that's a minor technicality. These are from circa 1995. Note the nickel at the top, promoting Disneyland's 40th anniversary, and the one below it, which was available for the New Year:

These pennies represent Mickey Mouse, the Disneyland Hotel, and various attractions or "lands" within the park.

These nine pennies were all available back in the nineties, from machines located inside the Adventureland Bazaar. The top three are all characters from The Lion King (which was released in 1994), the next three represent various scenes in Adventureland, including the Indiana Jones Adventure (which opened in 1995), and the bottom three are all characters from Aladdin, (which was released in 1992).

Next, we will take a look at some Disneyland "commemorative" souvenir coins.

First up is this coin that I purchased in the Main Street Emporium, back in 1980.

The reverse side is divided into six sections for each of the park's "lands," with the exception of Bear Country.  I guess they thought they would solve that problem by putting two of the characters from the Country Bear Jamboree attraction, under the "Frontierland" heading.

The coin was "mounted" within a cardboard square, with a circular cut-out.  The cardboard was "flocked" with a material which makes it feel a bit like velvet.  The coin and it's mounting were then placed inside this clear plastic case.

I purchased this next coin at the same time as the one above.  Both coins are just a little larger than one and a half inches in diameter (or slightly larger than an Eisenhower silver dollar).  This coin was made specially for Disneyland's 25th anniversary.

The reverse side:


As can be seen by the original price tag, this coin cost a dollar more than the non-anniversary souvenir coin.

This 30th anniversary coin from 1985, was smaller in size than the previous two coins (about the size of a quarter), and came in a small cardboard box with a clear plastic lid.

The reverse side:

The price of the 30th anniversary coin was $2.50 more, than the one for the 25th anniversary, five years earlier.

For the 35th anniversary in 1990, the souvenir coins went back to their previous size.

The reverse side:

The 35th anniversary coin actually came down in price, and was only .95 cents more than the commemorative coin for the park's 25th anniversary:

I had an annual pass in 1995, and went to the park quite a bit that year, but I never saw a souvenir coin for the park's 40th anniversary (other than the "pressed nickel" seen at the top of this post).

In 2000, there was a coin available for the park's 45th anniversary.

The reverse side:

For those keeping track, the price had now doubled in the twenty years that had passed, since the 25th anniversary coin.

At one time, Disneyland used to have special events, such as "Viva Mexico" days and "Festival Japan" days.  These events celebrated other countries and their cultures, and sometimes featured special merchandise.  This coin was available during the park's "Festival Japan" days, in 1984.

The reverse side:

 And this one was available the following year, in 1985:

The reverse side:


This is my oldest souvenir coin from Disneyland.  It features the Chicken of the Sea Mermaid on one side.......

.....and the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship, on the other side.  I wish I knew the story on these coins.  Were they sold in the park?  Or were they given out free, in order to promote Chicken of the Sea products?

This Jack Skellington coin is from December of 2006.  It was free with the purchase of a meal, at the park's Cafe Orleans and French Market restaurants.

The coin was just one out of a series of thirteen, all with different facial expressions of Jack's.

All of the coins had this image of the Haunted Mansion (Holiday) on the reverse side:

We will end this post with a couple of arcade "tokens."  This one was available at the Starcade, in Tomorrowland.

And this token was available at "Flynn's Arcade," during the special nighttime event, "Electronica," at Disney's California Adventure.  Both the event and the arcade, opened in the Fall of 2010, and closed in the Spring of 2012.

For anyone who might be interested, here is the link to my previous blog post (from five years ago) on souvenir Pressed Pennies, which includes pennies from Universal Studios, Magic Mountain, Knott's Berry Farm, and more.


Andrew said...

Nice, I love collecting pressed pennies, since they're cheap, but you have to be careful not to lose them. I have a few collecting books for them, and I have a bunch from a lot of different places, including many amusement parks. I have the exact same Jungle Cruise penny as you, except it says "Magic Kingdom" instead of "Adventureland" at the bottom. I also have ones from the Country Bear Jamboree, Muppet-Vision 3D, Space Mountain, and Epcot's Land pavilion. If I ever get bored, I'll post all 85 of my pressed pennies...

I really like the Chicken of the Sea coin. In fact, I like it so much that I'm going to go buy it for $298.50 on eBay right now.

The Starcade token is neat! I wonder how many of those are still out there. And finally, good job on not using old, dirty pennies, which I often do! :-) Thanks for the fun post!

DrGoat said...

Nice collection TM. Nothing like the feeling of the weight of a nice coin in your hand. I've got a couple that now I have to find somewhere. I know that 1980 one is in a drawer somewhere. The only other one I have that I remember has giant Tinkerbell on it. I'll check it out.
Nice collection of pennies too! I have some but they are all from the Penny Arcade.
The pressed nickels are really cool. I guess I missed that machine. We were there in April of '95 for the Indiana Joes ride opening and I don't remember coming across them!
Your 25th anniversary coin is really cool. I envy the fact that you kept your Disney coins with the boxes they came in with price tags. That blue Walt Disney Productions tag is a beautiful thing.
I'm with Andrew. That Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship coin is only one notch below the lost arc of the covenant. The wear and patina does not detract from it one bit! Good as a real gold doubloon, as it were, Matey. $298.50 is a bit of money but owning that beautiful thing is worth it.
Great stuff Tokyo. Between you and the Major, you have a wealth of precious objects.
Thanks for sharing it with us.

TokyoMagic! said...

Andrew, pressed pennies are a nice and inexpensive souvenir. I have thought about collecting the more recent ones from Disneyland. The problem is, there are so many and I'm afraid if I were to start, I would want all of them. They had some really nice ones for the park's 60th anniversary, but I resisted.

I had no idea the Chicken of the Sea coin was going for so much on ebay. But then I have to remind myself, just because a seller is asking a certain price, doesn't mean that they are going to get it. But then again, maybe they will! I was fortunate in that mine was given to me by a VERY nice person! I hope they didn't pay that much for it!

I don't think the Starcade token is all that rare. And that one didn't cost much at all. In the fine print, it has the word "Park" underneath "Disneyland," so it can't be too old. I believe they have only been using "Park" on merchandise, since DCA opened. But someone correct me if I'm wrong! From what I've read online (from ebay sellers), I believe this particular Starcade Token was available for purchase within the last 5 years or so, and to annual passholders only. I think at the time they were selling these, there were no longer any arcade machines in the Starcade, so it might have just been a way for Disney to unload all of their old Starcade tokens.

TokyoMagic! said...

DrGoat, I've seen an earlier version of that 1980 coin on ebay. It has the same Castle image, but the reverse side only shows four "lands" and they do not have Space Mountain on them, so I'm assuming those versions date back to before Bear Country.

I know that Indiana Jones coin was from right around the time the attraction opened. The machine was located inside the Adventureland Bazaar, but it was before they installed that giant animated elephant statue above the machines, so they might have been easier to miss back then.

I do love those blue price tags with the Mickey head! It reminds me of happy times spent in the park, shopping for souvenirs.

For a millisecond, I considered trying to clean the patina off of that Chicken of the Sea coin. I quickly decided against it, because I've heard of coins being damaged by people attempting to do just that.

K. Martinez said...

Love your post today! I started to collect pressed pennies during the 50th Anniversary of Disneyland. I don't have a ton, but I do have some.

That Indiana Jones Adventure Temple pressed penny with the cobra is super cool.

I also have one of those Disneyland coins with the six themed lands on the back. I think my favorite for the newer coins is the 1984 Festival Japan coin. I remember those Disneyland festivals for Japan and Mexico back in the day. It's a nice coin and reminds me of Tokyo Disneyland

I do have a coin for the Haunted Mansion Holiday itself. I purchased it as a souvenir when I first rode Haunted Mansion Holiday. Love that coin.

I also remember when Disney was doing "character coins" and I got the Pinocchio coin because it's my favorite of Walt Disney animated feature.

They should've kept the Flynn Arcade or at least made a permanent location out of it. That is from TRON. I like it when Disney creates an area directly related to one of their live-action films.

The Chicken of the Sea coin is very nice. You've got all the cool stuff.
Thanks for sharing that image with us. As Dr. Goat said, you've got some great treasures. Thanks for sharing with us, TM!

DrGoat said...

TM, I found that coin and it's the 45th anniversary with a giant Tinkerbell on one side and a Disneyland logo with 45 years anniversary underneath.
That Chicken of the Sea coin looks great just like it is. Good call.

DrGoat said...

45 years anniversary underneath on the other side. Sorry.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, thanks! I don't remember any of the coins or machines from DL's 50th anniversary. I think after I got those 19 pressed coins, back in the nineties, I stopped paying attention to the machines and their individual coin designs. I think I started paying more attention to them around the time of the 60th anniversary. It seems like there were more machines than ever, during that time.

I miss those "international" weekends, at DL. Wasn't there even a "Canada Days"? The Festival Japan coins also remind me of Tokyo Disneyland, because in that park's early years, that specific design/logo of Mickey and Minnie was used on some of their merchandise.

Your Pinocchio coin sounds nice! Do you remember how many "character coins" they made? I think I must have missed those. I also missed the Haunted Mansion Holiday coin. I bet those were all released during the times that I was not going to the park on a regular basis.

And I agree with you about Flynn's Arcade. I thought even if they were determined to close the arcade at DCA, that they should have moved all of the vintage video games over to the Starcade in Disneyland. It would have been a perfect fit, especially since the "Starcade" sign is still up above the entrance. It's kind of dumb to have a "Starcade" sign up there, and have the space just be an extension of the Mickey's Star Trader shop. But then again, that's the current "Disney" for you!

TokyoMagic! said...

DrGoat, I just did an ebay search for the character coins, which Ken mentioned. It looks like they were released for the 45th anniversary. I didn't see a Tinkerbell coin, but I just bet your coin was a part of that series. Again, I totally missed all of those...or else, I'm just not remembering them. They all look like nice, though!

Major Pepperidge said...

So funny that you forgot about your “pressed pennies” (and nickels), but I know how that goes. It’s easy to put something away and just not see it again for years. I have some pressed pennies from other places (including old ones from the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair and the 1939 New York World’s Fair), but none from Disneyland. I wonder when the concept first appeared?

The coins or medallions are pretty neat, as a former coin collector (from childhood), these satisfy something in my soul! Who doesn’t like a nice chunky piece of bronze with a Disneyland design on it? It really is strange that the Country Bears stood in for Frontierland.

I like the 25th Anniversary coin EXCEPT that it has Walt’s “Disneyland will never be completed…” quote on the back. Used to justify lots of terrible decisions! ;-) Funny that the 30th coin appear to have a blank back (except for the copyright).

But OH MAN, the best one by far is that Chicken of the Sea coin! What a treasure! I’d love to have one of those. The one that Andrew mentioned (on eBay) is in terrible condition, if I ever get one, I hope it’s in better shape.

I do have a Starcade token, which I love even though I never played a single arcade game - I immediately think of that orange tile.

Thanks for another fun post!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, that is weird how I completely forgot about those pennies. But they were all purchased within a short time (if not all on the same day) back in 1995 and then I never bought another pressed penny at the park, again. That is a strange feeling when you come across something that you own and you say to yourself, "Oh, I forgot that I had this!"

According to that L.A. Times article from my last "pressed penny" post, ....pressed coins go back more than 100 years to Vienna, Austria. They were first introduced here in the U.S., at the Chicago World's Fair of 1893....

I agree with you about how "Disney" now uses that quote from Walt, to justify their destruction of the park.....and I don't like it either!

Just the mention of the name "Starcade," also makes me think of all of that orange tile! It also makes me think of that cool chrome 1970s light fixture that hung over the Speedramp, which went up to the arcade's second level. Unfortunately, that was taken down in the nineties, and replaced with an "X-wing fighter."

Chuck said...

I know that feeling of stumbling on something and realizing that you'd totally forgotten you had it. What's even weirder is when you're at a family holiday dinner and run into kids you had totally forgotten about. Awkward...

I have a couple of examples of the brass coin you bought in 1980 that I picked up in the Park in either 1997 or 1998. I think they were $5 each. I carried one for years as a "challenge coin" but lost it when it fell out of my pocket at an outdoor, backyard tea when we lived in England. Multiple searches for it came up empty. It will probably be found by a future archaeologist looking for Roman coins.

TokyoMagic! said...

What's even weirder is when you're at a family holiday dinner and run into kids you had totally forgotten about. Awkward...

Chuck, ha, ha! I'm assuming you mean other family members' kids, and not your own! ;-)

I had to look up "challenge coin" after reading your comment. When I was looking on ebay a couple weeks ago, to see what other souvenir DL coins might be out there, several Mandalorian coins came up, and the sellers were referring to them as "challenge coins." I just figured it must be a reference to something within the show (which I am not watching). Anyway, I am sorry to hear that you lost your souvenir coin, but it sounds like you had a replacement at home?

Chuck said...

I do, but it's never come out of its original packaging. I kind of preferred the way the one I carried looked, as the high relief points gradually became shiny as the fabric in my pocket polished them over time.

I had carried a Magic Kingdom coin for a year or two before I got the Disneyland coin, but I was afraid I would lose that so I started carrying my unit coin (which I also managed to lose that. Then I reverted to a Combat Camera coin I'd had at an earlier assignment, which I carried for the next ten years (for a total of 1
fifteen) until I managed to lose that one in Iraq. That was a huge psychological blow, like losing the carved owl my great grandmother gave to me on my first birthday, and I stopped carrying challenge coins altogether. In Iraq we were under US Central Command's General Order Number One (no alcohol) anyway, so it's not like I was going to buy somebody a beer for being caught without the coin.

They were a huge deal during my time in the Combat Camera community, and you didn't dare get caught without yours. I actually carried a copy of the "rules" in my wallet at all times as our organization played the game a little differently than some others. For example, some units flip the coin on the floor as a check, but for us it was any flat surface except the floor; if a Combat Camera coin hit the floor, the owner bought for the room.

I have seen coin checks in restaurants, bars, on airplanes, volleyball courts, and in swimming pools. One legendary officer I know walked into a gang shower buck naked and one of his enlisted members pulled a coin check on him. He calmly produced a coin from where he had it hidden and that NCO bought a round later that evening. For years the legend circulating was that he was carrying it in his "prison wallet," but I have confirmed since that he actually had it hidden under his soap in his travel soapdish.

We weren't the only community that took the challenge coin to extremes. A Combat Control (that's an Air Force special operations career field) friend of mine used to keep one of his unit coins velcroed to the back of the massive dive watch he wore just in case, and it paid off for him once when his team lead pulled a coin check on the team while they were in free fall during a parachute jump. Then the team lead lost control of his coin and they chased it for several thousand feet trying to
catch it before they had to give up and open their 'chutes. They never heard about anybody being hurt from a falling coin that day, but they decided that maybe free fall coin checks weren't the best idea after all.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, wow....thanks for that additional info about "challenge coins." I had no idea. The shower and parachute stories are particularly interesting. What if that officer had dropped his coin in the shower, and it had gone down the drain? And I can just imagine someone sitting in their living room, watching TV and minding their own business, and suddenly that team lead's coin comes right through the ceiling!

Anonymous said...

Tokyo, this is such fun stuff.

I haven't been much on pressed pennies, but my kids had a few over the years, Monterey Aquarium, Fishermans Wharf etc.

By chance, I found this video a while back, had no idea they were such a big deal at Disneyland.


I have to check around, my Mom might have bought one of those big coins, that would be something she would have gone for.

Chuck, I have a couple of challenge coins from my Scout days. Our Scoutmaster had some made up when he retired, and another from my Leave No Trace trainer. The shower check and the free-fall check are pretty wild. Seems like a lot of work to wangle a free beer.

Our most exotic check was in the bar at Stovepipe Wells hotel in Death Valley. Everyone was packing, which was good. I didn't take mine downrange but had it in the car for return to civilization (if Stovepipe Wells qualifies).


TokyoMagic! said...

JG, thanks for the video link. After watching it, I'm now wondering how much I could get for my DL pennies from 1995! ;-)

The pennies at DL really have become a big deal. For the DL's 60th anniversary, they actually had a free brochure, showing all of the machine locations in DL, DCA, Downtown Disney, and at the hotels. I guess now they want you to find them using their App.

I wonder if your mom could have bought the "pre-Space Mountain" or the "pre-Bear Country" versions of that commemorative coin?

JG said...

Tokyo, I will go look. If we have one, I am pretty sure where it would be and easy to locate. Also likely that it would be of that age or older. Their last trip to the Park was the opening of Space Mountain.


MRaymond said...

I wonder if there is a collector who knows all the different Disneyland coins? I have a coin that I believe is from the 70s, it's only 5 sections on the back (no NOS) and the Tomorrowland section has the Monorail and Subs (No Space). I've had it forever.

TokyoMagic! said...

MRaymond, that's a good question. I bet there is someone out there, who is familiar with all the souvenir DL coins from the past years. I saw so many different DL coins on ebay! There was one that appeared to be given to people who booked a travel package through Disney. Those coins had the "Year Of A Million Dreams" slogan on them (from the late 2000s), and I don't think they could be purchased anywhere in the park.

I also saw a coin on ebay, which looks like what you described of your coin. I like it! I would think that it must be from 1965 or earlier (pre-New Orleans Square), otherwise, I'm sure they would have included it on the coin. The seller is asking $24.99 for it:

For anyone who might be clicking on that link is NOT my auction! Plus, that seller has two "negative feedbacks!" Just an FYI!

MRaymond said...

That's my coin. I remember getting it around 67 or 68, I was still a little guy and I saved up my allowance to get it. The original box was shattered years ago.

TokyoMagic! said...

MRaymond, if your coin is from '67 or '68, then I bet Disney waited until they sold all of their older coins, before selling a new version with New Orleans Square on it.


I picked up one of those Chicken if the Sea coins almost 20 years ago at a postcard and paper show of all places - I figured it was something given to guests at the Jolly Roger restaurant - but over the years I inadvertently began collecting things related to the ship - restaurant- grotto ...despite I have no recollection of ever eating there. I have several grocery store posters from different years with a Disneyland ship tie in for Chicken of the Sea ..... one even used the pre opening 1954 ship model on the poster. One mentions to collect Chicken of the Sea treasure coins with Chicken of the sea purchases and trade them in to your grocer for a “real” coin - I think that is how these coins were distributed .... I think every Purchase there was a paper “treasure” coin and with three paper coins you exchanged them for the metal coin. There a recipe booklet and a product brochure as well showing which items included a paper treasure coin - none of it appears to include tuna but calamari , oysters , clams and other seafood “treasures”.....


I don’t know if you mailed in for the Lucky Coin or if the actual grocer gave you the coin... and I don’t know anyone who has ever seen the paper “coin” was it printed on a paper label? Attached to the can?

TokyoMagic! said...

Mike, thank you so much for all of that information! I really do appreciate it. And that's cool that you have some of the grocery store posters. I bet those are rare!