Pressed Pennies and Quarters


The following background information on Souvenir Pressed Coins was developed by David Tomita and is presented here with his permission.

There are SO many souvenirs you can choose from at WDW that range from free (like guide maps) to very expensive (limited edition lithographs and figurines). Some of the more economical and fun souvenirs are the Pressed Penny and Pressed Quarter!

The Souvenir Pressed Coin Machines will imprint a design (press) on a penny for two quarters (51 cents total) or on a quarter for four quarters ($1.25 total). This is probably one of the least expensive souvenirs, unless you want to collect all of them! David offers the following tips:

Depending on what penny you use, you may get a smear of zinc (silver looking metal). In 1982, pennies were made with both copper and zinc. Suggest you use pre-1982 pennies.

You might want to get the design pressed onto the "face" of the penny because the "tail" side sometimes leaves parts of the monument and you end up with an incomplete image.

Generally, if you insert the penny so that the "face" side is to the right, that is the side that will be pressed with the design. Also the quarter to the far left tends to be the quarter that gets pressed in Quarter Presses.


Most theme park gift shops and other shopping locations sell books specifically designed to hold your newly pressed coins. The book sells for about $7 (Bonnie Corso)


I just wanted to add that it's best to use older pennies in the pressed penny machines. Starting in the middle of 1982, the US Mint switched from copper pennies to zinc pennies with a thin layer of copper. When you put these pennies through the pressed penny machine, you get a kind of "marble cake" appearance with the zinc sometimes peeking through. Some people like this effect, but I prefer to search through my pennies and find the older ones to use. (John Hayes)


The Images on New Shiny Pennies are a lot clearer than old used Pennies! So I suggest you roll up your pennies and head right to the Bank to exchange for a brand new roll! (Cathy)


Some people like the shine of the new pennies but not the zinc that may show through. Some like the old copper, but they usually lack the shine. What I do is soak my old copper pennies in some vinegar and that shines them up quite a bit. Not quite as shiny as a brand new penny, but it turns them from that brown color to more of a copper color. Try it!! (Debbie)


Actually if you have a little silver cleaner around the house, your older pennies will shine up nice and new with a soft cloth and a little elbow grease. (This is also a helpful tip if you're into collecting the 50 state quarters!) (nkes)


When my husband suggested we collect them on our first trip with our kids I thought it was lame, but it was wonderful. Our girls were 2 and 4 and couldn't read yet, so the pennies were much more fun (and easier to collect) than autographs. Our girls (typical for their age) thought shopping was as much fun as the park itself. Pressed pennies were a great distraction in shops as many have machines. I could look around while the three of them collected pennies. You can pick up a pressed penny locator list at guest relations at each park. the list will tell you where the machines are and describe the presses as well. There is also a Master list for all of WDW. We were able to get a copy of it only at MGM. The machines are located in all the resorts as well as Downtown Disney. Pennies from the parks have the park name on it, while those from other places are clean. Some presses are commemorative and available only for a short period of time. When we were there in Jan., each of the resorts had quarter presses that honor the 100 years celebration and have the resort on it. They are pretty cool. This is one of my favorite part of our trips. My husband loves to go and see anything we haven't seen before in WDW and our penny collection is a chronological walk back through our trip. (Ginny Brown)


My husband and I thought we would do this for our daughter when we went in September. But most of the machines were not working. The gift shop attendants gave us other places to look for the machines, but we found that most of them were not in working order. Hopefully and surely, they have repaired the machines by now. Because we would still like to do this for our daughter when we return to Disney on March 23, as well as get her started with a Disney pin collection. Evidently, these machines go down very easily for some reason. I just hope they have them fixed by the time we return. I think we managed to come home with only one pressed penny to show for our trip (September 2001). We went to Magic Kingdom twice, Epcot and MGM studios during a whirlwind long weekend trip and would like to have had more than just one pressed penny to present to our daughter upon our return. (Rebekah P. Brashier)