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Top 5 pressed-penny machines at Universal Orlando

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I have a confession: I didn’t care much about pressed pennies until I became a parent. When I was younger, they were okay to collect for a bit, but now that I have a youngster of my own, I am back to having fun with them. They do make for an inexpensive souvenir at Orlando’s theme parks, and the interaction with your child – selecting the design they want and helping to make the machine work – is a fun memory itself.

There are so many pressed-penny locations throughout Universal Orlando Resort that I’ve decided to help you spend your pennies wisely. Here are my picks for the top five – plus a few bonuses, too.

5. Marvel superheroes throughout Marvel Super Hero Island

Pressed pennies at Universal Orlando Resort
Pressed pennies at Universal Orlando Resort

With so many superheroes in the Marvel Universe, it comes as no surprise that there are lots of locations in Marvel Super Hero Island. I am pretty sure this land inside Islands of Adventure has the most machines in all of Universal, in fact. Heading to Marvel Boutique, the merchandise shop that The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man exits into, as well as the Marvel Alterniverse Store across the street will result in multiple opportunities to press those pennies.

Naturally, Marvel Boutique has two Spider-Man-themed machines, including designs featuring the baddies Venom and the Green Goblin. These are both a little rough to get to, though, as the store has a constant flow of guests pouring into it from the exit of the Spidey attraction.

(Pro-tip: if you are a big fan of the Avengers, then you’ll want to consider heading to Islands of Adventure Trading Company at the front of the park. There, you will find a location that produces a set of eight pennies, each one a different Avenger.)

4. Jaws/Amity Island

Pressed pennies at Universal Orlando Resort
Pressed pennies at Universal Orlando Resort

Quite simply, if you’ve been a fan of Universal Orlando for a long time, you have to make a stop at the pressed-penny machine located in San Francisco, across from Chez Alcatraz. You can find it facing the iconic Bruce the shark photo-op along the lagoon. This one is all about Jaws, with designs to choose from. Heck, even the machine itself is nautical-looking!

(Pro-tip: inside the San Francisco Candy Factory, you’ll find another opportunity to press pennies. This one currently has three designs: one for The Secret Life of Pets, one for Trolls, and one for Back to the Future. So, if you’re a retro Universal Orlando fan, be sure to head here, too! )

3. Retro attractions at Universal Legacy Store

Pressed pennies at Universal Orlando Resort
Pressed pennies at Universal Orlando Resort

Speaking of old Universal attractions, visiting the Universal Legacy Store in CityWalk is a must. This shop has everything fans of the original Universal Studios Florida will love; there is not only lots of merchandise, but the decor is also full of props, blueprints, models, and other cool items, too. And part of the retro celebration is the chance to press some pennies with the designs of four original rides: Back to the Future, Jaws, E.T. Adventure, and Kongfrontation.

2. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Islands of Adventure Trading Company

Pressed pennies at Universal Orlando Resort
Pressed pennies at Universal Orlando Resort

To keep with the immersive theming of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there are no pressed-penny spots in either Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley. However, over in Port of Entry, you’ll find the massive Islands of Adventure Trading Company, which has, in the Harry Potter merchandise section, a machine that features eight different designs. Any wizarding fan will love these!

1. Jurassic World/Velocicoaster grand opening

Pressed pennies at Universal Orlando Resort
Pressed pennies at Universal Orlando Resort

You can press pennies at two different locations inside Jurassic Park: one outside the merchandise shop near Jurassic Park River Adventure, and the other near the restrooms that are close by the splashdown portion of that attraction.

This second machine currently features two dinosaur designs, including a special one commemorating the grand opening of Jurassic World VelociCoaster. There’s no indication of how long this particular penny will be available, so if you’re heading to Islands of Adventure anytime soon, add this to your must-do list.

Honorable mention – Margaritaville

Pressed pennies at Universal Orlando Resort
Pressed pennies at Universal Orlando Resort

I’ve got to admit my own bias. I am a big Jimmy Buffett fan, and it is the Margaritaville at Universal Orlando that made me that way. (It was also the catalyst for making me an annual passholder.) So, the pressed-penny opportunity here at the Smuggler’s Hold gift shop is, naturally, a favorite of mine. There are eight Margaritaville designs that any Parrothead will love – one of which is a special Margaritaville Orlando deal.

Bonus honorable mention – CityWalk “I survived” collection

Pressed pennies at Universal Orlando Resort
Pressed pennies at Universal Orlando Resort

These next two locations deserve their own call-out. They are situated outside the Universal Cinemark, and they feature some of the best designs for park-goers (even though they’re not in the parks!). Each machine has four images total, the majority of which features multiple Universal attractions. There are even a few “I survived” ones, including for The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Jurassic Park River Adventure, and Jaws, which is (sadly) long gone.

The best of the rest – Islands of Adventure

Pressed pennies at Universal Orlando Resort
Pressed pennies at Universal Orlando Resort

During my time researching pressed pennies throughout Universal Orlando, I snapped photos of a lot of machines. I came across a whole bunch more at Islands of Adventure that are also worth including in this list, even though I do not consider them to be in the top five:

  • Hulk, Daredevil, and Spider-Man with a 2003 stamp at Islands of Adventure’s Entrance Hunhow Plaza
  • SpongeBob SquarePants characters at Islands of Adventure Trading Company
  • Dr. Seuss characters with “Islands of Adventure” written in Seussian font at Mulberry Street Store
  • Popeye characters (check out the puns on the sides of the machine!) at the Toon Extra store

Penny for your (final) thoughts

Be sure to read the full instructions before you press any pennies – there are three different kinds of machines, including a hand-crank one, a push-button one, and eight coin-collection ones.

Each machine accepts $1.00 bills, as well as credit cards. Be careful with your card, though! Many of these machines will automatically charge you $3.00 and spit out each of the three designs it houses. Also, please note that you don’t need to bring your own pennies – they’re supplied for you, and, for the most part, they are nice and shiny and new.

Finally, one last warning: please use caution, because you may end up like me and become a newly minted pressed-penny collector without even realizing it!


Do you have a favorite location to press your vacation pennies? Or is there a different collectible you hunt down at Universal Orlando? Share your stories with 125,000+ other theme-park fans in our Orlando Informer Community on Facebook.

And be sure to follow Orlando Informer on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest news and tips at Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World, and other Orlando destinations.

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Florida Villas Orlando
Florida Villas Orlando
January 9, 2013 5:04 am

I’m a sucker for Jaws memorabilia – but I had no idea you could get these pennies! I love the graphic they’ve chosen for it. It’s such an iconic image.

Best wishes, Alex.

Ann
Ann
January 30, 2013 12:41 pm

At Disneyland, we were able to get a listing of all of the penny pressing machines throughout the parks.  Is there something similar at Universal Orlando?

OrlandoInformer
Admin
OrlandoInformer
January 30, 2013 12:43 pm
Reply to  Ann

Unfortunately Universal doesn’t publish an official list of machines. But there are a lot, I’d say at least 20 machines in each park.

Jerry
Jerry
February 6, 2013 9:48 pm

Omg would i do for a back to the future one!!! I used to have all the pennies from all the machines when i did a little “Penny” hunt when i went in the summer because before i went i knew! Hey they have these at six flags im sure they have them at universal but then i lost the bag!!!! :/

KrystalTa
KrystalTa
March 3, 2013 12:08 pm

Is the classic monster penny press located at Monsters Cafe?

OrlandoInformer
Admin
OrlandoInformer
March 3, 2013 1:26 pm
Reply to  KrystalTa

I’m checking with Derek, the author of the post. If he doesn’t recall, I’ll track it down during my visit to Universal this week!

derekburgan
derekburgan
March 3, 2013 1:59 pm
Reply to  KrystalTa

Hi Krystal, there is no machine in the Monsters Cafe. Looking through my pictures of all the pennies, I’m pretty sure the machine with the four classic monsters is located in the main gift shop at the front of Universal Studios Florida. I say that because right near my pictures of the monsters was a picture of a machine that had pennies for Jaws and ET, and that machine is in that particular gift shop. Hope that helps!

KrystalTa
KrystalTa
March 3, 2013 11:06 pm
Reply to  derekburgan

Thanks so much I’m going to keep an eye out for it when I return later this year, the pressed pennies are one of my favorite things to bring home!

derekburgan
derekburgan
April 20, 2013 9:53 am
Reply to  KrystalTa

Hi Krystal, went last week and verified the classic Universal monsters pressed penny machine is in main merchandise store located at the front of Universal Studios Florida. Its located in the front part of that store (closest to the turnstyles).

Orlando resident
Orlando resident
September 7, 2014 11:01 am

You can locate the various pressed pennies in Orlando through PennyCollector.com . They also have an app you can upload to your phone to search for area penny machines (pictures of the pressed pennies included along with the specific location of each machine).
My kids and I just recently got into the penny machines. Can’t wait until they have a Harry Potter collection! 🙂

About Dani

Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams-come-true, Dani has always had a passion for tourism and hospitality. She is a proud Orlando native who loves sharing her hometown with others. With work experience in theme parks, hotels, and reputation management she brings this background to her freelance writing endeavors. Follow her adventures on Twitter at @thisfloridalife.

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