Sometimes it's hard to escape going to the Happiest Place on Earth without coming home with some kind of souvenir. Luckily, my boys have become infatuated with the cheapest of Disneyland souvenirs - pressed pennies (also known as elongated pennies, smashed pennies & sometimes called squished pennies). Okay, okay, it's not actually the cheapest souvenir, there is a 48¢ sucker that holds that claim, but at 51-ish¢ (I say ish, because they actually only cost 50¢, you get the penny back), the Disneyland pressed penny is quite a deal.
If you are new to pressed pennies, you might be surprised to hear that it can be serious business. In fact, there are entire websites dedicated to the subject. You also might not realize that there are over 100 places in Disneyland, California Adventure & Downtown Disney that you can squish your pennies, & you can also find machines that press quarters & nickels as well.
While researching the "subject matter" I came across THIS website that had some great penny pressing tips I thought I'd pass along:
1. Use pre-1982 pennies – they contain more copper and thus hold their (new) shape better. You can buy rolls of these older pennies on Ebay in preparation.
2. Pickup a copy of the Pressed Penny Map at the Guest Services Desk when you enter the park. Takes the guessing out of where all the stations are. Also, some of the machines are only around for a short period of time, so you want to be sure to add those to your collection while they are available.
3. When you put your penny in the slot, along with the quarters, make sure the head of the penny is facing out and is upright.
4. Be careful when cleaning your pressed pennies – some are highly valuable and harsh cleaners can ruin them. Doubtful that would be a problem for most of us casual collectors, but good to know, just in case someone gifts you a rare Disney elongated coin (that is the fancy, collector name for pressed pennies).
5. If you are going to press more than a couple pennies, you might want to invest in a pressed penny book to store your loot. You can find these at most of the shops in the Park.
So there you have it, just about everything you've even wanted, or could possibly need to know about one of Disneyland's cheapest souvenirs. (However if you should happen to want to know more, go HERE for all kinds of wonderful information.) As mentioned earlier, you can always pick up a Pressed Penny Map at Guest Services upon arrival at Disneyland. But, if you want an easy to print guide of Disneyland pressed pennies go HERE. Happy collecting!
image by addixon777 via flickr.