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Musings from the Disneyland Penny Arcade, 2005
First, the coins! Three 2005’s arrived today, January 1st, 2005. Two of them are dated 2005. All coins from both the Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Park feature the same DISNEYLAND RESORT stampback and dot borders. Two of them as you can see, also offer excellent 3-D images.
This collector can’t help but notice that Disney Magic and Eurolink Magic can make for a nice ec.
Now the story! As many "Advanced Collectors" do, I’ve spent so much time at the Main Street Arcade that some Cast Members think I’m a fellow employee working undercover! Now, many of us may remember a friendly Arcade Technician, who while repairing a machine that someone jammed, might ask us about pressed penny collecting. I’ve also noticed Cast Members will occasionally offer a Machine Location Guide. But, given my marketing background, I was sorry not to see or be part of a customer survey. Maybe I just missed them?
Well, early one morning in June this last summer, while pressing pennies at the Main Street Penny Arcade, I was greeted by a new member of the Arcade Team, a Cast Member that I hadn't noticed in the park before. (You may know who I’m talking about.) Now usually, as you may know, when an "Advanced Collector" sees a Cast Member that is familiar with the penny presses or may have some inside information about an upcoming penny, the advanced collector will corner the poor sole and question him without end. But, this time, the Cast Member approached me and asked some very good questions. The kind of "front line" customer research I read about in business school, but rarely have seen in real life. He let me know that to him arcade visitors are important. It was obvious to me that he is a Cast Member that has a real interest in advancing the Arcades.
It’s no secret here that many readers have emailed Boomer at ParkPennies.com to enthusiastically mention this new "Cool Arcade Guy" and his interest in "our" hobby. Some knew his name others just described him and asked ParkPennies to write a good word about him. When I spotted the 2005 machines on-stage on 1/1/05, I just couldn’t put off writing something any longer. Yes, I too feel efforts to build and support our hobby should be acknowledged...Did I hear someone ask "So, who is he!?"
As regular ParkPennies.com readers are aware, there have been changes in the management of the arcades and with them changes in who manages our beloved penny presses. From what ParkPennies has heard, the arcades were added to Mr. Mike Widen’s territory under Disneyland Resort Store Op’s Support. Also, this last year Mr. Jack Steiner, the much appreciated Manager of the Arcades, reached his retirement. (To read the ParkPennies.com story of Mr. Steiner’s retirement and the elongated coin in his honor, click here.) This made for the new team of Mr. Mike Widen and in Mr. Steiner’s position, the enthusiastic Cast Member that impressed me back in June, Mr. Alex Rosie. My hat is off to Mr. Widen. From this desk, the choice of Mr. Rosie looks like a good one. Based on my observations, I think he’ll become a real star to penny press fans. Recent improvements make the point.
The Arcade Management Team and their very dedicated staff have already implemented things that have brought positive emails to this web site. Some of them are:
Improved Disneyland Machine Location Guides Are now available at Guest Services, City Hall and the ’net. (At the time this article was first written, while Mr. Rosie was in charge of the Arcade, these machine location guides were kept current. Do check the Disney web site for the latest official list.)
The introduction of "Stampbacks". How cool! A picture on both sides of the coin and at the same price! The only Disney Park to have them is Disneyland. Most importantly, as many ParkPennies.com readers have hoped, stampbacks have not been "added" to any existing dies.
Many new coins. Even some that are themed as sets.
Timely introduction of dated coins. 2004 coins were removed late in 2004 and 2005 dated coins were on-stage 1/1/05. Tokyo Disneyland, you’ve got some competition!
Much improved machine operation. Machines are now set to press coppers and zincs so collectors get full rolls on their coppers. Also, requests for adjustment are welcomed by the park penny press specialists.
Improving repair response. The on site repair while you wait ended some years ago and I for one surely miss it. But, I must say that on 1/1/05 I reported a jammed machine at Disney’s Grand Californian Acorn Gift Shop. It was cleared and operating when I returned an hour or two later.
A cool "grass roots" Disneyland Arcade Shop web site. The site often mentioned here on ParkPennies, was created late in 2004 and offers pictures of some current arcade projects and the Official Machine Location Lists. Now collectors won’t miss a new machine thanks to this extra guest effort by members of the Arcade Shop.
The introduction of Official framed Disneyland Pressed Penny Sets Offered via Disney Auctions. (Read the ParkPennies.com story about them here.) Many collectors have asked for framed sets, dies, marquees and other penny press collectibles. Maybe there will be more in 2005.
A new nickel press. The favorite coin of this collector and many readers. Disneyland has always been the exclusive vendor of Disney pressed nickels. Now they have a second machine for a total of four different coins on-stage as this article is written.
More dated coins. The number one favorite "type" of Disneyland pressed penny based on ParkPennies emails.
Yes, of course, collectors have more wishes. I think, with this momentum, we may just see them happen. Looks like 2005 just may be The Year Of The Penny Press.
If you see a member of the Arcade Team at the park, please do say thanks. They have made extra efforts for us and the hobby lately. (Also, don’t forget to question them mercilessly about upcoming coins and report back here.)