Elongated Coin "Mickey Rays"
The First Elongated Coin
On-Stage at any Disney Park, Circa 1987
Early elongated coins or pressed pennies, vended by coin-operated machines, often had flat images, with limited relief, as shown in the example above from 1987. But, for vended elongated coins, they were state of the art at the time and collectors loved them.
You could watch your own coin being pressed into a neat souvenir of your Disneyland visit. Pressed pennies are a fun, "Disney Quality" collectable souvenir, a memento made to last for a lifetime and for just 51 cents!
Over the first twenty years, both advancements in machine design and engraving skills were evidenced by the elongated coins and souvenir medals shown below.
Elongated Coin Examples from Around the World
Left: Elongated Coin From
The Disneyland Resort, USA
In the 1990s Eurolink began engraving dies for Disney elongated coin penny press machines that featured very nice high-relief "3-D" engraving. The sharper, highly detailed, more realistic images made elongated coins from these machines among the highest quality known, including many of the very popular Magical Milestones series elongated coins.
Center: Magical Coin from
Hong Kong Disneyland
When Hong Kong Disneyland opened in 2005, they offered elongated souvenirs called Magical Coins, pressed on planchets. Of course, the Magical Coins featured state of the art, 3-D hand engraving from the start. Although they have only a small following of elongated coin collectors in the USA today, interest is growing.
(Local regulations did not permit pressing coins in China.) Current laws in the United States do permit penny pressing machines.
Right: Medal from
Tokyo Disneyland Resort
In recent years, Tokyo Disneyland has quickly moved to the forefront of Medal Souvenirs. These High quality engravings starting in 1996, are pressed on planchets and vended as elongated coins are. As you may know, they are extremely popular with Japanese collectors as well as may elongated coin collectors here in the United States. (Pressing coins in Japan is not permitted.)
Tokyo Disneyland also introduced the Elongated Coins of the Month series and has introduced more new coins in 2007 than any other Disney Resort!
Elongated Coins, New or Vintage?
Both Can Be Fun to Collect!
Disney elongated coins, or pressed penny souvenirs as they are casually called, can be a great deal of fun to collect. Pictured and linked above are just a few examples of the "Disney Quality" elongated coins that have earned complements from collectors and guests alike over the past decades. Although there has been some controversy over recent quality changes, both vintage and newer Disney elongated coins make for fun souvenir collecting. They are generally vended from small electric or occasionally hand-cranked penny pressers that often charge just 50-75 cents plus a coin to be mercilessly smashed into a nearly indestructible squished coin souvenir. And it's done right before your own eyes!
The penny smashing machines are commonly located in the amusement park's arcades or points of interest that draw tourists, sightseers, shoppers or penny collectors. Pennies or US cents are the most common canvas for these miniature works of art. However, machines commonly press nickels, dimes or quarters in the United States. In foreign countries, Disney Resorts often use planchets or slugs as substitutes for real coins. No matter if you choose to collect new or vintage elongated coins or elongated souvenirs pressed on planchets, chances are you'll find the hobby lots of fun. Fellow collectors are easy to find via online groups and TEC, The Elongated Collectors Organization.
Collecting elongated coins reminds many park guests of the fun days they have spent at Disney amusement parks. They also encourage the advanced collector to visit parks they may not have visited if not for the promise of a waiting penny press machine. Personally, we started collecting California points of interest elongated coins in about 1978. However, in a short time, we narrowed our collection down to Disneyland Park. Soon, Disneyland Park was joined by Tokyo Disneyland, then Disneyland Park became Disneyland Resort with the addition of Disney's California Adventure. Before long Tokyo DisneySea, Hong Kong Disneyland, Disneyland Paris all were offering elongated souvenirs too! Needless to say, today our collection isn't as narrow as we thought it would be. But, it keeps us visiting Disneyland and trading with new elongated coin friends around the world. FUN!
Collecting elongated coins can be a wonderful hobby. If you are not already collecting, why not press a penny next time you visit a vacation spot, aquarium, family run amusement park, Sea World, zoo, Walt Disney World, Six Flags or state fair? After all, pressing a penny: 51 cents; lifetime keepsake of your day: priceless!
Early Disney coins from 10 or 20 years ago are often costly nowadays. But, some of the same machines that vended elongated coins years ago are waiting to press a 51 cent coin for you today. A coin which pressed today will eventually be 10 or 20 years old too. Interested in seeing more? Do visit our Disneyland Elongated Coin Collections page for an overview and links.
Happy Collecting, Boomer
Note: When collectors talk about Disney elongated coins, they most always complement both the design and execution of the design in the finished product. Disney has for two decades now, kept a keen eye on providing superior pressed coin souvenirs, advancing the quality of the souvenirs when possible, as shown at the top of this page. However, in contrast to the excellent, state of the art hand engraving examples shown here, a few recent elongated coins have "parted from the path of improvement". So, I've added, per your requests, a few recent examples of what are alleged to be "CNC" or computer engraved dies. We trust that these lesser quality coins will not become the standard for the park. If you'd like to read about them please see our article about Changes in Disneyland Elongated Coin Design and Quality.