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PENNY PRESS MACHINES AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS CITYWALK

 

There are four main areas at Universal Studios with penny press machines: the two parks (Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure); the parking structures; and the CityWalk entertainment district that connects the parking structures to the parks.  Unlike Disney World, Universal’s on-site hotel resorts do not have penny press machines.

 

Islands of Adventure has quarter press machines (in addition to pennies).  The other locations have only penny press machines.

 

This article addresses the machines that are not at the parks and is divided into three sections: Parking Structure; Pedestrian Plaza; and CityWalk.

 

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Parking Structure machines: 2 machines, 4 dies each

 

The first machines to be encountered are in the parking structure.  As you enter the parking lots, you do not generally have a choice where to go (there are two parking structures).  Two machines are located on the third level of the Jurassic Park/King Kong/Jaws (north) structure.  The third level contains the moving walkways to the parks and CityWalk.  If you park in this structure, you will see the two machines in the area where the walkways begin.  They are found near the elevators in the Jurassic Park section, which is nearest the walkways to the parks.

 

The walkway takes visitors to a plaza section with a refreshment stand and souvenir stand.  At this point, the walkway to the other parking structure also deposits visitors.  Think of it as a giant “Y,” with the top arms leading to the two parking structures and the bottom leg leading to CityWalk.  Thus, if you park in the south parking structure (Cat in the Hat/E.T./Spiderman), you can take the short walkway to the Jurassic Park structure to find the machines.  On busy days, both parking structures are open and you have easy access to the Jurassic Park garage.  On slow days, though, the Jurassic Park garage may be closed off by a gate at the plaza, and there does not appear to be a way to gain access to these two machines.

 

If you reach the Universal parks without using the garages (such as using a bus or taxi), you can still reach these machines by passing through CityWalk and following the moving walkways to the parking structure.  It only takes a few minutes.

 

Note: The Jaws ride has closed permanently.  It is possible Universal will change the designation of the parking area named after the movie ride.  It is also possible Universal will change the penny press dies that celebrate the ride, but as of April 2012 no change was seen.

 

Designs:

Machine 1 (blue machine): Captain America; “I Survived Jurassic Park Ride”; “The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man”; “I Survived the Hulk Coaster”

 

Machine 2 (black machine): The Simpsons; “I Survived Jaws”; Shrek & Donkey (Shrek 4-D); SpongeBob SquarePants running

 

 

PARKING LOT MACHINE 1

PARKING LOT MACHINE 2

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Pedestrian plaza from parking structure to CityWalk:

4 machines with 4 dies each

 

The walkways from the two parking structures merge at a pedestrian plaza that contains a souvenir stand and refreshment stand.  If you think of the walkways from the parking structures as the arms of the letter “Y,” these machines are located where the two arms join the leg of the letter “Y.”  The four machines are located outside the refreshment/souvenir building.  Even when the building is closed (with gates), the machines remain accessible.

 

Two machines were added in 2011: one with 4 SpongeBob SquarePants dies, and one with 4 Despicable Me dies.  In early 2012 (some time between January 13 and February 26), a second Despicable Me machine replaced one of the older existing machines.

 

If you reach the Universal parks without using the garages (such as using a bus or taxi), you can still reach these machines by passing through CityWalk and following the moving walkways to the parking structure.  It only takes a few minutes.

 

Designs:

Machine 1: all from the Despicable Me movie: Despicable Me – Minion Mayhem logo; Gru; Agnes & Kyle; Minions

 

Machine 2: Spider Man; T-Rex; The Incredible Hulk; SpongeBob SquarePants with bubbles

 

Machine 3: all from the Despicable Me movie: Gru; Minion; Margo/Agnes/Edith; Vector

 

Machine 4: SpongeBob SquarePants designs: SpongeBob SquarePants & Patrick in boat; Plankton; Mr. Krabs; Sandy

 

Retired machine 1:  Woody Woodpecker; “Bestest Friends” (Rugrats); SpongeBob SquarePants with left hand up; Scooby Doo

 

PEDESTRIAN PLAZA MACHINE 1

PEDESTRIAN PLAZA MACHINE 2

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PEDESTRIAN PLAZA MACHINE 3

(new in 2011)

PEDESTRIAN PLAZA MACHINE 4

(new in 2011)

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PEDESTRIAN PLAZA MACHINE 1

(retired in 2012)

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Universal CityWalk: 3 machines with 4 dies each

 

Universal CityWalk is an entertainment and dining district (akin to Downtown Disney) with various unique destinations.  CityWalk is conveniently located between the Universal parking garages and the two main theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. 

 

Admission to CityWalk is free, and you do not need a theme park ticket to enter this area.  Nonetheless, parking can be costly (although there is a discounted rate of $5 after 6pm, and Florida residents should ask at the parking plaza whether Universal is running its free parking promotion for residents) and the area is not easily accessed via city streets.

 

Over time, machines have been moved to and from various locations within CityWalk.  As of January 2012, there are three machines in CityWalk: hand-crank 4-die machines at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., NBA City, and the NASCAR Sports Grille.  All are within easy walking distance of each other, and within walking distance of the Universal parking garage (2 machines) and the pedestrian plaza (4 machines).  Thus, without paying admission to the theme parks, you have access to 9 machines within the parking lot/CityWalk zone.

 

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. designs: “Life is Like a Box of Chocolates” (Forrest Gump on bench); “Run Forrest Run” (Forrest Gump running); “Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.” with shrimp sunning on the beach; Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. logo.  All 4 designs have “Orlando FL” or “Orlando Florida” on them.

 

NBA City designs: all designs have “NBA City” and “Orlando” on them – NBA logo; WNBA logo; “Logo Man” (statue in front of restaurant); NBA City stylized basketball logo.

 

NASCAR Sports Grille designs: all designs have “Orlando” on them - NASCAR Sports Grille logo; “NASCAR Sports Grille” with 6 race cars on track; Pelican (this die does not mention the Sports Grille); “NASCAR Sports Grille” with one race car.  At one time, this attraction was called the NASCAR Café.  The dies on the machine at that location are retired and differ from the current dies at the NASCAR Sports Grille.

 

Retired machines: in addition to the former NASCAR Café machine, machines at the Endangered Species shop, Starbucks, Universal Escape, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, and the Caricature store are gone, and the designs are retired.  Some of those stores are closed as well.  See the Pennycollector site for further details of these designs.

 

BUBBA GUMP SHRIMP CO.

NBA CITY

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NASCAR SPORTS GRILLE

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Rev’d 10/23/2012