BACKSTORY: Although the retail has pushed out many of the vintage fun machines that used to reside here, there are still some very fun old-fashioned Penny Arcade machines that still exist. No visit to Disneyland is complete with a fortune from Esmeralda!
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Frequent Daveland reader and supplier of first-hand information, Cox Pilot, was kind enough to share these memories of Esmeralda and The Penny Arcade on Disneyland's Main Street U.S.A.:
You’re looking at the front and back of the ONE Esmeralda card we could find (mine—my wife’s is somewhere around here). We got the cards in December of 1965, just before we were to be married in early Jan '66. I was still working for Cox, but now in the Engineering and Research Department because the Flight Circle had closed that September.
We decided that if I could get a good job in the main plant, we would be married. Later, in February of '66 (Valentine's Day) we also got two cards again. Both of our cards said almost the same thing…a child would be coming. In February of 1968 our first daughter was born.
Click on the images at right to see larger versions of Cox Pilot's original Esmeralda cards from the Main Street U.S.A. Penny Arcade.