On May 5, 1987 the Walt Disney Company introduced the new Disney dollars to the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California. They could be bought and used as with regular US currency within the Disney theme park. Disney dollars do not have an expiry date and may be used to purchase Disney merchandise, or exchanged back to cash anytime in the Disneyland and Walt Disney World parks. Many Disney characters have been featured on the Disney Dollars over the years.
The Walt Disney Company was the first private institution to print its own money and have it accepted and used like the US dollar in the Disney theme parks.Disney dollars have come in various designs and denominations, celebrating Disney characters, anniversaries, films, and attractions.
They may be used as payment, just like cash, at any Disney location in the United States, including the Disneyland Resort in California, the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, and even aboard the Disney Cruise Line.
In the early days of Walt Disney World, circa 1971, Recreation Coupons were issued and were given to VIPs and other park Guests. These coupons, each bearing a unique serial number and the signature of Roy O. Disney, were somewhat larger than US currency, and were only issued in $1 notes. They were also only used at the Walt Disney World resort, not at the Disneyland Resort in California. Although not officially called Disney dollars, these coupons are considered the precursor to today’s Disney dollar.
Disney characters or movie references that have been featured on the Disney One dollar include, Mickey Mouse, Steamboat Willie, Sorcerer Mickey, Pie Eyed Mickey, Dumbo, Chicken Little, Ariel-Little Mermaid, Cinderella,Pirates of the Caribbean, The Empress, The Black Pearl, The Flying Dutchman and in 2011 Queen Annes Revenge.
Disney Dollar History
The idea of the Disney dollar first came about when Harry Brice, a silhouette cutter on Main Street in Disneyland, Anaheim, California, was visiting a Disneyana (Disney Collectors) Convention. Mr. Brice stated
I couldn’t believe that people were paying, money for — anything with Disney on it. So I began to wonder, ‘why couldn’t Disney make something just for the collector?’ So I came up with the idea to make a souvenir item, which would be sold in the park, that looked like money.
After sharing this idea with an associate, ideas were discussed and the design process was set into motion. Some of the original ideas for the new Disney dollar, were to create a three dollar bill with a picture of the Three Pigs or a seven dollar bill with the seven Dwarfs being featured on the notes.
* In fact the first rendering of the Disney dollar was created as an advertisement tool by Walt Disney Company. As seen in the image of Disneyland’s Star Tours attraction. The designs were eventually finalized then illustrated by the Creative Service Illustrator Matt Mew (below right).
The printing was done by EPI of Battlecreek, Michigan. They were known for high quality printing using intaglio steel engraving. This printing process along with using special 100% cotton paper, gives the bills the look and feel of real money.
Disney Dollars Introduced
On May 5, 1987 the Walt Disney Company introduced the new Disney dollars to the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California. They could be bought and used as with regular US currency within the Disney theme park. Disney dollars do not have an expiry date and may be used to purchase Disney merchandise, or exchanged back to cash anytime in the Disneyland and Walt Disney World parks.
The Walt Disney Company issued the new Disney dollars as a new advertising campaign, not realizing the extreme popularity of the new Disney dollars being used by guests and kept as a very popular and relatively cheap Walt Disney theme park souvenir for the guests.
The Walt Disney Company first released the new Disney dollars in one and five dollar denominations. Mickey Mouse was on the new one dollar and the ever so popular Goofy was featured on the new Disney Five dollar.
The reverse of the one dollar had an image of Disney castle and the reverse of the five dollar Goofy denomination had an image from Mark Twain, the river steamboat featured in the center.
First Day Issue Series
The first day of circulation for any Disney dollar is referred to as the “First day issue series”. In May, 1987, when Walt Disney Company first released the first Disney one dollar and the Disney five dollar denominations, the lower right side under the serial number stated “Series 1987″ and the top right side had ” MAY BE USED AS LEGAL TENDER ONLY AT DISNEYLAND”.
This would change in later issues of the Disney dollars. The Disney dollars were purchased within the Disneyland and Walt Disney World theme parks for face value, meaning an American one dollar for a one dollar Disney dollar and five American dollars for the Disney five dollar denomination. Disney introduced other very popular Disney characters, additional series and denominations, which featured Disney characters like Minnie Mouse, Daisy, Simba, Donald Duck and Stitch in later years.
The first day issue for the Disney dollar, “Series 1987 A”, were released in the Disneyland theme park, Anaheim, California, on September 9th, 1987. The “A” represented Anaheim,California. The first day issue for the Disney dollar Series “1987 D”, were released in Disney World, Orlando, Florida on October 2nd, 1987. The “D” represented Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Disney Dollar Security Features
** All Disney dollars have security features added to them. Disney dollars are created with anti-counterfeiting features such as micro printing, and hard to scan/copy reflective ink and imprinting on the front and back of the bill. In addition, the Disney dollar notes are printed with unique serial numbers and series letters which are unique to each Disney dollar and theme park.These numbers and letters are specific and individual to each bill in order of when they are printed, from 00000001 to 99999999.
However each set of bills has a limited quantity, some may be a small printed amount, such as for the limited edition $50, or large quantities for the $1. The Disney note will have a Scrooge McDuck signature on every bill. Scrooge McDuck is the signing treasurer. Tinker Bell has always graced the Disney dollar being a key element found on each side since the first 1987. Disney dollars have small bits of glitter scattered on them in later series and this is referred to as Pixie Dust.
All Disney dollars, except for Proof or Specimens have a unique serial number assigned to it and the series year.
As of January 2013 there are now 166 Disney dollar bills required for a complete PCGS Disney dollar Registry Set.
** Updated – As of 2014 there are 172 Disney Dollars needed to complete a full Disney Dollar Registry set with PCGS or the PMG Disney registry.
** Updated ~ As of 2014 a total of 71 Disney $1 notes are required to complete the Disney $1 registry sets at the PCGS or PMG registry.
Disney announced May 14th 2016 the end to production of Disney Dollars and opted to use gift cards to replace the Disney money.
How many do you have ? If you are interested in starting your Disney dollar collection, head over to our WEBSITE
Leave a comment about your favorite Disney dollar that you have, or want in your Disney collection.