Sad day for Disney Dollar enthusiasts

Walt Disney World News Today announced on May 12th 2016, Walt Disney Company will discontinue the production of the very popular Disney Dollars on May 14th 2016.

May the 4th be with you … and the 14th be done with you (May 14th 2016)

This was very sad news for avid Disney collectors,and our family, as we starting collecting Disney Dollars on our first visit to Walt Disney World, Florida in 1987. As a kid I wore the Mickey Dollar souvenir One Dollar bill out by folding it so many times and carrying it around in my pocket after our trip. It brought some very good memories with it when I carried it. To bad I did not know or realize what they would be worth to serious Disney collectors. The Disney notes were a novelty bill for children and patrons who had watched Mickey and Minnie Mouse grow up with them on their television sets back home.

Learning and collecting Disney Dollars has been fun, entertaining and interesting. Although Disney Dollar Collecting had seemed to be on the rise over the last several years, Walt Disney Company did not produce any Disney Dollars for 2016 and appears it has decided the Disney Gift cards are the direction it will take, rather than the familiar colorful Disney characters we grew up with.

steamboat-willieOn 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 popular 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 recreation 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.

The Disney Dollar first came about at a 1987 Disney collectors merchandise convention, by Mr. Harry Brice. Mr Brice was a senior artist at the Silhouette Shop on Main Street at Disneyland, California. Mr Brice told his associates that he could not believe the amount of money people were paying for general Disney merchandise and he suggested Disney could make and print souvenir “money” for the currency collectors as well as Disney fans and patrons. Disney Dollars were first released in 1987, and were recognized for the high quality printed Disney currency and expensive 100% cotton paper used, giving the Disney Dollars the feel and general appearance of regular currency.

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 for the collector?  ~ Mr Harry Brice

daisy-minnieThe Disney Dollars issued had several anti-counterfeiting features, such as reflective ink and imprinting, unique serial numbers and letters, tiny specks of glitter (we call pixie dust), and expensive micro-printing. Disney Dollars were produced and printed from 1987 to 2015, with the exception of 1992 and 2004. The 2005 Disney Dollar series was also used in 2006.

Easily recognized Disney characters on previous Disney notes issued, included Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Steamboat Willie, Goofy, Pluto,Donal Duck, Disney Princesses and pirates and many others.

Each side of the Disney note had its denomination and each currency bill has a serial number and the series year. These numbers/letters denote when they were printed and where they originated. Some bills were printed in small amounts such as the limited edition $50 and some were printed in large quantities.

Each Disney note was signed by Scrooge McDuck as treasurer – he is considered the CFO, bank administrator. Disney Currency designs changed yearly, often reflecting the general theme or celebration for that year. Disney notes also include a letter designation, located after the serial number.

The “A” series relates to a note sold at the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, CA (A is for Anaheim), “D” series notes denotes Walt Disney World theme Park in Florida, and “T” series, were available starting in 2005, designated the Disney stores.

There are also a few very rare “B” from Designer Charles Boyer) and F series. Though no longer printed, Disney Dollars can be used for face value at Disney theme parks and the Stores. They do not expire. Unfortunately, the only way to purchase Disney Dollars now is through other collectors, eBay, auctions and  websites like Disney Collectors

The Walt Disney Corporation is moving more and more toward Disney refillable gift cards as they are convenient, efficient, and provide better control, tracking, and profit. Because of their appearance, features, and unique characteristics, currency plus Disney collectors place great value on Disney Dollars; thus, Disney Dollar collectors are found world-wide! The competition for these unique Disney Dollars and often rare and hard to find notes is rising, dramatically increasing values on these prized historical items.

There are many ways to start your own Disney Dollar collection while they are still available. Here are some great collecting ideas and ways to begin your Disney Dollar collection mentioned in a past post :  Disney Collecting ideas and set registry comparison for collectors

Start and build your own personal collection of Disney Dollar currency while you can still find them.

View all the Disney dollar themes and characters used for Disney collectors and the theme parks in our photo galleries.