Disney Dollars series discontinued May 14 as digital money use rises

Private Disney currency has been ‘legal tender’ since 1987
By , Special to Coin World
Published : 05/20/16
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The Disney Dollar, a popular form of private currency since 1987, was discontinued on May 14. The news broke two days earlier when Walt Disney World Today News said the company was stopping all sales of the notes. The company claimed the reason was the rising use of gift cards and digital currency. The bills will continue to be “legal tender” at all Disney U.S. locations where they were normally used and they will not expire.

The Disney notes became a collectible soon after they became a currency. They were conceived by Disneyland’s first president, Jack Lindquist, with images of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto, as well as park landmarks, and it was apparent immediately that not all would be redeemed, but many would instead be retained as souvenirs and collectibles. They were a hit from the start, with reports of transactions as high as $10,000. The notes exist in denominations of $1, $5, $10, $20 and $50.

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PCGS Currency has graded more than 20,000 Disney Dollars in the past few years. Laura Kessler, the grading company’s vice president, says that they have become one of the most competitive and popular categories in the PCGS Currency Set Registry program. She was surprised by the decision, since Disney Dollars are more popular than ever among collectors, and the Disney Dollars held by collectors and not used create almost pure profit for the company that reported a net income of $8.38 billion for the 2015 fiscal year. 

Kessler is optimistic about the future. “While this decision means that new notes will no longer be printed, by no means does it make Disney Dollars less collectible,” she says. “In fact, we expect the opposite trend to take place. The demand for Disney Dollars will increase among collectors, which means that the now-limited supply will result in upward pricing trends in the marketplace.”

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