Knowing how much people love collecting everything Disney-related, the Disney dollar was a fantastic opportunity to offer both a currency and an inexpensive way for guests to acquire a little piece of that enchantment. But what is the Disney Dollar exactly?
The “Disney Dollar” is a currency the Walt Disney Company designed for usage in their theme parks and hotels. While they are still redeemable today, official printing halted in 2016 after over 30 years of use. The exchange rate was 1 to 1 with ordinary US dollars.
Inventing Disney Dollar
In 1987, a young silhouette artist named Harry Bryce at Disneyland in California came up with a concept that revolutionized the globe. It wasn’t just confined to Disney; his artworks and designs were seen by people worldwide.
It is widely assumed that Harry Bryce had this idea after attending a Disney convention and witnessing how obsessed people were with anything and everything Disney.
However, on the contrary, most people claim that the idea came from the Disney legend Jack Lindquist. Over his 38 years with the Walt Disney Company, Jack held several executive positions.
In 1990, Jack was named President of Disneyland, the best job in the world. Disney Dollars was one of the programs Jack spearheaded during his tenure as President.
When reading about the ascent of the British pound in a newspaper’s financial section, he had the idea. He said that because Disneyland is larger than many small countries, it should have its own currency.
As a result, the Disney Dollar was formed, and the Walt Disney Company became one of the first private organizations to manufacture its own money and accept it as official currency in Disney parks. (Source: Ed Times)
What were the Disney Dollar’s Features?
Disney Dollars were not a toy. Disney Dollars have a number of security features to help prevent counterfeiting. Among the features were microprinting, intaglio ink printing, serial numbering, and particular material imprinting.
The bills were embossed with raised texture and precise detail using a complicated intaglio engraving method. Each bill had its own serial number and was printed on rare, expensive rag cotton stock with a faint watermark; there was never a case of the money being duplicated.
They were also the first currency used for color printers. On the first day, it was available, around 60,000 dollars in Disney Dollars were sold. (Source: Ed Times)
The Disney Dollar’s Early Stages
These, however, could only be utilized at Florida Park and had no monetary worth. Because Lindquist took it seriously and was persistent, others began to take it seriously as well, and he was granted permission to continue the idea. The Disney Dollars became a big hit.
The first Disney Dollars were $1 and $5 bills. The front of the one-dollar bill featured a waving Mickey Mouse, and the back featured Sleeping Beauty’s castle. On the face of the $5 bills was a proud-looking Goofy, and on the back was the Mark Twain riverboat.
Scrooge McDuck signed both bills, and Tinker Bell made a cameo. They were first available in Disneyland on May 5, 1987, and could only be used there. (Source: Ed Times)