Saturday will mark the end of an era for Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as the theme parks will stop offering Disney Dollars.
Popular with visitors, the brightly colored currency featuring Disney characters has served as both a souvenir and coin of the realm since 1987. However, the increasing popularity of gift cards and the decline of paper money have combined to make the Disney Dollar virtually obsolete, according to WDW News Today.
“It’s a testimony to the enthusiasm and heart of Disney guests and collectors that Disney Dollars remain collectible today,” Disneyland said in a statement. “We continue to offer many ways to collect cherished Disney memories in tangible ways.”
Although the two theme parks will no longer offer Disney Dollars, they will still honor those already in circulation.
The brainchild of Disneyland’s first president, Jack Lindquist, the currency was offered in denominations of $1, $5, $10, $20 and $50, and featured images of characters like Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Pluto, as well as park landmarks.
“This was not some cheap promotion thing,” Lindquist recalled in 2013 to Theme Park Insider. “I wanted a real currency. So we went to the Secret Service and we built in all the safeguards for counterfeiting. It was an expensive project, but we printed the money, and we introduced it in May 1985. I think we had 40 or 50 people standing in line, overnight, at the box office to be the first people to purchase Disney Dollars. One man, the first morning, bought $10,000 worth.”
It’s a pretty safe bet that, in a few years, the remaining Disney Dollars will be in even greater demand — and certainly worth more than the paper they’re printed on.
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