Similar in size, shape and design to the paper currency of the United States, most bills bear the image of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Dumbo and/or a drawing of one of the landmarks of the Disneyland Resort or the Walt Disney World Resort. The currency is accepted at the company's United States theme parks, the Disney cruise ships, the Disney Store and at certain parts of Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Caribbean.
Disney dollars come in series of A and D, the former created for the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., and the latter for the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida. In 2005, both resorts released a $50 bill designed by Disney artist Charles Boyer to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Disneyland. Since 2005, they also have issued T series for the Disney Stores. Special editions are sometimes sold to Disney cast members as a form of incentive.
The currency was discontinued by Disney on May 14, 2016.
Disney Dollars were first used in Disneyland May 5, 1987, while Disney World parks started with Epcot on October 2. The bills originally came in $1 and $5 denominations. In 1990, Disney added a $10 bill. In 1992, Disney Stores started using the scrip. For Mickey Mouse's 65th birthday in 1993, a special $1 Disney dollar was issued.
The bills are redeemable for goods or services at the Disney theme parks, the Disney cruise ships, Disney's Castaway Cay port of call and the Disney Stores, unless indications to the contrary are printed on the individual bills. However, they are not compatible with the coin machines, and must be exchanged for U.S. currency if machines are to be used. In addition, if Disney Dollars are used for purchases and change is given, the change is provided in U.S. currency.
They are often kept as souvenirs or collected by Disney memorabilia fans, but at Disney resorts, they can also be exchanged back to U.S. currency.
Disney stopped distributing and printing the currency on May 14, 2016; however, they will still accept them in the future.
Disney Dollars are created with anti-counterfeiting features such as microprinting, and hard to scan/copy reflective ink and imprinting on the front and back of the bill. In addition, the bills are printed with serial numbers and letters which are unique to each bill. The Dollars have small bits of glitter scattered on them.
When the Diagon Alley portion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened at Universal Orlando Resort on July 8, 2014, the resort premiered Gringotts bank notes, supposed to be issued by Gringotts Wizarding Bank from the Harry Potter Universe. The notes are usable only in the Orlando Resort, however, unlike Disney dollars, which can be used in most Disney locations in the United States.