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What are Disney Dollars?

Disney Dollars are a type of currency available from the Walt Disney Company. Legally, they are considered gift certificates, but Disney parks, stores, and resorts in the US and Puerto Rico accept them as cash in payment of any bill.

When you use Disney Dollars in the parks, resorts, or Disney Stores, any change you get back will be in good old US greenbacks. However, if you want to cash in a bunch of Disney Dollars at one time, you will need the original receipts, and you can only cash in $100 at a time.

Where did Disney Dollars come from?

In the early days of Walt Disney World, circa 1971, Entertainment Coupons were issued and were given to VIPs and other park Guests. These 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 useable 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.

What do Disney Dollars look like?

The current incarnation of Disney Dollars were first issued on May 5, 1987. Disney Dollars today are paper notes available in $1, $5, and $10 notes, each equal one-to-one with US Dollars, printed in bright colors on an off-white paper, and are the same physical size (6-1/4"x2-3/4") as US paper currency for ease of handling. Each note has a unique serial number, and bears the signature of Scrooge McDuck, Treasurer. When Disney first issued these notes in 1987, only the $1 and $5 notes were issued; the $10 note, bearing the image of Minnie Mouse, was added in November 1989, becoming the first paper currency in the United States to bear the portrait of a female. Even if she is a fictional female, this is quite an accomplishment for Minnie. You go, Mouse girl!

Disney Dollar $1 notes typically have Mickey Mouse on the obverse side and a castle scene representing the Disney parks on the reverse. The $5 notes have Goofy on the obverse and a steamboat on the reverse, and the $10 notes have Minnie Mouse on the obverse and a composite scene representing the many Disney parks and resorts on the reverse.

2001 Sometime during the issue of Series 2005, Disney began adding barcodes to the reverse side of each note of all denominations. This new barcode may be another anti-counterfeiting measure, or it may be a tracking device; the barcode is comprised of each note's unique serial number, the Series (Year of issue), and the denomination. By scanning these barcodes, Disney could theoretically track where and when each individual note is sold and spent. However, this barcode was removed from Series 2007 onwards.

I've seen different designs!

Over the years, Disney has changed the design of Disney Dollars several times to commemorate special events in Disney history, such as Mickey Mouse's 65th birthday (Series 1993), Walt Disney World's 25 Anniversary (Series 1997), the Millennium Celebration (Series 2000), and several others, as well as tweaking the base design to include anti-counterfeiting technology like micro-printing and holographic 'pixie dust.'

Where can I get some Disney Dollars?

Disney Dollars are no longer available from Disney Stores. However, they are still available for purchase by three methods:

My Collection

I have a collection of Disney Dollar $1 notes from the first year of issue in 1987 through the current 2007 issue, plus a Series 1971 Entertainment Coupon. Below are images of my collection, which show the different designs used over the years (click any DD$ to see a large, hi-res version):

My collection of $1 Disney Dollar Notes
1971
Series 1971
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Entertainment Coupon
Good only at WDW
1987
Series 1987
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First year of issue
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Obverse: Original waving Mickey design
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Reverse: Original Sleeping Beauty's Castle (Disneyland) design
1988
Series 1988
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Obverse: Original waving Mickey design
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Reverse: New Main Street USA design
1989
Series 1989
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Obverse:Original waving Mickey design
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Reverse: Return to original Sleeping Beauty's Castle design
1990
Series 1990
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Small changes to Obverse design - Two notations added:



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Reverse:Original Sleeping Beauty's Castle (Disneyland) design
1991
Series 1991
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Obverse: Revised design from 1990
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Reverse: Original Sleeping Beauty's Castle (Disneyland) design
To my knowledge, no Series 1992 Disney Dollars were produced. 1993
Series 1993
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First special occasion commemorative issue - Mickey's 65th Birthday
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Obverse: MIckey in a tux design
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Reverse: Mickey in a tux outside his home design
1994
Series 1994
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Obverse: Return to revised design from 1990
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Reverse: Return to original Sleeping Beauty's Castle design
1995
Series 1995
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Obverse: Revised design from 1990
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Reverse: Original Sleeping Beauty's Castle (Disneyland) design
1996
Series 1996
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Obverse: Revised design from 1990
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Reverse: Original Sleeping Beauty's Castle (Disneyland) design
1997
Series 1997
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Walt Disney World 25th Anniversary issue
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Obverse: Sorcerer's Apprentice design
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Reverse: WDW 25th anniversary logo design
1998
Series 1998
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Base Design
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Obverse: Return to revised design from 1990
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Reverse: Return to original Sleeping Beauty's Castle design
1999
Series 1999
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Base Design
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Obverse: Revised design from 1990
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Reverse: Original Sleeping Beauty's Castle design
2000
Series 2000
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Millennium Celebration commemorative issue
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Obverse: Mickey in tuxedo w/ confetti design
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Reverse: Spaceship Earth design
2001
Series 2001
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Disneyland commemorative issue
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Obverse: Sorcerer's Apprentice/Disneyland design
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Reverse: "Disneyland Open 1955" design
2002
Series 2002
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Disney's 100 Years of Magic commemorative issue
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Obverse: Steamboat Willie design
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Reverse: 100 Years of Magic commemorative design
2003
Series 2003
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New Base Design
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Obverse: New Mickey in tuxedo design
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Reverse: New Disneyland Resort/Sleeping Beauty's Castle design
To my knowledge, no Series 2004 Disney Dollars were produced. 2005
Series 2005
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Chicken Little movie advertisement issue
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Obverse: Chicken Little design
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Reverse: Oakey Oaks design

MORE Series 2005 - The Happiest Celebration on Earth (Click here for details)

To my knowledge, no Series 2006 Disney Dollars were produced. 2007 $1 Note
Series 2007 $1 Note
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Disney Dollars 20th Anniversary commemorative design
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Obverse: Arial, the Little Mermaid design
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Reverse: Disney Parks, Where Dreams Come True design

MORE Series 2007 - Pirates of the Caribbean $1 Designs (Click here for details)

2008 $1 Note
Series 2008 $1 Note
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Mickey Mouse 80th Anniversary commemorative design
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Obverse: Mickey Mouse Circa various years design
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Reverse: Mickey through the years animator's sketch montage design

MORE Series 2008 - Mickey Mouse 80th Anniversary commemorative designs (Click here for details)

2009 $1 Note
Series 2009 $1 Note
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Disney Parks Celebrate Today! design
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Obverse: Celebrate You! design
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Reverse: There's So Much In Life Worth Celebrating! design

MORE Series 2009 - Disney Parks Celebrate Today! designs (Click here for details)

To my knowledge, no Series 2010 Disney Dollars were produced. 2009 $1 Note
Series 2011 $1 Note
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Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides commemorative design
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Obverse: POTC Skull w/ crossed swords, on Fountain of Youth map background
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Reverse: The Queen Anne's Revenge, on Fountain of Youth map background

To my knowledge, no Series 2012 Disney Dollars were produced. 2009 $1 Note
Series 2013 $1 Note
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Disney's Villains and Heroes commemorative designs
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Obverse: Villains from Classic Disney animated feature films
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Reverse: Heroes from Classic Disney animated feature films

MORE Series 2013 - Disney's Villains and Heroes designs (Click here for details)

Series 2005 - The Happiest Celebration on Earth

On May 5, 2005, Disneyland's 50th anniversary, a new series of Disney Dollars were released to commemorate the event and mark the beginning of Disney's Happiest Celebration on Earth.

This day is also, ironically, the 18th anniversary of the modern Disney Dollar, first issued on May 5, 1987 (Disneyland's 32nd anniversary).

These new $1, $5, and $10 notes will be joined for the first time ever by a newly-designed $50 note bearing Mickey in anniversary attire on the Obverse, while all four notes will bear a uniform Disneyland anniversary design on the Reverse, and metallic gold ink in many portions of both Obverse and Reverse designs.

According to the Disney Cast Member's Portal, these new notes will also include the following anti-counterfeit measures (some of which have been used on older models):

I was able to obtain the $1, $5, and $10 notes on the day of their release, but my local Disney Store did not stock the $50 notes.

2005 $1 Note
Series 2005 $1 Note
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Happiest Celebration on Earth commemorative design
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Dumbo Obverse design
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Decorated Sleeping Beauty's Castle (Disneyland) Reverse design
2005 $5 Note
Series 2005 $5 Note
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Happiest Celebration on Earth commemorative design
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Donald Duck Obverse design
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Decorated Sleeping Beauty's Castle (Disneyland) Reverse design
2005 $10 Note
Series 2005 $10 Note
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Happiest Celebration on Earth commemorative design
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Stitch Obverse design
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Decorated Sleeping Beauty's Castle (Disneyland) Reverse design
2005 $1 Note
Series 2005 $1 Note (revised, released in mid-2006)
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Happiest Celebration on Earth commemorative design
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Cinderella Obverse design
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Decorated Sleeping Beauty's Castle (Disneyland) Reverse design
2005 $5 Note
Series 2005 $5 Note (revised, released in mid-2006)
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Happiest Celebration on Earth commemorative design
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Goofy Obverse design
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Decorated Sleeping Beauty's Castle (Disneyland) Reverse design
2005 $10 Note
Series 2005 $10 Note (revised, released in mid-2006)
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Happiest Celebration on Earth commemorative design
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Minnie Mouse Obverse design
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Decorated Sleeping Beauty's Castle (Disneyland) Reverse design

Series 2007 - Disney Dollars 20th Anniversary

That's right, Disney Dollars turned 20 years old in 2007, and on January 12, 2007, Disney released a commemorative series of notes to mark the occasion.

Disney Dollars 20th Anniversary Seal Microprinting on Obverse A new set of three portraits appear on the obverse of these new notes - Disney Princesses. The $1 note sports Ariel, the Little Mermaid, on a green background; the $5 note sports Aurora, Sleeping Beauty, on a blue background; and the $10 note sports Cinderella, on a pink background. Also on the obverse is a special Disney Dollars 20th Anniversary seal to the left of the portrait. Microprinting, previously used on the reverse, is present now on the obverse as well, and held over from the Series 2005 is a scattering of holographic "pixie dust" nodes. The gold metallic inks of Series 2005 have been replaced with silver metallic inks on the obverse only.

Microprinting on Reverse The reverse design of Series 2007 sports a variation of Disney's new "Where dreams come true!" logo, showing Cinderella's Castle surrounded by clouds, with Tinkerbell flying above, spreading pixie dust. The topmost line on the note is actually micro-printing of the words "DISNEYDOLLARS", repeated across the length of the line in the same fashion as on Series 2005. Silver metallic inks are used on the reverse, but to a lesser extent than on the obverse.

On the first samples I obtained, the barcode which was added to some Series 2005 Disney Dollars is conspicuously absent. My guess is that this was a cost-saving measure rather than a design consideration, since each barcode included the note's unique serial number, thus making the printing of the reverse side a more complicated and costly printing process.

It is also my guess that the Disney Parks, Where Dreams Come True obverse design will become the standard obverse design for future non-commemorative Disney Dollars - assuming, that is, that there is a return to a base design for Series 2008 instead of a new commemorative issue of some kind.

Series 2007 Disney Dollars 20th Anniversary Designs
2007 $1 Note
Series 2007 $1 Note
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Disney Dollars 20th Anniversary commemorative design
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Arial, the Little Mermaid Obverse design
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Disney Parks, Where Dreams Come True Reverse design
2007 $5 Note
Series 2007 $5 Note
-------------------
Disney Dollars 20th Anniversary commemorative design
-------------------
Aurora, Sleeping Beauty Obverse design
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Disney Parks, Where Dreams Come True Reverse design
2007 $10 Note
Series 2007 $10 Note
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Disney Dollars 20th Anniversary commemorative design
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Cinderella Obverse design
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Disney Parks, Where Dreams Come True Reverse design

Extra Series 2007 - Pirates of the Caribbean $1 Designs

Along with the new Princess designs, 2007 also saw a set of 3 $1 notes bearing Pirates of the Caribbean designs, each commemorating one of the 3 POTC movies. The first two were officially released on March 18, 2007, and the third was released on May 15, 2007.

Design 1 has the Pirates skull with crossed swords on the obverse side, and the Black Pearl on the reverse side. Particularly interesting to me, as a map maker, is the beautiful parchment-style map image used as a background on both sides of this note.

Design 2 has the Pirates skull with crossed torches on the obverse, and the Flying Dutchman on the reverse. The image in the background of the obverse looks like the Kraken pulling a ship under, and the background of the reverse has images of Davy Jones and his cursed crew.

Design 3 has the Pirates skull and cross bones on the obverse, and a ship from At World's End called the Empress on the reverse. The backgrounds of both sides appear to be fairly blank, with ripples that could be billowing sails or a cloak; the background is also a much darker brown than the gold/tan of the other two designs.

Series 2007 Pirates of the Caribbean $1 Designs
2007 $1 Note
Series 2007 $1 Note
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Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl commemorative design
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Obverse design: POTC Skull w/ crossed swords, on treasure map background
-------------------
Reverse design: The Black Pearl, on treasure map background
2007 $1 Note
Series 2007 $1 Note
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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest commemorative design
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Obverse design: POTC Skull w/ crossed torches, on Kraken (?) background
-------------------
Reverse design: Flying Dutchman, on Davy Jones and cursed crew background
2007 $1 Note
Series 2007 $1 Note
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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End commemorative design
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Obverse design: POTC Skull w/ crossed bones
-------------------
Reverse design: Empress

Series 2008 - Mickey Mouse's 80th Anniversary

Disney continued the recent trend of releasing a completely new set of Disney Dollar designs, for all three denominations, for Series 2008. This year the designs commemorate Mickey Mouse's 80th Anniversary. Or, as some Mickey fans might prefer to call it, Mickey's 80th birthday.

A new set of three portraits appear on the obverse of these new notes - Mickey Mouse through the ages. On the $1 note is a classic portrait of Mickey as he appeared in 1930, on a yellowish background; the $5 note sports Mickey as he appeared in 1955 (in a band major's uniform), on a blue background; and the $10 note shows theMickey of the 21st century, on a background that combines red and yellow. Also on the obverse of each note is a special Mickey Mouse 80th Anniversary seal to the left of the portrait. Microprinting, on the obverse of the Series 2007 notes is now gone, as are the gold and silver metallic inks of Series 2005 and 2007.

The reverse design of Series 2008 sports a new, apparently hand-drawn, compilation sketch of 4 different versions of the standard Mickey Mouse through the ages, flanked by the years 1928 and 2008. Beneath the sketch is a banner proclaiming "MICKEY MOUSE 80TH ANNIVERSARY."

At the top of the note, the line of microprinting first introduced in Series 2005 is again present; the words "DISNEYDOLLARS" repeats across the page in tiny print that cannot be read without a magnifier.

Once again the barcode which was added to some Series 2005 Disney Dollars is conspicuously absent.

Series 2008 Mickey Mouse 80th Anniversary Designs
2008 $1 Note
Series 2008 $1 Note
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Mickey Mouse 80th Anniversary commemorative design
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Mickey Mouse Circa 1930 Obverse design
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Mickey through the years Reverse design
2008 $5 Note
Series 2008 $5 Note
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Mickey Mouse 80th Anniversary commemorative design
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Mickey Mouse Circa 1955 Obverse design
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Mickey through the years Reverse design
2008 $10 Note
Series 2008 $10 Note
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Mickey Mouse 80th Anniversary commemorative design
-------------------
Mickey Mouse 21st Century Obverse design
-------------------
Mickey through the years Reverse design

Series 2009 - Celebrate You!

The Series 2009 Disney Dollars, released on January 26, have been redesigned to tie in with Disney's "What Will You Celebrate?" theme in the Disney theme parks.

In a departure from previous years, the images which appear on the obverse of the 2009 notes are not portraits of single characters, but are instead scenes of celebration featuring multiple Disney characters. On the $1 note is an image of Mickey Mouse, holding a birthday cake and wearing a birthday hat, with Pluto in the foreground, all on a green background; the $5 note shows Daisy and Minnie, wearing party hats, on a purple background; and the $10 note shows Mickey, Donald and Goofy at a table with a birthday cake and presents, on a blue background (with Goofy blowing both candles and icing into Mickey's face!). Also on the obverse of each note is a Disney Parks "Celebrate Today!" seal to the left of the portrait.

Series 2009 shares a reverse design common to all three notes. The design sports a new castle graphic, seeming to float among the clouds, with Mickey-head party balloons floating past. Beneath the image is a banner proclaiming "THERE'S SO MUCH IN LIFE WORTH CELEBRATING!"

At the top of the reverse of each note, the line of microprinting first introduced in Series 2005 is again present; the words "DISNEYDOLLARS" repeats across the page in tiny print that cannot be read without a magnifier.

Multicolored confetti adorns both the obverse and reverse sides or each note.

Series 2009 Celebrate You! Designs
2009 $1 Note
Series 2009 $1 Note
-------------------
Disney Parks Celebrate Today! design
-------------------
Celebrate You! Obverse design
-------------------
There's So Much In Life Worth Celebrating! Reverse design
2009 $5 Note
Series 2009 $5 Note
-------------------
Disney Parks Celebrate Today! design
-------------------
Celebrate You! Obverse design
-------------------
There's So Much In Life Worth Celebrating! Reverse design
2009 $10 Note
Series 2009 $10 Note
-------------------
Disney Parks Celebrate Today! design
-------------------
Celebrate You! Obverse design
-------------------
There's So Much In Life Worth Celebrating! Reverse design

Series 2013

After no new designs for two of the last four years, Disney finally released a new set of $1 notes on January 1, 2013 - the Villains and Heroes motif.

Each of the four designs is dedicated to a classic Disney animated feature film, showcasing the film's Villain on the obverse and the Heroes on the reverse.

Two anti-counterfieting features first seen in the Series 2005 notes are again continued - holographic "pixie dust" on the obverse, and a line of microprinting on the reverse.

Series 2013 - Villains and Heroes
2013 $1 Note
Series 2013 $1 Note
-------------------
Peter Pan (1953) Commemorative Design
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Obverse: Captain Hook
-------------------
Reverse: Peter Pan and Wendy
2013 $1 Note
Series 2013 $1 Note
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Sleeping Beauty (1959) Commemorative Design
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Obverse: Maleficent
-------------------
Reverse:

[Images not yet available]

Series 2013 $1 Note
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101 Dalmations (1961) Commemorative Design
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Obverse: Cruella Deville
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Reverse: Pongo, Perdita, and Pepper

2013 $1 Note
Series 2013 $1 Note
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The Little Mermaid (1989) Commemorative Design
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Obverse: Ursula
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Reverse: Ariel and Prince Eric

Links

Info about US Currency

Disneyland: 50 Years of Souvenirs (Disney Dollar page)

MyDisneyWorld.com Disney Dollars page

Everything2.com Disney Dollars page

Preview images of Series 2007 Princess and POTC Disney Dollars designs


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Last Revision: 2013-09-30