Investing in Disney Dollars, Part I: The Case for Increasing Value

in collecting •  12 days ago

Note: This post is not intended as investment advice and should not be construed as such. It describes my own collecting activities and speculative opinions. If you choose to follow my opinions and begin collecting certain items also, then you bear any and all risks of loss. End of disclaimer; bring on the fun part.

Many collectors have a personal interest in the items they collect. I’m more of an investor than a collector: I acquire certain items that are likely to increase in value in the coming years. I’m not knowledgeable enough as a collector to identify nuances, so I don’t bother with the small stuff. I only collect items that I believe are likely to increase substantially in value. If you’ve read my blog before, you might have noticed my posts about investing in whisky and in physical bitcoin tokens (specifically, aged single malt whiskies from certain distilleries and 2011-13 Casascius physical bitcoins…I won’t touch anything else in those categories).

I collect another type of item also and would like to share more information about it with you: Disney Dollars. They have been gaining in popularity, but most remain relatively affordable for the first-time collector who is just getting started. If you’re lucky, you can find some bargains. And if you are willing to risk some guesses, anticipating which Disney Dollars are most likely to increase in demand, then that risk could pay off in a big way.

Disney dollars may increase even more in value in coming years. Source: screenshot.

Value Checklist: Factors Affecting the Demand and Supply of Collector’s Items

Before we get into Disney Dollars, let’s discuss what makes a valuable collector’s item. First, the most important characteristic is demand. What creates demand? It must be an item that enough people know and like to collect; otherwise, it will not have any demand. With aged, single malt whisky, for example, some people collect it to drink the whisky while others like having it. People also will be more likely to buy and hold an item if there is some reliability that the item is original and of high quality. There are some things people are reluctant to collect because counterfeit versions proliferate in the market. If the item has some difficult-to-copy seal, serial number, or independent authentication, this could add to investors’ comfort level.

Second, basic economics tells us that the flipside of demand is supply. People love to collect things that are rare, which makes them more special. Scarcity fuels demand. If there is a large supply of the item, then each one is not likely to increase as much in value. Only a few thousand Casascius physical bitcoin tokens were minted and loaded with bitcoin value; the man who made them was told by the government to stop loading them in 2013. Hence, those are very scarce collector’s items, only having been made for three years (the unloaded tokens they continued to make later are basically worthless).



Casascius physical bitcoins and collectible whisky. Top image: Courtesy of Casascius Mint. Bottom:

Supply can increase or decline over time as well. People drink their whiskey, which leaves less of it. Others open and redeem their physical bitcoins so they can spend the BTC value online, which completely destroys the additional value of the token as a collector’s item. Other items can get lost, damaged, or destroyed over time, again reducing available supply.

Can supply increase? Yes, but not if the original item is identifiably from an early set. Pepsi could begin making Crystal Pepsi again, as it did briefly in 2015 and 2017. But someone collecting the original Crystal Pepsi might have a full bottle from the first US/Canadian run in 1992-93. And if it’s reliably identifiable as being the original version, then increased supply will not dilute its value, because it’s really an increased supply of something newer (a later version). Having newer ones on the market could even increase consumer awareness and boost an item’s value in the marketplace. (Note: I would not buy the plastic bottles anyway, since they don’t hold up well over time.)

Crystal Pepsi. Image source:

Third, looking into your crystal ball in the future, are there any notable events or trends that might affect the price? Are there any demographic realities that are favorable or unfavorable? For example, perhaps you want to invest in Susan B. Anthony (an American women’s rights pioneer) memorabilia and realize that in two years, it will be the 200th anniversary of her birth, so perhaps things might be slightly more valuable with additional media attention then. Maybe you’ve heard that a movie series is being made of some book you read and believe that that will increase demand. For marginal items, it’s a good idea to have an exit strategy anyway.

This can work in the other direction also. From my posts, you’ll see that I’m a baseball fan. I own some baseball cards in my collection. But when I realize that fewer young people are interested in the sport and that the average fan’s age has increased to 57 years old, I’m worried that in 10 years or more, there may not be much demand for my cards. Demographics is working against that item; I no longer collect baseball cards with any hope that they’ll increase in price. Conversely, the cryptocurrency market continues to expand, which should continue to fuel the price of 2011-13 Casascius physical bitcoin tokens.

The Value Proposition with Disney Dollars

Now imagine there’s an item which represents a global brand, something almost as universal as a popular sport or a cryptocurrency: Disney parks and characters. Also imagine that there are many different versions and denominations of this item, each with its own appeal to fans, and its own dates and serial numbers to ensure some differentiation. Lasting quality is good: they were printed on cotton paper that has held up very, very well. Imagine that it has a face value and the issuer continues to accept it from any moron who wants to spend it for face value rather than sell it (for more money) to a collector.

And imagine further that the issuing entity has announced it will no longer make any more of these items, as it announced in 2016.


Top: Bottom: A Disney dollar from 2000. Source: Creative Commons via by Michael Mandiberg.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Disney Dollar, always intended by Disney to be a special collector’s item. From Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald to Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, and Aurora to Pirates of the Caribbean to Cruella to Space Mountain, they feature lots of characters and places. Printed for the first time in 1987 and ended forever in 2016, Disney Dollars have been accepted for face value at most Disney parks and resorts. But many people have collected them rather than spending their DDs.

Excuse me? No further supply, but they are still accepting them as payment for a lower value than collector’s are paying? So there we have a capped supply and we still have people spending these items like they’re dollar bills, though most are worth more. So supply is actually decreasing (unless Disney is putting its received notes back on the market, but then they would not be in uncirculated collector condition anyway).

Silver American Eagles. Source:

As a comparison, the U.S. Mint makes Silver American Eagle coins that contain one ounce of pure silver. Those have a face value of $1 as legal tender, but no one in his/her right mind would use one to make a $1 payment; the spot price of the silver they contain is much higher, and thus you’d only sell it for the price of the silver and the coin (currently closer to $17). Yet Disney parks and attractions continue to accept Disney Dollars for face value, presumably removing some of them from supply. (And to be fair, if you have a Disney Dollar that is folded or in crinkle-poor condition, you might want to spend it, since collectors prefer mint or uncirculated bills.)

A smart collector would have accumulated Disney Dollars during the time they were distributed by Disney, but that ended. 2016 was the year Disney announced it would no longer make DDs and it also sold out of its remaining inventory. One also could have invested in 2016, buying on the secondary market immediately after learning that Disney would stop making DDs, though the market might have been over-inflated for a few months then as the press widely reported on this scramble (for a more recent example, see Necco wafers).

You can still buy packs of some of the later-issued bills for just a few dollars per bill, since those have not increased much yet. But some of the most collectible years and styles have increased greatly in value already. Of course, it is still early in this game and there are several versions which can be expected to increase in value in the coming years.

In fact, this year may be the best possible time to begin looking into Disney Dollars as an investment. Why? Because as of now (2018 at the time of this writing), we have two years’ worth of collecting data to tell us which Disney Dollars are more valuable than others. From looking at the years/versions that interest current investors and collectors, we can conclude WHY some of them are the most valuable, apply the same logic to others, and make educated guesses about which others are likely to increase in value in the coming years. Many of them are still relatively affordable.


Disney dollar from the pirate set and a look at Disney dollars selling at online auctions. Sources: (top) and screenshot (bottom).

Reasons I Like the Long Term Value Potential with Disney Dollars

To recap: Here are the main reasons Disney Dollars are a great collector’s item and one that is likely to continue increasing in value over time.

(1) Disney is one of the most respected brands in the world
(2) Disney Dollars have many characters/versions from which to choose, giving them great value to both fans and collectors
(3) Disney stopped making Disney Dollars in 2016 (supply capped)
(4) Disney still accepts Disney Dollars at its facilities and always will (supply constantly reducing)
(5) Disney Dollars have an established track record as collectors’ items, yet many years/versions still remain affordable for entry-level collectors

This post became too long as I was writing it, so I broke it into two parts. To continue reading, please move on to the next part, Investing in Disney Dollars, Part 2: Picking Winners. Here is the link:

Top image: Creative Commons via by quintadomedia.

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disney dollars > tether


They need a crypto version, so we can go back and forth when the price swings.

@donkeypong, Yep...I've read and carefully take great imaging about investing physical BTC tokens and whiskey and there you true said. Here's nice explained how to value checklist about Disney Dollars. Actually I recommend to others your middle part very informative for market researchers. Why I said that, Its depend on Economics theory. Do you have compared value of Disney dollars to US dollars Tom?
Seems better interesting to mine. Looking to tremendous output and better investment project. I guess holding much better long term. Then I can earn more.

one that is likely to continue increasing in value over time.

I think same condition and will do in future. Also most interesting with you final Reasons I Like the long term value. Thanks to introducing valuable collecting information Tom.


Disneys are worth more than US dollars over time, I think.

Disney dollar?.
I'd have to take my time to do more research.

Thanks for the update.

How are you doing?.


Research is recommended. :)


I was thinking the same thing... this had to be satire, but no. This was a really well thought out article with a solid argument for collecting Disney Dollars. Well done sir.

I didn't even know these existed! Those bills look pretty good, especially the pirates of the Caribbean one.

Regarding their value proposition, if someone wants them and there are not that many they will indeed pay more for them! Compared to gold or silver it could be a huge gamble but the rewards could be astronomical if the prices go up in a few years.


Bigger gamble with solid fundamentals = better chances for a healthy increase. I used to invest in gold & silver, but those markets are seriously manipulated.

I really liked your post because you explain in detail how speculation works, anything can go up in price but this has its explanation.

When people "invest" in these kinds of things they do so more by faith than as a sequence of a logical explanation.


Faith and, in this case, a lot of people have some personal or emotional connection to the characters that are part of this brand.

There are articles that I think are high risk for investment, in this case with DD I see them quite stable and with a lot of potential.

I even dare to say that I would not be afraid to buy some DD to keep them, I already did it with some coins from Japan with the theme of Astro Boy.

Pity that I sold them for 20 dollars


Yes, those might be similar in some ways.

Before this post, I have never heard the name of disney dollar. But after reading your post, I get a sense on this dollar. I am very surprised to read the value, usage and benefits of this dollar.Because of the many advantages of using these dollars, I think that this dollar will expand in a few days. Understanding the value of dollar and the benefits of the dollar, it is really very valuable.First part and 2nd part are great information below.

Wow! I have never heard of Disney Dollars. They sound super cool. I can imagine they would have value. I have always enjoyed collecting. From comics to sports cards and figurines. I even like to collect nice whisky’s and wines. As a kid I would spend hours picking out what I thought would be the most collectable comics and cards. I would carefully read them once and then put them in their plastic sleeve with a backing to preserve its quality. It was all about the rating. Lol Now, the value of those things seems to be fading as time passes. I’m actually very interested in starting a silver collection as well. I would love to start with a Steem stack dollar.


If it isn't fun, it isn't worthwhile. I loved collecting as a kid also. Now, I look at it from more of an economic perspective, but if you don't enjoy the item, then there's no thrill in it.

Even though the rest of the world, or people like me don't seem to see it, you've laid some really interesting speculations here, one people should take with a grain of salt. I didn't know collectors took stuff like this as well.

From Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Donald to Cinderella, Ariel, Snow White, and Aurora to Pirates of the Caribbean to Cruella to Space Mountain, they feature lots of characters and places.

And as if to taunt me, they've got some of my favourites thrown in there as well. If i could just get ahold of that dollar with a Johnny Depp image on it.

Good stuff sir.


See, they have something for (almost) everybody. Lots of people are drawn to these because they like certain characters, etc. All the more reason people will hold onto them.


And there's a good chance that if we ain't spending, the value would up, yeah?


That might be a factor, yes.


Thank you.

BTW, from a huge fan, I love what you do sir.

Sounds like a good investment. How to get them more cheaply as it seems like they have gone up quite a bit in value. I will keep my eyes open fr this and see if I can get lucky.

Currently, the baseball card does not have much demand, it is a good option that you do not keep collecting more beibol cards, maybe if you sell your card in South America maybe you sell it at a good price.

I will continue through part 2 to continue reading about the disney dollar, for me to give my final opinion

@donkeypong, Yep...I've read and carefully take great imaging about investing physical BTC tokens and whiskey and there you true said. Here's nice explained how to value checklist about Disney Dollars. Actually I recommend to others your middle part very informative for market researchers. Why I said that, Its depend on Economics theory. Do you have compared value of Disney dollars to US dollars Tom?
Seems better interesting to mine. Looking to tremendous output and better investment project. I guess holding much better long term. Then I can earn more.

one that is likely to continue increasing in value over time.
I think same condition and will do in future. Also most interesting with you final Reasons I Like the long term value. Thanks to introducing valuable collecting information Tom.


@rumon12, You totally copy pasted my comment and then put as your own comment to Mr. Tom's post. It bad attitude you showing to steem blockchain. Please do do correction. This is kind attention. I don't try to flag you now. Please try to make your own comment. If not your reputation will down through downvote.

I’m more of an investor than a collector: I acquire certain items that are likely to increase in value in the coming years.

I would put myself into same category. However, I mostly invest in physical precious metals, property and cryptocurency, and some alcohol as well, also some money invested in stock market. I consider Disney dollars as a collectibles. I’m a bit sceptic in this kind of investment (as you mentioned counterfeit is what I’m worried about) but it’s what you believe in and that’s the most important. I believe your Casascius physical bitcoin tokens will have unbelievable value in few decades and I’m talking about millions. Man, I wish I had one of these when they were made.

I think you should really try to break all this things in more clearer language for we new comer.
Your post looks more proverbial than I can ever imagined,lol
Thanks as you are considering us

Maybe cos this is my first time commenting on your post is a contributing factor to my comments, anyways try and adjust sir.

Great post sir


Plz help me.. Plz follow with steemit

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Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvote this reply.

I would have had no idea those disney Dolars would be collectables, I am going to keep an eye out for them

This is great enlightenment and exposure to some thing new called Disney dollars. With this explanation i believe these are worth taking a risk and invest in. Investing early in such an opportunity that is still growing and showing some great hopes of success in the near by future, can be indeed very rewarding.

Added to my investment list

Thanks so much sir @donkeypong for sharing.

congreats post for the study i am flowing [email protected] thanks to: @donkeypong

Once my family and I were walking down main street, and it was my sisters birthday so she was wearing a birthday badge. A cast member came up to us and gave us all $50 disney dollars because it was my sisters birthday!! It was sooo cool :)

its vary helpful to us for for Increasing Value.
you did a good artice its important for us thank you dear for this

Disneyland and its related theme parks are sometimes called the happiest places on Earth. If you had invested in Disney itself 10 years ago, you might be partaking in some of that happiness, too.

Financial website How Much took a look at some popular American stocks from ten years ago to find out how much a $1,000 investment in each would be worth now. It estimates that a $1,000 investment in Disney in 2007 would be worth $2,824 as of October 31.

Disney's performance came in just shy of Google's holding company, Alphabet's.



Plz help me.. Plz follow with steemit

i have lots of disney dollars... i actually tried to buy one last nite at the disney store and they said "you can only get them at the parks now, but we have gift cards....

I think the only thing I would do with a Disney dollar is to give it to a child in anticipation of their trip. but then again since it doesn't look like actual money I'm afraid that they would just lose track of it and lose it. and what's the point of it then. needless to say I don't think I would ever get any Disney Dollars. I probably rather give the upcoming visitor a gift card and hold on to that myself if they were a child until the point that they actually use it.

wow, Disney Dollar, l believe that it´s better to say Disney coins, that the future my friend, there´s not doubt about it.

This is awesome...... Never heard of Disney dollars; glad to learn about it here

In 1988 I worked for a candy company and I went door to door selling candy. the company twice a year would take us to Disney world . after Disney started selling Disney dollars the company would hand those out as a bonus for top sellers on candy crews instead of real money like they used to. In 5 months I earned about 300.00 dollars worth of them. Next trip to Disney with the company "they paid for all the kids to go" I didn't have to spend any of my money on me , I paid for everything with them. I even paid for my 2 brothers food and drinks for the day. I wish I would of kept a few... maybe one day they might be worth something lol but still to have 300.00 to blow at Disney in 88 made you feel like a rich kid lol

Disney Dollars! First time I've come across those. It's quite interesting to see my favorite Disney Characters on Dollar Bills!

Good read! Yeah, it quite long to read but worth the time. I like the sound of "Disney Dollars"! :)

The advantage of this dollar is really good. As the cost of the disney increases day by day, its expansion will increase further. It's nice to read your post.

Awesome idea, I really enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing

Really this post is wonderful for me .Before read your posr,i dont know this dollar name and this benefits.But really this dollar is very valueable. Becaause disney dollar benfits and standard are really good.I will read your next post part-2.

collectibles are good investment one chose the right items.

Good delivery, warm greetings from Gayo wilderness.

@donkeypong, ya....i read your post carefully. i think the same condition and will do in future. Most interesting with you is the final reasons that I like the long term value. #Thanks to introducing this valuable collecting information Tom.

I remember reading about whiskey collection from your blog a certain time ago and thought it a wise and beautiful investment.

It is only wise to collect things that may likely increase in value and not otherwise.

I do think that Disney is a well known brand and as such respected.....

Collecting Disney Dollars 💵, based on predictions might be a viable investment.


Fascinating read. I've been toying with the idea of trying to get into collectible investments -- and maybe I'll need to take a look at Disney Dollars. I would have loved getting one of those physical Bitcoin as well! Thanks for a great read -- you've got a new follower.

Friend wrote awesome
I think it might benefit people by buying a Disney dollar.
Thank you for posting this post!
I like your posts.
Go ahead, I'm also with you.

Hearing this for the first time. Thanks for the info



Plz help me.. Plz follow with steemit

I never heard the name of the disney dollar. But after reading your article, I have a feeling about this dollar. I was surprised to read the value, usage and benefits of this dollar.

Thanks for sharing this......

The Walt Disney stock is definitely a good long term buy, given its solid fundamentals and attractive valuations. But i think there is short term downside, which means you can get a better price.

i have to learn a lot of things for you...
be continuous sir

First time to read about it
"Disney dollars "

I think I have to do some personal studies on Disney dollars. Though, it sound interesting already.
Thanks @donkeypong For the update

Disney Dollars, this is interesting . I totally agree with you on Demand affecting the value of goods . You see when demand is equal to supply, the the company is not running at loss and this brings about good quality. When supply is higher than demand then the good becomes worthless . And when supply is lower than demand that increases the value of the goods

What a beautiful! I did not see such a dollar in life. At first they looked a little strange. But I was very happy to see Disney Dollar. But how can they be invested? So thanks for this beautiful post @donkeypong ..............

@donkeypong, I worry about transporting. I live in Nigeria and buying stuff from outside my country takes a while to get to Nigeria. Also will it be in a good condition?

Maybe I am worrying too much but I like the idea of collecting items. I collect some coins but I dont actually know there worth. I just collect because I like the aesthetics. Maybe I should check their prices online; who knows. I also have one or two stamps but then again, I have emptied no idea as to their worth.

I would love to get my hands on those Disney dollars though. I have to think of a way to get them to me on time and without damage.

disney dollars > tether
I think I have to do some personal studies on Disney dollars. Though, it sound interesting already.
Thanks @donkeypong For the update

This is what they never taught us during the research project about Disney, but here I am learning about its value on Steemit..

I like the way you think very nice

@donkeypong thanks for Steemit101 you contributed to. The book helped so much. As a newbie in the crypto world, this is really new to me but I hope as time goes on I'd know more about it and maybe invest in it.

Thanks a lot @donkeypong for your time and everything.

Interesting stuff there @donkeypong. I wasn't even aware of Disney Dollars. I have recently started collecting UK 50 pence pieces as they have all manner of different designs on them. You can easily buy them on eBay,but i find it much more fun just finding them in my normal day to day rummagings through the snack shop cash box at work :D (I dont steal them... I change my other denominations for them, promise)

I also have a pretty big collection of rare U2 memorabilia. Some of that is probably worth something, maybe more-so if Bono ever departs this immortal coil.

My wife (@highwings) has an awesome collection of Wizard of Oz stuff (including a pretty rare pair of replica ruby slippers). Maybe I'll get her to create a post on here about her collection.

I think your hidden information is very useful to us and your valuable description is very interesting.So I also follow your post regularly and learning many things about the Cryptozoic for the future.

I had no idea about Disney Dollars and their value, mind blown @donkeypong!

the more advanced an era, the greater the longing for the past, the goods that were once famous in the past, even the hair and clothing models of the past.

That's true, we never know the stuff from the past what will become assets in the future. However, maybe from now on we can think to collect something according to our interests, without having to care if it can be a source of wealth in the future.

Wow that good I think that also I would do this investment, it is something that always will take value of as a life... in addition they are precious

Great post!!

I thought it was about dragonchain LOL