The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 39, September 27, 2020, Article 9


John and Nancy Wilson submitted this review of Disney NumisMagic, the new book on Disney Dollars. Thanks! -Editor

Disney NumisMagic – The Art and Magic of Collecting Disney Currency – Catalogue and Valuation Guide for Disney FANTASY Currency
Author not named and Published by: CVM Enterprises
Reviewed by John and Nancy Wilson, NLG

Disney NumisMagic book cover Disney NumisMagic – The Art and Magic of Collecting Disney Currency – Catalogue and Valuation Guide for Disney FANTASY Currency is a 252-page hard bound reference with color illustrations, an up-to-date price guide, and Disney information.

Teddy Ryan III wrote that he has been compiling data for over 30 years, and it has taken him longer than he thought to get it finally published. We can understand the 30 plus years he took to compile this information on the Disney Currency that is contained within the pages of this reference. It contains Disney history along with all notes and other numismatic related information. Starting in 1987, the notes have an engraved border designed by the American Bank Note Company (ABNCo). Several other Bank Note Companies were involved in the early issues, but the ABNCo won the contract.

Printed in the USA, the book isn't endorsed by the Walt Disney Company, and according to the reference is, "unofficial and unauthorized". With several other references on Disney Dollars in print, the author did not use other references or price guides.

The price guide shows the fair market value at retail for collectors at the time of publication. The release of the Disney dollars in 1987, at least for us, was a dream come true.

It starts with collecting bank notes and currency which leads into the Fantasy Currency in this reference which are forms of money and coupons which are assigned with make-believe subjects and fictitious topics. It discusses the amusement parks and their growth along with different types of memorabilia, and other items used in the parks including the novelty currency. It is interesting to note that he mentions how many U.S. currency notes are issued on a daily basis, and the very insignificant amounts of fantasy currency (actually mimic U. S. Currency) which was issued. The author uses the International Bank Note Society (IBNS) grading standards. It is a rarity to see a circulated note because when they were used as cash at a Disney park they were destroyed. The author discusses the natural and unnatural defects which can happen when they are circulated.

Chapter one covers the Walt Disney history and timeline. The timeline starts in 1923 and goes up to 2021 Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary. In 1923 Walt and Roy signed a contract with M. J. Winkler to produce a series of "Alice Comedies." The Mickey Mouse biography follows with his screen debut was Steamboat Willie, in November, 1928. They next discuss everything about Mickey Mouse. The Artwork of Disney Fantasy Currency explains the totally invented or concocted design of the fascinating currency including Mickey, Goofy, Minnie, Donald, Tinkerbell, along with other scenes that are within the parks.

Chapter Two contains Disney fantasy currency particulares. We collect these dollars, and this is the first time we have heard them called particulares. They are also described as private currency notes or paper money issued by merchants which are printed by anyone other than a legally authorized government agency. The next chapter discusses the story of Disney fantasy currency tracing its history to the original Disney studios in the 1930's. Walt Disney then first licensed the use of Mickey Mouse Money and was distributed during the Mickey Mouse Club meetings. The scarce two types of Mickey Mouse coupons, one, five and ten, are discussed later. They are priced in several different grades with about uncirculated (AU) being the highest. Many of the ‘Cone Dollars' were also placed as free coupons in the Mickey Mouse Magazine.

The price for these 1930's magazines runs from $15 in Fine to $500 to $1500 in AU. WW ll Disney War bond certificates and Magic Kingdom Club OPERATION M.O.U.S.E money which cover numerous issues follow. With the exception of the war bonds the rest are very rare. Nancy Opitz Wilson has one issued to her in the 1940's, and we still have it. With all the Disney characters in the borders it will be passed down to our heirs. A few Magic Kingdom membership cards can also be found. The chapter closes out with Disneyland Dollars (early issues), Happy Dollars, Recreation Coupons, Vacation Club Sand Dollar, a Promotional Dollar and El Capitan Theatre Dollars. All these issues are well illustrated, described and priced though the El Capitan prices for Gem and AU-Unc are in the wrong column.

Chapter Three, The Official Disney Dollars – 1st Generation (Traditional) starts with a fact card containing a Mickey dollar which explains it, followed by a Disney Press Release dated in 1987 explaining their release at the theme park in Anaheim. A June 4, 1987 Cast Member Publication article which featured "Getting Our Money into Circulation," shows a photo of Creative Services Illustrator, Matt Mew, signing a sheet of notes (probably a Proof Sheet depicting Mickey – 1987 Series of the new Disney Dollars. We have an 18-subject sheet of the series 1987, depicting Mickey number 56 / 750 and signed by Mr. Mew. The Inaugural Issues of the 1987 follow in denominations of one and five. The backs have different backs which determines what series they are. Well-illustrated photos and prices follow to the Series of 1999 ($1, $5 and $10). The chapter ends with Little Known Disney Dollar chronicles.

We have the Official Disney Dollars "2nd generation" (themed). The dollars are covered from 2000 through the 2014 issues. The Disney company decided to have more frequent changes in the designs on their currency. They also began to discover more unique ways to market these same items. Every Disney character was used in these 2nd generation issues. There are three pages of information on the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction and Disney Dollar issues. The end of Disney Dollars came when the Disney Company wanted patrons to use gift cards and other forms of electronic transactions or digital currency. Though not issued any more, you can still use your Disney Dollars at any of their parks as actual cash.

Many of the Disney Dollars which were issued from 1987 to 2014 probably have some specimens and proofs (Intaglio or Lithographic), and or test notes. Proof and Specimen are not only well illustrated, but also explained. All notes have serial numbers which are zeros. Many proprietary proofs were created for sale to the general public and collectors." Some were cut up and sold individually. No prices on these notes are shown, and we can assume that most are very scarce.

Disney Dollars errors – FREAKS and ODDITIES (EFOs). EFOs are hardly ever encountered, even though a note that had flaws was still released for circulation. Many of the EFOs are illustrated. The production of Disney Dollars had the back printed first followed by the face printing and then the overprinting which was probably the most difficult. Error notes consist of multiple errors, incomplete printing (unprinted) and (insufficient ink), ink stain or smear, out of register printing, serial numbers, incorrect printing (design error), and misspelled words. Freaks consist of missing color and overprint, omission error, paper error and value error. Freaks are rarely found. Oddities consist of inverted or incorrect printing (location error) and print location (wrong end). Fancies would consist of radars, repeaters, ladder, solid, binary and dates. It is possible to have two or more of these fancies and or EFOs on one Disney Dollar. No prices are listed. Errors shouldn't be possible with the Disney Dollars (except minor flaws), but unscrupulous employees who are printing them remove them illegally from the building and sell them to friends or associates.

Limited Editions and Framed Sets. Many of these were sold through Disney Merchandise locations worldwide. We purchased our framed 1987 $1 Disney Sheet at the Orlando park and enjoy looking at it and showing friends. Early in their release it was very easy to obtain $1 and $5 (1987) sets with matching serial numbers as well as Proof Sheets. Our 18 subject 1987 $1 sheet cost $295 framed at the park, with one selling in 2013 for $745. All the other framed sets consisting of two and more up to 18 subject sheets. Some collectors cut up sheets to obtain a special note. Mr. Disney is well known for his famous quotes and quips such as, "That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up."

A Notaphilist is defined as an individual who studies banknotes, paper money or currency. The Valuation Guide covers every issue along with many other memorabilia in this reference. The author has over 30 years of research in auctions, Worthpoint, International Bank Note Society, Professional Currency Dealer Association, dealers and other sources. He says that the prices listed should only be used as a "guide for the purpose of a reference". On the last two pages you will find a petition with the Disney Company address and a place for your signature for you to send to Disney and request for consideration, "To please bring back Disney Dollars," which were discontinued on May 14, 2016. The author and publisher have no problem with anyone either cutting this petition out of the book or making copies of them to either sign themselves or have friends sign them.

This book is an outstanding resource of well researched information on Disney Dollars, and other related items. We all love Mickey, Donald, Goofy and other Disney characters. Although the Disney Co. retired and removed its Fantasy Dollars from circulation in 2016, The Disney Dollars Currency is still going strong in the hearts of collectors.

To obtain a copy of this reference contact CVM Enterprises who released the book: Disney Numismagic – The Art and Magic of Collecting Disney Currency (ISBN: 978-0-9890441-7-2) at a Retail Price of ONLY $34.95 – Printed POD by (Ingram Books / Ingram Spark) and available direct from the publisher CVM Enterprises . Or to purchase the book go to this web page: . The author gave us his eBay site which gives you 20% off if you purchase more than one with free shipping: We went to and found it there for $34.95 and if you have Prime it ships free. Finally, the author told us it is, wholesale (20% off) direct from 'Ingram Books' or Ingram Spark-Lightning Source (which are Ingram's POD divisions).

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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