Disney Goes Cashless (Sort Of)

by Ben Jackson 0

The march towards a cashless society not only applies to governments. The sales of Disney Dollars have been discontinued at Walt Disney World and Disney land, according to press reports.

A once-beloved souvenir has faded into Yesterland in the face of modern technology, as the Disney theme parks have discontinued sales of Disney Dollars as of May 15, 2016.Disney Dollars are customized currencies that are accepted as legal tender at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts and inside Disney Stores. They were sold to guests in various denominations since 1987 on a $1-to-$1 exchange rate with U.S. dollars. With most guests now opting for credit cards and electronic payments over cash, the Disney resorts halted sales of new Disney Dollars after May 14, 2016. Instead, guests can opt for gift cards, which (unlike Disney Dollars) cannot be redeemed for cash.

(Read more at: http://attractionsmagazine.com/disney-dollars-discontinued/)

The dollars will continue be accepted at Disney locations, but one fan of the scrip suggests another path for those with Disney Dollars in their wallets.

Disney Dollars will continue to be accepted at Disney locations, since they have no expiration date. But unless you have hundreds of notes to unload you should probably just hold on to them for a bit. The resale market for even once-common Disney products can be pretty lucrative after a few years.

(Read the piece at: http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/gift-cards-have-killed-disney-dollars-which-will-be-di-1776266000)

On its surface, the end of the Disney Dollar program seems like the end of a marketing program or a bit of whimsical evidence that we are moving towards a cashless society. However, it would be interesting to know the decision criteria Disney used for ending the program. Was it a matter of the Disney Dollars simply duplicating gift cards and so the program was ended? Did the purchase of Disney Dollars drop in correlation with an increase in gift cards, or even in connection with other payments? Did the company find that kids these days had little idea what to do with the dollars once they got them? While the decision as probably made based on a confluence of factors, an overriding factor in one direction or another may hold clues about the future of cash in our economy and how younger generations view it.

Overview by Ben Jackson, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group