Disney Dollars: Where is Your Treasure?
Disney Dollars are one of the most clever marketing ideas/souvenirs I’ve ever run across in any company. On May 5,1987, under the direction of marketing wizard Jack Lindquist—who became the park’s president in 1990—the first run of Disney Dollars was delivered to Disneyland. They arrived in a Brinks armored car with a police escort, and when they arrived, who carried the first bag off the truck? Scrooge McDuck, of course! A few days later, they debuted at Walt Disney World.
There is no markup on these bills. You can purchase a $1 bill for $1 (US), a $5 bill for $5, and a $10 bill for $10. The only catch is that they can only be used at Disney-owned locations. Still, if you know you plan to spend a certain amount, having it in Disney Dollars can actually make it fun. They’re also great to give to kids to buy souvenirs with.
Jack Lindquist shared in a presentation I attended that as fun as the bills may be, they aren’t play money. They are printed using a sophisticated process that rivals—and in some cases exceeds—what is used on actual U.S. currency. The serial numbers are real, and they have significant anti-counterfeiting measures embedded in them. The engravings are made by the same people who engraved the United States currency and the printing was (and possibly still is) done by the same printers who print the British pounds.
The genius of these Dollars is that they serve as both legal tender at Disney Stores, Parks, and Resorts, but that they’re also collectible. According to Jack, there have been so many Disney Dollars purchased but not used that the money Disney made from them is more than enough to have built the Indiana Jones Adventure! Some buy them to keep, some don’t get around to using them, and some forget. And once you’re no longer on Disney property or in a Disney store, you can’t use them for anything other than to collect. Of course, you can always turn them in for the cash value at the end of your stay, but most people don’t.
Purchasing Disney Dollars does one small but important thing: it connects your money to Disney, and by extension it connects you to Disney. Once you’ve given them your dollars and received Disney Dollars in exchange, you’re tied to that place more than you were before. You may spend more money because it’s “their” money. But more importantly, you won’t spend it anywhere else. You can’t. Your treasure is in Disney.
In fact, if you have a sizeable amount of these Dollars, you may even choose to go back to a Disney park or purchase an item from a Disney store when you wouldn’t otherwise have done so, just because you’ve “already spent the money,” in a sense.
Jesus talked about this very truth when He said,
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Once you’ve put your treasure (money) somewhere, your heart is connected to it. And once your treasure is there, you can’t use it anywhere else. If you invest in a company, you want pay much more attention to it. If you fill your house with fancy possessions, you become preoccupied with keeping it safe. If you carelessly waste it, you feel disconnected.
Jesus says to store up treasure in heaven—using it for His purposes and to further His kingdom. You do that by giving to your local church or to other ministries like Compassion International or Reasons to Believe, or by purchasing and using Christian books, CD’s, etc. to grow in your faith and help others grow as well.
Once your money is going there, your focus goes there much more. You’re connected to them, and to God, more closely. You engage more. You may even do things you wouldn’t ordinarily have done because of that connection.
And that’s the idea.
Question: Where is your treasure? Do you need to invest more of it in the Kingdom and less in other ways? Talk about it in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.