Disney Faces Lawsuit About Disneyland Magic Key Program– Moves It To US District Court

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A couple of days ago a $5 million dollar lawsuit was filed against Disney over their Annual Pass replacement Magic Key Program at the Disneyland Resort. Some guests are arguing that Disney sold Keys to guests and then found ways to limit their use so those that purchased them could not use them on certain dates.

The Dream Key was sold to guests at $1,399 and stated “Reservation based admission to one or both theme parks every day of the year.

It’s being argued that Disney is “artificially limiting theme park capacity” to block passholders with passes like the Dream Key from making reservations. The write-up on the Key says “reservation based admission” and if there is no availability then they can argue that a guest can’t use the “no block out dates” pass.

According to the OC Register:

The $5 million suit filed on behalf of all annual passholders alleges Disneyland relegated them to “second class” ticket holders by artificially limiting Magic Key reservations and the number of passholders that can visit on any given day.

It is being argued that there is still room at the parks if there are still daily tickets available.

I know this is something that has frustrated guests on both coasts. Disney was making park reservation availability available by groups–ticket holder and passholders. Of course they make far more money on ticketholders so access is split into availability for each group. Once a specific group limit is hit it blocks anyone else with that same entry method from booking a Park Pass Reservation.

Before the pandemic and the park pass system, when parks reached capacity, Disney would close entry.

It’s the same thing, but here there might still be availability, but it’s being assigned to daily ticket holders and not the Magic Key passholders who paid more for their pass to not face “block out dates.” If they wanted to go they would have to purchase daily tickets to do so, even if they had a Key.

Back in October Disney pulled sales of their Dream Key Passes and raised ticket prices, after only about two months of availability.

This case was actually filed over a month ago on November 9th, in Orange County Superior Court by the attorneys of Jenale Nielsen. The goal is have the case moved to a class action suit in U.S. District Court.

The lawsuit alleges that Nielsen purchased a $1,399 Disneyland Dream Key annual pass with no blockout dates in September, but was unable to make theme park reservations for certain dates in November.

When Nielsen tried to make reservations in October, she was disappointed to learn Disneyland had already blocked out Dream Key passholders on many days and all weekends in November, the suit alleges.

The lawsuit specifically accuses Disneyland of misrepresentation, false advertising and breach of contract.

Basically, the argument is that Disney tricked people into purchasing the more expensive $1,399 Dream Key with the promise of no limitations, unlike the other Key options, and then created limitations anyways.

For reference here is was what Disney sold as Magic Key tiers:

Every other tier offered access on “select days of the year” with only the top Dream Tier offering it “every day of the year.

The suit claims to want to stop Disney from using these “Unlawful trade practices” moving forward and the repay the Key Holders all revenue Disney gained from the Dream Keys.

In response Disney had filed a Notice of Removal, asking that the case be moved to the United States District Court stating that since the “matter in controversy exceeds the sum or value of $5 million” and that “any member of a class of plaintiffs is a citizen of a State different from any defendant,” Meaning, Disney is arguing that their Walt Disney Parks and Resorts division is based in Florida and the plaintiff is in California, so the case should be moved.

I thought it was interesting that the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts division is based in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, with only a bit more than a dozen employees. But it’s parent company Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, Inc., is based in Burbank, CA. And even beyond that, the Walt Disney Company is also based in Burbank, CA.  Yet their argument is that it should be moved because the companies are in different states.  The most likely explanation seems to be that it could go to a “class-action lawsuit” and then it will pull in from other states as well.

Disney did state up front that the passes were not blocked out as long as there was availability, but the question is, are they changing availability to keep passholders from using their higher priced “Dream Keys.”

What do you think? Comment and let us know!

Source: OC Register.



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