$5 Million Lawsuit Filed Against Disney, Claiming Deceptive Advertising With Annual Pass Sales

mickey at disneyland
Credit: Disney Parks

Back in January 2021, Disneyland Annual Passholders received an email stating that Disneyland Resort was ending its Annual Pass Program effective immediately and that Annual Passes would no longer be valid for theme park access. The Parks were closed due to the pandemic at the time, but when they reopened, Annual Passholders would have to buy tickets like everyone else — although their AP discount would still be available for purchases made at the Resort. Disney promised that a new Pass Program would be coming down the pike, patience was just required.

Credit: Disney

Eight months later, in August 2021, Disney announced its brand new Magic Key Program. The Magic Key Pass Program was pretty much identical to its old Annual Pass program, just with a different name. There were four Magic Keys that would be available for purchase — the Dream Key, the Believe Key, the Enchant Key, and the Imagine Key (available only to Southern California residents). The Dream Key would set Guests back $1,400, but it was the only Magic Key that had no blackout dates, meaning Guests with that Pass could technically go to the Parks 365 days a year.

Magic Key Cover

Credit: Disney

However, it has not worked out that way, especially for the thousands of people that purchased the Dream Key. The 365 days per year access depends wholly on theme park reservations being available. Both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure require reservations for Guests who want to visit, whether they are a Key Holder or just buying a regular ticket.

Disney sets aside a certain number of reservation spots for Magic Key Holders and a certain number of spots for regular ticket holders. The number is completely arbitrary but has been giving Magic Key Holders a headache since reservations can book up fast and Key Holders can find themselves unable to make a reservation for weeks. Meanwhile, regular ticket holders can find those same days all open for ticket purchases.

Magic Key reservations

Credit: Screenshot Disneyland Website

That struggle to make reservations is what has led one Magic Key Holder to file a $5 million lawsuit against the House of Mouse. The lawsuit alleges that Disney has made Magic Key Holders “second-class ticket holders” by artificially limiting the number of reservations available which, in turn, limits the number of Key Holders that can visit on any given day.

The lawsuit was originally filed on November 9 in Orange County Superior Court — Disneyland is located in Orange County, CA –, but was moved to a U.S. District Court due to the fact that it asks for $5 million, and also because the plaintiff lives in California and the Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts is located in Florida. The lawsuit focuses on Magic Keys, which are only at Disneyland, but the Parks head office is in Florida.

Disneyland Closed

Credit: CNBC

This lawsuit was filed on behalf of all Magic Key Holders and the original plaintiff is hoping that the lawsuit can move to class-action status, and she may just have a shot at that. Disney has constantly been fielding complaints from Magic Key Holders about the lack of reservations. The Dream Key is the only Pass that includes all weekends, but those are the first reservations to be completely gone, leaving a lot of Dream Key Holders wondering what they are paying for.

Disneyland Magic Key

Credit: D23

Disney officials have not commented on the pending lawsuit but said “We intend to respond as the case proceeds in court” in a statement.

What do you think of this lawsuit filed against Disney?

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!