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Disney Annual Passholder Banned For Selling Tickets on eBay is Fighting Back

Magic Key Holder fights ban for selling tickets
Credit: Disney

In early 2021, when Disneyland Resort was still closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Disneyland officials sent its Annual Passholders a devastating email. They said that the popular Annual Pass Program was ending, but promised a new system was on the way. That August, Disneyland Park, and Disney California Adventure were finally open after more than 400 days. That is when Disneyland launched its new Annual Pass Program, now called the Magic Key Program.

Disneyland guest sexual assault

Credit: Disney

Related: Are Disney’s Magic Key Holders Over It?

Since the beginning, Magic Keys have become somewhat of a point of contention among guests. Disney even faced a massive Magic Key lawsuit from guests who accused Disney is violating the terms and conditions of the contract by creating artificial blackout dates. Disney ended up agreeing to pay nearly $10 million in damages to the affected Key Holders.

As part of the Magic Key agreement, guests agree to abide by all of Disney’s terms and conditions. Should they break the rules, they may find themselves without a Magic Key, but still needing to make the payments.

Disneyland magic Key Holders over it

Credit: Disney

One Magic Key Holder has found himself in that exact position, and he is fighting back.

Spokane, Washington resident, Andrew Rich, and his wife have been Disneyland Annual Passholders/Magic Key Holders for about three decades. They travel down to The Happiest Place on Earth about half a dozen times and year and will even purchase tickets to special events. This included a pair of tickets for the popular after-hours event, Disneyland After Dark: Sweetheart’s Nite.

sweethearts nite at disneyland california

Credit: Disneyland Resort

Mr. Rich and his wife decided to make their New Year’s celebration one to remember. This past New Year’s Eve, they celebrated at Disneyland. Then, they flew to Walt Disney World Resort for the super-popular Marathon Weekend. After that, they boarded the Disney Wish for an incredible cruise, and wrapped up their trip by returning to Disneyland Resort for the Disneyland Half Marathon.

Sadly, somewhere along the line, both Rich and his wife came down with COVID-19 and were unable to attend Sweetheart’s Nite. Rich then posted the tickets for sale on eBay, where they were quickly snatched up. Unfortunately for Rich, deciding to sell the tickets he could not use resulted in the revocation of his Magic Key, as well as a one-year ban from all Disney properties.

Disneyland Half Marathon weekend

Credit: Disney

Related: Entitled TikToker Finally Banned From Disney

In the fine print, Disney says that its tickets for events like Sweetheart’s Nite are non-refundable and may not be transferred between guests. This is done to prevent people from purchasing the tickets for the sole purpose of reselling them at a higher rate. Mr. Rich said that he did not read the fine print and did not know he was not allowed to sell the tickets to someone else.

Mr. Rich sold the tickets for exactly what he paid for them, so he did not make a profit.

sweethearts nite at disneyland california

Credit: Disneyland Resort

According to a report from The Orange County Register:

An eagle-eyed Disneyland fan notified the park that Sweethearts’ Nite tickets were being resold on eBay and Rich immediately lost his annual pass privileges.

“Because I was logged into my Magic Key account when purchasing the tickets, my Magic Key privileges were revoked for one year,” Rich said by email.

Now, guests who are banned from Disney are allowed to appeal their trespass notice. Disney takes each appeal on a case-by-case basis and does not guarantee that the decision will be reversed.

sweethearts nite at disneyland california

Credit: Disneyland Resort

Regrettably, that does not appear to be the same for Magic Key Holders. Mr. Rich said that he contacted Disneyland’s Magic Key Revocation Team and was informed that appeals are not accepted.

Mr. Rich then wrote letters to Ken Potrock — the President of Disneyland Resort — and Josh D’Amaro — the Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products. In his letters to them, he admitted that he did sell his tickets to Sweetheart’s Nite, but didn’t realize that he wasn’t allowed to. He begged them to appeal the decision to ban Mr. Rich from the parks.

Disneyland After Dark Sweethearts Nite

Credit: Disney

Both Mr. Potrock and Mr. D’Amaro declined to overrule the Magic Key Revocation Team’s decision.

On top of that, Mr. Rich also learned that he would not be getting a refund for the 257 days left of his Believe Key. Rich had paid for the pass in full, but if he had signed up for the monthly payment option, he would have continued to make payments even though he couldn’t use the Magic Key.

In a last-ditch effort, Mr. Rich reached out to Elliott Advocacy, a non-profit consumer advocacy group. Disney officials relayed the same message to Elliott Advocacy that they did to Mr. Rich — their decision was final, and it would not be changed.

Do you think that Disney is being too strict and that Mr. Rich made an honest mistake? Let us know in the comments!

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!

2 comments

  1. Absolutely boneheaded, tone-deaf move by a Disney management that no longer possess any humanity. We were looking forward to once again purchasing annual passes and becoming regular Disney guests as COVID waned, but this and other Disney management decisions in recent years will have us spending our money elsewhere. We miss Disney – the one Walt created, not this heartless mess the current management has made.

  2. As the story outlined the ticket holder sold the tickets for face value and thus was not price gouging. So it sounds as if he made a legitimate error. It seems Disney could have chosen a 30 day ban and then reinstated his access. Especially since he was a 30 yr ticket holder.
    On the other side of the equation… I’m not sure how he could not know that the tickets are non0refundable and nontransferable. all their tickets state that. However I have had special event tickets and had an emergency that meant I could not use them and when I asked nicely, Disney did refund my money.
    So I think Disney could have and should have more gracious in this situation. Bet the ticket holder is responsible for knowing the rules and he was a long time holder, not new to the program. Sorry, but there are rules and sometimes stuff happens.

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