Judge DENIES Disney’s Claim to Dismiss $5 Million Magic Key Lawsuit, Case Will Move Forward

mickey at disneyland
Credit: Disney Parks

In January 2021, Disneyland Resort Guests learned that Disney would be getting rid of their much-beloved Annual Passes. Those Annual Passes would be replaced with new Magic Keys. When they were introduced in August 2021, there were four levels of Magic Keys — Dream Key, Believe Key, Enchant Key, and Imagine Key. The Imagine Key was, and still is, only available to Southern California Residents, and only the top-tier Dream Key has no blackout dates — at least, that’s what Guests were told.


Credit: Disney

Not long after purchasing their Dream Keys, Guests learned that “no blackout days” didn’t mean much. Because you need reservations to visit both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure and there are so many Magic Key Holders, reservations filled up incredibly quickly. Guests who thought they would be able to go whenever they wanted — as they could with their old Signature Annual Passes — found themselves unable to make reservations to visit the Happiest Place On Earth for weeks at a time.

Magic Key Cover

Credit: Disney

The struggle to book reservations with the top-tier Dream Key frustrated many Guests. One woman was so frustrated that she filed a lawsuit against Disney, claiming that the company engaged in deceptive practices when it said that there would be no blackout dates. The lawsuit claims that Magic Key Holders were made “second-class ticket holders” because of the limited number of reservations available to Key Holders. Limiting the number of reservations artificially limits the number of Key Holders that can visit each day.

Disneyland Resort

Credit: Travel and Leisure

The lawsuit — which was filed on November 9, 2021 — was originally filed with the Orange County Superior Court, but was moved to a U.S. District Court because the Disney Parks offices are headquartered in Florida and the Plaintiff is in California. When the case was filed, Plaintiff said that they hoped to make the case a class-action one. Disney, as with all lawsuits, filed to have the case dismissed.

Unfortunately for Disney, a judge has now denied Disney’s motion for dismissal. The judge wrote the following in their decision:

Here, there are two reasonable interpretations of the “subject to availability” limitation: Plaintiff’s version, which construes the limitation as barring Dream Key Pass holders from making a reservation only when reservations to the park in general are unavailable; and Defendant’s version, which construes the availability limitation as something different and additional to the capacity limitation. As such, the Court finds that the Plaintiff has pled fact sufficient to find that the term “subject to availability” is capable of more than one reasonable construction and is thus ambiguous. 

Accordingly, the Court DENIES Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s claim for breach of contract. 

Disneyland Minnie Display

Credit: Disney

Disney has been dealing with a number of Key Holder complaints since Magic Keys first went on sale. Many Dream Key Holders feel that they are not getting what they are paying for if they are unable to go to the theme parks when they want to. The reservation system only came into place when the Parks reopened after the pandemic, and they have not been a very popular move. Even though people aren’t fans of making Park reservations, Disney officials have said that they are not going anywhere any time soon.

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!