Resellers Be Warned: Your Disneyland Annual Pass Could Be Revoked!

in Disney, Disneyland Resort

Image copyright Disney

Disneyland has been revoking the annual passes of guests who buy collectible park-exclusive merchandise and resell it, the OC Register reports.

For years, Disneyland park guests have increasingly become privy to the trendiness of park-exclusive merchandise. Collectible items such as Funko Pop! figurines or refillable popcorn buckets have become social media icons, as thousands of Disneyland annual passholders have made it known to the world how exclusive and desirable these items are. The more limited-edition the items are, the higher the stakes, and the more money collectors are willing to spend as the items become available from resellers (known as “flippers” and “personal shoppers”) on websites like eBay and Instagram.

Image copyright Disney

Disneyland has caught on to the reselling trend, silently revoking the annual passes of such personal shoppers, including Samantha Cudnohufsky, who has been operating her own personal shopping business for the past four years.

“It came out of nowhere — I had no warning,” Cudnohufsky said in an interview with OC Register. Her letter from Disneyland, dated November 16, stated her annual pass would be revoked for one year. “They took away my pass right before the holidays…I had several people tell me that others had been hit too.”

But the type of reseller (and their motives behind their sales) can vary tremendously. Some resellers are self-proclaimed personal shoppers — who purchase merchandise from the theme parks and sell to Disney fans and collectors, often at the request of their regular customers — while others are known as “flippers,” annual passholders who purchase as many collectible items as possible and resell them online, often at astronomically high prices. A collectible park-exclusive popcorn bucket that retails for approximately $20 could be sold by a “flipper” on eBay for upwards of $250.

While the methods and motives may vary, it can be said that most resellers are making a profit, as they will use their annual passes to receive discounts on merchandise and then resell the items at the non-discounted price or higher. And though this has become a hobby or even a source of income for many resellers, Disney has definitely caught on.

Funko Pop! Redd

Reselling Disney Parks merchandise violates the annual passholder agreement, which states that “benefits and discounts are for personal use only and may not be used for any commercial purpose including, without limitation, to obtain or purchase items or services with the intent to resell such items or services.”

Disney issued a statement that “Park Rules and Annual Pass Terms and Conditions are in place to protect the experience for all of our Guests.” But some annual passholders believe Disney is targeting the wrong group of resellers.

“Personal shoppers are not the problem,” said Rose Keiser, who knows multiple people who have had their passes revoked. “Flippers are the problem. A flipper is going to go to the park and walk out with 10 [collectible popcorn] buckets.”

In recent months, Disney has attempted to combat the reselling issue by limiting the number of collectible items each guest can purchase. Lately, most items are limited one or two per guest, although this hasn’t stopped personal shoppers and flippers from continuing to resell their items at higher prices than they originally paid for them.

hatbox ghost tiki mug
Image copyright Disney

But why would a collector pay exorbitant amounts of money for an item they could obtain themselves for the original price? Well, it’s much easier to pay someone a marked-up price for an item that they wouldn’t want to stand in line all day for. Disney Parks guests have been known to wait hours for hot-ticket items, like the Hatbox Ghost tiki mug that prompted Disney fans to stand in an hours-long line at the Disneyland Hotel on the day of its release. Not long after the item went on sale, eBay users were marking up the prices by hundreds of dollars. And to Disney’s dismay, the resellers succeed time and time again.

It seems as though revoking annual passes from resellers is Disney’s method of cracking down on the issue. Reseller Shaun McClure stated that he had not been notified that his annual pass had been revoked until he discovered that he had been blocked out on the Disneyland app.

“I called the number on the back of my pass and they explained my account had been linked to a social media page selling Disney merchandise, so [my wife and I] were blocked,” McClure said to the OC Register. McClure’s pass can be reinstated after a 12-month period, although he admits that he never read the annual passholder terms and conditions.

Disney states in the annual passholder contract that the company “reserves the right to cancel, suspend or revoke any Passport or deny any Theme Park admission to any Passholder at any time for any reason.”

Many now-former passholders have expressed disappointment in Disney’s act of revoking resellers’ annual passes, and, according to the OC Register, only some have been told they can appeal their suspensions. Whether or not these suspensions will keep flippers from reselling park-exclusive merchandise, only time will tell.

What do you think of Disneyland’s recent choice to revoke resellers’ annual passes? Let us know your thoughts!

Source: OC Register

26 Comments

  1. This is AWESOME! revoke all of the passports from those who violate the agreement. This shouldn’t even have to be in writing! this is a simple ethical and moral thing…. you take someone else’s intellectual knowledge and work and make a profit off of it! Seriously!!! I have been a passholder for many many many years and am very happy to see Disney cracking down on these people!

  2. Loui

    Seems about time but just several months ago they were letting people buy 5 Funko’s at a time as the Wonder Gallery, what did they think people were doing with them. Think the limit is good but probably should have warned the Annual Passholders to stop doing it 1st.

  3. Shari Garcia

    FINALLY!! it’s so disappointing when trying to only purchase 1 popcorn bucket or Funko Pop on a trip from Az to Disneyland to use my AP Pass and then either wait in hours long lines to only buy 1 item for my son and see people with arm loads of items that have very small limits!! The day the Haunted Mansion Pop was released a man has huge Funko Pop canvas bags and they were all overflowing ,he had at least 20 pops !! His picture was spread all over social media !! I hope this crack down helps make purchasing more equal to everyone! !

  4. Amanda

    I have mixed feelings. I very much detest seeing these things flipped and all *that* stupidity BUT I’ve also used a shopper a few times to purchase something available in the CA parks that I couldn’t get on ShopParks, each time was for a gift for myself or a close family member. In that case I wasn’t gouged at all.

    I do understand rules are rules though.

  5. Israel

    Very glad to hear that these persons, be it resellers or flippers, are getting their annual passport revoked. We have the same problem here in Japan. I waited in line for 3 to get a popcorn bucket and two guys in front of me (western people) who were together took with them 6. Too bad oriental land only cares about the money, even more than Disney. Lines in tokyo are crazy!!!!!

  6. robert moser

    your dumb…. ethical and moral? are you kidding? reselling collectibles is and always has been in existance, and isnt going anywhere. Welcome to the world of SUPPLY AND DEMAND, remember baseball cards? wow you people need to get a life lol

  7. Lara Olson

    Well done Disney! These acts truly impact the experience of other pass holders or paying guests who are simply out with their families to enjoy the park and find a meaningful and fun souvenir. It’s about time people were stopped from walking all over Disney and realize there will (finally) be consequences. If these folks whine about their personal use being affected, they should have read and followed the terms of use.

  8. Pam

    If Disney would sell the merchandise on its website then people on the opposite coast wouldn’t have to resort to purchasing an item from a flipper or personal shopper.

  9. Sunny

    It’s about time that Disney is cracking down on these people. They have ruined it for the rest of us who want to enjoy buying a fun item while we’re in the parks. They have taken the fun item that Disney has created for park goers and turned it into a mad dash for cash.

  10. Pamela Brumley

    I think this is great that they’re gonna do this, I think the only people they should not target are people that are buying them for themselves and then decide later that they don’t need them anymore in reselling them and should not be constituted as a resale. Also I currently had to re sell some of my pins that I bought a long time ago as a set because I needed the money for Christmas so that would be the only reason why I would not think that this rule would work. I think it should work for those people that buy 10 and 15 items of the same thing so they can re sell them for more. I just personally want to get back the money I paid for them. Just saying.

  11. Chaz Smith

    So, an AP Holder pays for a good and then resells it at a much higher profit. How is this any different than the Disney Gallery paying an artist for a painting (a good) and then reselling it at a much higher profit? Is only Disney allowed to practice in the free market system? No one else?

    And for those that say it isn’t FAIR that an AP Holder can keep going to DL and buy so many items just because they have an AP – how then is it not UNFAIR that an Single Ticket Holder can go to DL and buy items just because they have a ticket into DL? It would seem that people who can’t afford or can’t go to DL would think it unfair that a person can get cool merch just because they are in the park while someone not in the park can’t.

    I go to DL from AZ 2-3 times a year (without an AP), but even then there are items sold in the park during times I can’t be there. Is it UNFAIR that others who only go once that year at that special time get to buy that merchandise while I can’t? And if I do see a limited item up for sale when I am not planning to go to DL should I have to get in the car, waste all the gas driving to DL, buy a DL ticket (giving Disney even MORE money) just so I can buy the merchandise I want rather than go online and buy the piece from a reseller at less than the financial (an environmental) cost of an extra trip?

    DL is using the laws of economics to create intentional scarcity (fair), but then trying to stop others from doing the same (unfair). The resellers are providing a service. If people didn’t want the items the items wouldn’t sell for that much and the bottom would drop out of the DL Merch Market – simple economics. Pulling people’s AP doesn’t solve the issue anyway since all an AP Holder has to do is have a family member or friend set up an eBay account for them so there is no connection between their AP and the item they sell… unless Disney starts burning unique codes on ever single piece of merchandise and linking each piece to each park ticket holder so they can never sell the item.

    Fact is – selling scarce goods or services at a profit is capitalism. But capitalism is gauche these days – especially when “someone else” is making the profit. But that free market system is the same system that afforded some people entry into DL to buy merchandise and kept other people who couldn’t afford it out of the park, and yet many of those who used the free market system to make their profits (how ever they do it) so they can get into the park now have an issue with others using the free market system to profit from it their way.

  12. Krista

    Same here! 🤸 Glad I am not alone!

  13. MR PERFECT

    Whoever is guilty of this scam, should be permanently banned from ALL DISNEY PARKS!
    It’s sad that it has come to this level, the ones with current revocations should feel pretty embarrassed right now, if u have to be reselling plastic memorabilia to make a living, you have serious problems, and should highly consider getting a job…

  14. Biggy

    Revoke everyone’s pass they should know better. their is this app called offer up you can find a lot of Disney merchandise their specially popcorn buckets for a high price .

  15. I’m with you but there certainly is a difference between a personal shopper buying for another person and someone buying 20 popcorn buckets. I wonder if that means not using an A.P. for a discount discount makes this an O.K. practice?

  16. Michael Stark

    Well done! Now all retailers need to stop the reselling. Target, Gamestop, Walmart. I don’t think its fair to miss out on a toy because of greedy flippers.

  17. Karen

    Good for Dinsey. If it’s in their contract, then the rules need to be followed, if not followed. Then taking thier rights away is 100% neccessary. Go dinsey. Keep doing what you do best. And good luck on cracking down on this problem

  18. Israel

    You are missing the point. You should read through the article and understand what the real problem is. Reselling, which goes against the conditions under which the AP is sold, is a problem. But above that,
    long lines in a park shop caused by resellers buying limited amount of goods is the consequence of what resellers are doing. Theme park goers need this problem to be addressed. If you think this doesn’t negatively affects a part of a park experience, then you came to the wrong site. And whatever you think, be considerate to others. Don’t go around saying “you people need to get a life”. That’s a bit disrespectful to the community.

  19. narniaexpert

    You said “you take someone else’s intellectual knowledge and work and make a profit off of it”. That would be basic plagiarism which isn’t what is happening here. Selling counterfeit merchandise is a big problem in other parts of the world, but the items mentioned in this article are legitimate Disney products purchased directly from the source. All though hoarders can be a nuisance everywhere, this is more likely an issue related to what rights you have to do what you want with merchandise after you have bought it and left the park.

  20. narniaexpert

    Thank you for the most detailed and thoughtful response in the comments section so far. I was looking for an ethics discussion and you touched on many good points. The one area where Disney does have a legitimate point in their rules is that they prohibit the use of AP discounts in purchasing merchandise for resale. A basic free market example is that an annual pass holder could purchase ordinary merchandise for 20% off and potentially undercut Disney’s prices while still making a profit. I believe that consumers have a right to do what they want with their products after they leave the park, but it is unfair to commercially profit from this discount intended for personal use. The exact rule mentioned in the article is “benefits and discounts are for personal use only and may not be used for any commercial purpose including, without limitation, to obtain or purchase items or services with the intent to resell such items or services.” If one of the sellers used their annual pass to enter the park, but purchased the items without applying any specialty discount I think they may have a good case that Disney doesn’t have a right to tell them what they can do with the products after they leave the park.

    The one area of concern that no one else has mentioned yet is that Shaun McClure was blocked because Disney found items sold via the social media accounts linked to his pass. I think this provides a good warning not to link social media accounts to your annual pass. It could also provide potential free speech concerns if used in the wrong way. What if a passholder was posting controversial content or protesting an attraction closure? Could a passholder even be blocked for posting hate speech on social media from within Disneyland? I don’t like the idea of Disney monitoring their guests actions on social media or taking action to discourage legal commercial activities that take place outside of the park.

    Perhaps one of the things that has triggered this crackdown is the anticipation of Star Wars Galaxy’s edge which is expected to have a marketplace filled with stalls of unique merchandise exclusive to the planet of Batuu. A really cynical person might even say that blocking these passholders is just the latest increase in the massive blockout period preparing for the estimated 200,000 guests who try to will attend the opening of Black Spire Outpost.

  21. Larry

    Sorry, folks, but not sorry, when you buy something with your own money, it is YOURS to do with as you wish, keep, gift away, or resell. Disney has no right to penalize anyone for what they do with purchased items. If the issue were really that Disney wants the items not to be sold out to resellers rather than park guests, they’d make enough product to go around. But no, the only reason that fits this behaviour is that Disney wants park exclusive items to be available only in the parks and through no other sources, because these items are the lure to get more guests into the parks themselves. It should be no skin off Disney’s backs that resellers get more money from items Disney already got money from. And it’s none of Disney’s business what happens to those items after any guest leaves the parks. And yes, I but from resellers on eBay. I buy limited edition items I was not able to get to the parks to buy during their release. I also buy items from eBay that are available on Disney’s online store because Disney charges exorbitant shipping while I can get the item shipped for a fraction of that shipping through an eBay seller.

  22. Bob

    Why the name calling? You make a valid point and expressed your opinion. People can disagree and get their point across without calling them dumb or something else.

  23. damion

    I knew a really smart guy named robert moser, you’re definitely not him.

  24. Kelly

    But nothing is being done in Fl. I am a collector on a teacher’s salary. I usually wait until some of the more expensive items I want go to the character premiere stores outside the park. I recently went to buy the Constence doll I heard was going to be there and a man was at the coumter with 5 large rubbermaid boxes on a cart. He had called ahead and bought every one of the dolls. He laughed when I asked the employee at the counter if there were any left.
    So it doesn’t have to be passholders.

  25. Pam

    Are they going to revoke privileges for Club 33 members who resell merchandise? If they are going to crack down they should crack down on all resellers.
    I agree with others that say Disney could resolve this problem by selling all the merchandise on the website.

  26. Dre

    I’ve seen so many people walk around with product and still ask for more! Very disheartening when you wait in lines for 30-45- 1hr plus and see a whole family walking by with what looks like 10-20 of what u want. I see it all the time. Also I think there’s a certain code of conduct that certain people because of ethnicity gets product. I’ve tried out my theory a couple of times to prove myself wrong, but I wasn’t. Which kinda bother me because, it happened to me twice! I wanted to get two Mickey Sippers cups for my personal use I was told I couldn’t, which was fine but guess what the last five parties that were in front of me did with no denial to them? Hmmm I thought was funny, but I started to look at who gave it to them and the parties ahead of me was all the same ethnicity. I kinda taken back but it open my eyes to whaat really going on, and I saw it everywhere! I was so saddened and devastated. Does that make mad 😡 yes, but if I wait to I’m the same long lines like others, I’m not down for a whole party cutting in line taking all the last of supply because they want hang out in the park and the rush up back in line like they been there the whole time. And now I can’t get my stuff ? Which I have two annually passports. I want to enjoy these items, as a collection for myself no readable or anything like that. Just enjoy 😊 my new purchasers. So yeah, I say if u see a whole family with 15 and there’s maybe 2-4 might have a pass come on ! That’s not right seeing people with shopping 🛍 bags of stuff ! Or clear plastic bags hanging off the personal scooters 🛴 running people over with product falling out the bags….

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