Federal Judge Approves Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit Against Disneyland

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Credit: Disney

Recently, a lawsuit was filed against Disneyland Resort alleging that some of the details of the theme park’s new Annual Pass program — the Magic Key service — is misleading and incorrect.

pluto with sleeping beauty castle disneyland
Credit: Disney

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One recent report shared details about the reasoning behind the lawsuit:

Previously with the Annual Pass Program, when you paid the maximum fee you could get into Disneyland with free parking and zero blockout dates. Now, with the Dream Key Pass, you can pay even more money with the promise of no blocked dates. However, getting a reservation during any busy time is nearly impossible.

disneyland sleeping beauty castle
Credit: Inside the Magic

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The same article provided details from the $5 million lawsuit filed by Passholder Janele Nielsen, who feels she was misled when she purchased her Magic Key pass:

[The] Plaintiff alleges that the term ‘no blockout dates’ is not defined in the advertisement, but that she understood the term to mean that Dream Key Pass holders would not be blocked from making theme park reservations ‘whenever Disney was offering park reservations for entrance to the theme parks. She also understood the advertisement’s statement that ‘park reservations are subject to availability and are not guaranteed for any specific dates or park’ to mean that ‘if park reservations were available and being offered to the public, Dream Key holders could use their passes to make reservations for entry to the parks.

Disney California Adventure Park Entrance
Credit: Disney

Now, a federal judge has allowed the lawsuit to move forward, despite The Walt Disney Company’s motion to dismiss the complaint. Per the Orange County Register:

United States District Court Judge David Carter denied Disney’s motion to dismiss the Magic Key annual passholder case as it relates to breach of contract and the California consumer protection act. Carter granted Disney’s dismissal motions relating to claims of false advertising, negligent misrepresentation, legal disclosure and unfair competition.

“The court finds that plaintiff has adequately pled facts supporting how a reasonable consumer may be deceived by the advertisement, which states ‘no blockout dates.’” Carter wrote in his ruling. “Plaintiff argues that ordinary consumers generally understand blockout dates to be ‘dates when tickets, credits, passes or rewards cannot be used.’”

Magic Key Launch Experience
Credit: ITM

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Nielsen originally filed her lawsuit in November 2021, but this is the first significant progress that has been made.

Disneyland Resort officially launched its Magic Key program in August 2021 after suspending all Annual Pass sales during its lengthy pandemic-related closure.

family at avengers campus disneyland
Credit: Disney

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Disneyland officially describes Magic Key passes as:

When you’re a Magic Key holder, Disneyland is your land—you’re a townsperson on Main Street, U.S.A., a galactic citizen of Batuu, a hero at Avengers Campus, a local at Pixar Pier and beyond. You belong to the community of core Disneyland fans who all share a passion and love for the parks.

This new Magic Key program provides reservation-based admission to one or both Disneyland Resort theme parks where you’ll make memories visit after visit. Choose a Magic Key pass featuring a variety of admission days, pricing options, experiences, and savings on food & beverages and merchandise. You can select the Magic Key pass that’s of most value to you.

Are you a Magic Key holder at Disneyland Resort?

Let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district OR Disneyland Resort’s two theme parks — Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park — and the Downtown Disney District!

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