Judge Orders Disney To Pay $9.5 Million in Finalized Lawsuit

in Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort

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Credit: Inside the Magic

A judge has finally approved a major lawsuit settled against The Walt Disney Company.

A close up look at the Disneyland Fire Engine, parked on Main Street, U.S.A.
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

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Disney is no stranger to controversy, with The Walt Disney Company being at the center of multiple online and in-person firestorms in the last year alone. Political figures like the outspoken Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis have stepped into the ring, going after Disney’s throat after it spoke out against his controversial piece of legislation.

Disney has also faced backlash over the recent comments of its current CEO, Bob Iger. Every CEO of The Walt Disney Company has generated some kind of controversy while they served, but Bob Chapek and Bob Iger certainly have been the focal points of hate as of late. We could also never forget the current backlash Disney is facing over its decision to retheme Splash Mountain, one of the company’s most beloved theme park attractions of all time. While we agree it was time for a fresh spin, a large group of Disney fans and guests alike did not, with some even starting petitions to help save the ride.

However, Disney as a whole is also at the center of multiple legal battles, some of which stem from actual guests of its theme parks.

Mickey Mouse in front of the Disneyland Resort castle in California in black and white
Credit: Inside The Magic

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As shared by Scott Gustin moments ago, a judge has given preliminary approval to the Magic Key lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company. This lawsuit dates back to 2021, when a Disneyland guest, Nielsen, claimed Walt Disney Parks and Resorts sold her a Dream Key pass for $1,399 under the understanding that there would be no blocked times for entrance to the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. With the finalization of this lawsuit, The Walt Disney Company has effectively agreed to some wrongdoing in regards to how its Annual Pass system works for its guests in Anaheim, California, potentially opening up holes in other locations such as the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Disneyland features an Annual Pass program similar to the one found at the Walt Disney World Resort, though under the name “Magic Key.” Guests can pick and choose between various “Keys” in order to maximize the value and usage of their annual passes. Disney unveiled its Magic Key pass program about two years back, which marked the retirement of the previous Annual Pass Program at the theme parks. This unique ticket allowed pass-holders to enjoy year-round access to a Disney park.

A final approval hearing regarding this lawsuit is set for February 2024, and if no other delays happen, a whopping 103,435 Dream Key pass holders could get their settlement payout as soon as April 2024. 

A picture of Sleeping Beauty Castle with Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse's Partners statue in the foreground at Disneyland Park in Disneyland Resort. Photo by Ed Aguila
Credit: Inside the Magic

Disneyland guests who purchased the Dream Key pass will receive an approximate payout of $67.41. Around 103,435 former Dream Key pass holders will receive a payment. The Disneyland Resort is comprised of two theme parks, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. Guests can also shop and dine at Downtown Disney, a location that will feel familiar to those who have visited Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida. 

Terms of the agreement revealed that Disney will be paying out nearly $10 million because of this lawsuit, with the company establishing a $9.5 million fund for those who purchased a Dream Key.

Have you ever owned a Magic Key pass? Do you prefer visiting Disneyland or Walt  Disney World?

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