Disney to Pay Pass Holders $9.5M in Class Action Settlement

The Walt Disney Company has agreed to pay $9.5 million in a class-action lawsuit in California after Disneyland Magic Key pass holders claimed that they were unable to use their passes on certain days despite being told that there would be no blackout dates.

The suit, filed by Jenale Nielsen in the Supreme Court of Orange County, alleges that after purchasing a “Dream Key” annual pass and trying to book several dates in November to visit the park, she found that more than half of the dates she wanted were unavailable — and not because reservations were at capacity. Nielsen claimed that despite certain dates being blacked out, there were still daily tickets available to purchase for those select dates.

Disney marching band on Main Street in Disneyland in Anaheim, CA (Getty Images)

Nielsen, who originally filed the suit in November 2021, had purchased the “Dream Key” pass for roughly $1,400 that has now been replaced with the “Inspire Key,” the most expensive tier of Magic Key passes. The “Dream Key” tier promised zero blackout dates unless the park had reached maximum capacity based on pre-booked dates and daily tickets purchased.

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Disney Pauses the Sale of All “Magic Key” Passes

Disney announced last week that it had paused the purchase of Magic Key passes until further notice and is only allowing the option for customers to renew previously purchased passes, the company says on its website.

It is unclear whether or not this decision was made in part due to the lawsuit.

Magic Key passes officially rolled out in August 2021 following the shutdown of the parks and complications with annual passes during the pandemic.

According to settlement documents, 103,435 Dream Key pass holders will be privy to the $9.5 million payout, which is roughly $67.41 per person.

The suit was originally filed in November 2021.

Related: Disney World Sees Smaller Crowds Amid Price Hikes, Summer Heat

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