Visitors on Disneyland's Main Street, U.S.A. in Anaheim, Calif., on Sept. 1, 2023. (Carol Cassis/The Epoch Times)
Disneyland Annual Magic Key pass sales were halted earlier this week following a $9.5 million class action settlement over allegedly “deceptive” blockout dates in which guests were unable to enter Disneyland or California Adventures, both in Anaheim, California.
Sales are currently unavailable for the top-priced Inspire Key annual pass, which sells for $1,599 a year.
The $1,099 Believe Key, $699 Enchant Key, and $449 Imagine Key are also now only available for renewal during the month before expiration, according to the Disneyland website.
The sales pause for passes comes after the California-based theme park settled a federal class action lawsuit Sept. 11. The suit alleged that annual passholders who purchased the $1,399 Dream Key in 2021 were unable to make theme park reservations at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure despite the promise of “no blockout dates.”
Visitors at Disneyland Entry Gate in Anaheim, Calif., on Sept. 1, 2023. (Carol Cassis/The Epoch Times)
Each of the over 100,000 Dream Keyholders will receive $67.41 as a result of the suit–about five percent of the total cost of the pass–by November or December, according to a recent story
by the Orange County Register.
According to Disney officials, the decision to pause Magic Key pass sales was made before the class action suit was decided. A request for information from officials regarding why the sales of passes were paused was not returned.
The park temporarily discontinued its original annual pass program during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, unveiling its new Magic Key replacement in August the following year. The new tiered passes began selling out within a few months, after which the class action was filed in November of 2021.
Disneyland ultimately replaced its old highest-tiered $1,399 Dream Key with the newer $1,599 Inspire Key. Despite the price hike, the newer pass came with blockout dates during the two weeks between Christmas and New Year’s.
Visitors at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif., on Sept. 1, 2023. (Carol Cassis/The Epoch Times)
According to Disney Park officials, the Inspire Key became the fourth and final Magic Key tier to sell out
this year. As of now, the new annual pass program explicitly outlines the new terms and conditions surrounding blackout dates.
According to those terms, the company allocates reservations among annual passes and daily purchased tickets, meaning only a portion of the park’s capacity is available to special pass holders.
“A pass therefore does not guarantee park entry, even on dates when a pass is not blocked out and even when a theme park is not at capacity,” the terms and conditions read.
Additionally, according to the terms and conditions, Disneyland determines the number of reservations available to passholders.
“On any given date, park reservations may still be available for theme park tickets even though park reservations allocated to the passes are fully reserved,” the new Magic Key pass terms and conditions state. “Since Magic Key park reservations are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, it may also be difficult or not possible at times for passholders to get park reservations for certain dates.”
The Magic Key contract also requires passholders to waive their right to file a class action lawsuit, according to the contract. Some Disney Park fans speculate that the park has not yet learned its lesson.
“Disney’s not just going to eat the loss of this settlement,” Disneyland fan site MiceChat wrote in a recent blog post. “They’ll find a way to pass it on to you, the consumer.”