Disneyland Addresses Souvenir-Resale Issue by Allegedly Revoking Annual Pass Privileges

The Annual Passholder-exclusive popcorn bucket sold at Disneyland during Pixar Fest, starring one of the Little Green Men from "Toy Story"
This post may contain affiliate links; please read the disclosure for more information.

Have you ever sacrificed a significant portion of a Disney Parks visit to acquire a must-have, limited edition souvenir? Have you ever had this effort prove entirely fruitless as the shop, Tiki bar, or outdoor vendor sold out of your sought-after item right in front of you? A collectible mug, pin, and popcorn bucket may be worth a half-day investment. Explaining to your kids how you squandered a massive share of your roller-coaster window, and still didn’t get the cool new Funko you promised them is a tragedy.

The Annual Passholder-exclusive popcorn bucket sold at Disneyland during Pixar Fest, starring one of the Little Green Men from "Toy Story"

Whether you hold Disney, or the throng of Philistines pushing past you with their ten bags of undeserved good fortune, responsible, the resultant disappointment can be enough to ruin your day. The notion that some are likely reselling the surplus, rather than gifting it graciously to grandchildren, might strike outside observers as uncool. Disney clearly agrees.

According to a feature in the Orange County Register today, the Disneyland Resort is pursuing a means to curb the longtime practice. Compiled in the article, the OC Register has identified a number of private Annual Passholders who have had their Disneyland passes canceled. The common thread is that each individual in the story engaged in the reselling of items purchased at an annual-pass discount. A Disney no-no.

A limited edition “PIXAR Pals 2018” pin with Nemo of “Finding Nemo,” made for Disneyland’s PIXAR Fest

The individuals in the story are understandably displeased. However, each admitted they understand what they did to be a legitimate violation of the Disneyland Annual Passport Terms and Conditions, which it is. Disney has yet to release a statement regarding the revocations, nor even to confirm that they are indeed taking place. This seems odd. Public knowledge that you can actually lose something as dear as a Disneyland Annual Pass could prove quite the deterrent for unwanted activity. Awareness of the one particular former passholder who admits she lost her admission privileges, but still has to pay off her pass, might just eliminate the dubious practice altogether.

Terms of the agreement are clear, if not universally known or heeded. Even in the abridged admonishment posted online, Disney warns against commercial chicanery:

Merchandise discounts, as applicable..are for personal use only and may not be used to purchase merchandise with the intent to resell such merchandise.

Whether this is part of a policy intensification, or larger crackdown, is unknown. As a flood of collectible Star Wars merchandise is set to soon arrive at a galactic outpost near you, it’s hardly surprising that Disney is looking to discourage competition for its own product. Disney’s playing hardball, for sure. If it helps get more limited edition items into the hands of appreciative grand kids, so much the better.

I don’t know about you, but there are times when planning a Disney vacation can be overwhelming! There are so many options, where to stay, when to go, is this the best price. So, I want to introduce you all to Cindy Minor and the team at Small World Big Fun. They will help you plan your Disney vacation for FREE. Contact them today!

About the author

Christopher Schmidt

Christopher Schmidt is a former Disneyland Resort bartender and author of The Unofficial Walt Disney World Drinking Companion, The Unofficial Disneyland Drinking Companion, and The Complete Guide to runDisney - Disneyland Edition.
If it involves amusement, attractions, athletics, adventure, and responsible enjoyment of exotic libations, you will find Christopher in the middle of it, eager to tell you all about it.
Questions, topic ideas or improvements, and private correspondence? Drop me a message: [email protected]

37 Comments

Click here to post a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • It’s really hard for me to put these two sentences together and not come up with a scenario in which the people who buy the item then resell it are completely wrong and have no reason to be ‘understandably displeased.’
    “The common thread is that each individual in the story engaged in the reselling of items purchased at an annual-pass discount. A Disney no-no.The individuals in the story are understandably displeased.”

    • Well Todd ,
      It’s simply part of the deal . As much as I will say that it does not make sense to me that Disneyland Resort would make them still pay on an annual pass that they are no longer allowed to use even under these circumstances because to me it is not proper business to make someone give to you for nothing
      I will also say out of the same mouth that when you join a program or any function like that
      you also are subscribing yourself to the rules and regulations of that function and unfortunately it takes things like this to make annual passholders care about and adhere to the rules and regulations of the program . Just as if you are a football player playing a football game and gets caught and called for targeting you are ejected from playing the rest of the game it’s not that you are no longer a football player it’s just that you lost the right to play the rest of the game , if you are an annual passholder that gets caught reselling things that are under the privileges of that annual passholder program
      you lose your passholder privileges . As much as I hate Disney taking money from them for nothing
      they should not get all mad at Disney for something that they bring up on themselves .

  • Finally they are listening to those of us that can’t get to those items before the resellers buy them all. Sadly I’ve even purchased from some of them when the item I wanted was sold out for months yet the sellers has plenty at triple the original price. It’s not fair

    • I definitely agree that this is fair and that the resellers were stupid for taking that gamble, however I don’t think it stops reselling altogether. It sounds like you can still purchase in bulk as a passholder as long as you aren’t abusing your discount. So you’d purchase your own item (say a pin) with the discount and then ask to make a separate transaction without the discount for the other nine pins. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think they crack down on the resellers that abide by their pass rules and purchase resale items without the discount. I do hope it’ll deter the greedy people who get mad about it (unfortunately the Disney parks breed a lot of this greed) or people scared of losing their pass, but I think scalpers can still get away with scalping.

  • Illegal.
    Even if bought at a discounted rate a retailer cannot dictate what you can do with something you now own. If you buy something & can no longer use it or should something you bought with no intention on selling suddenly soars in value you have every right to sell your item. I do not believe this story to have any basis in fact.

    • While they can’t stop you from reselling it, they can stop you from getting in to purchase said goods. It is a private park.

      I don’t believe your response has any basis in fact.

      • Get em Justin! I’ve gone to the park far to many times trying to get cool passholder merch, and have been told they’re sold out. Good for Disney and for dumb resellers.

      • If you own something and need to sell it for any number of reasons including hardship you’re certainly legally within your rights to sell something you own outright. Regardless of whether or not you bought it at a discounted rate. I get that this is not what is happening and that people are profiting by selling Disney memorabilia which they may or may not have bought using an annual pass discount and the reality is no retailer can tell you what you can or cannot do with something once you own it. They can say, as they do, that’s that items bought with an annual pass discount are for your personal use in an attempt to curb rampant abuse but there is no basis in law that once you own something you’re forbidden from selling it.

        • This is in response to the people who go in and buy bags full of these merchandise items/ buy one and continuously get back in line to buy more and more and then sell them on ebay, etc. Not for people who go in and by one or two for themselves and/or friends/ family, then sell them. Plus, when you agree to terms and conditions or sign a contract, you are agreeing that you will not violate any policies mentioned in the terms and conditions.

    • It’s not targeting casual resellers who no longer want/need the item. It’s targeting resellers that use their annual pass discount to make an even bigger profit off special items. Your argument also doesn’t have anything to do with the story– they’re targeting bulk buyers, who frequently and persistently take advantage of this discount to make a profit off limited edition items. Disney can track when an annual pass is used for a discount so if they see that you buy LE items in bulk weekly, they’ll put two and two together. It has nothing to do with general resale. They won’t go after people who purchase one item and resell it three months later. It’s a scalping clause that’s about intent. In your case, you didn’t purchase the item with the intent to resell. Those that purchase with intent, are a different story, and like I said, can be tracked because they’re trying to get the cheapest deal by abusing their discount. I think it makes sense that Disney can enforce rules about misuse of the pass. When I purchased my annual pass I had to sign something that I assume counts as a contract stating you understand their rules. From the way this is phrased, it sounds like you can still purchase stuff to resell in bulk as long as you’re not using that discount to do so. It is definitely based in fact– annual passholders sign a contract. They consented to this possibility and decided to gamble with it. They also aren’t revoking them of basic human rights, they’re revoking a privilege with rules and the “victims” stated that they understood they were breaking a rule the entire time. Nothing illegal about that– if anything, what the passholders were doing was illegal because they’re breaking a contract.

    • Oops soo close but you missed bud. Yes they can’t dictate what you do with what you bought, but as a private entity they can revoke your AP if you violate the ToS.

      So continue your eBay business just make sure you don’t use your AP to increase YOUR profit margin or you’ll lose it your AP.

    • It’s not illegal. You can sell it if you want, but when you do, you know you are in clear violation of the contract/ terms and conditions. They have the rule for a reason. These discounts are a privelage not meant to be abused, as addressed in the terms and conditions.

    • We’re they not using the passholder discount, you’d likely be right. But as a passholder, you agree to certain terms of service, which say you can’t use your discount to pad your bottom line. This probably won’t do much anyway. An extra 20% isn’t going to stop it if you’re marking it up 300%. They need to put a limit of two items on limited edition items, and require an ID scan to make sure everyone has access.

  • Aren’t the terms
    Must Have and
    Souvenir
    an oxymoron?
    No one Must Have a Souvenir.
    Life saving medicine yes, but merchandise from China? I dunno.

  • Disney needs to mass produce these specialty items so everyone can get their hands on them. That puts the money into disney’s pocket & less into the reseller’s pocket.

    • I would like to introduce you to Derek Burgan at Touring Plans. He has a monthly column called “The Magic, The Memories, and Merch!” wherein he and his colleagues catalog the dreck that is found in the Orlando-area Disney Character Warehouse outlets.

      I say all this to say that for every one “Limited Edition” item that sells out in the blink of an eye, there are ten others that are destined for a landfill.

  • Well the catch is “may not be used to purchase merchandise with the intent to resell such merchandise.”
    For those that do resell goods, an obvious defense would be that they didn’t INTEND to resell any merchandise they were purchasing. It would be on Disney to prove that. And if I paid for an annual pass on a credit card I would file a claim against Disney for revoking the pass without proof.
    I’m not for purchasing stuff for 5x the price, but their are some things that I really want to buy, whether to finish a collection or just because, and getting it from someone online might just be the only way, because I don’t have the luxury of living near a Disney park.

  • Finally they’re doing something, I have been buying off of resellers when I see a limited edition toy story popcorn bucket releases since my niece loves to use the popcorn buckets to play with. Now, I hopefully won’t have to be running to the parks when limited edition items release since hopefully I know my niece and I will be able to get one.

  • This to me would normally be a PR problem for a company, but disney can get away with this, you are just cutting off your nose to spite your face if you boycott.

  • Now can u do this to WDW now. I hate that new new dooneys come out and there sold out so fast. I looked on Ebay last weeks and people sell those all the time for 3× as much. This is such a great step for disney to say they are tired of the resellers

  • This is great. Perhaps the same could be said of DisneyWorld Passholders. For example, the lady who recently waited in line to purchase new Disney LV purses with her discount only to turn around & admit she sales them online. In the same week I heard people were carrying trash bag sized bags full of Mickey’s 90th merchandise- while those who couldn’t attend the Passholder purchase event were left empty handed and total merchandise was sold out. And don’t even get me started on those who get FREE magnets and turn around and sale them online. It’s ashamed.

  • Tried to find a simple mystery pin pack at the Halloween Party this year. It was the only souvenir we wanted. They were nowhere to be found… Watched several people on Youtube open 50-ish boxes saying they would be having them for sale on-line… Ridiculous!

  • When limited addition items then limited amount at time of purchase. Thus fair to other PH who aren’t the first in line, work or travel to parks. Last event for PH 90th HBDay pins I was told sold out with in a hour. Really! On sale site going for 3 or 4 times the price.

    Most want the memories and a piece of celebration.

  • I would love to own some of Toy stories merchandise. My Nephew ,who passed away on Dec 9th 2009 he loved Toy Story the first one. That would have been wonderful

  • I used to work in the department that helped track this kind of abuse at WDW. It was absolutely infuriating to see it happening and hear the stories about how most of these resellers acted towards the cast members and the things they would do to try to circumvent the rules. It’s about time something is really done about it and hopefully it will also happen at WDW, if it’s not already.

  • How do they catch these people? If Someone bought a popcorn bucket then sold it on EBay. How do they know that’s the person selling the item.

  • Easy fix. Put a limit on how many you can buy and link the discount purchases to the pass so they cannot double purchase. Problem solved, no stealing of passes necessary.

  • Do it to ’em! We were at WDW when they released the Mickey 90th merchandise. Mind you, pass holders were allowed in 90 minutes early. We were right in line at the 9am start for guests and waited MAYBE 45 minutes. Only shirts left were XXL and XXXL! We snagged the last 2 XL for my sister and her hubby as souvenirs. I wonder how many people bought a ton at once only to re-sell on ebay or their own website. I was disappointed when the Haunted Mansion spirit jersey released in Sept or August was already sold out as was the Small World wooden soldiers music box. My mom promised to buy it for my daughter during our November trip but mom passed a week before. Dad was determined to buy it only to find it sold out and it was only available at the CHristmas shops. You go on a (Not mentioned here) website that sells disney stuff and it’s there for a huge price!

    • If Disney doesn’t want passholders to buy items to resell in bulk, then they should put a limit on how many a single passholder can buy of one item, not revoke their pass. In 2013 the Supreme Court ruled.. You Bought It, You Own It, You Can Resell It. (I don’t think they meant a penalty can be added for reselling)

      Look at the three sides…
      1) the buyer on eBay or the internet, is willing to pay more to get the collectible item for many reasons … one they can’t get to a park because they live in Kansas…two it costs less for them to buy it on a website than to get to the park to buy it … three they missed the item when it was for sale and they are trying to complete their collection. Nobody held a gun to their forehead and forced them to pay what they did, they did so, delighted and happy to have the collectible available to them too.
      2) the passholder that missed the sale or didn’t want to wait in the long line, is most likely not a collector. They just want everything delivered to them post haste and get upset and complain loudly when they feel they were delayed or deprived. They most likely do not understand or think about the wants and needs of all the Disney collectors
      3) the passholder selling the items on ebay or the internet is more thank likely a Disney collector at heart. They are not only delighted in collecting, visiting the park often, they enjoying sharing the treasures they have found with others that share the same interests and collections. Just look at how pin traders find pin traders and talk to each other for hours about the objects in their collections…their families might get up and leave when the talk starts about those objects, but other collectors are delighted to talk about them and both of them get visibly excited during the conversation. The proceeds of the sale most likely go into paying for their pass or buying and expanding their current collection. There are so many was to make money on ebay or the internet, selling passholder collectibles would most likely be considered a hard sell…takes to much time and effort to purchase the items for their relative value online. That passholder is probably a loyal Disney customer, more loyal than the one that complained loudly.

      4) The reason to enjoy the magic at Disneyland and California Adventure is the whole experience, not just the collectibles. Everyone takes home their experience and shares it with friends and family in person and online. Its okay to share though the purchase and sale of an item too

      • I’m not even going to read the rest of the comment because you’re missing the point. Annual passholders can indeed buy however many items they want to resell and resell them. Disney isn’t stopping them from doing that. They cannot however use their discount to do so. So yes, flippers like you can still mark items up 300%, you just can’t buy the original item with a discount. Nobody here has a problem with people who resell at reasonable prices or personal shoppers. I don’t live near the parks currently and think they’re lifesavers. It’s the scummy APs that buy thirty of a limited item they got for $20, PLUS their discount, and then sell it for $300 that everyone takes issue with.

Fantasy Strollers
Lost Bros
TeePublic

Latest Videos