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"
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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.

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]

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Todd Knox
Guest
Todd Knox

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.”

Tom Corless
Admin
Tom Corless

I mean, if I liked going to Disneyland and someone took that away, I’d be upset.

William Stewart Jr
Guest
William Stewart Jr

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… Read more »

Lilly
Guest
Lilly

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

Randy
Guest
Randy

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… Read more »

Jon Montemagni
Guest
Jon Montemagni

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.

Justin
Guest
Justin

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.

Barry Burgains
Guest
Barry Burgains

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.

Jon Montemagni
Guest
Jon Montemagni

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… Read more »

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

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.

Anna
Guest
Anna

Good answer. Disney always covers their bases.

Randy
Guest
Randy

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… Read more »

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

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.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

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.

Christiaan Grove
Guest
Christiaan Grove

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.

The dude
Guest
The dude

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.

Karen
Guest
Karen

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.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

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.

Rob
Guest
Rob

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… Read more »

Katherine
Guest
Katherine

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.

Kieth kayman
Guest
Kieth kayman

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.

Cody
Guest
Cody

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

Don
Guest
Don

and how about restricting purchase to maximum 2 items instead of 10

Tom Corless
Admin
Tom Corless

Agreed, they should take some responsibility.

Hali
Guest
Hali

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.

Nell
Guest
Nell

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!

Robert
Guest
Robert

Resellers are bottom feeders across all areas of interest from shoes to tickets to collectibles. Good riddance!

Sheryl
Guest
Sheryl

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.

Debra Duboux
Guest
Debra Duboux

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

Jenn
Guest
Jenn

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.

Juanita Castro
Guest
Juanita Castro

It’s about time, I think it should have happened long ago

Gina
Guest
Gina

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.

Someone
Guest
Someone

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.

Jenna
Guest
Jenna

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… Read more »

AJ
Guest
AJ

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… Read more »

Randy
Guest
Randy

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… Read more »

Kristin Hoggard
Guest
Kristin Hoggard

How do you turn in people reselling merchandise for profit?