Lawsuit Filed Against Disney Alleges Disneyland Resort’s Magic Key Program Deceptively Advertises “No Blockouts” Despite Reservation Difficulties
It’s no secret that the Magic Key program, the replacement for Annual Passes at the Disneyland Resort, has been rather controversial among fans for its notorious difficulty to secure reservations for the two California theme parks. One woman feels that Disney falsely advertised their highest tier Dream Key as having “no blockout dates” despite the very limited bucket of reservations available for Key holders and as such is suing Disney.
According to the Orange County Register, Jenale Nielsen, a Dream Key holder, has filed a $5 million lawsuit against Disney alleging that Disneyland treats Magic Key holders as “second class” ticket holders by artificially limiting Magic Key reservations and the number of key holders that can visit on any given day.
Nielsen reportedly seeks to have the suit certified as class-action on behalf of all Magic Key holders, although this has not happened yet.
Reservations for Magic Key holders have been notoriously difficult to obtain since the program’s launch in August as a replacement for the former Annual Passes. The new system requires reservations to be booked before visiting the Disneyland Resort, but reservations are frequently unavailable for near-term dates and virtually all available weekends. However, standard tickets have been available for purchase on almost every day, with only a few near-term dates unavailable.
“The problem was not that Disney had reached its capacity and therefore could not provide reservations to its Dream Key passholders. The problem was that Disney had decided to block out reservations so that they were only available to new purchases and were not available to Dream Key passholders. Disney appears to be limiting the number of reservations available to Dream Key passholders on any given day in order to maximize the number of single day and other passes that Disney can sell,” according to the suit. Nielsen says she would not have purchased a Dream Key if she knew so many dates would be unavailable, and claims she purchased the Dream Key believing that she could make reservations as long as capacity was available at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. In the end, Nielsen purchased a standard day ticket to visit on her desired dates in November despite holding a Dream Key.
The suit contends that Disney is engaging in unfair, unlawful and deceptive business practices. Disneyland is accused of breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and false advertising and seeks civil penalties to prevent Disney from engaging in similar unlawful trade practices, restitution based on the harm consumers experienced and repayment of all revenue gained by the practice, according to the Orange County Register. Disney has not yet filed an answer to these claims.