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Magic Key
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How Disney Parks Will Avoid Magic Key Lawsuits This Time Around

Magic Key Renewals commenced today for Disneyland Resort Guests. A few days ago, Disney fans were ecstatic to learn that Southern California’s beloved Annual Pass program would return to Anaheim.

As expiration dates for Magic Keys approached, Guests wondered if Disney would bring back the Passes at all. Bob Chapek, The Walt Disney Company’s controversial CEO, recently made comments about Disney’s original Theme Park, that did not sit well with Guests.

Bob Chapek

Credit: CNBC

At Disney’s fiscal third quarter 2022 financial results meeting, which was broadcast via live audio webcast, Chapek referred to an “unfavorable attendance mix” at Disneyland Resort. This caused concern for Magic Key Holders who wondered if the program would be canceled.

When Magic Keys replaced Annual Passes at Disneyland Resort, its new policies and procedures were met with underwhelming responses from Guests. The new reservation system experienced an overflow of eager visitors, with many Annual Passholders unable to book a reservation on their desired date.

Dream Key

Credit: Disney

This led to a  $5 million lawsuit from a Dream Key holder. Dream Keys used to be the highest-tiered Pass a Disney Guest could buy. The new program disappointed fans, who thought Disney was deceitful in its marketing, promising Guests six Theme Park reservation holds, and no blockout dates.

Unfortunately, just like the lower-tiered passes, Dream Key holders experienced times when they could not get a reservation to Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure for weeks at a time. Interestingly, the Dream Key is no longer available to Guests, replaced by a new, top-tiered key called Inspire, and this time around all four Magic Keys have blockout dates.

Inspire Key

Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company added a section to their Magic Key terms and conditions this year to avoid future lawsuits and unfavorable press. The print reads as follows:

“BINDING ARBITRATION AGREEMENT AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER:

YOU AND DISNEY (DEFINED FOR PURPOSES OF THIS BINDING ARBITRATION AGREEMENT AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER TO MEAN WALT DISNEY PARKS AND RESORTS U.S., INC. AND ALL OF ITS AFFILIATES) EACH AGREE THAT ANY DISPUTE OR CLAIM RELATING IN ANY WAY TO YOUR DISNEYLAND RESORT MAGIC KEY WILL BE RESOLVED BY BINDING ARBITRATION, WITH THE SOLE EXCEPTION OF CLAIMS THAT QUALIFY FOR SMALL CLAIMS COURT AS SET FORTH BELOW.

YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU AND DISNEY ARE EACH WAIVING THE RIGHT TO FILE A LAWSUIT (WITH THE SOLE EXCEPTION OF CLAIMS THAT QUALIFY FOR SMALL CLAIMS COURT AS SET FORTH BELOW) AND THE RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL. YOU AND DISNEY ALSO AGREE THAT ANY AND ALL DISPUTES MUST BE BROUGHT IN THE PARTIES’ INDIVIDUAL CAPACITIES. YOU AND DISNEY THEREFORE AGREE TO WAIVE ANY RIGHT TO LITIGATE OR ARBITRATE ANY CLAIMS AS A CLASS ACTION OR OTHER REPRESENTATIVE OR COLLECTIVE ACTION.”

Magic Key

Credit: Disney

It looks like Disney has learned their lesson the hard way. Hopefully, they can take steps to repair the trust they’ve broken with seasoned Guests of the Disneyland Resort.

About Christy Weinberg

Christy is a West Coast writer with a special place in her heart for Disneyland Resort and Aulani. Growing up near the Parks, she was an Annual Passholder for about twenty years, often frequenting the Resort several times per week. Though she recently moved to the Pacific Northwest, she carries the magic with her by writing about Disney and connecting with the Disney community on social media.