Disneyland agrees to pay $9.5M in Magic Key lawsuit

(KTLA) — New details have emerged regarding the settlement between Disneyland and a Magic Key holder who filed a class-action lawsuit in 2021.

The lawsuit, filed by Jenale Nielsen of Santa Clara County, claimed that the theme park misled and deceived Magic Key holders who bought the most expensive yearly passes into thinking they would get unlimited access to the theme parks only to be unable to secure reservations for certain days.

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Terms of settlement revealed that a $9.5 million settlement fund will be established to pay those who purchased the Dream Key, a discontinued Magic Key pass type that was the focus of the lawsuit.

The Dream Key has since been replaced with the Inspire Key, the resort’s most expensive pass that offers the fewest blackout dates.

Disney fans who purchased the discontinued pass will receive an approximate payout of $67.41 without having to fill out any claim submission form. Eligible recipients will be notified at a later date regarding the payment, according to the settlement terms.

About 103,435 former Dream Key pass holders will receive a payment, and possibly another payment, if funds allow.

“Further, after the initial distribution of payments, if the amount remaining in the Settlement Fund (after any unredeemed checks expire, and after the amounts of notice, administration, Class Counsel’s fees, and a service award of the class representative) is greater than $10.00 per Settlement Class Member, each Settlement Class Member will receive a second pro rata payment,” the settlement said.

Disneyland launched the Magic Key program in August 2021 after retiring the popular annual passport program during a yearlong shutdown of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The keys give park guests access to the parks on select dates, depending on availability and pass type, along with select discounts on food, merchandise and Genie+, the park’s paid line-skipping service that replaced the Fast Pass program.

The motion for court approval of the class-action settlement was initially supposed to be due on August 31 but was pushed back to Sept. 7.

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