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Disney agrees to $9.5 million settlement over Magic Key annual pass dispute

Disney agrees to $9.5 million settlement over Magic Key annual pass dispute

The Walt Disney Company agreed to pay $9.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused the entertainment giant of “deceptive business practices” in regard to its Disneyland annual pass program, according to a court filing Thursday.

The federal lawsuit filed in California alleged that some of Disneyland’s “Magic Key” annual pass-holders were unable to make park reservations on certain days in 2021, despite being promised “no blockout dates” for entry at the Anaheim, California parks.

The suit alleges that “thousands of people” with Magic Key passes may have been affected and were eligible to participate in the class action suit.

The settlement will likely translate to a $67.41 check for each member of the class-action suit, according to the filing.

A judge will now have to give preliminary approval to the agreed-upon settlement and will then assess the terms of the deal before giving a final sign-off, according to David Marcus, a professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles.

A statement attributed to Disneyland officials said they “are satisfied that this matter has been resolved.”

The attorneys representing affected Magic Key pass-holders did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Disney’s Magic Key pass program was introduced two years ago, replacing the theme parks’ legacy Annual Pass Program. The special ticket granted pass-holders access to a Disney park for the entire year.

Disneyland offers four Magic Key passes at different price points. The most expensive tier, which used to be called the “Dream” key, promised admission “every day of the year,” according to a company press release from 2021. The new most expensive option, now called the “Inspire” key, only assures access to theme parks “most days of the year,” according to Disneyland’s website.

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Affected pass-holders will likely have to wait a few months to receive a check as part of the settlement, though, Marcus said.

“This step, where the parties announced that they’ve reached a settlement, is really the first step in a series that will take a minimum of 3 months to complete,” he said.

Pass-holders who were who were part of the class action should expect to receive a notice of the settlement in the coming months that will inform them to expect payment. The judge will then set a final approval hearing to make the deal official.

“Only after that final approval can people expect to see a check,” Marcus said.

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