Disneyland Resort

Notice of Upcoming Settlement Payment Email Received By Former Disneyland Resort Dream Key Holders

Magic Key Holders who had a Dream Key prior to the Magic Key change in 2022 have begun to receive emails regarding notice of an upcoming settlement payment.

This all stems to a Disney Dream Key lawsuit that was filed in 2021 by Jenale Nielsen. Nielsen believed that Disney did not follow through with the terms of the her Dream Key, specifically regarding blockout dates. She believed she was deceived into thinking that she would have unlimited access to the parks with her Dream Key but the reservation system made this not possible.

Disneyland Magic Key

The class-wide settlement was for the federal lawsuit (initially filed at the state level) that accused Disney of deceiving those who purchased the top tier Magic Key into thinking they would have unlimited access to the parks. In reality, because of the reservation system, they could find days that were already “full” because of tickets being sold. The lawsuit accuses Disney of favoring daily ticket sales over reservation space for the Magic Key holders in question.

Jenale Nielsen, who sued Disney on behalf of all Dream Key holders (this pass was discontinued in favor of the Inspire Key), filed notice of the agreement in July in U.S. District Court. Now that the details of the settlement have been figured out, they will be approved by the court.

“We are satisfied that this matter has been resolved,” Disney said in a statement released regarding the matter to The Los Angeles Times last July. The company did not respond to any questions regarding specifics of the resolution or the dollar amount for the settlement. Lawyers for Nielsen did not respond to requests for comments either.

The lawsuit was filed in 2021 by Nielsen after purchasing a $1,399 Dream Key pass. This was the top-tier Magic Key offering. The Magic Key program replaced the Annual Pass program that had been popular with fans for decades. Nielsen said that she believed that she could visit the Disneyland Resort parks on any given day that she chose. This was because of how Disney promoted the Dream Key as having “no block-out dates.” However, due to the reservation system, Nielsen soon discovered that she could not get reservations or into the parks throughout most of the month of November. According to the lawsuit, this included every weekend throughout the month.

“As a frequent Disneyland visitor, Ms. Nielsen thought it unlikely that all tickets and/or reservations for both Disneyland and California Adventure had already been sold out for seventeen of the 30 calendar days in November 2021,” the suit says.

The email sent to Disneyland Magic Key Holders who had a Dream Key at the time of the lawsuit states “According to our records, you are eligible to receive a payment of $65.67 in the settlement for the matter entitled Disney Dream Key Settlement, Case No. 8:21-cv-02055-DOC-ADS. As Administrator for the matter, we’re sending you this courtesy email to inform you that on June 14, 2024, you will receive a payment notification email that contains a link to claim your payment electronically. Once you receive that email, you will have until September 12, 2024 to claim your payment. Please monitor your email inbox carefully for our next email. Additional details about this matter are available at www.DreamKeySettlement.com or by contacting us via one of the following methods: Toll-free 1-877-894-4029. Email: info@DreamKeySettlement.com. Mail: Disney Dream Key Settlement – Administrator, P.O. Box 2318, Portland, OR 97208-2318.”

Only those who were Disneyland Magic Key Holders and had a Dream Key at the time the lawsuit was filed were eligible to receive a settlement payment. As with most class action lawsuits, options to exclude yourself or object to the settlement were available. Those deadlines have passed.

The Magic Key program was introduced in the summer of 2021. While very similar to the former Annual Pass program, it continued to use the reservation system that was put in place when the Disneyland Resort reopened after being closed due to the pandemic. The previous Annual Pass system had a top tier level where passholders could visit the parks any day that they wanted without reservations, until the gates closed due to capacity. With the reservation system, capacity is determined and can be capped before guests arrive at the gates.

Initially, the Dream Key was the top tier Magic Key that was offered for the program. It allowed guests to make reservations on any day of the year, provided they were still available. It was replaced a year later by the new Inspire Key. This new Magic Key did not allow for reservations 365 days a year with blockout dates during the holidays. The Inspire Key is about to enter its second year being offered and doesn’t appear to be seeing any major modifications as the Dream Key did when it was replaced by the Inspire Key.

What do you think about this settlement for Dream Key holders? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!