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Disney Owes Money to 100,000 Parkgoers Amid Massive Settlement—Do You Qualify?

Eligible passholders will get a slice of a $9.5 million settlement.

Disneyland is billed as the happiest place on earth, but at what cost? Because entrance to the California theme park comes with a steep price tag, many parkgoers splurge on annual passes to get the most bang for their buck—and to flex their loyalty to Mickey Mouse, naturally. But to be clear, even Disney's cheapest annual pass tier, available only to California residents, costs an exorbitant amount. So, it's no surprise that the most elite tier of annual pass holders (who pay $1,649 per year) are fighting back after Disney allegedly dismissed their ticket's most favorable perk.

RELATED: Disney World Named the "Biggest Rip-Off in America" in New Survey—Here's Why.

Disney is under the microscope after pass holder Jenale Nielsen filed a 2021 lawsuit claiming that the company miscommunicated ticket reservation limitations pertaining to her annual pass, per KTLA 5.

According to Nielsen, her yearly pass included "no blockout dates" at Disneyland Resort theme parks. However, that wasn't the case when she signed into her account in Nov. 2021 and tried to book a reservation during the holidays.

In an update to the case, KTLA 5 revealed that both parties decided to settle despite Disney denying any wrongdoing. Now, 103,345 Disney parkgoers are eligible to claim a stake in the massive settlement.

Starting next week, Disney guests who held the now-discontinued Dream Key annual pass between Aug. 25, 2021, and Oct. 25, 2021, will get a cut of the $9.5 million class-action lawsuit settlement, reports KTLA 5. Once attorney fees and other legal expenses are taken into consideration, checks will be made out to pass holders for approximately $65.67 each.

"If you're part of the $9.5 million Disneyland Magic Key class action lawsuit, you should receive an email tomorrow (June 14) with a link to claim your payment of $65.67," Nextar journalist Scott Gustin wrote on X.

Payment may also go out via mail, if this option was previously selected. Either way, those who are eligible must claim their money by Sept. 12, 2024.

Disney has since retired its Dream Key pass. Now, pass holders can enroll in Disney's Magic Key pass program. The four-tier system ranges from $499 to $1,649—the cheapest of which is only offered to California residents.

It's worth noting that every tier comes with "applicable pass blockout dates," but the Inspire Key tier, which is the most expensive, has the fewest restrictions.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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