A federal judge has allowed a Disneyland passholder lawsuit to proceed that claims the Anaheim theme park misled and deceived its most loyal fans by artificially limiting capacity and restricting reservations, according to court documents.
The complaint, filed by annual passholder Janelle Nielsen of Santa Clara County’s Disneyland Magic, has been working through the court process since November 2021.
Disney sought to have the case dismissed in early March, and a judge for the Central District of California issued a decision in early April that dismissed four of Nielsen’s six charges, but allowed the other two to proceed. Gave. Disney’s lawyers responded to the complaint in late April, and Nielsen’s attorneys filed an amended complaint on May 10.
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Disney denies each of the allegations and claims in the complaint, according to the company’s response to the court filing.
According to Disneyland officials, Disneyland is clear about Magic’s terms of the product and continues to vigorously defend its position as the matter proceeds.
The lawsuit alleges that Nielsen purchased the Disneyland Dream’s annual pass for $1,399 in September 2021 with no blockout dates, but was unable to make theme park reservations for certain dates in November 2021.
Nielsen’s lawyers are seeking to have the case certified as a class action by the US District Court – a move that has yet to take place.
Disneyland filed a $5 million lawsuit against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts on behalf of all Magic’s annual passholders by allowing them to artificially reserve Magic’s reservations for “second class” ticket holders and limit the number of passholders that can come on any given day. accused.
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United States District Court Judge David Carter rejected Disney’s motion to dismiss Magic’s annual passholder case as it pertains to breach of contract and the California Consumer Protection Act. Carter cleared Disney’s dismissal motions related to claims of false advertising, reckless misrepresentation, legal disclosure, and unfair competition.
Carter wrote in its ruling, “The court found that the plaintiffs sufficiently supported the facts to support how a reasonable consumer could be deceived by an advertisement stating that ‘no blockout There are no dates.” “Plaintiffs argue that ordinary consumers generally interpret blockout dates as ‘dates when tickets, credits, passes or rewards cannot be used’.”
The California consumer protection portion of the case will depend on whether Disneyland Dream’s annual pass is a good or service, as argued by Nielsen’s attorneys, or a provisional license, as Disney argues. Another major controversy: the meaning of “blockout dates” and what is and is not included in that definition for passholders and Disneyland.
“Plaintiff alleges that the term ‘no blockout dates’ is not defined in the ad, but she understands the term will not prevent Dream Key pass holders from making theme park reservations ‘whenever Disney parks are open for admission. was offering reservations. theme parks,” according to the complaint. If park reservations were available and were being offered to the public, then Dream Key holders could use their pass to make reservations to enter the parks.”
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Responding to the complaint, Disney acknowledged that the phrase “blockout dates” is not defined, but denies the phrase “no blockout dates”, which could be interpreted to mean that the Dream’s passholders will be able to travel to Disneyland or Disney California Adventure whenever they want. Theme parks do offer reservations, so you can make reservations.
In addition, Disney acknowledged that it promised there would be no blockout dates for Dream Key pass holders, but Disneyland denied blocking dates for Dream Key pass holders.
According to a response from Nielsen’s attorneys, Disney has taken the position that Disneyland has the power to artificially limit theme park reservations and decide whether to make Dream passholder reservations available or unavailable.
According to the response from Nielsen’s attorneys, “It appears that Disney is limiting the number of reservations available to Dream Key Pass holders on any given day in order to maximize the number of Single Day and Other Passes sold by Disney. could.” “This practice directly contradicts Disney’s advertised promise that the Dream will not be subject to blockout dates.”
Magic’s Annual Pass went on sale in August 2021 when Disneyland ended its former four-decade-old annual passholder program during the extended coronavirus closures of the Anaheim theme parks.
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Disneyland pulled out of the top-priced Dream Key in October 2021, due to a widespread lack of available reservations with no blockout dates for the $1,399 pass among angry passholders. The $949 Believe sold out in November 2021. The $649 Enchant Key and $399 Imagine Key are available.
Magic Key reservations were often unavailable when the new Annual Pass program first launched, while the daily ticket calendar often featured wider availability.