A Disneyland annual pass holder filed a lawsuit against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts for “misleading” buyers into believing they would receive unlimited dates to access the theme park.
The $5 million lawsuit was filed by Jenale Nielsen, of Santa Clara County, on behalf of herself and 3,600 other Dream Key passholders who are experiencing theme park visitation limits after purchasing the top tier pass.
The $1,399 Dream Key annual pass was advertised to have no “blockout” dates, according to the lawsuit (pdf).
The lawsuit claims Disneyland misrepresented the annual pass benefits for consumers and seeks to prevent Disney from unlawful business practices.
“Ms. Nielsen and the proposed class have lost money as a result of Disney’s unlawful behavior,” the lawsuit states.
Nielsen purchased the top tier pass in September since it was advertised to have no blockout dates and would grant her more visits to the theme park, according to the lawsuit.
After purchasing the Dream Key, Nielson attempted to make a reservation for November to visit Disneyland but found the theme park to be filled for most days and weekends despite attempting to secure a slot in October.
When checking the Disneyland reservation webpage, she observed that park reservations were open for single-day ticket buyers but not annual passholders.
Nielsen filed the lawsuit on Nov. 9 from the Orange County Superior Court to combat the lack of available dates for Dream Key passholders after paying for the most expensive pass.
“Ms. Nielson did not know—and had no way of knowing—that the Dream Key was, essentially, a ‘second class’ ticket with limited availability because Disney had reserved an unknown majority of the available reservations for single day or other full price ticket purchases,” the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit has since been transferred to the United States District Court on Dec. 15 since the value is over $5 million and Walt Disney Parks is located in Florida, according to the lawsuit.
Despite the allegations made against Walt Disney Parks, Disneyland informs passholders prior to purchasing their pass that admission is not guaranteed and is subject to capacity limits, according to the theme park’s website.
The lawsuit is occurring amid Disney passholders of all tiers complaining about the lack of available slots to visit the theme park. The theme park began requiring reservations to attend once Disneyland reopened in April amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Disneyland welcomed back the new annual pass program in August after the course of the COVID-19 pandemic led to the expiration of the older system in January. The Dream Key is one of four Disneyland annual passes that have been sold out since October following the second-highest tier, the Believe Key.
The Believe Key sold out in November for $949 per pass. The Enchant Key for $649 and the Imagine Key for $399 are still available for purchase.
Walt Disney Parks and Resorts didn’t respond to a request for comment by press time.