The status of Disneyland’s annual pass program is a bit of a mystery right now.
Magic Key Passes (the updated version of Disneyland’s Annual Passholder program) were introduced in 2021. Some sold out and pass sales were later paused. So no new Magic Key passes are being sold at the moment. But what if you already bought a pass before and want to renew it? There are a lot of questions there. Today we’re breaking down what we know.
What Has Happened With Magic Key So Far?
Magic Key Passes went on sale on August 25th, 2021. There were 4 pass types introduced at the time, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. For example, the Dream Key (priced at $1,399) has the ability to make 6 theme park reservations at the same time, get 20% off merchandise, and other perks.
Then things got really interesting. In May of 2022, the Enchant Key and Imagine Key were also made temporarily unavailable. In other words, sales were paused on ALL Magic Key types in May of 2022.
This update came not long after a $5 MILLION lawsuit was filed regarding the Magic Key passes and Disneyland’s Park Pass reservation system. The lawsuit was originally filed in December of 2021 by a Magic Key Pass holder (specifically one with a Dream Key) who claimed that Disney “deceived its most loyal fan base by artificially limiting theme park capacity and blocking passholders with ‘no blockout’ annual passes from making reservations.” (Dream Key Passes do not have blockout dates.)
The lawsuit alleged that while Magic Key reservations were frequently unavailable on weekends and other dates, guests with daily admission tickets had more availability for the Park Pass system. The lawsuit claimed that on some days that were marked as “sold out” for Magic Key holders, there were still Park Pass reservations available for visitors with regular tickets (not Magic Key holders).
The complaint alleged that Disney was “engaging in unfair, unlawful and deceptive business practices” and accused Disney of “breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and false advertising.”
A big update on the lawsuit was shared in mid-May of 2022. At that point, it was revealed that a judge denied Disney’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The Judge dismissed some of the lawsuit but has allowed 2 specific claims to go forward. The 2 that are moving forward are breach of contract and a claim under the California Consumer Protection Act.
In making this decision, the court determined that the “plaintiff has adequately pled facts supporting how a reasonable consumer may be deceived by the advertisement, which states ‘no blockout dates.’” That decision was shared in mid-May and all Magic Key Pass sales were then paused at the end of May, just days later.
Since that point in time, no Magic Key passes have been on sale.
The Magic Key website continues to note that the Magic Key Passes are all “currently unavailable.”
What About Renewals?
The issue now is not necessarily the purchase of new passes, but a concern surrounding renewals. Magic Key passes are valid for 1 year from the date of activation. For those who bought a pass right when they were released and activated them right away, that expiration date might be just a few days away from becoming reality.
Those who upgraded existing theme park tickets to a Magic Key Pass may have already hit that expiration date. That’s because Magic Key passes are generally backdated to the first date that the theme park ticket being upgraded was used.
So what’s going on? Back in May of 2022, the Los Angeles Times shared a statement from Disneyland spokesperson Jaime Clower regarding the pause of Magic Key Pass sales. At that time, Clower said, “It’s all about managing the guest experience.” Clower also indicated that Disneyland “plans to let current pass holders renew their passes this summer. More details will be released at a later date.”
We got a similar response from a Cast Member via chat back in May. When we reached out to a Disney Cast Member about the renewal issue they told us, “This summer, we will offer all current Magic Key holders who are in the renewal window the opportunity to renew into one of several passes available in the program. We will share details about renewals at a later date.”
Summer technically ends in the Northern Hemisphere on September 22nd, giving Disney a little over a month left to meet that “summer” promise regarding an opportunity for renewal. But by that point, many Magic Key Pass holders may have already met their expiration dates without any information.
It’s also worth noting that the Magic Key Pass website says (in fine print), “Pass types are limited in quantity, and passes may no longer be available for purchase and/or renewal at any time.”
But another part of the Disneyland website (where the Magic Key terms and conditions are housed) says, “All Pass types are available for renewal unless explicitly stated otherwise.”
The Magic Key terms & conditions define “renewal” as “the purchase of another year (or specified period of the Pass if different than a year) of Pass benefits before the expiration date of a currently existing and valid Pass.”
This could change, however, given that Disneyland has not shared any Magic Key renewal news. It could instead become similar to Disney World where passes can be renewed up to a certain amount AFTER the expiration date.
Overall, it seems Disney is well aware of the concerns surrounding the situation. In a response from a Disney panelist to a guest question on the planDisney website, the Disney panelist said “Magic Key holders are anxiously awaiting word about their renewals.”
The Disney panelist went on to note that they don’t know when an announcement will be made. But they did note that once the announcement is made, guests may see an option to renew their passes in the “Ticket and Passes” section of the Disneyland app.
The lawsuit about Magic Key passes that claim to have no blockout dates and yet are limited by the Park Pass system could be causing some complications for Disney and concerns about offering the passes at all (or at least the highest level of the pass). Disney also has the D23 Expo coming up, along with an earnings call, during which they could provide an update on the situation. They may be waiting for these meetings to take place to break the “big news.”
Disneyland also once had upwards of 1 million annual passholders under their old system, and they may still be working out some things with balancing the new system. In the meantime, it looks like Magic Key holders are stuck “anxiously awaiting word about their renewals.”
We’ll be watching for more updates on the Magic Key situation and will let you know what we find. To learn more about Magic Key in general click here, or click here to read about the restaurant that is offering limited-time discounts to Magic Key holders.
Are you a Magic Key Pass holder? Tell us in the comments.
The post Disneyland Magic Key Passholders Left “Anxiously Awaiting Word About Their Renewals” first appeared on the disney food blog.